Cleobury Mortimer 208-9 Avoncroft 85 all out

VICE-CAPTAIN Ben Griffiths says Cleobury Mortimer’s first league win of the season will ‘lift everyone’s’ spirits at the club.

Griffiths snapped up 4-0 from just 15 balls to wrap up Saturday’s 123-run success over Avoncroft in the Worcestershire County League Division Three.

“We saw what Avoncroft had done to Tenbury a few weeks ago and we were a bit worried,” said Griffiths, who was dismissed first ball of the match.

“I have never achieved figures like that before - the pitch was taking a bit of spin.

“Cricket is a great leveller and the lad who scored a double century a few weeks ago against Tenbury was out from the first ball of Avoncroft’s innings.

“We knew that Cleobury had scored 400 runs without loss against Tenbury but Dave Shorter had their double centurion caught and bowled from the first ball.

“This season, we had not been as optimistic going into matches as we had been in the past.

“But I think this victory will do our players a world of good.”

Griffiths, who is also club chairman, is missing Cleobury’s trip to high-flying Bredon this Saturday.

“Bredon have not lost this summer and are looking very good this season,” said Griffiths.

“Stourport thumped us and said that Bredon’s batsmen were reverse-sweeping their fast bowlers.”

After Griffiths was dismissed from the first ball of last weekend’s match, Craig Shorter (78) and Dave Shorter (64) combined to resurrect the hosts’ innings and guide Cleobury for 208-9.

Skipper Mike Green also weighed in for Cleobury, while Paul Athey (3-35), Craig Hughes (3-45) and Ben Warwick (2-30) shared the wickets for Avoncroft.

David Shorter (3-28) and David Hughes (2-26) put Avoncroft’s innings on the back foot before Griffiths’ introduction fired Cleobury to victory.

Griffiths said: “We battled hard after a poor start and to get beyond 200 was a tremendous effort.

“We bowled quite well and Grant Carbines is an experienced campaigner and kept things tight.”

Cleobury are now fourth from bottom in the table.

Griffiths added: “We are a small club in this division but we think there will be several other small clubs who will be battling out with us in the lower parts of the division.”