ALL-ROUNDER Will Sparrow has backed Ludlow CC’s talented youngsters to carry the club towards a bright future after sealing Shropshire Premier safety.

Spinner Joe Williams claimed season’s best figures of 6-46 to help skittle struggling Allscott Heath for 133, moving up to seventh in the league’s bowling rankings with 33 wickets for the year.

Sparrow (68no) and James Kinder (48no) then shared an unbroken 112 stand as Ludlow cruised to an eight-wicket win at 136-2.

Kinder – who joined this season after playing for Kidderminster in the Birmingham League – lies 14th in the league’s batting rankings, despite only playing nine games.

Just three players in the league have a better average than Kinder’s 46.14 and Sparrow – also in the top 25 – who considers himself a veteran aged 28, says he’s in awe of the club’s young talent.

Sparrow joked: “I felt old on Saturday! But we look a good, young side – there are about five or six lads all around the 18-23 age group and it’s good to see.

“Joe has really been an asset for us. We have an abundance of spinners but he has come to the forefront – being a left-arm spinner, he always looks like taking wickets. He bowls attacking lines.

“There are a few good spinners in the league but he’s certainly up there with the best and there’s plenty more to come from him too. Hopefully he can target 50 wickets for the season.”

Kinder, meanwhile, has helped turn around a batting line-up that struggled at the start of the season and Sparrow said: “He has really strengthened our top four and he’s very mature for a young lad.

“He captained the side for the first time on Saturday and he’s had a couple of really decent knocks for us. He’s been a great addition.

“Now we’re safe it’s just about picking up more points and hopefully getting into the top six (Ludlow are currently eighth) which would make it a really good season.”

Ludlow seconds remain third in Shropshire Three after a winning draw at Church Aston. Will Gough (40) helped them post 135-8 and Scott Kemsley (5-36) restricted the hosts to 111-7 in reply.

Church Stretton remain bottom of Division Four after a seven-wicket loss at fellow strugglers Cae Glas. They were skittled for 96 – skipper Peter Lee (45) top-scoring – and the hosts cruised home despite the efforts of Keith Yapp (3-21).

Corvedale stay bottom of Division Six despite a brave effort at high-flying Cound. Chris Moore (63) and Ross Mantle (61) helped them post 202 but Cound inched home with nine balls to spare.

Tenbury remain in the Worcestershire League Division Nine promotion spots as Tom Gloster took 5-20 to dismiss Droitwich thirds for 104 and Nigel Payne (51no) saw Tenbury home at 105-2.