DELIGHT was mixed with disappointment for Ludlow CC as they continued their upward trajectory in the league last weekend, only to agonizingly miss out on cup silverware.

Ludlow beat Shrewsbury seconds by 73 runs in the Shropshire Premier on Saturday before an eventful finals day in the new Aarons Premier 100 – the same format as The Hundred – on Sunday.

They crushed Whitchurch by nine wickets in the semi-final but lost out by just six runs in the final against Quatt in a game that went right down to the wire.

“It was almost a perfect weekend of cricket,” admitted Ludlow wicketkeeper-batsman and 100 skipper Will Sparrow.

“It was a big day for the club – we smashed Whitchurch and then lost an absolute nail-biter to Quatt.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be but it’s good that we are pushing these kind of sides all the way and it’s a learning curve for us.

“I fancy our chances in that format next year as it suits us down to the ground.”

In the semis, Louis Watkins took 4-23 as Whitchurch were limited to 116-8, a total Ludlow knocked off inside 51 balls at 118-1 thanks to Jason Oakes (63no) and Sam Alford (34no).

Oakes (3-19) and Watkins (3-30) shone with the ball in the final as Quatt were all out for 128 but Ludlow were dismissed for 122 in the final over, Alford (31) top-scoring as Quatt’s Alex Biddle took 5-17.

In the league the previous day, Ludlow recorded back-to-back wins as Sparrow (42), Oakes (39) and Luke Miles (34) helped them post 212 against Shrewsbury.

Oakes then took 3-29 as the visitors were dismissed for 139 in a victory that left Ludlow, in seventh, just six points off the top four.

“It was convincing,” added Sparrow. “We have a bit of momentum behind us now. It was important because we have a habit of turning up against the top sides but slipping up against the bottom ones.

“The top four is definitely the target now – it’s so close from second down to eighth that a couple of wins can just turn things around.”

Ludlow seconds lost at Forton in Division Two. Daniel Ashley took 3-23 and James Lawrence 3-45 as Forton posted 224 but, despite Glen Whittaker’s 36 and David Northwood’s 30, Ludlow were all out for 133 in reply.

Bishops Castle and Church Stretton saw games cancelled due to Covid but Corvedale (105-5) stay top of Division Seven after beating Forton seconds (104) thanks to Craig Massey’s 4-11 and Jim Alderson’s 33no.

In the Worcestershire League, Cleobury Mortimer’s trip to Bromsgrove was called off but in Division Eight West, Tenbury (178-4) remain top after beating Hallow Taverners (174).

Paul Derrick took 3-24 for Tenbury before Alfie Watts (63) and Tom Gloster (50) starred with the bat.