By Jamie Arrowsmith 23/05 Updated: 23/05 11:59
RUGBY captain Matt Ewer led by example on Saturday as his side made it three wins from three completed games at Atherstone to sit top of the Warwickshire League Division One table.
Ewer bowled superbly to take 5-27 from 15 overs and with excellent support coming from Neal McGrath (4-10), Rugby bowled Atherstone out for 79 after struggling to 114-9 themselves earlier in the day.
On an extremely damp and cold afternoon, Ewer lost what could have been a crucial toss as Rugby found life difficult having been asked to bat first.
Missing four first team batsmen through injury and availability, Rugby's strength in depth was about to be severly tested.
Openers Alex Smith and George Mackenzie went out with instructions to see off the new ball regardless of scoring rate and went on to produce the biggest partnership of the game.
They took 20 overs to put on 35 crucial runs before Raj Chohan at three performed strongly in difficult circumstances as wickets fell around him.
The middle order once again struggled, not through poor shot selection, but through good controlled bowling and a helpful pitch.
Chohan eventually fell for 39 and the situation did not look great at 90-8 but Riv Monsell and McGrath held firm at the end to push the final total to 114-9.
Despite 114 looking a small total, Rugby went into the second half of the contest in confident mood as they are yet to concede more than that this season.
Ewer put Atherstone under pressure from the first over and was rewarded with a wicket thanks to a sharp slip catch by Owen Edwards.
Now getting up a head of steam, Ewer went on to demolish the top order, reducing the score from 20-1 to 25-5 with a string of bowled and lbw decisions.
Edwards got in on the act with a lovely delivery that nipped back sharply and hit the top of middle before a mini recovery.
Atherstone showed a mixture of strong front foot defence, big hitting and better running but the reintroduction of McGrath did the trick for Rugby.
The swing bowler sent down a string of unplayable deliveries to return superb figures and see his side home.
Rugby sit 30 points clear of their rivals at the top of the early season table and will hope to strengthen their position further when they entertain struggling Pickwick Post and Mail on Saturday.
THE 2nds finally saw some match action on Saturday when they hosted Knowle Village but they did so without a number of regulars due to injury and unavailability.
Skipper Keith Bradbury lost what was to prove an important toss and was put into bat.
Scoring proved tough on a wet wicket and Rugby lost wickets steadily throughout the course of the innings to finish on 126ao. Ed Pell's 25 was the highlight as he produced some fluent strokeplay.
Rugby started brightly with the ball, reducing Knowle to 55-4 but no more wickets fell as the Solihull side put together a match winning partnership.
TOM Mitchell starred with the ball as the 3rds defeated Oakfield 3rds by 159 runs.
Batting first, Rugby posted 206-8 from their 45 overs with u15s Shiv Tank and Jason Moyles ensuring a competitive total was reached.
Mitchell then took centre stage with 4-8 as Oakfield were skittled for 47, leaving Rugby as comfortable victors.
TIM Hastie returned to winning ways when Rugby
RUGBY Swimming Club members returned from the Coventry
AFTER a successful first year which resulted in
TWO members of Rugby Triathlon Club Juniors came