By Jamie Arrowsmith 06/08 Updated: 07/08 09:40
IT WAS a frustrating weekend for Rugby Cricket Club as the 1sts and 3rds saw their matches abandoned from interesting positions and the 2nds' game was ruined by rain when they were in a very strong position.
Rugby 1sts opted to bat first at home to fourth placed Atherstone in Warwickshire League Division One. When a heavy shower arrived about five minutes after the toss, drenching the ground and reducing the game to 42 overs, that looked to have backfired, especially when Rugby were then reduced to 25-3.
A partnership then developed between Owen Edwards and Matt Ewer. Edwards was the dominant partner as he displayed his typically belligerent form, looking to latch on to anything slightly overpitched or short, whilst Ewer was more circumspect, looking to find form after a string of low scores and 'did not bats'.
Eventually, just as Ewer (30) was looking to break the shackles, he dragged a wide one on to his stumps and the partnership was broken, but the stand of 99 had changed the nature of the game.
Edwards pushed on, never letting the bowlers settle, and was caught on the boundary for 79 trying to further push the score on.
The last five wickets then fell for 35 runs, illustrating what a good innings Edwards' had been on what was a flat but very slow pitch, and Rugby were all out in their last over for 189.
Rugby were feeling very confident that would be enough as it was more than any team has scored against them this year, but unfortunately at that point the rain came tumbling down again and, with lightning and thunder in the area, the umpires had no choice but to call the game off even once the rain had stopped.
Rugby took seven points from the abandonment. In the battle between second and third placed Southam and Pak Shaheen, Southam were able to get a full game in and came out on top, which pushes them above Pak Shaheen and into second place, 28 points behind Rugby.
Rugby travel to Pickwick P&M on Saturday to start a series of three games that sees them play three of the bottom four teams in the table. With success in those, Rugby will be looking good for promotion.
RUGBY 2NDS visited second placed Knowle Village in what at the start of the day was a four-way race for two promotion spots in Division Two 2nd XI.
Rugby batted first and, with Chris Evans (40) following the previous week's century and Keith Bradbury in impressive form, the Knowle attack was put to the sword.
Bradbury (89) played a captain's knock in the big game and was supported ably by Mo Sadiq (24) - returning to cricket after a few weeks out - and youngsters Glyn Tapp (36) and Tom Mitchell (29) as Rugby finished on a very strong 274-9 in their 50 overs.
Unfortunately rain had again struck and Knowle Villages' innings was reduced to 25 overs, meaning there was very little chance of a result.
Knowle decided not to chase the winning draw, meaning the game petered out into a winning draw for Rugby as Knowle scored 44-2.
It was frustrating that a chance to chase the win was denied, but a good points swing in Rugby's favour saw them make up eight points on their closest rivals.
With leaders Bournville losing and Kenilworth's match being abandoned, the top three are now separated by two points in this division in what looks like a race that will go down to the wire.
HIGH-FLYING Rugby 3rds entertained Newbold and again the weather robbed the game of what looked like a tight finish.
Newbold batted first and scored 175, whilst Rugby were on 85-5 in reply when the rain came and washed out the rest of the match.
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