By Jamie Arrowsmith 21/08 Updated: 21/08 09:52
A FINE all-round display from Owen Edwards helped Warwickshire League Division One leaders Rugby to a winning draw at home against Old Edwardians on Saturday.
Edwards made 87 as Rugby reached 223-6 batting first before taking two wickets in Old Eds' reply which ended on 114-9.
Rugby got the solid start they were looking for having chosen to bat first as Stu Lloyd and Raj Chohan put on 64 for the first wicket before the former became the first man to fall for 33.
That saw Edwards come to the crease and together with Chohan added 74 for the second wicket before the youngster was caught for 53 to make it 138-2.
The focus was on quick runs with ten overs to go and Edwards continued his recent good form by opening his shoulders and peppering the boundary whilst the rest of the middle order struggled to get in and immediately move the score forwards on what was a slow track and against some disciplined spin bowling from Shahid Hussain.
Edwards was eventually the last man out for 87 as Rugby closed on a strong 223-6 from their 50 overs with Hussain's figures of 3-44 the pick for Old Eds.
It was expected that Old Eds would play positively to try and secure a win given their position at the bottom of the table but tight early bowling and the loss of a couple of early wickets meant their reply never generated momentum and their task became about avoiding defeat.
The bowling attack was rotated regularly in warm conditions and all played their part, chipping away at Old Eds' batting order.
Rugby were always in with a chance but, on what was now a very placid track, removing obdurate batsman proved difficult.
Mo Sadiq (1-15) and Andy Ward (1-15) bowled well whilst Matt Ewer (2-32) was consistant.
It was left to Edwards (2-26) and a resurgent Riv Monsell (3-16) to try and seal the victory and with the help of some erratic shots from numbers nine and ten, the win was nearly pulled out of the bag.
But, despite every effort being made, the last wicket could not be found and Rugby had to settle for a dominant winning draw.
The 18 points collected saw Rugby maintain their 44-point lead at the top of the table ahead of the Bank Holiday double header at Warwick and Southam when two wins could seal promotion.
THE 2nds moved top of the table for the first time this season with an 84-run success against Fillongley.
The batting was again a tale of many contributions but no big innings as captain Keith Bradbury lead the way with 49. Rugby closed on 196-9 off the 50 overs which, whilst being a decent score was not thought to be decisive as Fillongley is renowned as a high scoring ground.
Neal McGrath paid no heed to that though as he produced an aggressive and devastating display of bowling, taking 5-30 and ripping the heart out of Fillongley's reply. Neal demonstrated the skills that make him a good first team bowler on his day and emphasising the depth Rugby have as a club.
He was excellently supported by youngster Adam Milsom who took three wickets as Fillongley were routed for 112.
The win leaves Rugby 19 points clear of second placed Knowle Village.
THE 3rds league game against Griff and Coton was cancelled with Griff unable to raise a side.
As a result it puts the state of the table in some confusion as Griff may now be removed from the league and all of the results from their games forfeited.
Rugby may already be promoted but until the points are tallied up by the league it is not certain. What is certain, is that if Rugby avoid defeat against Pak Shaheen on Saturday they will be promoted in their first season.
Instead, Rugby played a friendly against Spartans and came away with a win in a game notable for senior debuts for two of Rugby's league and cup winning u13 side, Jamie Rowe and Liam Slaughter.
DAVE Kiernan won Rugby RCC's latest time-trial on
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