JUBILANT skipper Dominic Ostler led the celebrations as Berkswell were crowned champions of the Birmingham Premier League thanks to a comfortable nine-wicket victory at Shrewsbury on Bank Holiday Monday.
After the disappointment of Saturday’s washed out home game against Ombersley, Berkswell travelled to Shrewsbury with the knowledge that a win would see them crowned 2016 champions.
And in a one sided match, they proceeded to completely out-play the 2015 Champions in a game that saw them come away as comfortable winners and champions of the 2016 campaign.
“The victory against Shrewsbury was the icing on the cake for us, and to win in such a convincing way proved what a good side we are and have been all season,” said Ostler, who was presented with the trophy by the league’s president Peter Radburn.
“I’m delighted for the players, all the helpers and supporters, and also our sponsors, who have all contributed to our success and have made Berkswell the fantastic club it is.
“Our winning the league title is just reward for all their efforts over the years.”
Having won the toss Shrewsbury elected to bat first but lost their first wicket in the fifth over when Will Parton (9) was caught at mid-on by Mohammed Ahmed off the bowling of Grant Thornton with the score on 11.
The introduction after 13 overs of Darren Maddy into the attack maintained the pressure the visitors were applying on the Shrewsbury batsmen, and four overs later the game was effectively taken away from the hosts.
Maddy claimed the wickets of Ed Foster (15) caught behind by Liam Gately, and then trapped Ben Stebbings (0) lbw two balls later.
In the next over Maddy held a spectacular catch at mid-wicket to remove Oliver Westbury (22) to give Dave Brignull a wicket and leave the hosts on 47 for 4. Their situation worsened in the 28th over when Nick James bowled Jimmy Hulton-Harrop (6) with the score on 56.
The lower order batsmen then failed to make any sizeable impact on the scoring rate and the final five wickets fell for the addition of only 25 runs with Mohammed Ahmed and James cleaning up the tail.
At the end of the innings James finished with 4 for 14 off 10 overs, Maddy 2 for 5 off 8 overs, and Ahmed 2 for 15 off 6.3 overs.
In reply, Oliver Haley and Maddy gave Berkswell the perfect start putting together an opening partnership of 46 before Haley (18) was caught and bowled by Henry Blowfield in the 12th over.
The loss of Haley’s wicket was, however, only a temporary setback as Chris Whittock and Maddy quickly set about getting to the winning total. Victory finally came in the 16th over as Maddy (38 not out) despatched Blowfield for two fours and a single and then Whittock (19 not out) ended the over with a four and a six to clinch the league title in style.