Welshpool 214 for 9 beat
Alberbury 125 all out by 89 runs
WELSHPOOL maintained their excellent start to the campaign, with an 89 run victory over local rivals Alberbury at Maesydre.
Pool are second in the table and the top Mid Wales side in a highly competitive first division led by Allscott.
Welshpool had started their innings brightly with a 65 first wicket partnership between Joe Birch and Dave Jones.
Jones was first to fall, trapped LBW for 20 by Andy Holloway, with Llyr Thomas (5) promptly dismissed by Seb Pope (1-25).
However county batsman Birch was joined by Phil Lewis in a fruitful 92 run third wicket partnership to push the hosts to 166, when the in form opener was finally sent back to the pavilion.
Birch included eight fours in his impressive knock of 63, before being caught by James Harrap off Holloway.
Holloway was soon to strike again with Lewis caught for 33 by Mike Crawshaw, to complete Holloway's 3-51.
Middle order contributions from Ryan Davies (11) and Paul Chapman (19) were countered by wickets from Myles Thomas (2-55) and Angus Little (2-36), before captain Ernie Birch (10no) saw Pool to 214-9.
Alberbury's reply could not have got off to a worse start as Rupert Shingler effectively nullified the Farmers’ best hope of mounting a challenge with the removal of the top order.
Charles Bourne was trapped LBW for just eight, before Mark Jones was caught for three by Paul Chapman off Shingler.
Surviving opener Mike Crawshaw looked for partners in the middle order, but Shingler (4-49) was relentless.
When Crawshaw was caught for 38 by Joe Birch off Steve Monk (4-49) it represented the end of any Alberbury hopes of victory and instead the visitors looked to dig in for a draw.
However Alberbury went from 65-4 to 87-7, before James Harrap offered tailend resistance with 16 until he became Monk’s final wicket of the afternoon.
The father and son team of Ernie (1-6) and Joe Birch (1-17) polished off the tail in the 34th over with Alberbury all out for just 125.
Welshpool spokesman Joe Birch said: “Alberbury have a well deserved reputation as a good batting side so it was important to post a total to put them under pressure.
“We batted well, myself and Dave Jones laid the foundations but there were contributions through the order.
“Rupert Shingler bowled exceptionally well in reply and he and Steve Monk ensured Alberbury could not mount a challenge.”
On Welshpool’s rise to second in the table, Birch added: “We are on course for where we want to end this season, but we must keep working hard to ensure we maintain this form.”