Newtown host Alberbury this weekend at the Elephant Recreation Ground.

Newtown must be happy to be home after some long travels last weekend. It proved a tough weekend suffering defeat in the league on Saturday against Pontesbury and in the Senior Slam against Madeley on Sunday.

Batting first at the Pontesbury Sports ground, Newtown battled with a tough pitch and slow outfield.

The “war horse” Stephen Wilson picked up 3-25, this included the prize wicket of Laird and Knight early on. John Anthony dug in for 43 and Tom Foulkes played a valuable innings for his 34 before being trapped in front.

In reply Pontesbury were in a bit of trouble as the Newtown bowlers hit the crumbling pitch hard. It is a little awkward writing about myself, but with three wickets down I joined my skipper Mark Lewis at the crease and built a partnership before he was removed by Laird for 28.

I somehow avoided fielders throughout my innings with plenty of leading edges and Chinese cuts. This was an innings of a “Collingwood” rather than a “Gower”, but it was enough to get us over the line.

I will share a quick story of batting with our exuberant Matt Smart.

With about 20 needed to win, all the correct discussions took place between overs.

We planned to “take the singles”, “play straight”, “get forward” and “call loud”. We punched gloves and went back to our respective ends.

The very next over Smart squares his himself up with the bowler and shallows his bat in an attempt to scoop the ball over the keeper. He did manage to hit the ball, but it did not reach the boundary, instead it careered into his grill.

Then with less than 10 needed to win he decided to open up his stumps and try to thump the ball over cover, unfortunately this was his undoing departing on 20.

You could only imagine my disbelief having spent a lot of overs just trying to survive, however he did provide a valuable knock accelerating the innings towards the required target.

Newtown was a tough team to play against and with a change of luck this game could have easily gone the other way so I do believe they will be climbing the table in the coming weeks.

Alberbury beat Ellesmere at the Pecknall Farm ground.

Ellesmere must have had a slow start to the innings, Sam Morris going for four runs and one wicket in his six overs whilst Matthew Bevan was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets in his six overs. The rest of the wickets were shared around as Alberbury made regular breakthroughs.

All of Ellesmere’s top seven reached double figures but none pushed on as they set 123.

In reply Mark Jones (48) and Jordan Zaza (33) provided most of the work in the chase as Alberbury met the required target in the 31st over.

Alberbury have had a mixed start to the season but are sitting in a good position of fifth in the table. No doubt they will be full of confidence going into the game with Newtown.

This has proved to be a competitive league with all teams capable of producing match winning performances so I will be keeping a keen eye on this game to see how it goes.