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Pelsall are relishing the battle at the top

By Nick Elwell | Grassroots | Published:

Pelsall skipper Dan Pennell has warned his side the hard work starts now after they climbed into pole position in the South Staffs County League.

Beacon's James Fildes in action

On a day when half the Premier Division programme was washed out, Pelsall recorded a fourth straight win courtesy of a four-wicket success against Fordhouses.

Pennell’s men now lead the table by eight points from Milford Hall, who beat former leaders C&R Hawks.

But the skipper is taking nothing for granted given the competitive nature of the league.

“I said to the lads after the game that the hard part comes now,” said Pennell.

“We are there to be shot at and you have to be on your game every week in this league.

“We have crept up a little bit and had the run of the green with the weather over the last two weeks but we have been playing some good cricket.

“But every week is a tough game. It’s not like it used to be in this league where there were always a couple of sides that were struggling.

“You have to be on your game every week. If you have one bad hour, then you can lose a game because there are some quality players in the league. This is the best standard Staffs Clubs I have played in. It’s great for local cricket and the lads are really enjoying it.”

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Todd Henderson was certainly on his game again with another top-drawer display.

Henderson hit an unbeaten 76 to guide Pelsall to their readjusted target of 144 in a match reduced to 34 overs per side.

Fordhouses had posted 147-9 with Russell Thompson (45) their chief contributor.

Pelsall travel to Brewood on Saturday while Fordhouses head to Wombourne.

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Milford Hall moved into second spot following an impressive bowling display against C&R Hawks.

Robert Firth (3-16) and Sahal Malvernkar (3-28) shone with the ball as Hawks were dismissed for 127. That total would have been much lower but for the efforts of Lee Evans (44) and Saqib Akbar (36) who shared a 83-run sixth-wicket stand after the visitors had been reduced to 24-5.

James Davies then hit 32 while Malvernkar was unbeaten on 29 as Milford, who host Hammerwich at the weekend, reached their revised target with five wickets to spare.

The only other game to beat the weather saw reigning champions Beacon get the better of Penkridge.

In another rain-affected clash, visiting Penkridge lost wickets at regular intervals on their way to 116 all out.

Ishaq Mohammed top scored with 35 while spinner Dan Vernon picked up 3-4 from three overs.

Opener James Fildes then led Beacon’s victory charge. He struck an unbeaten 53 from 38 balls to see his side home in 17 overs with five wickets to spare.

The victory lifted Beacon up to sixth, 33 points behind table-topping Pelsall.

Beacon are back on home soil on Saturday when C&R Hawks are the visitors. Cannock welcome Penkridge while Lichfield entertain Whittington.

Nick Elwell

By Nick Elwell
Grassroots Sports Editor

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