The Shropshire Senior County Team were so close to winning the Crosfield Cup for the third time today as we lost by an agonising four chalks. We did an excellent job away, losing by just one chalk at Elland Cricket and Bowling Club, but struggled at home, with a 4 and a 6 loser the difference in a three shot defeat despite 8 winners.
It didn't start too well for us as we trailed by 15 away, despite another fine Andy Moss performance winning 14 at number 1, using the longer marks well. Rob Roden had a great start on straight marks to lead 10-3 before his opponent started to play well on a round peg and Rob did well to get 18 in the end. At home we had three winners but were only 2 up, with Darren Wellings continuing his unbeaten home record winning 15, Colin Beaman winning 16 and Rich Goddard 20. Into the middle and a 4 loser didn't help Shropshire's cause at home, but Spencer Clarke battled to 19 from 17-10 down. But Wayne Phillips won 12 and Clay Flattley 19 to mean a deficit of 6 there. Away and Shropshire's middle four were doing well, with Alex Jones 10-5 up and Jamie King 13-4 up, while Rich Lawson battled from a poor start to lead 16-12. But Alex and Jay got 19 as their opponents battled back extremely well but Rich won 14 and Phil Emery 18 in a close game to close the deficit there to 10, but a deficit of 16 overall.
We needed a big performance and we got one from Tom Roden away, who raced into a 17-0 lead down an edge and was lying two on before his opponent got in. But Tom managed to close it out 3 and win both man of the match awards there, and with Kiah Roberts winning 17 at home, and Mike Beer winning 13, it meant Shropshire were 9 in front. This increased to 16 as Martin Lloyd played very well on this mark over the middle to win 14, but Stuart Rutter was 18-8 down against a very good Ashley Daykin as well as Derek Wright being 15-3 down in the corners against a tidy James Davison. Stuart Rutter got 10 which meant Shropshire led by 5 with two left on at home, but Derek was unable to produce a comeback as he lost 6 which meant that with Wayne Rogers at number 12 only 15-12 up meant it was all over. Wayne won 15 in the end to mean we lost by 4 overall.
In the end it was so close for Shropshire, but again we did our county proud and took part in a fantastic final.
Tom Roden with his overall man of the match award.