IT’S DOWN to a one-match shoot-out for Oswestry’s cricketers if they are to avoid a second successive relegation.
They face Penkridge at home on Saturday in the last game of the season knowing there are three possible ways of avoiding the drop from Division Two of the Birmingham League:
1. If they win, they are safe .
2. If Stratford-upon-Avon lose to Coventry and North Warwickshire, Oswestry stay up irrespective of the result at Morda Road.
3. If both games are rained off, Stratford will be relegated alongside already-doomed Stourbridge.
Option three is unlikely to come into effect – the long-range forecast is that after several days of lovely sunshine, there will be sun and light cloud at the weekend, without a raindrop in sight.
Oswestry will be boosted on Saturday by the return of main strike bowler Jonathan Miles, who has moved to Norfolk but had vowed to come back for the last game if needed.
Shropshire batsman Joe Carrasco is also back after missing the weekend’s defeat at newly-crowned Division Two champions Shifnal.
The only key player absent from the home line-up will be wicketkeeper Junaid Cassiem, who flew back to South Africa yesterday to start his season with Boland in his home country. Luke Jones will take over behind the stumps.
Club chairman Mike Robinson said: “The whole of the season stands or falls on this one game, so we'll have to make sure everyone's up for it.
“And although some of us will be keeping an eye on the score at Stratford, we won't be letting the players know – we want them to concentrate on the job in hand.
“We’ve had some good battles with Penkridge over the years and we know they won't lie down. But at least it’s in our own hands – if we win, that's ‘job done’. We'll be hoping for a sunny day, and a big Morda Road crowd to cheer the lads on.”
For a full round-up of this week's cricket matches see the Advertizer.