ROSS skipper Seb Warwick is looking for an improvement from his Worcestershire League Division Three side in the second half of the season.
The south Herefordshire club are eighth in the table after eight matches but Warwick believes that they can certainly move up several places.
“We have lads who have been away at university coming back now and we’ll be looking for a good late-season run,” said the 23-year-old.
“We would expect to get up to fourth or third in the table.
“We play a good positive brand of cricket and we tend to win or lose without blocking out for draws.
“I believe we’re quite entertaining to watch.”
On Saturday, a narrow 13-run defeat allowed visiting Alvechurch & Hopwood to leap-frog their hosts.
Ross won the toss and invited the Worcestershire side to bat first and picked up a couple of early wickets before a stand of 51 for the fourth wicket between Adam Markham-Jones (28) and skipper Liam Hall (21) had Alvechurch handily placed at 85-3.
A couple of wickets in the middle-order for Christiaan Ferreira (2-32) built on good work by Harry Porter (2-36) and James Tiffen (4-56) as Alvehurch subsided to 120-8.
“James Tiffen has really improved as a cricketer,” said Warwick. “We’ve used his off-spin as first change and he has proved a reliable option to have.”
Alvechurch’s lower order rallied to add some crucial runs.
Dan Wolstencroft (48 not out) shared in a ninth-wicket stand of 51 with David Wall (17) and then added a further crucial 17 for the final wicket with Christian Battelley (three) which would ultimately prove the difference between the two sides.
But Ross only had themselves to blame for allowing Alvechurch to reach the score they did, conceding 40 wides in a total of 53 extras.
“Our boys evidently enjoy fielding so much that they wanted to stay out in the field a little longer,” joked Warwick.
The skipper was one of two early wickets to fall as Ross made a stuttering start to their reply.
“I’ve been a rusty and scratchy with the bat as I have had my university finals to deal with,” said Warwick, who has been a prolific scorer for the Ross club.
Harry King (47) moved the score forward in a 70-run partnership with Jack Donovan (16) for the third wicket.
“Harry is back from university and has maintained his improvement,” said Warwick. “He has been bowling well and has done well in the middle-order for us.
“Now he needs to push on to some big scores.”
Battelley (5-68) and Wolstencroft (2-52) then caused a collapse with Ross subsiding to 106-7 before Porter, who struck four fours and three sixes as he raced to 51 from 37 balls.
Wicket-keeper Ben Robbins (17) assisted in a half-century stand for the eighth wicket and then did his best to ease Ross to their target.
But he was the last man out as the Ross innings closed on 175, 14 short of their target.
“We kept our run rate pushing on at five an over but we fell short,” said Warwick.
“We certainly felt that 189 was an achievable target on a good deck.
“Because of the weather, though, most of the boys have not played much cricket and we’re just not going the distance.”