HEREFORDSHIRE’S chances of progressing to the knockout stages of the MCCA T20 competition took a blow with twin defeats in their double-header with Shropshire at Wrekin


The county’s side’s batting failed badly in the first encounter to leave them well short of their victory target.

And then, in the second game, Shropshire, after looking set to be contained to a gettable score, pulled away in the last four overs of their innings to always be just out of reach.

The day had begun well – if belatedly, following a shower – for Herefordshire when Peter Burgoyne (1-23) bowled Jack Edwards with the first ball of the match.

But then former Herefordshire wicket-keeper batsman Alex Phillips (47) and home skipper Alexei Kervezee (40) batted well to set the base for the home side’s substantial 167-6 from their 20 overs.

Teenage leg-spinner Alex Russell (2-29) and all-rounder Dave Ball (2-37) were the most successful Herefordshire bowlers while Tom Hage conceded just 17 runs from three overs.

Herefordshire’s reply foundered almost immediately when Burgoyne, skippering the side in the absence of Matt Pardoe, drove to mid-off in the second over.

Then with only Jamie Harrison (18), Hage (17) and Ball (15) reaching double figures, Herefordshire capitulated for just 83.

In the second match, Herefordshire produced an improved bowling display and had the home side in trouble at 82-5.

But then Ryan Lockley (26 no) and Simon Gregory (48 no) took advantage of some slack play from the visitors in the closing overs as the score climbed to 157-5 at the end of the 20 overs.

Barney Morgan, with 1-12 from three overs, bowled impressively, as did Josh Blunt who took 1-5 from two overs.

Herefordshire’s reply started badly but Ball (28) and then Burgoyne (42), with assistance from Mahaaz Ahmed (17), kept the visitors in the hunt.

Ultimately, however, wickets fell too regularly and the innings ended on 144-9.

On Sunday, Herefordshire start their bid to regain the MCCA 50-over knockout trophy which they won in 2016 when they entertain Staffordshire, the beaten finalists three years ago, at Eastnor.

Skipper Matt Pardoe is set to return and it is hoped that Jamie McIlroy will be fit to resume after injury.