The title race is open, insists Sutton

First published in Local

BARNT Green are poised to take advantage of any slip-ups at the top of the Birmingham & District League Premier, according to captain Andy Sutton.

The Cherry Hill Road side earned 17 points on Saturday after a winning draw against stubborn Kenilworth Wardens.

With Berkswell surprisingly losing to Walmley, third-placed Green trail them by just eight points, although leaders West Bromwich Dartmouth have a 30-point advantage.

Sutton said: “The season is going to have a very interesting end at the top and bottom.

“I think being third is the best place to be at this stage, there’s no pressure to win every game like West Bromwich at the top and we can keep up the pressure.

“The top three are starting to break away, but we have to play West Brom and Berkswell, so the title race is very open.”

Green clocked up a formidable score of 293-5 declared after 50 overs on a batting friendly wicket after they had won the toss.

William Baker (79) and Tom Burton (132 off 120 balls) filled their boots.

But, in reply, top three batsmen Keith Bell (45), Nick Seager (38) and Scott Stenning got Wardens off to a great start.

Once they were dismissed, however, Kenilworth collapsed from 107-3 to 195-8, before a ninth-wicket stand between Stenning and Rajan Singh Bhatti (34) guided them to 259-8 in 60 overs.

Darrel Williams (3-60), Nathan Newport (2-28) and Sutton (2-61) took the wickets for Green.

“In hindsight the wicket did not really help the bowlers, there was very little movement and perhaps we should have bowled first but got the best result possible.”

Green expect to have a full strength side for Saturday’s home clash against struggling Kidderminster Victoria (noon start), who have been pulled into a relegation battle.

Sutton added: “Even though they’ve had a bad run you can’t taken them lightly.”

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