Shropshire County Cricket Club’s Academy side enjoyed the experience of playing at Blackfinch New Road after being invited by Worcestershire to take part in a Four Counties Twenty20 competition.
Shropshire were beaten by 17 runs by Staffordshire’s Development XI in Sunday’s second semi-final – but coach Ian Roe stressed his young side had relished the chance to play in such impressive surroundings.
Roe said: “It was a very worthwhile exercise and it was great to be invited by Worcestershire to be part of a day like this with some very good cricketers on show.
“It was a fantastic experience, a wonderful opportunity for our lads to play at a first-class ground with first-class facilities. We had three 16-year-olds in the team and an average age of 18.
“It was also nice to catch up with Worcestershire’s Kevin Sharp, the former Shropshire coach, and we were made to feel very welcome.”
Staffordshire batted first and accumulated 157-5 from their 20 overs, with Quatt’s Ryan Wheldon claiming 3-37.
Shropshire, in reply, were bowled out for 140, with two balls remaining. Shifnal opener Josh White (25) and Wellington’s Matt Simmonds (24), who skippered the Academy side, top scored.
“I think we lost our way a little bit when we batted from overs six to 12,” added Roe. “We just got behind the run rate which in 20 over cricket puts pressure on the batsmen trying to get us where we needed to be.
“Our fielding was very good and some of our bowling was also very good.”
The day also featured Worcestershire’s Academy side and Herefordshire’s Development XI.
Shropshire Academy’s final match of the season will be against Lancashire Academy at Wrekin College on Friday, August 30.