August 23, 1973, was a day to go down in history for Shropshire cricket.
It was the day Shropshire became Minor Counties champions for the first time ever, giving a champagne tonic to the sport in the county.
They clinched the title with a magnificent victory over neighbouring Staffordshire in a match played at London Road, Shrewsbury.
But what exactly were Staffordshire playing at?
From the start, according to our cricket correspondent Richard Davies, they exhibited a dog-in-the-manger attitude which cast a shadow over the first day’s play, and from the moment they lost their first wicket with only 14 on the board seemed to lose what interest they had in winning the game.
And the opportunity seemed to be there, especially as Shropshire’s second innings total was only 61.
Yet on the final day, according to our correspondent, the home side had a difficult task of bowling out the visitors who were playing for a draw virtually from the word go.
In the event Shropshire won by the substantial margin of 87 runs.
“Cricket lovers will hope that Staffordshire have learned their lesson, and will abandon their negative tactics for good,” Richard Davies reported.
Shropshire took just 35 minutes of the morning’s play to collect the remaining for Staffordshire wickets, leaving the visitors 91 behind on the first innings.
One of the wickets – a cracking caught and bowled by Doug Slade – looked for a time as though it might actually cost Shropshire the match.
Slade, who had earlier bowled Staffordshire’s top scorer Ikin, badly injured the thumb of his bowling hand taking the catch, and had to leave the field for treatment.