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Shropshire looking forward to heading home again after run of away fixtures


Captain Steve Leach insists Shropshire are looking forward to returning home to face Wales Minor Counties this weekend after three away matches in a row in the Unicorns Championship.

Three wins out of four this season has Shropshire well placed in second in the Western Division table, 19 points behind leaders Berkshire, with two matches to play for both teams.

The county will have home advantage for both of their remaining three-day matches, with the clash with Wales, which starts at Oswestry, pictured, on Sunday, followed by hosting Devon at Bridgnorth at the start of next month.

Shropshire have so far enjoyed Championship victories this season against Cheshire, Herefordshire and Dorset, with the one setback at Finchampstead against table-topping Berkshire, the defending champions, last month.

Skipper Leach said: “It’s quite unusual that we’ve had three away matches in a row, but we’re now looking forward to playing at Oswestry and it’s normally a good pitch there. I seem to often say it, but we are really fortunate how hospitable our clubs are.

“We’re four games into the Championship season now and it was important to quickly bounce back from the Berkshire defeat with a good win last week against Dorset, a comprehensive win, so we’ll be looking to do the same against Wales.

“We can’t change the past. We lost to Berkshire and we know we didn’t do ourselves justice in that match, but we now go forward.

“We responded well against Dorset. We’ve got two games left, we’re going to look to win both of them, and we’ll see where that takes us at the end of the season. You never know what can happen. If you win five out of six then I would suggest you’re unlucky not to win the league.”

Not that Leach and his team mates are taking the challenge of Wales lightly despite Shropshire’s next opponents currently finding themselves at the foot of the Western Division table.

He said: “It looks like Wales have been having a tough season, but I don’t know too many of their players. We’ll certainly be turning up at Oswestry looking to play our best and to win the game.”

Oswestry allrounder Warrick Fynn took centre stage in Shropshire’s last victory at Bournemouth, taking 11 Dorset wickets in the match and also weighing in with half centuries in both innings, with Leach delighted with his performance.

“He contributed across all four innings of the match,” he added. “It was an outstanding performance from Warrick. He’s clearly a very good player and he’s been very consistent in Birmingham League cricket for a long time now.

“That’s one of the best Shropshire three-day performances certainly I can remember in the time I’ve been involved and his consistency across the match was brilliant.”

The first ball will be bowled at Oswestry at 11am on Sunday, with admission free for spectators on all three days.