UNBEATEN Ledbury maintained their lead of Marches Cricket League Division Two with a 19-point winning draw at home to Shirebulls.
With the covers doing their job after overnight rain, captain Steve Evans had no hesitation in batting first on winning the toss.
But Ledbury slumped to 0-2 after the first over with opener Matt Ehrlich and Josh Evans both falling victim to Ben Boswell for ducks.
Luke Ledbury and Jamie Brighton took the score to 46 when the former was deceived by Jo Privett for 22.
Paul Andrews raced to 12 but departed to a fine catch, leaving Ledbury on 64-4.
Neil Andrews repaired the early damage with Brighton in a 112-run partnership featuring good running between the wickets and regular boundaries.
Brighton was in full flow but Neil Andrews (38) became Boswell’s third victim. With the help of Mike Arlott (10) and Jason Belcher (14 not out), Brighton carried his bat for a fine 135no in Ledbury’s 250-6.
The reply mirrored Ledbury’s with Privett falling for a duck to Arlott.
Martin Hobbs hit three quick fours before Neil Andrews had him caught by Ledbury at slip.
Arlott was rewarded with two more wickets to leave Shirebulls on 39-4 but they hit back through Pete Hobbs and Karl Whysall.
Steve Evans brought on the occasional off-spin of Paul Andrews, who bowled Pete Hobbs (30).
In a 10-over spell, he took 3-18, which included a smart caught-and-bowled.
The returning Arlott (4-29) picked up another wicket to leave Shirebulls on 111-8.
However, Ledbury could not budge Whysall (25no) and, although Steve Evans gained the ninth wicket, the visitors saw out the remaining two overs to finish on 130-9.
Ledbury visit Kington seconds tomorrow with the players meeting at noon.
A depleted Ledbury seconds side were thrashed by 208 runs at high-flying Glangrwyney in Division Three.
The bowlers found it difficult to stem the flow of runs but were backed up by enthusiastic fielding.
The hosts blasted an imposing 293-5 despite Rob Yeoman (2-35) removing Tim Jones (105) and Paul Daniell (69).
Ledbury’s only contributions of note were from Steve Large (18), Simon Ritchie (16) and Rob Greening (14) as they were skittled for just 85.
Veteran Tony Griffin stepped in to keep wicket and scored a stubborn 12no.
The seconds host Strollers tomorrow with players meeting at 1pm.