A LATE stand from Simon Ritchie was not enough to stop Ledbury from crashing to a seven-wicket defeat to leaders Woolhope in Marches Cricket League Division Two.

Tenth man Richie top scored with 40 to help Ledbury post 135 all out but the hosts swept to victory for the loss of just three wickets.

Boosted by their emphatic 230-run win over Luctonians seconds Ledbury made the trip to Berryfield in good spirits.

But after losing the toss and being put in to bat the visitors’ mood soon changed as Chris Watts removed openers Carl Foskett (8) and Paddy Merryman (1).

Brandon Caffull (0) and Paul Andrews (2) also fell cheaply as Watts and Ali Park proved to be the destroyers-in-chief.

Josh Emery, who notched a fine century against Lucs, and Chris Ritchie helped to steady the ship slightly as they made 32 and 18 respectively.

But the duo both fell victim to Park who also dismissed Charles Tager and Richard Davis for ducks on his way to figures of 5-54.

Jason Belcher went for 13 with Matthew Windley taking his wicket before Watts (4-15) ended Simon Ritchie’s brave efforts.

Chasing 136 for victory Woolhope suffered an early setback when Vicky Evans claimed Lee Roberts’ wicket.

Will Tanner was the next to go for 34 courtesy of Caffull’s delivery and Emery caught and bowled Park (27). But Chris Park stood firm with an unbeaten 46 to seal the win in the 25th over.

Ledbury seconds missed the chance to pull clear of the drop zone in Division Three as they were on the end of a losing draw to fellow strugglers Strollers seconds at Orlham Lane.

Put into bat by Ledbury, Rhys Gunter notched 55 for Strollers before holing out to David Taylor off the bowling of Jack Cambridge.

Simon Watkins and Cambridge both picked up three wickets while Taylor also got one.

But contributions from Peter Skirrow (30) and Martin Skirrow (36) along with useful lower order runs from Adam Evans (18) and Luke Bailey (16) saw Strollers post 199-7 from their 40 overs.

In response, Ledbury made a steady start with Phil Caffull (41) and Richard Orders (38) opening before being dismissed by Craig Cornish.

Taylor then weighed in with 51 and Sebastien Fell added 19 but Ledbury were unable to up the run rate as they finished on 181-4, 19 runs short of victory.

Saturday sees the firsts host Colwall thirds and the seconds visit Herefordians.