ROSS 1st XI returned to winning ways at The Park against Almeley on Saturday (June 3).

In a meeting of the two promoted sides from last year, Ross captain Jim Lewis elected to bat on winning the toss and despite the early losses of Paul Franklin for seven and Jack Donovan nine, the hosts made steady progress against the opening bowling of veteran Andy Duggan and youngster Alex Williams. 

From 34-2 in the 10th over Ross took control of the game through a huge third-wicket partnership of 179 between Angus McIntyre and Ben Element. 

Both started slowly but increased the run rate as confidence grew on a typical Ross wicket. McIntyre took 73 balls to reach his 50 before accelerating to his first hundred of the season in just a 44 more deliveries. 

Meanwhile Element picked the gaps as he reached 50 in 78 balls before falling shortly after for 58. 

Graham Howls was out to the last ball of the innings for six leaving McIntyre unbeaten on 120 which included 20 boundaries as Ross finished on 222-4, Williams being the pick of the Almeley attack with 1-28 from his 9 overs. 

Since Wythall Estate Vineyard commenced their sponsorship of the club shirts along with Angus’ individual player sponsorship he has batted through the innings in all three of his appearances amassing 272 unbeaten runs this season – magic grapes perhaps!!

Almeley initially got off to a decent start with 22 for the first wicket before Chloe Tingle and Adam Parkes found their range and both took wickets in their third overs to leave the score at 27-2.

And when Parkes added a second scalp followed by two further quick wickets for Josh Element, the visitors found themselves in all sorts of trouble at 66-5 with all the key players back in the hutch.

Opener Alan Williams remained resolute but despite James Ball 14 and Duggan 25 giving solid support, Almeley were always behind the run rate and it felt only a matter of time before Ross wrapped up the victory. 

After Donovan removed Duggan lbw it fell to Tingle to run amok, clean bowling numbers 9,10 and 11 as the visitors subsided to 154 all out and victory for Ross by 68 runs. Williams carried his bat for 60 not out whilst Tingle finished with 4-27, Parkes 2-31 and Josh Element 3-21.

A welcome 20 points for Ross moves them to 5th in the Marches Division 1 with 4th-placed Canon Frome away this Saturday.