A DOMINANT Rugby performance saw them beat title-chasing Bedworth by 83 runs in the Warwickshire League Premier Division on Saturday as captain Owen Edwards led from the front.
Edwards won the toss and chose to bat first against a side that began the day top of the table, but Rugby started poorly and were reduced to 32 for 3.
This brought the captain to the middle and he joined remaining opener Raj Chohan in a confident partnership that took the attack back to the visitors’ bowlers.
They had progressed to 98 before Chohan (41) was caught at short cover, but Rugby’s innings had gathered momentum now and Henry Wilkins continued the attack.
Edwards and Wilkins added a 64-run partnership, before Edwards (73) was stumped off Andrew Ashby, which sparked Wilkins into life and he took over the lead role.
Wilkins (67) struck some typically lusty blows as Rugby moved to 233 for 9 after their 50 overs, with Russell Rice (3 for 12) the pick of Bedworth’s attack.
Rugby’s total looked marginally above par on a wicket that was beginning to offer inconsistent bounce, but it looked even further away after Edwards’ opening spell.
The Rugby captain removed the dangerous due of Ryan Parnell (0) and Matt Pickering (6) inside four overs, before Valeed Butt and Scott Friswell rallied for the Bedworth.
However, with the score on 39, Edwards (4 for 7) forced one through defences of Butt (22) and then removed Thomas Dangarembizi (0) two balls later.
Bedworth skipper Friswell (40) launched a brief counter attack but, once he was dismissed by Tom Wilkins (1 for 7), the writing on was on the wall for his side.
Matt Ewer (2 for 10) continued his good form with the ball as the scoreboard soon read 91 for 7.
Lewis Peacock (22) and Lewis Noon (31) showed some resistance from the lower order, as Bedworth made Rugby work for the final wickets, but Mike Powell (2 for 6) broke through thanks to a brilliant catch by Lee Golding.
Henry Wilkins was then introduced and picked up the final wicket with his fourth ball, as Bedworth slumped to 150 all out.
Rugby sit in fifth place and, with only five matches remaining, the 51 points between them and new leaders Nuneaton looks frustratingly out of range.