RUGBY skipper Owen Edwards has called on his side to respond after they slumped to their first Birmingham League Division Three defeat of the season.
Having won their first five matches of the campaign and extended their unbeaten run to 11 months, their superb form was brought to an end last Saturday by Old Hill.
In a game where Rugby did not have the rub of the green, Edwards’ side fell to a four-wicket defeat.
“We’ve had a brilliant run, but it was always going to end at some stage,” said Edwards,
“The key now is how we respond.
“One bad result doesn’t undo the good work we’ve done, so we need to dust ourselves off and maintain our self-belief.”
“A couple of umpiring decisions did hurt us and it was a tough pill to swallow at the time, but these things even themselves out over the season so we have to forget that now.
“We never expected to start the season so well but the boys are playing great cricket and I’m confident we will bounce back.”
Old Hill won an important toss and chose to bowl first on a green wicket.
It was soon apparent the Black Country visitors possessed a potent new-ball attack as ex-Warwickshire seamer Naqaash Tahir and Zahid Kafiat bowled with pace, control and considerable movement.
With Asaad Qureshi, Michael Hughes and Jeevan Barhey missing, Rugby’s top three had another re-shuffle, but none of the top order was able to build a meaningful innings.
Bhavik Rathod (11), Raj Chohan (7) and Henry Parker (14) all fell to the opening bowlers who reduced Rugby to 56-3.
Rugby slumped to 75-6 but Vishaal Rathod put in a determined innings, finishing on 33 as the hosts were all out for 153.
Old Hill looked in trouble at 31-4 in response but they staged a remarkable comeback through Thomas Rock (64 not out) and Zahid Kafiat (17).
Jonathan Wright and Rock began to accelerate the scoring rate and Old Hill moved past the 100 mark.
Although George Terry trapped Wright (19) lbw, Rock and Naqaash Tahir (20 not out) came together to see their side home in the 47th over.