WILTSHIRE finished second in the NCCA Championship Western Division Two following a thoroughly entertaining seven-wicket victory over Shropshire.

In a game where Shropshire spinner Joe Stanley claimed match figures of 11-159 – including nine for 83 in Wiltshire’s first innings – the visitors still managed to forge their way through and scoop a second win of the campaign.

Wiltshire’s final NCCA Championship fixture of the year began with Shropshire winning the toss and choosing to bat first.

The hosts’ decision appeared a poor one at first as Arthur Godsal took care of the top three – with Shropshire 2-2 at one stage.

As Shropshire stumbled along, Joe King extended his tally of wickets by taking 4-36, and Keron Bennett-Thomas scooped 2-57 along with two brilliant catches which gave Josh Croom a reward as well.

Skipper Charlie Home top scored for Shropshire with 34, while extras donated 38 runs – 26 of which were no balls – to the first-innings total of 183.

Wiltshire’s first replay began well enough as eventual man of the match Dylan Church struck 69 – ably supported by Jack Stearman (33) and captain Ed Young (20).

The visitors then suffered a mini-collapse – fuelled by extraordinary bowling from Stanley – which saw the score plummet from 106-2 to 162-8. But Jake Goodwin (26) and Croom (32) dug in to give Wiltshire a first-innings lead of 37 in the morning of the second day.

Shopshire lost just two wickets before surpassing Wiltshire’s lead and watching Matthew Lamb (62) and Andre Bradford (46) enjoy a partnership of 107 for the third wicket.

When those two departed within a few minutes of each other, it was left to wicket-keeper Ben Lees (40) to hold the home side’s innings together, but they were eventually dismissed for 226 with a lead of 189 as Wiltshire’s bowlers shared the wickets around.

The game of fluctuating fortunes appeared destined to see a close finish at Whitchurch CC, but Wiltshire bounced to 74-0 at the close of the second day with Jack Mynott on 47 not out and Church on 23.

While Mynott was eventually dismissed for 71, Church carried his bat after the 127-run partnership had ended to finish 68 not out and help the visitors cross the line just three down on the final day.