Josh White impresses with the bat as young Shropshire Academy side are beaten by Staffordshire

Coach Ian Roe believes the future is bright for Shropshire cricket after six 16-year-olds were included in the county’s Academy side for their annual fixture against Staffordshire.

He was encouraged with how they performed as a more experienced Staffordshire team emerged winners by 84 runs at Wrekin College on Friday.

Shifnal’s Josh White played well to end unbeaten on 71, putting on 67 for the second wicket with Bridgnorth’s Ben Lees, who made 37, as Shropshire were bowled out for 181 in the 44th over, with Sahal Malvernkar taking 4-40.

Staffordshire opener Matthew Morris had earlier been in fine touch to compile an unbeaten 129 as the visitors totalled 265-3 from their 50 overs.

Roe said: “We played six 16-year-olds currently part of the Cricket Shropshire under-17 squad, so we take a lot of positives because we hadn’t seen a lot of the lads play a 50-over game at this level before.

“If we can keep this group together, as they continue to develop we will have a very good unit and some of them will be pushing for a place in our county first team.

“Staffordshire always bring a strong side to offer us a challenging test. They had a number of more experienced cricketers, including Matthew Morris, who played very well as he warmed up for Staffordshire’s three-day Unicorns Championship fixture against Suffolk by scoring an unbeaten century.

“Our ground fielding was excellent during their innings, but when we replied we just couldn’t keep up with the run rate against a strong bowling attack.

“We extend our thanks to Tony Parton at Wrekin College for preparing a great wicket under challenging conditions considering the bad weather in the days leading up to the game.”

Shropshire’s Academy side are next in action on Friday, July 19 when they face Northamptonshire Academy at Wrekin College in a 50-over clash.

Pictured: Wrekin College hosted Shropshire Academy’s fixture against Staffordshire.