James Bristow top-scored with 38 but Walmley were unable to prevent Coventry & North Warwickshire easing to a 110-run home win which takes them to the summit of the Warwickshire Premier League for the first time this season.
Dan Bromley, Sarmad Bhatti and Sachin Dubb also got starts for the visitors, but none were able to go on to the big score that would have applied pressure to a five-strong home attack in which seamer Nathan Biggs claimed a best-of-the-day 4-37.
As a result, Walmley were bowled out 13 balls short of claiming a losing draw for 154.
The home side’s earlier 264 for four was built around a patient 78 from opener Will Iles, a half-century from skipper Vik Sodhi plus consistent batting through the card while Kiefer Woods and Jono Newis claimed two wickets apiece for Walmley.
Newis’ team exit round nine in fifth place in the table where they are 38 points behind the new leaders who in turn hold a 17-point advantage over second-placed Sutton Coldfield.
“It was a tough day,” Walmley’s skipper acknowledged.
“We dropped five catches including all the batters who went on to make runs and who knows how different things might have been if we had held on to some of those chances and ended up chasing 200 instead of 264?
“Kiefer bowled well for us then a few of the batters got starts but no-one managed to push on to a score which would have challenged Coventry.
“In fairness they have been a very good side for a few years now and their bowling attack has no loose ends.
“We got reasonably close to a draw but a few tired legs told in the end.”
After being inserted, home openers Matt Nobes (25) and Iles made a cautious start against Newis and Jamie Hall before the left-handed Nobes was trapped lbw by Walmley’s skipper with the score at 47.
Better followed for the visitors as Coventry’s Indian pro Shivam Bhambri, who made 150 against Bedworth seven days earlier, became Woods’ first victim with the score at 75.
However, the vastly experienced Sodhi, who made 51 from 56 balls with six boundaries, then joined forces with Iles in a useful third-wicket partnership worth 85.
And after Iles’ anchor role ended at 78, Coventry’s fifth-wicket pair Taran Toor and Manish Kamboj had the perfect platform from which to launch a late assault which added an unbroken 71 in only seven overs.
Toor hit five fours and a six in his unbeaten 29-ball 40 while Kamboj found the rope three times and cleared it on a further four occasions in a violent unbeaten 24-ball 43. Woods (2-46) was the pick of the Walmley attack.
Following the early dismissal of Callum Herron, the visitors’ quest for 264 was taken to 68 by Bristow and Bromley (29).
But both fell in quick succession, and once experienced seamer Harry Horsley then picked up the key wicket of Sarmad Bhatti (27) the home side had their tail up.
As a result, Walmley’s last seven wickets added just 35 runs against a home attack in which Horsley, Toor and Sameer Vohra claimed two wickets apiece in support of Biggs whose clever variations earned him the fine figures of 4-37 from nine overs.
Walmley visit mid-table Rugby next Saturday.
Words: Paul Smith, Stumped 4 Words
Picture: Paul Devine