STRETFORD Cricket Club's first team are just one game away from reaching the GMCL Per-Fit Windows League Cup final following an excellent four-wicket victory at Werneth.

Ryan Williams (3-25) turned on the style with early wickets after winning the toss and electing to field and Werneth were in a jam at 65-5 until Rashid Khan (32) and Kervon Christmas (62) shared a 70-run partnership.

Adam Saynor removed Khan to keep Werneth at bay and Ocean O’Malley applied the lock with a tight 3-29 off eight overs.

However, Andy Walker chipped in with an enterprising 20 and the Werneth innings closed on a competitive 183 all out.

Stretford’s highest successful run chase this season had been 143 at Deane and Derby, so the target would be a test, especially without key batsman Miguel Stoman who was injured the previous day.

And Stretford got off to the worst possible start when Christmas wrapped up Matthew Armstrong’s leg stump for a duck.

Michael Wilson (2-28) caused further pain when Francoise Stoman chipped to square leg for 20.

O’Malley provided brief resistance before being bowled for 11 by the same bowler, to leave the score at 47-3. Williams (55) and Chris Sharp (23) took the Stretford score beyond 100 before the latter fell at 109.

But controlled hitting from off-spinner Tom Coulson (39) took Stretford over the line with four overs to spare.

Following three away ties in previous rounds the club have been drawn at home against old rivals Westleigh with the match set to take place on Sunday.

Stretford will be hoping to pin another giant-killing badge on their sash as they strive for their first piece of first-team silverware for 13 years.

Coulson’s impressive form with the ball continued in the league the same week when he took a career-best 7-32 against Oldham – a team who beat Stretford in the first game of the GMCL Division 2B season.

Oldham were skittled on a slow, but turning, pitch for 113.

Stretford lost Armstrong early, who was adjudged lbw sweeping off spinner Hussain.

However, some lusty blows from Miguel Stoman (34) moved the score to 42 before fellow opener Jefferson was run out in unexpected fashion and Williams was stumped.

A collapse was averted at 70-4 when Francoise Stoman (20 not out) and Sharp (17no) shared a patient 40-run partnership.

The six-wicket victory was comprehensive in the end.

While Friarmere are clear at the top of the league, the win ensured Stretford remain in promotion contention at the halfway point.