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GALLERY: Ben Simmons takes hat-trick but it's not enough to stop Stratford from slipping to defeat at Solihull Municipal

BEN Simmons claimed five wickets, including a hat-trick, but his efforts proved in vain as Stratford fell to defeat for the second week in a row.

Simmons picked up 5-52 in his eight overs but hosts Solihull Municipal managed to rattle up 257-9 in their 50 overs before dismissing Stratford for 218.

The loss leaves the champions in fifth place in the Warwickshire League Premier Division, 76 points behind leaders Coventry & North Warwickshire. Second-place Sutton Coldfield are the visitors to Swans Nest Lane on Saturday (noon start).

Last weekend, stand-in skipper Josh Colwell won the toss and opted to field but Stratford struggled to make the breakthrough.

James Roslyn (50) and Waleed Bajwa (24) put on 81 for the first wicket and Imandeep Kang (52) and Giles Clements (69) continued to make the bowlers suffer with a third-wicket stand of 84.

Simmons, though, halted their momentum, taking four of Municipal’s final five wickets in one over, including a hat-trick, as they ended on 257-9.

After their batting struggles against Coventry the previous week, Stratford needed a positive start and they reached 48 without loss before John Stratton, Harry Dube and Nick Pepper were all dismissed in the ninth over to give Alex Roslyn (5-47) a hat-trick.

Opener Tyler Scroop hit 47 off 33 balls but when he fell Stratford were 61-4 and that became 69-5 after Gareth Langman was dismissed. Colwell (17), top scorer Matt Warren (57) and James Urquhart (23) battled to keep the scoreboard ticking, the latter pair putting on 50, but Municipal kept chipping away and Stratford were all out for 218 in the 48th over.

Stratford host Sutton Coldfield on Saturday (noon start).

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