Worcestershire County League

Summary of results Saturday 12 th August 2017

In Division One 1 st XI league leaders Redditch enjoyed a dream day as they pulled 45 points clear at the top of the table. Whilst Ghulum Moyhuddin’s 5-40 was securing victory for the table toppers against lowly Pedmore title challengers Worcester, Cookley and Bewdley were all fluffing their lines.

Worcester seem to have hit the wall at the wrong time of the season as they went down at home to Eastnor, second placed Cookley lost on their travels to Burghill as they could not reach the home teams imposing 1 st innings total of 246 thanks to half centuries from Ben Morgan and Toby Wildig and Bewdley were bowled out for a meagre 117 at bottom club Droitwich as Jake Young and Ian Davies took 4 wickets each to gain Droitwich’s first win of the season, too little, too late, but impressive nonetheless.

Elsewhere, Stourport climbed into fifth spot after overcoming Feckenham at home and Hagley kept their outside title hopes alive after defeating Colwall to climb into joint fourth.

In Division Two 1 st XI Edd Oliver inspireda return to form for Bromyard’s batsmen, following last week’s dismal 45 all out, by scoring an undefeated 83 to help chase down high flying Bredon’s impressive first innings total of 297 which, as a result, allowed Evesham and Chaddesley to create a little breathing space at the top as they both won away from home. Leaders Evesham strolled to a comfortable five wickets victory on the road at Coombs Wood and Waqas Ahmed (89) ensured second placed Chaddesley cruised to an impressive nine wickets victory at Wormelow.

In other matches, Belbroughton kept their outside chances of promotion alive with a tight 13 run win at bottom of the table Harborne, Enville climbed in to fifth following victory at Oldswinford who remain close to the relegation zone and Old Vigornians climbed four places after Dave Haddock’s haul of 4-34 secured an important win against Lye, which keeps Lye involved in the battle to avoid relegation.

In Division Three 1st XIs, all bets are off for promotion as Himbleton and Kempsey look to be unstoppable as both teams flexed their batting muscles to put Avoncroft and Rushwick to the sword, respectively.

Leaders Himbleton, maintained their five point lead at the top thanks to Stuart Dickenson (98) and Jamie Alford (78) who inspired them to a formidable first innings total of 334-7 securing a comfortable 72 run victory against Avoncroft despite 84 from Matt Hare in response.

Second placed Kempsey also showed their class with the bat with an excellent run chase which saw them breeze past Rushwick’s first innings total of 281. Captain Chris Jones (88) led the way and on his welcome return from a nasty head injury Sam O’Neill continued where he left off with an undefeated 68 to guide the leaders home by eight wickets.

Bartestree and Lugwardine and Netherton ensured a clean sweep for the top four clubs and kept their slim promotion hopes alive with victories at Himley and at home to Malvern respectively.

At the foot of the table, Martley’s win against Astwood Bank ensures a four club battle against relegation at least as the East Worcestershire club were reluctantly drawn into the fight thanks to 4-24 from Mark Johnson and in the other match in the division Five Ways climbed into fifth spot with a big win over Alvechurch & Hopwood.

In Division Four 1st XIs performance of the day came from Tony Hutchings, as his destructive 6-18 spell against table toppers Bromsgrove, ensured that second placed Hanley Castle, won the battle of the top two to open up the title race again.

Five teams will now think they have a chance of lifting the title, as outsiders West Malvern and Tenbury took full advantage of the leaders slip up, to drag themselves back into the title race. Matthew Blatherwick-Hindmarsh (blatherz to his friends) made 95 for West Malvern which produced a narrow 23 run victory at home to last week’s third placed club Claverley, and 71 from Keir Sellars ensured Tenbury re-joined the race as they secured victory over Hallow.

Elsewhere a fine 98 from J Ashton ensured Old Elizabethans remain bottom, Kidderminster beat Alveley and Worcester were thrashed by Stourport thanks in large part to a fine all round display from Alex Cook who made 119 and took 4-16.

With just two matches remaining in Division Five 1st XIs, Stourbridge managed to breathe life into the title race with a solid 24 point win at Romsley & Hunnington, as leaders Barnt Green, could only muster a winning draw away to Pershore despite a fine 102 from Aman Hussain. Only twelve points separate the top two which means the final week of 26 th August will be huge for both clubs as they chase the title.

In other matches in the division, Old Hill outclassed Harborne to remain in third place, Oldswinford secured a winning draw against bottom club Enville and Droitwich achieved a winning draw against Redditch.

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In Division One 2 nd XIs a hard fought away win by Stourport at top of the table Feckenham, has thrown the title race wide open which now means, following wins for high flyers Redditch and Worcester, that 24 points cover the top four clubs.

Thanks to a solid team performance, Stourport came away with a two wicket victory in the last over which ensured they closed the gap in fourth spot and in turn enabled Redditch to climb to the summit as Naseek Hussain (87*) guided them to a comfortable 7 wicket victory over relegation threatened Pedmore. Worcester closed the gap in third, as they easily chased down Eastnor’s first innings total of 127, to ensure the Herefordshire outfit stay in the battle for relegation, a close finish is on the cards.

Elsewhere, Malim Khan (94) and Jack Richardson (80*) were unable to inspire bottom club Evesham to victory as Coombs Wood thanks to Andrew Bryan (84) and Mia Zahadin (65) chased down their impressive first innings total of 253-4 to remain in a distant fifth, Colwall beat Hagley by 6 wickets to stay in mid division and Bewdley climbed the table with victory at home to Harborne, to ease any relegation worries they may have had.

In Division two 2nds , Droitwich maintained their lead at the top with a comfortable 7 wicket victory over Belbroughton at Hackman’s Gate Lane. Only Peter Margetts put up any sort of resistance for the home club, scoring 92 out of a team total of 114, which the visitors chased with ease.

Home wins for Cookley and Chaddesley, against bottom club Burghill and Wormelow respectively, kept the pressure on the leaders at the top. MVP for the day must go to Cookley's Matt McCann whose impressive all round performance with bat and ball (72 & 4-28), ensured a comfortable victory for the second placed team, whilst third placed Chaddesley, led by Christopher Walder (82), also kept their title ambitions alive with a regulation six wicket win against Wormelow, which in turn put a severe dent in their own hopes.

In other matches, lowly Bromyard were convincingly beaten by 181 runs at Bromsgrove, thanks to 73 from Richard Barnes and 4-32 from thirteen year old Freddie Fallows, Enville pulled further clear of the drop zone thanks to a welcome 24 run win at home to Oldswinford and Dave Nicholls (83) and David Borley (5-40) led Lye to a 68 run victory in the Black Country derby against Netherton.

It will take a brave man to bet against Rushwick winning the Division three 2nd XI title this season as Leon Wood grabbed 4-11 to help dismiss Kempsey for a paltry 70 and ensure the run-away leaders stayed 54 points ahead at the summit.

However, the race for the second promotion spot remains as open as ever as three of the four promotion chasers secured victories. Second placed Old Vigornians, who must be favourites for the second promotion place, maintained their sixteen point cushion by overcoming Stourport by 63 runs, thanks to a fine undefeated 69 from Tony Meek, third placed Bredon crushed Avoncroft by 9 wickets at home thanks to Richard Bruce’s brisk 69 not out to surely put an end to any promotion ambition the visitors had and 5 th placed Five Ways Old Edwardians thanks to an excellent 105 from James East comfortably beat 4th placed Alvechurch & Hopwood by 159 runs to re-ignite their promotion chances with a very impressive batting display.

Elsewhere in the division, wins for Bartestree at home to Halesowen and Astwood Bank at Claverley eased both clubs away from relegation and ensured their opponents remained in the red zone.

In Division four 2nd XI at the top of the table, leaders Himbleton chased down Hanley Castles’ impressive first innings total of 232-6 to remain top. Himley kept up their promotion challenge to stay second after defeating relegation threatened Old Elizabethans and Kidderminster led by Simon Trickett’s undefeated 109 overcame Alveley by 9 wickets. These three clubs look to be favourites for promotion but 4 th placed Martley may have something left to say following their tight 2 wicket victory against West Malvern.

In other matches, Tenbury beat Hallow by 7 wickets to move into 5 th and give them an outside chance of promotion and bottom club Worcester made the relegation battle even more interesting as they beat Malvern at Regency Road

In Division five 2nd XI, despite 82 from David Wheatley, champions Pershore went down by 3 wickets at Barnt Green as Jon Erskine (77) inspired the home side to victory.

However, Romsley were the big climbers of the day as last week’s second placed Oldswinford had a free week, and a fine all round performance from Steve Randall (5-44 & 74) inspired them to victory over last week’s third placed Stourbridge to leap frog into second spot.

Elsewhere, Droitwich beat Redditch Entaco by 4 wickets and Harborne secured a winning draw against Old Hill after posting a huge 273-9.

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In Division Six a fine 5-39 from Derek Higgins ensured Cutnall Green dismissed Hagley for 130 and when Mark Walker (58*) guided them home for the loss of 4 wickets the title was officially over, congratulations Cutnall Green – Division 6 Champions 2017.

Doing all that they could do, third placed Cookhill won at Stone to leapfrog last weeks second placed Harvington and will need 17 points from next week’s match to be guaranteed runners up spot in their first season in the league as Harvington were beaten by Ombersley thanks to 74 from Dave Shuck.

In the other match in the division, Birlingham outclassed Barnards Green as Martin Downes’ undefeated 59 led them to a convincing 9 wicket victory.

Division Seven North, Highley left no-one to question their desire for the title as they destroyed top of the table Netherton to jump to top spot. After being inserted, Elliot Ward scored a magnificent and timely 106 and was ably supported by the consistent Mark Hover’s 72. Highley posted a huge first innings 263-4 which proved far too many for Netherton when Andrew Pearson (5-31) and Chris Knowles (4-40) went to work. The result means Highley need to secure 9 points from their final game to secure the title.

In other matches, Belbroughton remained in third place after beating bottom club Pedmore, Cookley stay fourth following victory against Coombs Wood and Chaddesley Corbett gained a winning draw over Five Ways Old Edwardians.

In Division Seven South, leaders Bartestree had a free week which allowed Bromyard to close the gap to 13 points at the top as they were gifted 24 points by Bredon who were forced to concede. Bartestree now need 12 points to guarantee the title from next week’s final game away at Bredon.

In the matches that were played Worcester Nomads beat Bewdley by 70 runs and Ombersley Taverners overcame Feckenham by 48 runs thanks to John Allen (61).

Chris Marsh & Stuart Lampitt