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Administrator's Report - 8th August 2020

After four rounds of matches all Groups are now starting to take shape, with teams who are to be prominent throughout the season in contention and those who have found it a difficult format with a lot to do.

In Cup Group A the new forty over format seems to be suiting Lye 1 st XI and Old Hill 1 st XI whose batsman are seemingly finding it easy to express themselves. Lye 1 st XI are at the summit after an undefeated second innings century from Wasim Ashiq (101*) saw them home against Pedmore 1 st XI for whom George Homer (106*) starred with an undefeated first innings century of his own. Old Hill 1 st XI kept up with the pacesetters to remain level on points after beating Oldswinford by a comfortable margin at Albemarle Road and Stourbridge 1 st XI moved into third position after gaining their second win of the season against Coombswood 1 st XI at the War Memorial Ground.

In Cup Group B the clash of the top two meant that one of the teams was most probably going to lose their unbeaten record and it was visitors Pershore 1 st XI who stole the show as George Kirby (5-51)first innings performance and Liam Ridings' (69) second innings half century helped them to a six wicket victory against Astwood Bank at Sambourne Lane. Chaddesley Corbett 1 st XI now sit just one point behind in third as Bilal Hassan (83*) led them to a comfortable win at Mill Lane against Feckenham and in the other game in the group Ryan Cooks (4-24) first innings return and a second innings half century from Geoff Day (71) helped Belbroughton 1 st XI to their first win of the season at Redditch.

Taylor Pugh (77 & 5-23) had a day out for Old Elizabethans 1 st XI as they maintained their grip at the top of Cup Group C when they made it four out of four this time against Colwall 1 st XI who failed to make three figures in the second innings. After losing their second match Brockhampton 1 st XI have recovered well to now sit in second place following victory against Worcester Nomads 1 st XI (who after a bright start have now lost their last two matches) and finally Worcester 1 st XI won a thriller against Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 1 st XI by just one wicket to continue their topsy-turvy season.

Stourport-on-Severn 1 st XI remain the only undefeated side in Cup Group D after Matt Delo (4-28) and Richard Foley (75) eased them to a comfortable win against Hagley 1 st XI at Walshes Meadow. Bewdley 1 st XI are hot on their heels in second after securing their third win of the season, this time against Cookley 1 st XI and despite losing their first match Ombersley 2 nd XI moved in to third position as they made it three wins in the last three games by beating Droitwich Spa 1 st XI by two wickets at St. Peters Field.

In the Trophy Competition, Halesowen 2 nd XI moved to the top of Group A after winning the clash of the top two by seven wickets against Netherton 1 st XI.. Enville 1 st XI moved in to third place by beating bottom of the table Himley 2 nd XI by three wickets Harborne 3 rd XI grabbed their first win of the season AT Haden Hill thanks to second innings half centuries from A Ram (73) and A Nirantharakumar (53) which answered the first innings efforts of I Ali (92*) and T Genders (52) for Old Hill 2 nd XI.

Alistair Hickman (4-19 & 56*) continued his fine early season form by delivering an excellent all-round performance to help Bromsgrove 2 nd XI stay at the summit of Trophy Group B with a comfortable win at Avoncroft. Barnt Green 2 nd XI sit just two points behind in second place as David Waters (95*) second innings contribution eased them to a seven wicket win against Redditch Entaco 2 nd XI and Astwood Bank 2 nd XI sit a further point back in third after compiling big first innings total which proved far too many for Himbleton 1 st XI to chase.

Barnards Green 2 nd XI maintained their 100% record in Trophy Group C and look the team to beat as second innings half centuries from George Blannin (51*) and Andy Wheeler (50) eased them to victory against Eastnor 1 Sxi by nine wickets at North End Lane. After a shaky start Brockhampton 2 nd XI have improved and now lie second after beating Kempsey 1 st XI convincingly and Kevin Hall (125*) fired an excellent undefeated second innings century for Bredon 1 st XI who moved in to third spot after beating visiting Bartestree & Lugwardine 1 st by six wickets for whom Andy Jones (105) had helped the Herefordshire outfit post a total they would have been happy with at the break..

Despite the best efforts of Charlie Weaver (6-41) and Benjamin Doyle (98) for Worcester 2 nd XI, Rob Lanchbury-Thomas (84) and Henry Armstrong (68) both made telling first innings contributions to help Old Vigornians 1 st XI post just enough runs to win another close encounter by three runs at Norton Barracks. This win helped them to maintain the pace at the summit of Trophy Group D and to remain the only undefeated team in the group. However, in form Kidderminster 2 nd XI sit just five points behind in second after first innings half centuries from Joe Miszkowski (74) and James Williams (58) and Gomez Vincent (4-13) second innings efforts helped them to a comfortable win against Old Elizabethans 2 nd XI at Chester Road and Martley 1 st XI made light work of bottom side Rushwick 1 st XI to win by five wickets and move in to third place.

In the Vase Competition things look a little tighter in Group A as two teams sit level on points at the top of the table. Romsley & Hunnington 1 st XI are top as they eased to a six wicket victory against Lye 2 nd XI and Netherton 2 nd XI are level on points in second after Ahtesham Waqar (162) crashed an excellent first innings century to ensure a comfortable win against Coombs Wood 2 nd XI. Whilst in the other match in the group Nick Payne (87*) delivered a telling second innings contribution to help Halesowen 3 rd XI to their first win of the season as they surpassed Harborne 4 th XIs first innings total to win a close encounter by just one wicket at Richmond Road.

Mike Reuban (4-28) and James Beech (84) were the main protagonists for Alvechurch & Hopwood 1 st XI as they beat Five Ways Old Edwardians 1 st XI by five wickets at home after Usmaan Mahmood (82) had helped the visitors set a par total in the match between the top two teams in Vase Group B. Droitwich Spa 2 nd XI are third following a comfortable victory against Bromsgrove 3 rd XI at the Hedges Ground and in the other match in the group George Hands (5-44) second innings return helped Hagley 2 nd XI gain their first win of the season against Astwood Bank 3 rd XI.

Charles Bevan (103) and Matthew Blatherwick-Hindmarsh (96) helped West Malvern 1 st XI maintain their unbeaten record in Vase Group C as they beat Colwall 2 nd XI by a comfortable margin. Hanley Castle & Upton 1 st XI moved in to second place as Ben Clements (5-26) help restrict Pershore 2 nd XI in the first innings and Matt Pratley (74*) and Will St. Leger-Chambers (65*) compiled undefeated second innings half centuries to secure victory by eight wickets and Joshua Stafford (4-36 & 54*) helped Worcester Nomads 2 nd XI stay in the hunt by securing maximum points against Malvern 1 st XI at the Ramblers Ground.

Tom Grainger (151) and Rupert Grainger (100) helped Claverley 1 st XI remain the only unbeaten team in Vase Group D as they comprehensively beat Alveley 1 st XI at home. The Shropshire outfit are now thirteen points clear of second placed Stourbridge 2 nd XI who beat Bewdley 2 nd XI by a seven wicket margin thanks to contributions from Vinesh Patel (4-28) in the first innings and Ali Rashid (74*) and Tom Stephens (64) in the second and in the other match in the group Stourport-on-Severn 2 nd XI climbed in to third place after beating Chaddesley Corbett 2 nd XI by three wickets.

In the Shield Competition It remains tight at the top of Group A . Kidderminster 3 rd XI are top after Luke Mahon (153) cracked a superb first innings century which allowed the home team to post too many for visiting Oldswinford 2 nd XI to chase, Himley 3 rd XI are just one point behind now following their excellent four wicket win against Belbroughton 2 nd XI for whom Nick Kates (97) fell just three short of a first innings century at Hackmans Gate Lane and Pedmore 2 nd XI remain in striking distance in third after beating Stourbridge 3 rd XI at Pedmore Hall Lane.

Following last weeks defeat at the hands of Barnt Green 3 rd XI, Birlingham 1 st XI bounced back to the top of Shield Group B after an unbroken century stand between Alex Clasen (82*) and Sam Robinson (76*) eased them to a ten wicket win against Bromsgrove 4 th XI. At the same time Barnt Green 3 rd XI came unstuck at Harvington where Tim Smiths (5-36) first innings haul restricted the table toppers to a par first innings total which Craig Whiteford (68) and Elliot Thompson (61*) duly helped to chase down to secure their first win of the season. Cutnall Green 1 st XI stay n third but lost ground on the leaders following defeat at the hands of Feckenham 2 nd XI.

Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 2 nd XI rallied after a poor start to make light work of basement side Rushwick 2 nd XI to remain unbeaten at the summit of Shield Group C . In form Phil Mackie (51) led Old Vigornians 2 nd XI to a three wicket victory against Bromyard 2 nd XI at the Kings School to ensure they keep in touch with the leaders and Bartestree & Lugwardine profited form Bredon 2 nd XIs inability to field a competitive team and received a win by concession.

In Shield Group D table toppers Claverley 2 nd XI were disappointingly conceded to by last weeks joint leaders Highley 1 st XI who failed to raise a team. Half centuries from James Manley (98), Ed Kemp (89) and Kieran Hall (56) helped Cleobury Mortimer 1 st XI set a first innings total that proved too many for Enville 2 nd XI to chase despite the best efforts of Matt Powell (99) who was castled just one short of a deserved second innings century and in the other match in the group Ian Sadler (67 & 7-25) ensured Kidderminster 4 th XI notched their first win of the season against Stourport-on-Severn 3 rd XI at the New Elizabethan School.

In the Plate Competition Halesowen 4 th XI remain unbeaten at the top of Group A following victory against Harborne 5 th XI , Old Halesonians 1 st XI made it three form three as Jamie Keen (131) and Waseem Iqbal (72 & 5-33) led them to a comfortable win against Himley 4 th XI and Matthew Whittlestone (62) helped lay the foundations in the first innings for Romsley & Hunnington to secure victory against Alveley 2 nd XI who remain bottom.

A similar story is taking place in Plate Group B where Himbleton 2 nd XI remain undefeated after beating Cookhill 1 st XI by thirty four runs. Mark Wood (73) and Alex Richardson (50 & 5-36) helped Avoncroft 2 nd XI to victory against Astwood Bank 4 th XI and in to second position and finally Alvechurch & Hopwood 2 nd XI beat Five Ways Old Edwardians 2 nd XI by two wickets to keep themselves in the picture.

In Plate Group C Muhammad Kamran (4-11) returned excellent second innings bowling figures which ensured Kempsey 2 nd XI kept their unbeaten status following victory against Old Elizabethans 4 th XI who slipped to fourth. Zain Arshad (4-11) took four first innings wickets to help Evesham 1 st XI beat Hanley Castle & Upton 2 nd XI to move into second position and the other match in the group between West Malvern 2 nd XI and Worcester 3 rd XI produced a thrilling low scoring tie when Dormston Cook (5-13) set the visitors on the way to victory with a fine first innings performance only to be thwarted by Michael Taynton (5-10) who responded well in the second innings for the home side to ensure things remained equal.

Ashley Damm (123 & 4-10) made sure he enjoyed his Saturday afternoon out by compiling an excellent first innings century and then following it up with four wickets as Ombersley 3 rd XI brushed Tenbury Wells 1 st XI aside in the top of the table clash in Plate Group D to open up a sixteen point gap at the top. Alexander Roden (106*) compiled a first innings century for Chaddesley Corbett 3 rd XI in their win against Droitwich Spa 3 rd XI at Longmore which moved them in to third place and Adam Matthews (59) scored a second innings half century to ensure Stone 1 st XI gained maximum points against Martley 2 nd XI.

The Salver Competition for teams that would usually make up Divisions 10 and 11 teams is nearing its five Group match conclusion before the competition heads to the Sem-Finals stage. In Group A Harborne 6 th XI were conceded to by Coombs Wood 3 rd XI who were unable to raise a team and Netherton 3 rd XI beat Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social 3 rd XI to set up a winner takes all decider between the two top teams next week at Richmond Road. As it stands Netherton need to win and ensure Harborne 6 th XI do not gain six bonus points to guarantee a place in the Salver Semi-Finals. In the other match in the group Stourbridge 4 th XI beat Enville 3 rd XI.

A similar story is happening in Salver Group B after leaders Buffalo Barnstormers 1 st XI were conceded to by Stourport-on-Severn 4 th XI and second placed Bewdley 3 rd XI beat Droitwich Spa 4 th XI by four wickets. Bewdley 3 rd XI make the trip to play the Barnstormers next week with the winner progressing to the Semi-Finals. In the other match in the group Geoff Eley (129) posted a fine first innings century to help Redditch Entaco 4 th XI gain a tight eight run win against Belbroughton 3 rd XI

In Salver Group C Olly Davies (4-3) first innings return laid the foundations for table toppers Barnards Green 3 rd XI against Worcester 4 th XI at Norton Barracks and Georgia Hennessy (53) followed up with a second innings half century to secure the win. Bosbury 1 st XI are second after beating Old Elizabethans 4 th XI by ten runs and H James (4-15) helped Bromyard 3 rd XI beat Malvern 2 nd XI at Flaggoners Green. This all means that Barnards Green 3 rd XI need to secure five points from their final match against Old Elizabethans 4 th XI at Neel Park next week to secure a Semi-Final spot.

The race for the fourth semi-final place is still wide open with a number of clubs still in the hunt to finish best runner up across all groups which means there is still plenty to play for in the final week of Group competition.

With one week of Group fixtures remaining in the Summer Division, the group winners are still unknown.

In Summer Division Group A Barnt Green 4 th XI beat last weeks table toppers Himley 5 th XI and also benefitted from last weeks second placed team Halesowen 5 th XIs loss to Cookley 3 rd XI (for whom Ashley Rhodes (5-17) returned impressive first innings figures). In the other match in the Group Andrew Fennell (55) constructed a first innings half century to help Cookhill 2 nd XI to victory against Pedmore 3 rd XI. This all means that Barnt Green 4ths now top the Group by just one point and need to beat in form Cookley 3 rd XI next week to reach the Summer Division Final. Should they slip up it still remains mathematically possible for Halesowen 5 th XI and Cookhill 2 nd XI (who play each other) and Himley 5 th XI (who play Pedmore 3 rd XI) to qualify for the Summer Division Final.

In Summer Division Group B , Dickson Ward (4-12) led Worcester Nomads 3 rd XI to a comfortable win against Tenbury Wells 2 nd XI, Luke Jeynes (4-28) was the hero for Rushwick 3 rd XI who won a high scoring match against Bredon 3 rd XI and the result from the basement battle between Eastnor 2 nd XI and Pershore 4 th XI is yet to be reported.

This all means that Worcester Nomads 3 rd XI need just five points from their final match of the season against Bredon 3 rd XI. Should they slip up Rushwick 3 rd XI are the only other team who could qualify for the Final and they must win away against Pershore 4 th XI.

Still plenty to play for as the Summer Division reaches its climax.

Stuart Lampitt