Worcestershire County League
Summary of results Saturday 16th September 2017
Not for the first time, the weather across our Counties was mixed with some wash-outs and some who had no rain at all. However, most that played needed an extra sweater as the summer sun was absent.
In Division One 1st XIs, the game of the day was at the foot of the table where tenth placed Pedmore welcomed eleventh placed Eastnor in the battle to avoid relegation. At the start of the day, just eleven points separated the two clubs as they battled against the drop. After winning the toss, Pedmore inserted their visitors and despite the best efforts of Waqas Ahmed (63) the home team attack performed well to dismiss the Herefordshire side for a first innings total of 160. Dan Jones then led from the front to score an undefeated 70 to steer Pedmore to a comfortable five wicket victory and guaranteed safety.
Following Redditch’s triumph last week, the other matches were for divisional placings. Second placed Cookley lost at relegated Droitwich, which allowed Bewdley to take full advantage and so grabbed the runners up spot, as Jack Mills (5-51) ensured they crawled over the line at Worcester by thirteen runs.
Stourport finished in fourth behind Cookley as Ryan Derrick (4-38) helped dismiss lowly Burghill for 99 to set up an easy win, Hagley despite losing to Feckenham finished fifth and Worcester are sixth followed by Feckenham, Burghill and Colwall whose match at Champions Redditch was abandoned. Pedmore having won the relegation dog fight finished in tenth spot meaning that Eastnor along with Droitwich will be playing second division cricket in 2018.
In Division Two 1st XIs, with the title already decided last week by Chaddesley being crowned champions, the focus turned to the bottom of the table where, before play started no less than 5 clubs could still be relegated along with the already demoted Harborne.
It was, however, second from bottom Lye, who, eight points adrift in the relegation zone, faced the biggest challenge, as they travelled to champions Chaddesley to seek a win. After losing the toss and being inserted, the away side never really got going and could only muster an under par 179-9. In the second innings the Lye bowlers tried really hard and did get some success but in the end Bilal Hassan’s 60 helped the champions over the line to seal a two wicket win.
In other matches Wormelow will count themselves fortunate to have finished in 10th and avoided the drop as they were bowled out cheaply and lost at home to third placed Belbroughton for whom Robert Hawk finished with 5-34, Bredon finished in fourth position even though they were heavily beaten at fifth placed Enville (Rhodri Parfitt took 5-51 for Enville), Coombs Wood climbed the table again to finish sixth as their end of season resurgence saw them overcome Oldswinford, who in turn slipped into seventh place. Bromyard finished eighth following a high scoring losing draw at ninth placed Old Vigornians which means that Lye, favourites for the drop before play started will play division three cricket next year alongside Harborne.
In Division Three 1st XIs, as Himbleton were being crowned Champions at runners up Kempsey (despite losing on the day) at the other end of the table Rushwick were securing their status for the 2018 season as they overcame a spirited Astwood Bank in the battle against relegation. Rushwick’s middle order stroke maker Paul Wyatt showed long awaited maturity to score an important 59 as the home side edged home in a tight match by two wickets to send Astwood Bank down.
Elsewhere, Netherton’s home game against Avoncroft was washed out which enabled Bartestree to sneak into third place following an exciting last over, two wicket victory, at Malvern. Edd Rodgers finished the season with a bang as he clattered an undefeated 170 for Alvechurch at relegated Himley to ensure fifth spot for the East Worcestershire side.
Five Ways finished in sixth position as James East’s career best 7-32 helped dismiss Martley for 86. Malvern finished the season in 7th followed by Avoncroft, Rushwick and Martley respectively which means that Astwood Bank and Himley will play in Division Four next season.
Before play started in Division Four 1st XIs just a single point separated the top two teams, leaders Hanley Castle & Upton and second placed Bromsgrove.
As the afternoon panned out, it was Bromsgrove who were first to create the pressure as they dismissed lowly Hallow for a meagre 106 and quickly knocked them off for the loss of four wickets to secure a comfortable six wicket, maximum point win.
Leaders Hanley Castle then knew what they had to do, chase down the 161 target that bottom of the table Worcester had set them. Watched by an ever-increasing crowd the visitors experience at the top of the order paid dividends as, led by club stalwart Grant Mathews the South Worcestershire outfit slowly but surely reeled in the target, eventually winning by six wickets with nine overs to spare. Congratulations to Hanley Castle & Upton Cricket Club who will be playing Division Three cricket for the first time in the club’s history.
In other matches, Alexander Mason made a welcome return for Tenbury as his excellent 101 helped the West Worcestershire side retain third position by gaining a winning draw against fourth placed West Malvern (for whom Will Lloyd scored 90).
Tom Grainger’s undefeated 77 helped Claverley consolidate fifth position as the Shropshire side gained victory against sixth placed Kidderminster, Stourport finished seventh after gaining a winning draw at relegated Old Elizabethans and the other two teams to retain the status quo in 2018 are Halesowen & Alveley whose match was abandoned with no play.
In Division One 2nd XIs , there was a dramatic turnaround as Redditch, who started the day in 3 rd place leapt to the summit and the title to achieve a rare double for the club.
Redditch won their own match comfortably at Colwall, despite Damian Berry grabbing 6-54 for the hosts but then they watched (and listened), as previous leaders Feckenham were frustrated by the weather at Hagley and Stourport lost at Coombs Wood, so missing their own chance at glory.
For Coombs Wood, Mia Zahidin (61) and Naeem Abbas (83) took their side from 50-4 to the 187 needed for victory in an unbroken 5 th wicket stand that frustrated a Stourport side, runners up last year.
Whilst all that was going on, Pedmore hoped to emulate their 1sts in winning at Eastnor, which could have saved them from relegation but they lost, thanks to Richard Watkins’ 107 and so join Evesham, who lost to Harborne for whom Goutham Sastri took 7-23 following Farrukh’s 6-39 for Evesham.
In the final match, Bewdley’s skipper Chris Darby grabbed 8-28 to send Worcester reeling at 62 all out, which his side then knocked off for 4 wkts.
In Division two 2nds, we could have seen a dramatic turnaround as Cookley needed to beat Droitwich, restricting them to a few bonus points to grab the title in dramatic fashion. Despite making a declaration at 205-8 with one ball left, perhaps to prevent an extra bowling point, Cookley were unable to make much headway when they bowled and Droitwich survived with comfort at 144-4 to claim a draw and the title.
So Cookley are runners up but early leaders Belbroughton came third by beating Wormelow comfortably and they ended up 4 th.
Elsewhere, Chaddesley were thrashed by Lye with Dan Nicholls taking 6-34, Bromyard beat Netherton by one wicket and in the two matches that could decide who went down with Bromyard, Enville gained 24 points to beat Bromsgrove to survive just, at the expense of Burghill, who also gained a maximum thanks to Richard Knight’ 103 but this was in vain.
In Division three 2 nd XIs, Rushwick, the Champions did not start at Astwood Bank but still scored more points than runners up Old Vigornians who only managed 4 in a rain affected losing draw at Avoncroft for whom Mark Wood scored 80.
Bartestree beat Stourport to stand in third place as Bredon lost heavily to Kempsey and Alvechurch had a losing draw with Halesowen.
In the last match, Claverley had a winning draw with Fiveways, however, after Kempsey’s win, this was not enough to save them from the drop.
In Division four 2nd XIs , the Champions’ Himbleton skittled 8 man Hallow for 27 to achieve a ten wickets win in under 3 overs.
Kidderminster assured themselves of a trophy, winning at Martley and Himley will be third by beating Alveley by 4 wickets.
In other games, Worcester 4ths ended up bottom, despite six victories, as they lost at Hanley for whom Will Barrell made 86 and Ian Hobbs took 7-13. Old Elizabethans will join them back in Division five as, like their 3rds, they finished 9 th with a defeat at improving Malvern.
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Stuart Lampitt & Chris Marsh