Report submitted by Worcestershire County League

Worcestershire County League Summary of results

Saturday September 2

We are just down to the top four divisions and the last of the Saturday Cup matches for the final three weeks of the season, however, despite that, none of the eight divisions still playing have yet got champions.

In Division One 1st XI a second century in a row from Bewdley’s Rob Combes (105) was not enough to stop table toppers Redditch walking away with a winning draw in the battle of the top two.

Earlier, Rizwan Chaudry scored an undefeated 72 for Redditch to guide them to a respectable but gettable first innings total of 241-7, however, a sound bowling performance ensured the visitors were kept 10 runs short of their victory target and had to settle for a losing draw.

Cookley took full advantage of the draw between the top two, by gaining a hard fought maximum points win at home to fourth placed Hagley, which now moves them up into second position 25 points behind leaders Redditch, who will now be very difficult to catch.

After winning the toss and batting first, Michael Stead (68) and Daniel Giles (65) ensured the visitors posted a challenging first innings total of 245-9 despite Jaimen Rudd’s excellent 5-64 for Cookley.

The home side then had Matthew Goode to thank as his 74 made under extreme pressure played a huge part in helping them crawl over the line by one wicket off the last ball of the game.

Elsewhere, Ryan Derrick (57) helped Stourport climb into fifth position as they chased down Worcester’s first innings 210-9 to win by three wickets, Feckenham gained a winning draw against Colwall which should leave both clubs safe, Barney Morgan (64) led Burghill to victory at Pedmore which leaves the Black Country men just twelve points clear of second from bottom Eastnor who were soundly beaten in the battle of the basement by Droitwich thanks to 99 from Ash Fearnall and an undefeated 62 from skipper Martyn Davies.

In Division Two 1st XI another fine bowling performance from the ever reliable Ikram Mussadaq (5-55) and a solid 90 from Mohammed Sajid, has pretty much guaranteed Chaddesley will be playing First Division cricket next season as they thrashed relegated Harborne by eight wickets.

Although not mathematically certain victory leaves them 21 points clear at the top and needing just one point from their remaining two fixtures to ensure promotion which now seems inevitable.  In the division’s game of the day, second placed Evesham, who were only eight points clear of third placed Bredon before the start of play, tightened their grip on promotion as they marched to a comfortable five wickets victory against their nearest rivals.

Mohammed Fahim Maan (5-62) helped restrict Bredon to a modest first innings total of 205-8 which proved insufficient as Ali Asghar finished undefeated on 55 to seal victory for Evesham and extend the gap to third to twenty seven points.

In other matches, Enville, thanks to Ben Peel (4-43) and Rhodri Parfitt (4-48) beat a resurgent Bromyard by just four runs in a close encounter at Enville Hall.

Oldswinford thanks to Dominic Friel (67) and Harry Stanier (54) posted what proved to be too many for Wormelow to chase and secured a winning draw.

In-form Coombs Wood pulled themselves out of the relegation zone with an excellent three wicket victory against Lye which in turn means that Old Vigornians now find themselves in the drop zone after Jon Hawk (5-25 & 50) led Belbroughton to victory at the Kings School.

With Harborne already relegated who will join them remains guesswork as positions seven to eleven are now separated by a mere seventeen points.

In Division Three 1st XI the surprise of the day had to be at Jewry Field as second from bottom Martley climbed out of the relegation zone with an emphatic win against table toppers Himbleton.

A fantastic 128 from Tom Vale and an equally impressive 102 Alex Basford enabled the home team to post a daunting first innings total of 315-8 which, despite the best efforts of Sean Jenkins (95) proved far too many for the visitors to chase as Daniel Johnson finished with 5-26 for Martley who won by 84.

Second placed Kempsey took full advantage of Himbleton’s defeat and breathed new life into their title aspirations by gaining huge maximum points win against Avoncroft.

Joshua Jones (101) and Chris Jones (55) were the mainstays for Kempsey as their first innings 311-7 helped guide them to big margin win.

Ten points now separate the top two; the race for the title is back on and will go to the final match when they meet.

In other matches, Netherton stay in 3rd after Russell Oseland’s undefeated 91 helped them chase down Alvechurch’s first innings 200-9 to gain a comfortable eight wicket victory.

Bartestree climbed into fourth spot as Ryan Trattell (6-29) put paid to Five Ways at the Masshouse, Jeremy Pilgrim (5-53) ensured Malvern’s safety this season as they dismissed Astwood Bank for 75 to take maximum points and Rushwick, thanks to a bright 101 from James Saunders and 73 from Stuart Parker, gained a winning draw against relegated Himley which keeps the wolf off their back for another week but still only thirteen points from 11th.

In Division Four 1st XI leaders Bromsgrove found Shropshire not the place to be, as they lost by four wickets on their travels to a solid all round performance from Claverley, for whom Tom Grainger finished unbeaten on 52.

This defeat allowed Hanley Castle & Upton to narrow the gap at the top to just three points as Tony Hutchins’ excellent 5-37 helped them to secure victory at Hallow.

Tenbury regained third spot at the expense of West Malvern, who despite 81 from Will Lloyd could only muster a winning draw against Stourport for whom Ethan Lockwood finished unbeaten on 103.

The West Worcestershire outfit had Andrew Adams (113) and Tom Gloster (6-41) to thank as they eased to victory over Halesowen.

At the foot of the table bottom club Old Elizabethans, despite a fine 92 from David Donaldson, could not stop Kidderminster chasing down their first innings total of 207-6 which leaves them in a need of a miracle to avoid the drop, and Chris Hand (4-43) eased Alveley to victory over second from bottom Worcester who will also find survival extremely difficult now.

In Division One 2nd XI Redditch lost again to Bewdley by 7 wickets and were overtaken by both Feckenham and Stourport, as they try to end the season at the summit along with their firsts.

Redditch’s 160 all out never seemed to be sufficient as Matt Cowdery (84 not out) eased his side home with overs in hand.

Feckenham now lead the table following a big win at Colwall and Stourport have jumped to 2nd with a win at 4th placed Worcester and they now trail the leaders by 9 points yet are 4 in front of Redditch.

In the other matches, Coombs Wood had the better of a high scoring draw with Pedmore with Andy Price, their hard working delegate reaping his reward with a fine innings of 125 despite Chris Bourne taking 5-47.

Eastnor beat Harborne and overtook Pedmore from the relegation area and bottom side Evesham were well beaten by Hagley for whom Rob Hancock scored 59 and took 7-53.

In Division Two 2nds Droitwich look to have sealed the title as they now lead Cookley by 23 points following a win over Chaddesley Corbett thanks to veteran Paul Bryan’s patient 113 not out and Cookley’s losing draw at Bromsgrove.

Belbroughton stay a further 16 points back in third after a losing draw at home to Netherton and Wormelow are one point behind after a 3 runs victory at home to Oldswinford for whom Ian Hatton made 94 in reply to Ed Melly’s 81 and despite Jan Puri taking 6-79 for the home team.

Burghill enjoyed a rare victory with a win over Lye and bottom side, Bromyard held out for a winning draw at home to 10th placed Enville.

In Division three 2nd XI Rushwick recovered from last week’s defeat to beat bottom side Halesowen easily and are now almost champions as they stand 45 points ahead of Old Vigornians with two matches to play.

The old boys had to settle for a losing draw by Alvechurch for whom Curtis Beach made 98. Bredon had a big win over Claverley thanks to Charlie McVicker’s innings of 130 and Avoncroft’s Jon Brunt enjoyed his 138 at home to Kempsey to give his side victory by 127 runs.

In the remaining match, Bartestree posted 183-9 which was too many for Five Ways thanks to Chaminda Koralalage who grabbed 5-30.

In Division Four 2nd XI leaders Himbleton had a winning draw at home to Martley with Steve Beavan scoring an undefeated 116 but the Martley side ended just 4 short with one wicket left in thrilling circumstances as Martyn Preece took 6-50.

Kidderminster had the chance to close the gap but also had to settle for a draw after Ollie Hart-Bradford made 107 to support Matt Hatfield’s 116 as they declared on 293-2 in 44 overs at Old Elizabethans who negotiated the extra over and closed on 221-7 for the losing draw.

Kidderminster are 25 points adrift of the leaders but 4 ahead of Himley who secured a winning draw over Tenbury to stay in the race for promotion, if not the title.

Malvern are a very distant 4th but won at West Malvern, Hanley jumped above Hallow with a nine wickets win and Worcester remain bottom after they lost by 3 wickets at Alveley.

The Saturday Cup and Plate semis were all played and in the Cup there were wins for Ombersley, by 7 wickets over Feckenham and Cookley who beat Netherton by 9 wickets with James Brown scoring an undefeated 74.

The Plate semis were much higher scoring affairs as Barnards Green posted 275-7 and defeated Chaddesley by 112 runs with Ryan Tandy-Smith cracking 105 and Hagley crushed Pedmore by an even larger margin of 260 runs, scoring 313-6, which featured Jack Elston’s 129 and then dismissing Pedmore for 53 all out.