Report submitted by Worcestershire County League

Stourbridge continue to lead the way in the Premier Division after beating a spirited Old Hill by eleven runs at the War Memorial Ground. Second placed Stourport-on-Severn kept the heat on the leaders by making the trip to Brockhampton and putting in a solid team performance to walk away with a forty none run victory.

Elliot Bartlett (116) scored a fine first innings century and Jack Taylor (5-34) took five second innings wickets to help third placed Old Elizabethan brush aside fellow title hopefuls Astwood Bank by a wide margin at Neel Park, an outcome that probably ends the visitors hopes of retaining the title this season.

Elsewhere, a solid all round team performance from Pershore helped them to a comfortable win against Redditch at the Bottoms that keeps their outside chance of the title alive but puts the visitors back in trouble at the wrong end of the table as they are now ten points behind Colwall who secured an important win against Bromyard by two wickets at Flagonners Green, and ten points ahead of eleventh placed Worcester who beat bottom side Bewdley at Norton Barracks thanks to important contributions from Captain Joe Blight (72) in the first innings and Luke Deeprose (5-56) in the second.

With leaders Droitwich Spa’s Division One match against Chaddesley Corbett cancelled due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at Droitwich, the opportunity arose for second placed Feckenham to close the gap at the top of the table, however, the East Worcestershire based outfit fluffed their lines as they were beaten by twenty one at Coombs Wood, a defeat that not only meant that Droitwich Spa extended their lead at the top to thirty points without taking the field but also allowed others to close the gap on the in second as the three teams below them all secured important wins to make the promotion race an extremely tight affair again.

Ombersley 2nd XI took full advantage of Feckenham's slip up by beating a spirited Hagley by eleven runs at home to climb to within one point of the promotion places. Oliver Ranscombe (120*) also ensured Worcester Nomads kept themselves in the promotion race after his second innings undefeated century led his team to a three wicket victory at Burghill. Tillington & Weobley for whom Clive Chadhani (80) had help set up a challenging first innings total. The Nomads now sit just five points behind Ombersley 2nd XI in fourth, with Lye who also took the opportunity to join the promotion race now sitting in fifth a further thirteen points adrift after Muhammad Azhar Naeem (5-21) and Nadeem Hussain (111*) helped them continue their upturn in form by beating visiting Belbroughton by nine wickets at their Stourbridge Road ground .

In the other match in the division Pedmore beat local rivals Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social by seventy three runs at Albemarle Road to move themselves further clear of the relegation zone.

In Division Two Fergus Roll (4-43 & 61) produced an excellent all-round performance to help leaders Barnt Green 2nd XI beat Bromsgrove 2nd XI by seven wickets at St. Godwald’s Park, a win that extended their lead at the top to forty one points over Astwood Bank 2nd XI who took full advantage of Himley 2nd XIs eight wicket defeat to Bredon (Kevin Hall 80*, Robin Churchman 75*) to move in to second place by beating Enville comfortably at Sambourne Lane thanks to excellent contributions from Adam Warbrick (90) in the first innings and George Haslam (5-17) in the second.

Elsewhere, Matt McCann (5-22) took five first innings wickets for Cookley in a three wicket win against Netherton which moved them back to within one point of the promotion places in third. Mark Hutchinson (89) helped Halesowen 2nd XI beat Himbleton by a wide margin at Harrow Lane to move to within twenty points of the promotion places in seventh and Barnards Green 2nd XIs match against Kidderminster 2nd XI was cancelled due to an outbreak of Covid-19 at Barnards Green Cricket Club which means that Kidderminster 2nd XI are now fourth just five points off the promotion places in the tightest of divisions.

In Division Three the status quo remained at the top of the table as leaders Alvechurch & Hopwood beat Worcester 2nd XI by eight wickets to remain nine points ahead of Bartestree & Lugwardine who beat Avoncroft by seven wickets with Harborne 3rd XI a further six points adrift in third after beating Old Elizabethans 2nd XI by seven wickets at the Knotts Ground.

Elsewhere in the division three teams sealed important wins to give themselves more breathing space at the wrong end of the table. Redditch 2nd XI beat fourth placed Martley thanks to important contributions from Anis Suleman (115) & Geoff Eley (80*) in the first innings and Haleem Basharatt (5-36) in the second. Old Hill 2nd XI comfortably cast aside lowly Rushwick (for whom Jamie Oliver (96) fell just four runs short of a deserved century) thanks to excellent match contributions from Fahad Mahmood (130) and Brian Xavier (96*) in the first innings and Mohammed Javaid (5-36) in the second and Brockhampton 2nd XI beat Old Vigornians by seven wickets at the Kings School with George Mokler (63*) and Finley Morris (51*) both remaining undefeated in the second innings.

Thirteen year old Seth Rogerson (126*) helped Stourbridge 2nd XI reignite the race for the Division Four title as his undefeated first innings century helped the Glassboys set a total that proved too many for leaders Netherton 2nd XI to chase. This win reduced the gap to just fifteen points between the two teams at the summit with Coombs Wood 2nd XI a further nine points adrift in third after they dismissed Eastnor cheaply in the second innings to seal a comfortable victory.

In other matches in the division, Bewdley 2nd XI beat Lye 2nd XI by seven wickets at Lower Park, bottom side Pershore 2nd XI closed the gap at the bottom of the table when they beat Romsley & Hunnington by five wickets and the match between Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI and Bromsgrove 3rd XI was cancelled due to a positive Covid-19 test and relevant isolations which moved Stourport up to fifth place following the forty four run defeat of Five Ways Old Edwardians at Longmore against a resurgent Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI.