WORCESTERSHIRE Country League Premier Division leaders Stourbridge stayed at the summit following a tie with visitors Bewdley.

Stourbridge batted first and posted a challenging (238-9) in a match reduced to forty eight overs due to a delayed start.

After decent contributions from the Bewdley middle order without a real telling contribution the match went to the final over where Stourbridge captain Josh Banks proved the hero for the home side by running out Andy Platt off the penultimate ball of the innings to force the tie.

This result reduced the gap at the top to just thirteen points as Redditch leap frogged Astwood Bank into second place after fighting hard for a victory which half way through the second innings seemed very unlikely. Redditch batted first and posted a decent (211 all out) thanks largely to Tom Field (62), a total which mid-way through the Astwood Bank innings looked under par. However, with the Bank requiring just fifty six with eight wickets left and just over half of their second innings overs remaining Redditch rallied to dismiss the two in batsman (Sam Thomas and Tom Underhill 77) and then continued to apply the pressure to eventually bowl out the visitors to win by thirteen runs and close the gap slightly at the top.

In other matches Chaddesley Corbett beat lowly Evesham to remain in fourth position and still in touch with the leaders, Pershore are fifth after defeating basement side Feckenham by three wickets, Worcester jumped back into mid division following a good thirty nine run win against Old Elizabethans for whom Sam Ford took (6-51) in the first innings and Stourport will be looking up now instead of down following their five wicket victory at Old Hill where Andrew Siwicki (60*) and Ryan Derrick (60) posted second innings half centuries to claim victory and further frustrate the home team who just can’t seem to find the form and consistency required to mount a serious title challenge.

In Division One, Colwalls three wicket win at Burghill moves them twenty eight points clear at the top of the table from Coombs Wood who took full advantage of last weeks second placed team Hagleys second defeat in a row (this time to Cookley) to hurdle them into the promotion places thanks to a fine first innings half century from Gulham Abbas (82) which helped secure a tight victory against Oldswinford.

Bromyard also took advantage of Hagleys slip up as they moved into third position just four points adrift as they cruised to victory against Bredon at Flaggoners Green.

Elsewhere, Belbroughton seem to be finding form at the right time of the season as they moved into joint fifth alongside Cookley after winning again, this time at St. Peter’s Field against lowly Droitwich Spa who need to find form quickly if they are to avoid the drop and Pedmore are next after they beat Worcester Nomads who are another side who need a win to ease their worries.

In Division Two, Ombersley now enjoy what looks like being an unassailable thirty two point lead over second placed Lye who were beaten for the second week in a row, this time at St. Godwalds Park by Bromsgrove. Marcus D’Oliveira (64) again led from the front as the table toppers eased home by just three wickets after A Williams (119) had led a gritty Astwood Bank to a challenging first innings total to seal a vital win which now moves them seventy-four points clear of third placed Barnt Green who just about saw off basement side Bartestree by nine runs in a match reduced to twenty-five overs per team.

Elsewhere, Craig Wood (106) scored his second century in a row in Kidderminsters win against Himley whilst Brockhampton and Enville gained crucial wins against Halesowen and Himbleton respectively to create a little space between themselves and the drop zone.

In Division Three, leaders Netherton are looking like they will be difficult to catch as they are now forty seven points clear at the top following a comfortable victory against Old Hill.

However, the race for the second promotion place remains enthralling with just forty three points between Redditch who are in second place (after beating Barnards Green for whom R Edavathan scored 116 in the first innings at North End Lane) and ninth placed Old Elizabethans (who lost at home to Rushwick).

Old Vigornians moved back in to third position after beating Avoncroft by four wickets, Old Hill are fourth, Barnards Green fifth and Kempsey (who beat Stourbridge) moved back into sixth above Martley who were beaten by basement side Pershore at home by a healthy margin.

In Division Four, Harborne and Worcester continued to consolidate the promotion places as they both cruised to comfortable victories against and Coombs Wood and Five Ways Old Edwardians respectively.

The gap to the top two is now twenty five points as both of last weeks third and fourth placed teams were beaten at home. Third placed Stourport were skittled for just forty seven in the second innings by Alvechurch & Hopwood as took C Beech 4-10 to help move the visitors into fourth replacing Bewdley who slipped a position as they were humbled by Bromsgrove at Lower Park as only Matt Cowdery (72) showed any resistance with the bat.

In other matches, A Wahid (76) and I Kasana (50) helped Romsley and Hunnington to a fourteen run victory at Eastnor for whom Frederick Coleman scored (62) and the match between the bottom two teams Astwood Bank and Halesowen was abandoned.

In Division Five the status quo remains as the top six all recorded victories.

Leaders Lye enjoyed a comfortable victory at home against Hagley by five wickets, Harjit Singh took (4-35) in the first innings to help second placed Chaddesley Corbett to an easy victory against Hanley Castle and Upton, Fergus Neve (119) scored a fine second innings century for third placed West Malvern in their victory against Droitwich Spa for whom Stuart Bryan compiled a first innings 87), fourth placed Netherton returned to winning ways with an eight wicket win against basement side Feckenham, fifth placed Malvern made the short trip to Whitegates Farm and came away with a comfortable six wicket win against Worcester Nomads thanks to L Hill (57*) and finally Claverley, who are in sixth place made the trip to Colwall and gained an important victory which keeps their chance of promotion alive.