This weekend’s match programme was again affected by intermittent heavy showers that struck many parts of the county from early afternoon onwards.

In the Premier Division the match between second placed Stourbridge 1st XI and the leaders Old Hill 1st XI at the War Memorial Ground managed to avoid the weather for the most part and it was Old Hill 1st XI who stole a march in the title race by posting a two wicket victory despite the best efforts of Dominic O’Reilly (6-33) in the second innings. This win helped the Haden Hill outfit open up a twenty five point gap at the top over Stourbridge 1st XI who remain second.

Stourport-on-Severn 1st XI remain third a further thirteen points back after their match at the Parks against Brockhampton 1st XI was cancelled before a ball was bowled which was also the fate suffered by both fourth placed Astwood Bank 1st XI at against Worcester Nomads 1st XI at Whitegates Farm and sixth placed Old Elizabethans 1st XI against Bromyard 1st XI at the Memorial Ground.

The other two matches in the division both made starts as fifth placed Pershore 1st XI contested a large part of a match shortened by rain against Redditch 1st XI which was eventually abandoned in the second innings after a heavy downpour halted proceedings at the Bottoms and Chaddesley Corbett 1st XI managed to dodge the showers enough to secure a one wicket win against fellow strugglers Droitwich Spa 1st XI which may prove crucial in their attempts to avoid relegation.

In Division One five out of the six scheduled matches reached conclusions with only the match between Bromsgrove 2nd XI and Hagley 1st XI failing to start.

In the matches played, Muhammad Wali (7-16) helped Lye 1st XI secure a maximum points win against Barnt Green 2nd XI which propelled them to the summit, just one point ahead of Pedmore 1st XI who beat Colwall 1st XI by six wickets at Pedmore Hall Lane whilst third placed Ombersley 2nd XI recorded a six wicket victory over Burghill, Tillington 8 Weobley 1st XI to stay in the hunt for promotion, twenty eight points adrift in third place.

Elsewhere, fourth placed Worcester 1st XI lost ground in the promotion race as they could only muster a losing draw against Bewdley 1st XI who were inspired by Damon Gariff (69 & 5-52) at Lower Park and fifth placed Halesowen 2nd XI also lost ground as they were beaten by a fast improving Coombs Wood 1st XI who hauled themselves out of the relegation zone and seem to have found form at the right time of the season.

In Division Two the matches between Astwood Bank 2nd XI and Netherton 1st XI and Redditch 2nd XI against leaders Himley 2nd XI unfortunately fell foul to the weather which in turn gave teams the opportunity to close the gap on the leaders if they gained positive results. However, both second placed Bartestree & Lugwardine 1st XI and third placed Alvechurch & Hopwood 1st XI failed to do so as Bartestree suffered their worst day of the season a pointless nine wicket defeat to Bredon 1st XI and Alvechurch could only gain six points from a four wicket loss to Oldswinford 1st XI in a rain reduced match at Bigmore playing fields.

Elsewhere in the division, at the lower end of the table Joseph Harrison (75 & 5-12) made the telling contribution in Kidderminster 2nd XI's eighty one run win against Cookley 1st XI and Greg Easter (101) posted a second innings century for Harborne 3rd XI in a seven wicket win against Enville 1st XI.

In Division Three four matches failed to reach conclusions as the matches between; Netherton 2nd XI & Brockhampton 2nd XI and Belbroughton 1st XI and Avoncroft 1st XI were abandoned before a ball was bowled and the matches between; Feckenham 1st XI and Old Elizabethans 2nd XI and Himbleton 1st XI and Stourbridge 2nd XI both made starts but were abandoned due to heavy rain shortly after.

In the two matches that did reach conclusion, leaders Barnards Green 2nd XI suffered a five wicket defeat at the hands of Lye 2nd XI at north End Lane which helped them move back in to portion contention in third place and at the lower end of the table Martley 1st XI secured a winning draw against basement side Old Vigornians 1st XI to extend the gap to the relegation zone to twenty-six points in seventh place.

It was a similar story in Division Four as the matches between; Coombs Wood 2nd XI and Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI, Harborne 4th XI and Romsley & Hunnington 1st XI and third placed Old Hill 2nd XI versus second placed Rushwick 1st XI were all cancelled before play could be started.

In the matches that were played, Michael Pratt (91*) helped Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI extend their lead at the summit to twenty two points as his first innings contribution helped gain a winning draw against a Claverley 1st XI who shut up shop in the second innings at Walshes Meadow. However, the two teams that benefitted the most, particularly from the postponement of the Old Hill/Rushwick match were Worcester Nomads 2nd XI who gained a maximum point win against lowly Bromsgrove 3rd XI who were dismissed cheaply in the second innings of a rain shortened match at the Hedges Ground in which Robbie Watts (5-23) returned excellent figures for the visitors.

The South Worcestershire outfit leap frogged Old Hill into third place and to move within twelve points of Rushwick in second place, whilst the other team to benefit were West Malvern 1st XI who re-ignited their promotion hopes with a seven wicket win against Five Ways Old Edwardians 1st XI, a result that helped them move in to fourth place ahead of Old Hill 2nd XI (who dropped to fifth) and close the gap to just seventeen points behind Rushwick 1st XI in second place.

In Division Five four matches reached conclusions as the matches between; Astwood Bank 3rd XI and Stourbridge 2nd XI and Colwall 2nd XI and Pedmore 2nd XI were washed out.

In the matches that were played, leaders Droitwich Spa 2nd beat Malvern 1st XI to consolidate their twenty three point lead over Worcester 2nd XI who recorded a win against Bewdley 2nd XI at Norton Barracks. Hagley 2nd XI beat Pershore 2nd XI by five wickets to move in to third place at the expense of their opponents, twenty seven points off the promotion places, and finally at the lower end of the table Barnt Green 3rd XI record an important win against Eastnor 1st XI to move off the bottom and close the gap to just sixteen points to tenth place and safety.

In Division Six Hanley Castle & Upton 1st XI are the new leaders after beating Kidderminster 3rd XI by a comfortable margin. The South Worcestershire outfit now enjoy a seventeen point lead over Tenbury Wells 1st XI who also enjoyed a comfortable eight wicket win against Enville 2nd XI to ensure they kept up with the pace setters.

Bromyard 2nd XI kept themselves in the hunt for promotion by retaining third place by beating fourth placed Belbroughton 2nd XI by a ten run margin at Flagonners Green, a result that increased the gap to fourth to fifteen points.

Elsewhere in the division, the match between Claverley 2nd XI and Halesowen 3rd XI was abandoned after a brief sortie before the heavy rain fell. Cutnall Green 1st XI beat Alveley 1st XI and Kempsey 1st XI beat Old Vigornians 2nd XI who are now twenty six points off safety at the bottom of the table.

In Regional Division Seven (North Group) only three matches survived as the matches between Five Ways Old Edwardians 2nd XI & Feckenham 2nd XI, Kidderminster 4th XI & Cookley 1st XI and Romsley & Hunnington 2nd XI & Himley 3rd XI all fell foul to the weather before a ball was bowled.

In the matches that were contested Harborne 5th XI closed the gap to leaders Himley 3rd XI to thirty two points after dismissing Stone 1st XI cheaply in the second innings to ensure a comfortable win. Alvechurch & Hopwood 2nd XI beat Oldswinford 2nd XI and Bromsgrove 4th XI won a thriller against Halesowen 4th XI by one run at the Hedges Ground.

In the South Group, in the game of the day second placed Birlingham 1st XI beat Ombersley 3rd XI (who slipped to fourth place) by nine wickets which helped close the gap on leaders Harvington 1st XI (who lost to Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 2nd XI wo moved in to third) to just sixteen points.

In other matches, Rushwick 2nd XI beat Old Elizabethans 3rd XI by fifty runs, Worcester 3rd XI beat Barnards Green 3rd XI by thirty runs and the match between Martley 2nd XI & Stourport-on-Severn 3rd XI failed to get underway.

Only two from five matches survived in the Regional Division Eight North Group as the matches between Halesowen 5th XI & Avoncroft 3rd XI, Harborne 6th XI & Pedmore 3rd XI and Stourbridge 4th XI and Lye 3rd XI were all cancelled due to the heavy rain that fell intermittently throughout the afternoon.

In the two matches that were contested, Himley 4th XI extended their lead at the top to a handy twenty five points with just four matches remaining and Rizwan Qamar (100) scored a first innings century to help Netherton 3rd XI beat Oldswinford 3rd XI by a fourteen run margin.

In the East Group only one match survived the weather, the match between leaders Pershore 3rd XI and Droitwich 4th XI which resulted in a twelve run win for Pershore that enabled them to extend their lead at the top of the table to what looks like being an unassailable forty six point lead with just six matches remaining.

It was a similar story in the South Group as only two matches survived which produced wins for Brockhampton who moved to within twenty one points of leaders Ledbury 1st XI after beating Bredon 2nd XI thanks to match winning contributions from Robin Holgate (84*) and Griff Bobb (5-13) and Worcester Nomads 3rd XI who jumped three places in to fourth place after beating Eastnor 2nd XI who fell under the spell of Dickson Ward (6-9) in the first innings.

In the West Group only the match between Alveley 2nd XI and Tenbury Wells 2nd XI was cancelled.

In the four matches that were contested, leaders Hallow Taverners 1st XI recorded a comfortable win against Bewdley 3rd XI and stay thirteen points ahead of Worcester Amigos 1st XI who beat Droitwich Spa 3rd XI by eight wickets to move into second place.

In other matches played, Highley 1st XI beat Chaddesley Corbett 3rd XI by nine wickets and Old Elizabethans 4th XI beat Cookley 2nd XI to move in to fifth place.

Only two of the five matches survived in the Marches League Division One as the matches between Builth Wells 1st XI and Almeley 1st XI, Woolhope 1st XI and Ross-on-Wye 1st XI and Wormelow 1st XI and Goodrich 1st XI all fell foul of the persistent heavy showers.

In the matches that were contested, Canon Frome 1st XI took full advantage of their good fortune by beating Luctonians 1st XI by six wickets to move to within six points of leaders Wormelow 1st XI and Garnons 1st XI beat Fownhope Strollers 1st XI by five wickets to move themselves further away from the relegation zone.

No matches reached the starting line in the Marches Division Two so the status quo remains the same with Kington 1st XI thirty one points clear at the top of the table from the chasing pack currently led by Wormelow 2nd XI.

In Marches Division Three only two of the four matches planned reached conclusion as the matches planned between Dales 2nd XI and Kington 2nd XI and Fownhope Strollers 2nd XI were abandoned without a ball bowled.

In the matches that were contested Andy Kalwaites (5-2) returned excellent second innings figures for Bartestree & Lugwardine 3rd XI in their win against Ross-on-Wye 2nd XI which moved them to within four points of leaders Moccas 1st XI and Ed Rees (101) scored a first innings century for Luctonians 2nd XI in a ten run win against Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 3rd XI which dented their promotion hopes as they slipped to third place.

In Division Nine (North Group), the match between the leaders Old Hill 3rd XI and Coombs Wood 3rd XI was unfortunately cancelled which gave the chance to the other teams to close the gap to both at the summit which they did when Cookhill recorded a comfortable victory against Five Ways Old Edwardians 3rd XI to move to within six points of second place with a game in hand and Pedmore 4th XI beat Redditch Entaco 4th XI.

In Division Nine (South Group) the matches between Brockhampton 4th XI and Hanley Castle & Upton 3rd XI and Ledbury 2nd XI were cancelled before play started.

Elsewhere in the division, Pershore 4th XI consolidated top spot by beating Harvington 2nd XI by just one run, Droitwich Spa 5th XI beat basement side Feckenham 3rd XI by ten wickets and finally Richard Bull (117) compiled a first innings century for Rushwick 3rd XI to help them gain their third win of the season against Barnards Green CC 4th XI at Newland.