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Astwood Bank take Championship crown

Worcestershire County Cricket League

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2013 07:08am
Astwood Bank and Feckenham, Redditch
By Chris Marsh
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Worcestershire County Cricket League

Summary of results Saturday 7th September 2013

In Division One 1st XIs, Astwood Bank were crowned rightful Champions of Worcestershire Cricket and now progress to the Birmingham League in place of Evesham and Worcester Nomads who return after ten and one seasons respectively. Despite 95 from Geoff Day, Belbroughton’s 197-9 in their 50 overs was never going to be enough for Bank who swept to victory, after a rare lapse by skipper and coach Steve Adshead, thanks to 123 not out scored by Aussie Vince Valente.

Due to the situation prior to this week, Bromyard’s 24 points win at home to 5th placed Redditch was never going to secure them a title they “lost” in the early weeks of the season when threatened by relegation.

Similarly, Pershore can only chase them for 2nd place in the final matches next week as they completed their home fixtures with a comprehensive win over Worcester Dominies. Hagley beat Droitwich but the five bonus points gained by Droitwich are enough to keep them in Division one after Burghill’s defeat at Pedmore.

The final match saw Worcester thrash Oldswinford by 257 runs with 126 not out from Michael Grafton.

Division Two 1st XIs – Harvington won at Netherton but elsewhere, Colwall were unable to turn their total of 303 including 133 scored by Tom Coleman to full advantage as the rain took out a chunk of Feckenham reply which was building nicely at 205-4.Colwall therefore go to Netherton next week still needing 17 points to be sure of edging out Enville from the runners up spot.

Enville gave themselves hope by thrashing their 4th placed rivals Bewdley with Ben Shorter taking all ten Bewdley wickets for 27 runs in 14.4 overs. Enville last must win match is at Harvington.

Nobody else can threaten the top four after Wormelow won at Tenbury with another century for Jamie Banfield, Cookley thrashed Coombs Wood and Stourport’s draw with Rushwick, which was not enough to save them from Division three as Cookley and Rushwick now look to be safe.

Division Three 1st XI Champions, Lye were unable to beat the weather to play their final home match with Stourbridge Social but the two sides chasing runners up spot, Harborne and Malvern both won easily. Harborne beat relegated Romsley and Malvern ended Avoncroft’s hopes barring a miracle next week as the other two must meet for the climax.

Elsewhere, Himbleton’s win over Himley was not enough to save them from the drop and Ross’s win at Alvechurch, which included 180 from Seb Warwick was insufficient to haul them back into the promotion race.

The final match at Birlingham was abandoned after a violent storm hit.

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In the 2nd XIs, Division one Champions Astwood Bank were unable to force a win at Belbroughton, getting 8 wickets in a rain reduced match but finished 160 in front. For Bank, Paul Boycott’s 97 helped him to break his own Divisional scoring record.

Pedmore are confirmed runners up after they gained a winning draw at Rushwick despite the home side’s Matt Davies carrying his bat for 97 and likewise Colwall are safe in 3rd place despite losing to bottom side Pershore by 1 wicket. In the other matches, Bewdley beat Enville, and the matches between Coombs Wood and Cookley and Hagley and Droitwich ended in draws.

In Division two, Redditch are Champions after a winning draw at home to Bromyard thanks to a ton from Asif Mukhtar. Harborne beat Netherton to stay second as Worcester only managed a draw at Oldswinford despite extra overs and 116 from Mike Porter.

Other matches saw wins for Social at home to Tenbury and Dominies at home to Alvechurch who must have fancied their chances of scoring 126 for victory until Bradley Adams stepped up to take 9-41 in 14.4 overs. Stourbridge Social drew the last match with Himley.

Division three 2nd XI leaders Feckenham thrashed Ross to clinch the title from Lye who were held to a losing draw at Wormelow who could yet pip them to 2nd place.

Mavern beat Avoncroft, Harvington overcame Romsley and in the final match Burghill’s massive total of 380-4, which included a maiden century score of 154 not out by Den Smith, was of no consequence to Himbleton’s last wicket pair of (PC) Pete Rogers and Ashton (Gate?) Greenwood, who held firm for an incredible 29 overs to close their side’s reply on 137-9.

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The Saturday Cup final was won by Droitwich who beat Redditch 4ths. The Semi-finals of the Plate competition saw wins for Worcester Nomads who beat Bromyard and Hagley who won a coin toss against Pershore in a rain ruined contest.

Chris Marsh

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