STOURBRIDGE took the bragging rights by defeating rivals Halesowen for the second time this season.

Stour's derby win, which was curtailed to 38 overs per side due to rain, lifts them into fourth place in Division Two of the Birmingham and District League.

However, it poses further difficulties for bottom-placed Halesowen.

Stour skipper Richard Bradley won the toss and decided to give his bowlers the first go on a track tinged with green grass.

Hales openers Will Fraine and Kester Moseley welcomed the decision by putting on 67 for the first wicket partnership.

A wise change of bowling from the skipper saw him bring on Jitesh Jivan-Patel at the pavilion end. It resulted in the wicket of in-form Fraine, who was caught driving for 49.

Alexander had Moseley nicking to slip for 26 in the previous over bowling at the same end.

The dominance by the openers was undermined as skipper Faisal Sahid was brilliantly snapped up low down in the slips for four off Bilal Hassan.

Zain Shahid and Mark Hutchinson, numbers four and five, threatened to take the game away from Stour before Patel struck once again to get rid of Hutchinson for 15.

Coming at number eight, Wes Griffiths blasted 14 off six balls to take his side to165-7 at the end of their innings.

Stour openers Alex Bingham and Steve Game made the poorest of starts to their chase.

Game was out lbw to the first delivery faced from Eddie Rhodes. Sixteen runs later, Rhodes clipped the off stump of Alex Bingham for seven.

Making the best of the conditions, Rhodes had one to lift at skipper Richard Bradley as he was caught behind for just two.

Hales,fighting to avoid relegation, had Stour struggling at 24 for 3.

However, a massive turning point came when the left hander Audy Alexander was dropped at mid-on with Stour's score creeping up to 30 off 11 overs.

At 19 overs when the drinks were taken Stour moved on to 65 for 3 with Alexander and Jitesh Jivan-Patel stabilising the innings.

Patel helped to turn the match around with three superb boundaries. He and the inspired Alexander put on 54 runs when Patel lobbed a catch to mid-off for 19.

Fortunate to survive when his score was 15, Alexander and Matt Bradley did a demolition job on the Halesowen bowlers. They took their side over the line with an unbeaten 90 run partnership.

Alexander took his score to 50 off 69 balls with Bradley providing the perfect foil.

Stourbridge, who are now 21 points behind Penkridge in second spot, will travel to third-placed Old Elizabethans this weekend.