CAPTAIN Alexei Kervezee could look to hand opportunities to Halesowen's second string after his side suffered defeat at Brockhampton.

Hales made the long trek to Brockhampton but came back empty handed as they were bowled out for just 182 chasing 276.

Half-centuries from Ian Bullock (55) and Joe Crichard (52) and 42 from Tom Cummins took the Herefordshire side to 276-9, in 55 overs, despite an impressive spell from Charlie Hartley (4 for 52).

After losing three early wickets, Alexei Kervezee (73) and Kester Moseley (52) threatened a recovery but Halesowen lost their last six wickets for just eight runs after they had reached 173-4. Adam Hewlett took the last three wickets at a personal cost of 51. More vitally Halesowen lost the services of Hassan Quami with a finger fracture which rules him out for four weeks.

Kervezee said: "We have a big game next week against Tamworth and we have to sit down and look at how we are set up for that game.

"We need to click in key stages of the games and that isn’t quite happening at the moment and it will cost us even more if we don’t address it.

"We have some players in timely form in the second 11 who we may need to look at whilst one or two in the first team could just do with a breather and a chance to get some bigger opportunities. We shall see, as we have to pick things up for next week and beyond as this league is so tight at the moment.

"Two wins and you are in the top four and two defeats and your staring at the relegation zone."

Meanwhile, in the second XI, a Harry Kitchen hat-trick put Astwood Bank out of the running as the slow left arm spinner knocked the stuffing out of the middle order to leave then 85 all out chasing Halesowen’s first innings total of 165 all out.

Only Mohammed Shauib (44) and Scott Jones (35) showed any form with the bat as they collapsed from 60-0 to 165 all out. But with Kitchen in charge the win was not far away as he returned figures of 5-20 from his 9 overs. Halesowen sit nicely in second place.

The third team returned to form with a rasping win over a beleaguered Stourport at Earls High School. Chasing down 199 they romped home with 23 overs to spare thanks to quick fire knocks from Tom Williams (82*) and Siddesh Chavan (70) to win by seven wickets.