A NERVE-SHREDDING final-wicket partnership saw Hagley home to a vital one-wicket win over relegation rivals Coombs Wood.

Zahid Shah and Bernard Erasmus put on 26 to edge the visitors past a target of 188 which for a long time had looked beyond them.

Hagley are now 28 points clear of the Worcestershire League Division One drop zone ahead of a Bank Holiday double at home to Pedmore on Saturday and away at Coombs Wood on Monday.

After losing the toss and being asked to bowl, James Russell (2-28) and Erasmus (2-20) made early breakthroughs to put immediate pressure on the hosts.

Sam Peruzza hit 46 to get Coombs Wood back on track but Shah bowled brilliantly, taking 5-71 as he tore through the middle and lower order to restrict the hosts to 187 all out.

Joe Lennon scored 53 as Hagley’s openers put on 69 but they then collapsed to 105-4, before slumping again after James Trinham (26) and Jamie Perks (35) had briefly steadied the ship.

At 162-9 their fate looked sealed but Shah (17 not out) and Erasmus (12 no) had other ideas.

Skipper Rus Andrews said: “That was one of the most nerve-racking games I have been part of, but it was a fantastic effort from the two lads at the end.

“We bowled well and kept them down but just gave wickets away when we batted, we are so relieved to have won.

“A weekend and we should be pretty safe by the end of it.”

Hagley seconds look nailed on to win the Division One crown after a simple seven-wicket win over their Coombs Wood counterparts.

The visitors batted first and although Steve Plant (1-19) made an early breakthrough, Geoff Lawson (38) and Saul Wallis (30) batted steadily as Coombs Wood tried to build a big score.

But the Hagley bowlers weren’t giving much away, as spells by Jez Trinham (1-39) and Neil Allport (2-22) saw the runs dry up.

They were rewarded for their tight bowling as they picked up wickets. Simon Burgess, celebrating his 18th birthday, was brought back into the attack and proceeded to tear through Wood’s lower order and bowl them out for 156.

Dan Morgan struck a quick-fire 30 to get Hagley’s reply off to a flyer and was looking to wrap the game up quickly before he was caught off Tanveer Ahmed (1-28). Simon James (42) and Ben Wooldridge (47) eased Hagley to within sight of victory before Neil Hurst (22 not out) steered the team home.