HARBORNE, who defeated Halesowen by eight wickets, proved worthy winners in a game to forget for the home team in difficult conditions.

Three wickets apiece for overseas player Swapnil Gugale (3 for 9), George Land (3 for 13) and James Hunt (3 for 22) blew Halesowen away for 113 before Gugale hit 40 to set up a comfortable victory which was completed by an unbroken third wicket stand of 47 between Karan Bharaj (33 not out) and Hunt (31 not out).

However, the hammer blow for Hales was the loss of all-rounder Charlie Hartley with a badly dislocated finger which could see him out for around six weeks.

On Sunday the first team crashed out of the ECB National KO with defeat to Barnt Green in yet another thrilling finish at Cherry Hill Road.

Halesowen amassed a slightly under par 214-4 in their 40 overs with Jamie Harris (113) and Ryan Lockley (65) being the foundation of the innings. Barnt Green were always behind the run rate until Will Baker (72* off just 42 balls) came to the crease and blasted Barnt Green over the finishing line with two balls to spare although two crucial dropped catches in his innings would almost certainly have changed the outcome of the game.

Meanwhile, the second XI brushed off Kidderminster to stay top of the division with Hayden Evans (62) Joe Tromans (51*) and Scott Jones (46) being the main run scorers as they totalled 238-7.

In reply, Kidder were demolished by seamer Rob Horn's excellent spell of 7-42 in 15 overs as they were bowled out for 95 to win by 143 runs.

The third team struggled in a tempestuous game at Eastnor. Batting first and struggling to 178-7 in 50 overs thanks to John Aston (60) and Shaz Gill (31) but Eastnor battled home to win by two wickets despite some excellent performances from Halesowen’s very young side which included two off-spinners Daanyal Ahmed (4-35) and Ciaran Baker-Smith (3-31).

Club Captain Alexei Kervezee said: "It's one to forget and move on. We had high hopes of progressing in the ECB competition and equally putting a good performance in against Harborne so we just have to get back down to basics this week and put it behind us. We are getting some good individual performances from these young players and also our new players but it all takes time to gel and patience is of the essence right now.

"We move on to Bridgnorth this week and will need to work hard to get back to winning ways. No doubt Charlie Hartley’s injury is a loss and we wish him a speedy recovery but its an opportunity for the likes of Rob Horn to step in and see what he can do. We have a good squad of players."