THE Worcestershire County League Premier Division reverted back to type as a full programme of matches was played in the final week of the win/lose format.

At the top of the table leaders Stourbridge made the trip to Norton Barracks and walked away with a comfortable victory against Worcester as Dominic O’Reilly (5-25) grabbed a second innings haul which ensured they stay sixteen points clear of second placed Redditch who beat Feckenham by two wickets in a match that proved tighter than it should have been and Chaddesley Corbett beat Astwood Bank by six wickets in a rain reduced run chase to leap frogged their rivals into third position.

The title looks like going to one of the top four, however Pershore may disagree as Chris Ridings (147*) carried his bat to score a brilliant undefeated century for the home side as they put an end to Bewdley's recent good form. This win moves them in to fifth position which they will think is a position from which they can mount a challenge if they finish well. Another team who will be pushing until the end are Old Hill who, thanks to a second innings half century from Navdeep Poonia (85) beat Old Elizabethans by three wickets in a rain reduced run chase. They seem off the pace at the moment but as the Premier Division returns to the win/lose/draw format from next week anything can still happen, and finally in a clash between two teams at the lower end of the table Ryan Derrick (4-7) and Lee Waldron (4-7) shared eight second innings wickets as Stourport-on-Severn comfortably overcame Evesham to all but seal their fate.

In Division One the race for the title and more prominently promotion looks wide open still as leaders Colwall were undone at Bromyard. Ian Bullock (113) and a blistering late assault by Josh Van Rensburg (90 - of which 76 six came in boundaries) helped the home side post a first innings total that proved too many for the leaders to chase in the second innings despite a fine effort from Andrew Robertson (97).

Colwall are still over thirty points clear at the top from Bromyard, but this defeat brings other clubs back in to play such as Hagley who comfortably beat Worcester Nomads by nine wickets and now find themselves just two points behind the promotion places and still well within reach of the summit. Coombs Wood will be ruing an indifferent performance as they slipped to fourth following a defeat at home to Belbroughton who are now in fifth just seventeen points off the promotion places. Pedmore are mid division and still in touch following an easy win against Droitwich who now find themselves bottom of the table after Bredon recorded their third win of the season against Cookley and finally, Oldswinford made the trip to Herefordshire and came away with a good win against Burghill which all in all means that only twenty eight points separates second position from eighth, still all to play for in what looks like being a pulsating race for promotion to the Premier Division.

Normality returned in Division Two as the top two Ombersley and Lye both posted victories against Bromsgrove and Halesowen respectively. The gap to third placed Barnt Green (who lost to a resurgent Astwood Bank) is now fifty eight points which, judging by the seasons form guide will be extremely difficult for both them and fourth placed Himley (who beat Enville) to close.

Elsewhere, Kidderminster moved into mid division as they just pipped Himbleton by three wickets in a run chase that was reduced by rain and basement side Bartestree grabbed their second win of the season against Brockhampton, a win that provides a glimmer of hope.

Division Three looks like it will produce a really competitive and exciting finish over the coming weeks as long time leaders Netherton were beaten at Avoncroft. Dan Elliott (104) repeated his Mid-Week Shield Final heroics as he helped himself to another century against the leaders to help seal a victory by four wickets who saw their lead reduced to thirty nine points over Old Vigornians who jumped back into the promotion places as Joe Sullivan (152) compiled a brilliant second innings century to help his side win by one wicket at Barnards Greens who had earlier posted an excellent first innings total (324-7) in which James Styles (108) scored a first innings century.

Old Hill now occupy third position just one point off the promotion places after Thomas Genders (124) and Harry Sekhon (102) both posted first innings centuries in their comfortable win against Old Elizabethans at Neel Park, Kempsey are fourth a further four points back following their ninety three run victory against Rushwick and Redditch are a further point adrift in fifth as their match against seventh placed Martley was disappointingly abandoned after a heavy rain shower called a halt to proceedings with the game evenly balanced.

Elsewhere, Stourbridge remain in the relegation zone but closed the gap to just five points behind Rushwick who are third from bottom as Mohammed Jevaad Nazir (87), Ali Rashid (64), Scott Ludlam (52) and Alex Colman (52) all posted first innings half centuries in their wide margin win against Pershore who remain rooted to the bottom.

In Division Four a poor second innings batting display which saw second placed Worcester lose by eight runs in a rain reduced match at fourth placed Bewdley helped Harborne move twenty six points clear at the top following their victory against relegation threatened Halesowen.

However, third placed Stourport remain a similar distance behind the promotion places as they failed to take advantage of the slip up when they were agonisingly beaten by one wicket at home by the improving Romsley, a win that sees them pull further clear of danger.

In other matches, fifth placed Alvechurch, despite the best efforts of Matt Hayward (101) also missed the opportunity of closing the gap to second place as they were beaten by two wickets by Five Ways Old Edwardians who closed the gap in sixth. Bromsgrove are next following their six wicket victory against Coombs Wood who remain in danger just seventeen points ahead of second from bottom Astwood Bank who beat Eastnor comfortably at Hanbury.

The race for the title in Division Five is hotting up as Nick Billinge (4-43) helped Chaddesley Corbett reduce the gap at the top of the table to just eleven points as they grabbed an eight run win at leaders Lye for who T Hussain (5-15) was the pick of the home teams bowlers in the first innings. West Malvern also benefitted from the result as Will Lloyd (58), Matthew Blatherwick-Hindmarsh (55) and Phillip Chaundy (54) all posted first innings half centuries in their win against Malvern for whom Lewis Hill (5-33 & 52) performed admirably. This victory keeps them just eight points behind in third position and within a win of top spot.

In other matches fourth placed Netherton kept their hopes of promotion well and truly alive by beating Droitwich, Claverley who beat bottom side Feckenham by ten wickets maintain an outside chance of promotion, an unbroken opening stand of 154 between Idress Mohammad (73*) and Jonathan Card (62*) saw Colwall cruise to a ten wicket victory against Hanley Castle and Upton and James Trinham (111) led Hagley to victory at Worcester Nomads which now means that despite Feckenham who look favourites for relegation doomed at the bottom just twenty eight points separate Hanley Castle who are seventh and Hagley who are second from bottom in eleventh position. An intriguing battle to avoid the drop lies ahead.