Report submitted by Worcestershire County League

At the top end of the Premier Division table Nabeel Ali (5-15) returned excellent first innings figures for leaders Stourbridge against Colwall at the War Memorial Ground to ensure the Glassboys maintained their sixteen point lead at the top over Stourport-on-Severn who recorded a commanding eight wicket win at Bromyard thanks to a second innings century from Ed Bayliss (104).

Old Elizabethans remain twenty three points further back in third after Jude Rees (55) compiled a patient second innings half century following the loss of three early second innings wickets to help his team secure a hard earned two wicket win against visitors Redditch at the Memorial Ground and fourth placed Pershore dismantled Brockhampton by nine wickets to keep their faint hopes of the title alive.

At the bottom end of the table bottom side Bewdley were beaten by ten wickets at Lower Park by Astwood Bank and need to start winning quickly if they are to avoid the drop and second from bottom Worcester secured an important win by beating Old Hill by two runs in a rain reduced affair decided by the Duckworth/Lewis method following the curtailment of the second innings at Norton Barracks, a win that means just twenty three points separates Brockhampton in seventh to Worcester in eleventh and virtually ensures the battle to avoid relegation will be intriguing right until the end of the season.

Droitwich Spa remain top of Division One after beating Pedmore by six wickets in a rain reduced game at St. Peter’s Field.

Ombersley 2nd XI moved into second place following their three wicket win against Feckenham (who drop a position to third) in a low scoring match in which Kamran Abassi (5-25) performed admirably in defeat for Redditch.

Nadeem Hussain (62) and Kamran Mehram (60) led Lye to a nine wicket victory against Hagley which helped them move in to fourth position as the match between Coombs Wood and Worcester Nomads (now fifth) was abandoned without a ball bowled.

Elsewhere, two teams that grabbed important wins at the bottom end of the table were Belbroughton who beat Chaddesley Corbett at Hackmans Gate Lane and Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social who beat bottom side Burghill, Tillington & Weobley by ten wickets.

In Division Two Barnt Green 2nd XI beat Bredon by five wickets to open up a fifty eight point lead on the rest as second placed Astwood Bank were beaten at Sambourne Lane by Kidderminster 2nd XI (for whom Gomez Vincent (6-16) returned excellent second innings figures) to ensure the race for the second promotion position remains as open as ever as no less than seven teams are covered by just seventeen points from second to eighth.

Other results on the day also helped close the gap between teams, no more so than Halesowen 2nd XIs three wicket win at fourth placed Himley 2nd XI which hauled them back in to the race as they now sit in seventh position just sixteen points of the promotion places.

Bromsgrove 2nd XI beat Netherton to climb in to mid division just twelve points off second place replacing Cookley who lost by a wide margin to Enville and finally Himbleton, who look too far behind to threaten for promotion in ninth position beat bottom side Barnards Green 2nd XI sixty three points from safety at the bottom.

In Division Three the top four teams all recorded victories to retain the status quo at the summit.

Alvechurch & Hopwood beat Old Hill 2nd XI by six wickets at Haden Hill to remain eleven points clear of second placed Bartestree & Lugwardine who beat fellow Herefordians Brockhampton 2nd XI by a comfortable margin thanks largely to Will Maunds (5-38) second innings effort.

Harborne 3rd XI are six points adrift in third after Zahir Zirabs’ (5-31) took five first innings wickets to restrict Worcester 2nd XI to a low total in a rain reduced game that the home team managed to chase down for the loss of just one wicket at the Knotts Ground and David Soothill (106) and Douglas Stormonth-Darling (5-17) helped fourth placed Martley to a commanding win against Old Vigornians at the Jewry Field.

In other matches in the division, Stu Parker (104) posted a first innings century to help Rushwick record and important win against Avoncroft (who slip in to the bottom two) and Redditch beat Old Elizabethans by two wickets thanks to first innings contributions from Amaan Malik 4-49 and Faheen Shahid (92) in the second innings.

In Division Four the match between second placed Stourbridge 2nd XI and Eastnor was cancelled due to Covid-19 which gave Netherton 2nd XI the opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the table which they took thanks largely to Ahtesham Waqar (70) who scored a second innings half century in a six wicket win against Bewdley 2nd XI at Highbridge Road.

Coombs Wood 2nd XI also took advantage of Stourbridge 2nd XIs cancellation when they beat Bromsgrove 3rd XI by four wickets to move to within a point of second place. And the race for promotion now looks to be between the top three Five Ways Old Edwardians remain fifty five points adrift in fourth place despite beating Romsley & Hunnington by six runs and Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI further back in fifth after being beaten by Pershore 2nd XI, whilst in the other match in the division Mohammed Bhatti (107) helped Lye 2nd XI to a comprehensive win against Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI in a high scoring match on what must have been an excellent surface at Longmore.