Worcestershire County Cricket League
Summary of results Saturday 14th September 2013
The final round of matches saw few surprises, however, Division two 1st XI proved to be a cliff hanger and relegation may come down to results earlier in the season and could even hinge on Umpires’ reports. So for now, all tables are provisional and will be confirmed soon.
In Division One 1st XIs, Astwood Bank recorded a record 16th league win (the previous record was 14 so they actually broke it last week) by winning a low scoring match at Worcester Dominies and so eventually finished 57 points in front of Bromyard, apparently many peoples’ confident selection for promotion when we start again next season.
Bromyard themselves were rained off at Belbroughton so Hagley’s big win over Worcester has edged them into joint 3rd with Pershore who lost at Burghill for whom Jack Hale (125) and Hamish Cooke (117) shared a second wicket stand of 219. Alas for the Burghill heroes, this significant scalp is not enough to save them from an immediate return to Division two with Dominies and Oldswinford. Oldswinford were comprehensively beaten by Pedmore, another side like Bromyard, who improved from the bottom half to end up 6th over the course of the long, hot season.
Droitwich recorded their 2nd win in the past three weeks to confirm Redditch in 5th place.
Division Two 1st XIs – Harvington drew an intriguing short match at home to Enville. This allowed Colwall to clinch runners up spot and a return to Division One by beating Netherton to condemn them to probable relegation but more of that later….
Elsewhere, Bewdley and Tenbury were frustrated by the weather. Tenbury’s decision to concede their 2nd XI match with Redditch has cost their 1sts 15 more penalty points so they have now lost almost half the points they have won on the field during a difficult season with many players leaving or being only sporadically available.
However, the real drama unfolded at the bottom of the table as in addition to Tenbury and Stourport, both of whom were confirmed as relegated last week, pending usual confirmations etc. a third side would be going down as an effect of the Birmingham League shake-out. Last week, despite any one of 5 clubs who could go down in 10th place, I wrote my opinion that Rushwick and Cookley were probably safe and the implication of that was that 10th placed Coombs Wood looked in serious difficulty of staying there, 9 points adrift of safety, as they had to go to Wormelow needing a win to survive.
What unfolded during the afternoon would have seemed exciting even on Sky Sports as Coombs Wood could not muster 7 for the toss which was therefore conceded and they were inserted. After 30 overs they had scored 130-3, so to total over 300 was a great achievement especially the 114 from Sam Perruzza which gave them a chance of survival. However, they could only get Wormelow’s ninth wicket down (the last two to fall being LBW victims of Coombs Wood skipper Mike Langford) and had to settle for a winning draw and probable relegation.
What was happening elsewhere, however, was even more dramatic as Rushwick in 9th were being narrowly beaten by one wicket by Feckenham who thereby saved themselves, Rushwick taking just 5 points which incredibly hoisted them a place as Cookley were thrashed by Stourport and gained just 3 points in the process.
Those results meant that Netherton needed a single point at Colwall and one more wicket would have given that point to keep them ahead of Cookley. In the event they ended dead level and look likely to be relegated due to fewer points gained in the matches between the two sides, both of which were nail-biting finishes. This latter news was much to the delight of Cookley who celebrated long into the night but must still await the Umpires’ confirmations as mentioned!
Division Three 1st XI Champions, Lye won at Avoncroft to clear 400 points despite a magnificent 155 from the home side’s Dave James.
Despite not measuring up to the Division 2 relegation excitement, Malvern and Harborne had to settle matters as they both jostled for promotion behind Lye. At the start of play Harborne held a slender 5 point lead over their rivals. In the event it was the Ramblers who have pulled their season around as they gained 13 points from a winning draw to Harborne’s 4, after a thrilling 25 overs a side contest in which Malvern scored 157-6 and Harborne replied with 133-9 in a desperate climax to both match and the season so Malvern grab 2nd place by 4 points overall.
In other matches, Ross ruined relegated Romsley’s day and three matches were abandoned without a ball being bowled, which may demonstrate just how close that was to happening at Harborne.
In the 2nd XIs, Division one Champions Astwood Bank won by 2 wickets at home to Colwall and thus break the 1st XI’s new record number of wins with 17 out of 22 (with the small matter if 5 winning draws to accompany those wins).
Pedmore are runners up and yesterday had Tom Weston’s 114 not out to thank for their 6 wickest win at home to Cookley.
Elsewhere, Enville beat Belbroughton but failed to beat the drop and there was a winning draw for Pershore with 106 from recent 1st team skipper Dave White who stayed at home to face Rushwick and a win for Droitwich over Bewdley.
In Division two, Champions Redditch had no game and perhaps surprisingly, Stourport took the chance to climb into 2nd with a win over Oldswinford whilst their rivals Harborne and Worcester both lost and end up 3rd and 4th. Just behind those comes Netherton who beat Dominies in double quick time and they are head of Bromyard who upset Harborne.
Division three 2nd XI Champions Feckenham thrashed Burghill and Lye had a winning draw with Avoncroft to clinch the other promotion berth.
Elsewhere, Alveley’s 10 men were dismissed for 94 by Himbleton who then won a thriller by 1 wicket. The other matches were rained off.
The Saturday Plate final was won by Worcester Nomads who beat Hagley at Blakedown by two wickets.
As they say, “if you have been, thanks for listening” and I hope you have a good close season and we look forward to the 2014 season with eager anticipation. In the meantime, if anyone knows the answers to the problems that have beset us this season, namely, Social Networking and more importantly dissent towards umpires and a general fall in standards of player behaviour, please let me know as the Committee wishes to have a big push to get their zero tolerance message across next year.