By Liam Moakes 28/06 Updated: 28/06 10:56
REDDITCH 2NDS reached the final of the Worcestershire League 2nd XI Knockout Cup for the second successive season thanks to a tense three-run victory over Worcester in Wednesday's semi-final at the Gordon Jones Memorial Ground.
The Kingfishers were put into bat and made 108-9 off their 12 eight-ball overs as Noman Choudrey top scored with 33.
In reply some tight bowling and some astute field placings kept the home side chasing the total and wily bowler Nev Mason (3-27) did the damage as Redditch restricted the hosts to 105-6 to book their place in Monday's final at Ombersley CC against either Belbroughton or Himley.
The cup victory was an impressive response by the 2nds, who had suffered a thumping nine-wicket defeat at high-flying Enville on Saturday.
The visitors were dismissed for just 82 as only three batsmen mustered double figures, with Geoff Eley top scoring with 25.
Enville, with plenty of time to achieve their small target, lost just one wicket to seal an emphatic nine-wicket victory.
The Redditch first team will be looking for a vast improvement in their batting at Bromyard tomorrow after it cost them dearly in suffering their third two-wicket defeat of the season at home to Worcester Nomads on Saturday.
In damp, overcast and difficult conditions, Nomads won the toss and put Redditch in but, despite losing Tom Field early, Redditch batted sensibly through the opening overs thanks to Dan Protherough and Russell Southwick.
Nomads removed the dangerous Southwick for 21, before skipper Luke Davis (29) continued the good work before being well stumped by keeper Lewis Austin with the score on 94.
A collapse ensued after that though as the middle and late order was blown away and Redditch could only manage a paltry 127, with opener Protherough top scoring with 53.
Redditch needed early wickets and once again Australian Aidan Andrews produced the goods in taking 4-62 off 17 overs, with his fellow pace bowler Greg Chinn even more accurate in taking 3-44.
The duo's efforts put the hosts on the verge of victory as Nomads were reduced to 83-8 but, after two very difficult chances were put down and rain began to fall, the momentum swung the visitors' way.
To their credit, Matt Humphreys (37no) and Matt Ormerod (23no) batted sensibly in compiling a match-winning stand of 45 to see Nomads home on 128-8 and clinch 20 points.
It was a feeling of deja vu for Redditch who had to settle for just three points and are now eighth in Worcestershire League Division One.
The 3rds took the bulk of the points in a winning draw against visitors Harborne 5ths.
Sam Egan was the pick of the Kingfishers' batting with 52 as Redditch scored 171-7 off 45 overs.
In reply Harborne managed 113-4 as Hamza Khan took 3-29.
The 4ths' fixture at Alvechurch & Hopwood was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
The Sunday fixtures saw the 1st XI claim the points as Feckenham conceded the match and the 2nd XI fixture was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to overnight rain on Saturday.
Redditch U16s continued their excellent run of results with an emphatic eight-wicket victory at local rivals Astwood Bank in the East Worcestershire Junior League on Monday.
Bank were bowled out for just 53 as man of the match Kevin Lokenath did the damage with a superb 4-3, whilst Raheem Basharat took 3-19 and Sam Egan took 2-5.
The Redditch batsmen took no time in scoring the required runs as Jack Roberson finished on 26 not out.
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