By Liam Moakes 09/08 Updated: 09/08 12:47
REDDITCH now have just six matches remaining to preserve their Worcestershire League Division One status, beginning with tomorrow's visit to fellow strugglers Coombs Wood.
The Kingfishers will go into the match bottom of the table following Coombs Wood's surprise victory at Droitwich on Saturday, when Redditch were contesting a losing draw at home to Hagley.
It now appears to be a four-way battle to beat the drop between ninth placed Hagley, Coombs Wood, Colwall and Redditch, with just six points separating the quartet.
Redditch captain Luke Davis is hoping his side's experience from last season will see them win their survival battle in what is going to be a crucial finale.
On Saturday Hagley took the bulk of the points with a winning draw in a highly entertaining game at Bromsgrove Road.
Hagley posted 247-8 off their 50 overs, largely thanks to Amjad Ali (63), John Porter (37no) and skipper Joe Lennon (32).
Redditch needed a good start but soon lost opener Tom Field without scoring.
Skipper Davis (25) and Dan Protherough added 65 for the second wicket to bring the Kingfishers back into the game and Russell Southwick added urgency to the innings and a partnership of 92 with Protherough looked to have Redditch in pole position to win the game.
However, once both batsmen had reached half centuries, Hagley bounced back with two wickets to effectively kill Redditch's chances of a win.
Redditch lost two more wickets but sensible batting by both Chris Weaver and James Bevan saw Redditch past the 200 mark and they finished on 214-6 off their 50 overs.
Hagley took 14 points and Redditch eight.
The 2nd XI had a frustrating trip to Stourport where a heavy period of rain caused the match to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Harborne 4ths are the visitors tomorrow and Redditch will be looking to continue their impressive recent form.
The 3rd XI recorded a fine 24-point victory at Harborne 5ths despite only mustering 116.
Ghulam Moyhuddin top scored with 34, ably supported by George Lutwyche who scored 20.
Redditch soon made inroads into the Harborne innings and excellent seam bowling from Umer Mahmood (3-11) and Matt Harrey (3-16) did the damage as the home side were bowled out for just 51 to give Redditch victory by 65 runs.
Despite a magnificent bowling performance from Hamza Khan, who took a season's best 6-16 against visitors Bredon 3rds, Redditch 4ths lost by 31 runs.
Bredon were bowled out for just 125 but, despite a fine 50 from Will Hadley, the Redditch youngsters crumbled and were bowled out for just 94.
Sunday's fixtures saw two highly entertaining matches as Droitwich took the points with a 73-run victory at Bromsgrove Road.
After winning the toss and batting, Droitwich amassed 263-9 off their 40 overs with Martyn Davis (87) and Stuart Bryan (51) the main contributors.
In reply Redditch were always struggling with the run rate and, despite an excellent 47 from Russell Southwick, the home side lost wickets at regular intervals and were eventually bowled out for 190.
The 2nds' fixture at Stourbridge was a much closer affair as they fell just three runs short of victory in a match reduced to 25 overs.
Stourbridge posted 101-6, with Sam Egan the pick of the bowlers with 2-12.
Redditch battled hard and, despite losing early wickets, put up an excellent fight as teenager Devlin Jacobs (30) took on the bowlers.
However, once he had departed, Stourbridge bounced back and sneaked home to win by two runs as Redditch finished on 99-9.
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