By Liam Moakes 30/08 Updated: 30/08 13:08
RAIN ruined what looked like being a thrilling finish to Monday's Worcestershire League Division One local derby between Redditch and Astwood Bank at Bromsgrove Road.
The match carried more significance for the hosts as they continued their battle to beat the drop, whereas the mid-table visitors were playing purely for the bragging rights, but in the end the rain had the final say and the match was abandoned as a draw.
The visitors won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to bowl in helpful conditions and they were soon making devastating inroads into the home line-up.
Of the top order, only Tom Phelan (32) was able to provide any resistance to Bank's opening bowlers Tom Harris (4-19) and Dan Thomas (3-34) as Redditch were reduced to a dismal 45-8.
However, Phelan finally found some help in the shape of the final two batsmen Aidan Andrews (12no) and Perry Derrick (10) and between them the trio were able to give the Kingfishers a glimmer of hope in taking the total to 108 all out in the 38th over.
Such a recovery was looking all the more vital when Bank, despite a typically fluent start from skipper Steve Adshead (20), slumped to 45-4 themselves in reply as Greg Chinn (2-21) and Andrews (2-20) did the damage.
It really was anyone's call as to which way the match would have gone but as it was, typically for 2012, the rain arrived and had the final say as Redditch took six points and Bank nine.
Results elsewhere over the weekend ensured Redditch have survival firmly in their own hands though, despite their own four-wicket loss at title-chasing Pershore on Saturday.
The Kingfishers hold a 30-point advantage over second bottom Coombs Wood and a 32-point lead over bottom side Colwall and would definitely seal their safety if they could secure victory at leaders Worcester Nomads tomorrow.
Redditch were put into bat at Pershore on a wicket which looked good for bowling.
Despite an opening stand of 45 between Luke Davis (26) and Tom Field, scoring was very difficult.
Luke Dalley then removed both openers and wickets then fell at regular intervals to Tom Pilling and Lee Wilks as Redditch were bowled out for 127 in the 48th over, with Wilks and Dalley each taking four wickets.
After a break for rain Pershore were left with 37 overs to reach the required target.
A solid innings from David White (22) attempted to hold the innings together but wickets tumbled as spinner Nev Mason (3-31) starred and the home side were reeling with the score at 86-5 and victory looking some way off.
However, with Chris Ayliffe holding up one end, Tim Smith then took control of the innings with a hard-hitting 34 from just 35 balls to see Pershore home with just two balls to spare on 130-6.
Bank's match at home to Droitwich on Saturday was abandoned due to rain.
In the little play that was possible the hosts had made 55-1 off 15.4 overs, with Adshead unbeaten on 33.
Bank are fifth in the table ahead of their final home match of the season tomorrow against Coombs Wood.
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