RELEGATION fears returned to Bromsgrove Road after Redditch Entaco suffered a narrow two-wicket defeat in an important Worcestershire League Division One encounter at Harvington on Saturday.
The result saw Harvington move to within 15 points of ninth placed Redditch, who sit two places and 26 points above the drop zone with eight matches remaining, the first of which brings the visit of Pedmore on Saturday.
The damage was done in the early part of the match as the Kingfishers – who chose to bat – slipped to 94-8, due to excellent bowling from Ben Hawker (5-58) and talented New Zealander Jayden Lennox whose 17 overs of left-arm spin saw him claim 3-23.
The visitors’ batting order crumbled but a superb showing from the tail kept them in the game as Greg Chinn (33), Tom Phelan (33) and Luke Shenton (20) all impressed to give Redditch something to defend as they made 173 all out off 49 overs.
However, Harvington’s reply was positive and an opening stand of 78 between Sam Bannister (22) and Chris Andrews (21) put them in the driving seat.
Redditch bounced back as off-spinner Tom Field led the way with four wickets but Herons’ skipper Simon Rickett (38) and a total of 51 extras saw Harvington sneak home on 176-8 with one ball to spare.
The visitors were left to kick themselves as, in addition to the number of extras, failing to see out their 50 overs had given Harvington an extra over to chase the runs, which in the end proved crucial.
THERE was better news from Redditch Entaco 2nds as a marvellous century from skipper Geoff Eley (109) and a hard-hitting 68 from Noman Choudry (68) saw Redditch pile up 273-6 off 50 overs at a sun-baked Bromsgrove Road and set up 17 points from a winning draw against Cookley.
Despite a promising start, Cookley struggled and could only muster 193-7, largely thanks to accurate bowling from Bruce Joseph (2-27), Harvey Chawner (1-34) and Ashley Freeman (3-56).
Fourth placed Redditch are just ten points behind Division One leaders Stourport heading into Saturday’s trip to Pedmore.
THERE was a welcome Division Seven victory for Mark Evans and his boys as Redditch Entaco 3rds beat visitors Worcester Nomads by 33 runs.
Batting first, the home side made 187 with Naseek Hussain (30) and Marlon Lokenath (29) leading the way.
In reply the then league leaders Nomads struggled as Ben Hicklin inspired his fellow bowlers and took 4-16 off just 12 overs and Nomads were dismissed for just 154.
On Saturday the 3rds, who earned 24 points, travel to Pedmore.
The 4ths’ Division Nine away fixture against Harvington was conceded by the home side and on Saturday Alvechurch & Hopwood are the visitors to the Entaco to face the leaders.