SUPPORTERS can relax with a pint or two whilst enjoying their favourite pastime this weekend as Astwood Bank Cricket Club stages its sixth annual beer festival.
The event began on Thursday and runs until Sunday and there will be lots of cricket to watch including the first team’s Saturday fixture against fellow Birmingham League Division Three high-flyers Pershore.
There will be lots of beers to sample at a cost of £3 a pint or four for £10.
Steve Adshead’s Bank side maintained their superb form on Saturday when they defeated visitors Lichfield by 143 runs to cement joint second place with Pershore, with both sides 11 points behind leaders Streetly.
Alex Robinson (55), Tom Underhill (72) and Pete Alexander (58) all scored freely as the hosts amassed a healthy 250-9 off their 55 overs.
This total proved way beyond Lichfield who could muster just 107 all out off 51 overs in reply as opening bowlers Tom Harris (4-42) and Andrzej Jagielski (3-16 off 14 overs) proved too hot to handle and Michael Desmond chipped in with a couple of wickets.
BANK 2nds remain top of Division One 2nd XI after an eight-run victory at Shrewsbury.
Having lost the toss, Bank were invited to have a bat on a very wet and under-prepared wicket and they were dismissed for 117.
Knowing the wicket would still be difficult for the Shrewsbury batsmen, opener James Hulton-Harrap came out hitting from the off and scored a quickfire 49 but, after Shrewsbury had reached 75-2, the spin king that is Haris Ali and stalwart Tom Shepherd took wickets at important times.
With Shrewsbury needing 25 runs and Bank requiring five wickets, Ali again struck twice in an over to reduce Shrewsbury to eight down requiring ten runs before Shepherd came back into the attack and took the last two wickets.
Ali ended with 5-18 and Shepherd 3-9 for Bank, who visit Bridgnorth on Saturday.
Chase is on
BANK 3rds maintained their pursuit of the leading duo in Worcestershire League Division Four with a 106-run home win over Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social.
Having been put in on a damp pitch, Andy Clayton and Dan Evans put on an opening stand of 42 before Clayton was out trying to force the pace.
Steady partnerships followed but free-scoring was difficult and Bank ended their 50 overs on a solid 178-6. James Boycott top scored with 53, with Evans made 39 and Connor Adams 31 not out.
In reply, Oldswinford & SS never looked like threatening Bank’s total as wickets fell at regular intervals and only three players reached double figures.
George Haslam added another four wickets to his season’s tally with a highly impressive 4-2 from 5.1 overs and Boycott and Dennis Freeman also chipped in with two wickets each as Oldswinford were bowled out for 72 in 27.1 overs.
On Saturday Bank visit leaders Martley.
Bank 4ths secured a four-wicket victory at Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social as Flynn Duggan, Mark Brind, Tom Prescott and Jacob Short all took two wickets apiece as the hosts were dismissed for 100.
Brind then made an unbeaten 46 to lead his side to victory and put them top of the table.
The 5ths enjoyed a convincing Cotswold Hills League Division Seven victory over Earlswood at Cookhill.
The young bowlers impressed as Jack Neal took 3-22 and debutant Jack Jones 2-12 to restrict the opposition to 135-7.
Despite the loss of two early wickets, Bryan Melliard (78no) partnered Harry Williams (34) in a 100-plus partnership and Bank won in under 20 overs.
The only disappointment of the weekend was Bank’s defeat in the Worcestershire final of the National Village Knockout as they went down by nine wickets to Dumbleton.