THERE was derby delight for Feckenham as they boosted their Worcestershire League Division Two promotion chances with a highly impressive 80-run victory at leaders Redditch Entaco on Saturday.
The Millers moved up to third as a result of their success and are now just 20 points behind second placed Chaddesley Corbett, who are 25 points adrift of leaders Redditch with seven rounds of fixtures remaining.
The visitors won an important toss and decided to bat but they could not have made a worse start as Luke Jackson fell to the first ball of the game to Redditch paceman Waqas Ali.
This brought together Jamie Griffiths and Daniel Bloomer who, after surviving some tricky Redditch bowling, entered cruise control and put on 124 before Griffiths (64) fell to Marlon Lokenath and Bloomer (61) fell to the same bowler to leave Feckenham on 155-3.
These wickets did not stunt the Feckenham innings, however, as contributions from Will Davies (20), Jamie Reddish (29) and another excellent innings from Josh Stacey (76 off 58 balls) propelled Feckenham to an imposing 303 all out.
Stacey’s innings also took him past 500 runs for the season at an average of 72.
Lokenath was the pick of the Redditch bowlers with figures of 3-34, whilst Ali took 3-40.
The run chase was always going to be difficult for Redditch and was made tougher when their talismanic captain Greg Chinn fell for just five as he spooned a catch in the air off Tom Coulson’s first ball.
Feckenham’s opening bowlers continued to bowl well and take wickets and had Redditch reeling at 32-5 from 11 overs and the game was effectively over as a contest.
Dan Protherough provided stern resistance with a gutsy 82 spanning 104 balls and he was ably supported by young Sam Egan (43) as Redditch looked towards rebuilding and collecting batting points.
Their determination was not enough, however, as Redditch were eventually bowled out for 223.
Matt Henning was the pick of the Feckenham bowlers with 4-55 and fellow opener bowling Coulson (3-26) also impressed as the visitors handed Redditch just a second league defeat of the season.
Delighted Millers captain Jamie Reddish said: “We are delighted to have won one of the biggest games of our season, especially away from home.
“As a team we have really pushed on this season and results like this prove it.
“I was particularly pleased there were contributions from both the batting and bowling and our fielding standard was excellent.
“We have a tough game on Saturday at home to Worcester Dominies which we also see as a must-win to maintain our momentum.”
Redditch will look to bounce back in another key clash on Saturday at second placed Chaddesley Corbett.
REDDITCH ENTACO 2nds went down by 102 runs at Division One 2nd XI leaders Worcester Nomads.
The home side hit 265-5 off 50 overs as Joe Laugharne (109) and Henry Groves (91) did the damage.
In reply, only Olli Mason (42) showed any form as the third placed Kingfishers were bowled out for 163.
On Saturday fourth placed Bewdley are the visitors to Bromsgrove Road.
Redditch 3rds and 4ths both lost to Tenbury Wells.
Playing at home in Division Five, the 3rds mustered 196 as Faizan Ahmed made 79 but in reply Tenbury cruised home by five wickets.
The 4ths went down by nine wickets away from home in Division Five 2nd XI, although Habib Ahmed hit 57 in the visitors’ 133 before Tenbury lost just one wicket in reply.
On Saturday Barnt Green are the opposition, with the 3rds away and the 4ths at home.