ASTWOOD BANK remain hot on the heels of Worcestershire League Premier Division leaders Stourbridge after securing a crucial four-wicket victory at Old Elizabethans on Saturday.
Whilst the table-toppers were on their way to a three-wicket win against Redditch Entaco which has all but ended the latter’s hopes, then second-placed Chaddesley Corbett were being thumped at Pershore.
Bank ensured they did not slip up though and their victory lifted them into second place, still seven points behind Stourbridge with two matches remaining – the last of course being the final day encounter between the current top two at Sambourne Lane on September 7.
Before that comes Saturday’s home match against Bewdley and Bank will go into the match in fine spirits following victory in their final away match of the campaign.
Old Elizabethans won the toss and decided to bat and they got off to a good start with 54 for the first wicket before spinner Josh Baker had Tom Goodwin stumped by Connor Adams.
Bank continued to chip away and at 146-5 the OEs innings could have gone either way as Baker (2-37 off 15), Joel Haslam (2-33) and Tom Harris (2-42) all chipped in with wickets but a breezy 53 off 55 balls from skipper Alex Bastable led the home side to a decent 224-8 off their 50 overs.
The visitors lost opener Mike Desmond without scoring and Tom Underhill soon followed to leave their reply in trouble at 11-2, but Rob West and Sam Thomas steadied the ship with a partnership of 48.
However, when the latter departed for 28 and Andy Williams followed for one, Bank were back in real danger at 64-4.
They need not have worried though as West went on to make a fine 99 and, despite the disappointment of falling one short of his century to leave the score 183-5, Adams took Bank over the line with a superb unbeaten 70 with seven balls to spare.