ASTWOOD BANK’S dream of a Lord’s final were wrecked after a late-order collapse sent them to defeat at home to Houghton Main.
Chasing the visitors’ 232-6 in Sunday’s National Village Cup semi-final, the Bank got to 200 for the loss of four wickets but as the run chase cranked up in the final overs wickets tumbled and they finished on 211-9.
It followed a six-wicket defeat to Chaddesley Corbett in Saturday’s Worcestershire League Premier Division fixture, which allowed the victors to leap-frog into third place, 14 points ahead of Astwood Bank.
The latter will look to bounce back on Saturday when they visit Stourport-on-Severn.
Last Sunday, Yorkshire side Houghton batted first after winning the toss and were indebted to opener Simon Ward for a brilliant century in their 232-6 off 40 overs.
A third-wicket stand worth 97 runs between Ward and Yousaf Rehman (42) settled the innings after two wickets fell cheaply to Jake Price and then Ward and C Honeyman (31) added 68 for the fifth wicket before Ward was run out for 103 off 109 balls, including 12 fours and four sixes.
Price finished with 2-42 off his eight overs.
After Tom Pedley fell for a duck, Rob West (25) and Tom Underhill (83) rebuilt the Green’s reply with an 88-run partnership.
But the hosts struggled to keep up with run rate and after Peter Alexander (19) and Connor Adams (13) fell a clatter of wickets followed as they desperately tried to get over the line, only to fall 21 runs short.
Last Saturday, Tom Underhill top-scored with 56 but Astwood Bank were defeated by six wickets at Chaddesley Corbett in a rain-hit contest.
West (31) and Underhill were the main run-scorers as they were all out for 157 off the penultimate ball of the innings. Waqur Ahmad finished off the inning with 4-20 off 6.5 overs.
After rain meant a revised target of 135 from 39 overs, Chaddesley timed their chase perfectly to get to 138-4 in the 34th over, led by 36 from Tahseel Ahmadzai and 31 from Waqas Ahmed (2).
Bank Seconds turned the tables on high-flying Barnt Green Seconds to push further away from the danger zone in Division Two.
A three-wicket home victory over third-placed Green secured points and left Bank with a 17-point gap over second-bottom Enville, who are the visitors on Saturday.
Having been put into bat, Bank opening bowler Joel Haslam quickly made inroads in taking 3-16 and George Haslam (3-31) and James Boycott (2-14) kept up the momentum to skittle Barnt Green for 137 in the 35th over. Daniel Meredith top-scored with 44.
Chasing down the target was far from straight-forward as batsmen got in and then fell but James Pyatt (28), Alex Robinson (18) and George Haslam (19 not out) steered them home after 32.5 overs.
Chris Hancox (62) and Paul Boycott (58) provided the runs as Bank Thirds earned a 98-run win at home to Eastnor in Division Four.
Hancox and Boycott helped Bank to 231-8 in their 50 overs before Callum Lee (3-32) and Clare Boycott (3-20) dismiss the visitors for 133.
Adam Haslam smacked 138 and Harry Williams added 54 and Nathan Fidler 48 as Banks Fourths blasted 325-4 in a 173-run win at Avoncroft 2nds in Division Eight.
Fidler followed up with 5-20 in nine overs to restrict the hosts to 152-9 in their innings.
Skipper Amber Capewell top-scored but Astwood Bank Women lost by four wickets at home to Walmley in the Midland League Premier West.
Capewell (29) and Clare Boycott (24) provided the bulk of the runs in a total of 103 all out and Walmley got home after 22.1 overs.