ASTWOOD Bank’s Birmingham League Division Three promotion hopes suffered a setback when they were beaten by four wickets in a low-scoring affair at Handsworth on Saturday.
The Sambourne Lane side were forced to do without skipper Steve Adshead, who was hospitalised due to a combination of a bad knee and a fever, and at the time of going to press the influential captain was unsure on a timescale for his return.
On the field, Bank chose to bat and reached 60-0 thanks to openers Tom Pedley (18) and Ryan Blakemore who made 37 including seven boundaries.
However, on a wicket which offered huge assistance to the bowlers, the visitors then collapsed to 68-9 before being dismissed for 84 in the 41st over as Dan Taylor (14no) became only the third Bank player to reach double figures.
The clatter of wickets was nowhere near finished though as Jake Price removed both Handsworth openers to reduce the hosts to 17-2 and Taylor (3-30) then ripped through the middle order to leave the Birmingham side 37-5.
However, with Bank sensing the unlikeliest of victories, Marvarick Perry (44no) and Bevon Brown (27) decided attack was the best form of defence and put on 42 for the sixth wicket in quick time before the hosts secured victory by reaching 88-6 in the 19th over.
Third placed Bank collected just two points from the game and, whilst fourth placed Streetly were beaten at Newport, Bank now trail second placed Pershore by 41 points following the Plums’ seven-wicket victory at home to Whitchurch.
The first of six remaining matches for Bank is Saturday’s visit of Brewood.