ASTWOOD BANK missed the chance to move top of the Worcestershire League Premier Division as they were beaten by title rivals Old Elizabethans but they bounced back to progress in the National Village Cup 24 hours later.
Bank did well to get Saturday’s visit of Worcester outfit OEs on after overnight rain and it was little surprise to see the home side put into bat after losing the toss.
Tom Underhill’s breezy 64 put the home side into a decent position at 131-3 but this became 153-7 and the hosts were in trouble.
However, 33 from Pete Alexander proved useful before some brilliant batting from tail-enders Tom Harris (36) and Jake Price (49no) – both innings off just 30 balls – took Bank from 214-9 to 275-9 off their reduced allocation.
On many days this would prove more than enough, particularly in a shortened game, but not this time as opener Tom Goodwin’s 101 set the visitors up for a fine victory.
Price and Michael Desmond took two wickets apiece but, thanks to 56 from Raminda Arachchige and 49 from Richard Gardiner, OEs reached their target off the final ball of the game.
Bank go into Saturday’s visit to ninth-placed Bewdley sitting in second place – two points behind leaders Redditch but just one above fourth-placed OEs.
Bank moved into the national rounds of the Sunday competition thanks to an impressive 58-run victory over Hagley in the Worcestershire group 13 regional final at Sambourne Lane.
Spinner Josh Baker took a superb 5-5 from his eight overs and Sam Thomas top-scored with 58 including four sixes as the visitors were put to the sword.
The hosts made 212 all out having been put into bat, with openers Tom Pedley (30) and Rob West (33) making solid contributions.
Baker’s devastating spell then left Hagley’s reply in tatters at 47-8 but captain Michael Stead was in no mood to roll over as his fine 80 – before becoming one of two victims for Jake Price – at least saved the visitors from complete embarrassment as they reached 154 all out in 36 overs.
Bank now face the winners of the Herefordshire & Powys group on Sunday, June 23. Bank will take on Colwall or Aston Ingham who meet this Sunday after last weekend’s game was washed out.