ASTWOOD BANK are gearing up for this weekend’s start of the Birmingham League promotion play-offs after being crowned inaugural Worcestershire League Premier Division champions with a richly-deserved four-wicket win over title rivals Stourbridge.
Bank went into last weekend’s season finale trailing the Amblecote side by seven points but they finished the day 14 points clear at the summit after a fine bowling display.
The hosts lost the toss and Stourbridge chose to bat but this decision soon backfired against a Bank attack which applied constant pressure on a pitch offering significant spin.
Nobody from the Stourbridge line-up was able to bat for a significant time which ultimately led to them being bowled out with 7.2 overs remaining for a well below par 119.
Dan Thomas (3-21), Josh Baker (3-23) and Jake Price (2-30) did the damage.
After losing Tom Pedley without scoring in the first over of their innings Bank, led by prolific run-scorer Tom Underhill (71), rallied against some inconsistent bowling and got home inside 21 overs.
Underhill’s knock came off just 48 balls and included 11 fours and two sixes. Good support came from Connor Adams who made an unbeaten 20.
The battle to reach Birmingham League Division Two begins this weekend when Bank visit South Staffordshire champions Pelsall on Saturday (11am) before hosting Shropshire champions Wem on Sunday (11am).
Bank’s final play-off fixture is against Warwickshire champions Walmley at Halesowen CC on Saturday, September 21 (11am). Two sides will go up to replace relegated Tamworth and Brockhampton.