ASTWOOD BANK finished the 2019 campaign on a winning note but were narrowly unable to secure promotion to the Birmingham League via the play-offs.
Worcestershire League Premier Division champions Bank needed to win their third and final round-robin play-off fixture against Walmley at Halesowen and also hope for a favourable result in the match between Wem and Pelsall to have a chance of finishing in the top two of the four teams and earn promotion to Birmingham League Division Two.
Bank, with a losing draw and defeat to their name from their first two play-off matches, did their bit as they triumphed by two wickets on Saturday but Pelsall’s victory over visitors Wem ensured the latter two make the jump into the Birmingham League.
Pelsall’s win left them on 41 points from the three games and Wem on 45 as, despite defeat, the Shropshire side secured the two points they required from the fixture.
Over at Halesowen, a win for Walmley against Astwood Bank would give them 51 points and promotion but a disappointing batting display after winning the toss left them in disarray until Jonathan Newis (41) was joined by Jamie Hall (50) after Walmley had collapsed to 72-8.
They added 51 for the ninth wicket before Hall and last man Dinuk De Silva added 46 for the last wicket to help Walmley to 169 all out with nine balls remaining.
Sam Thomas (3-38), Tom Harris (3-41) and Jake Price (3-58) each took three wickets for Astwood Bank who then reached their target for the loss of eight wickets in 43.5 overs.
Openers Tom Underhill (46) and Rob West (20) put on 73 for the first wicket and James Pyatt scored 32 in the middle.
However, at 156-8 there was still much to do but Dan Taylor and Harris eased the Worcestershire side over the line without further loss.
Newis took 4-35 for Walmley but his efforts were in vain as Bank finished on 39 points, with Walmley in fourth place on 32.