ASTWOOD BANK will need a miraculous upturn in form to avoid finishing bottom of Birmingham League Division Two after Saturday’s 15-run defeat at home to Fordhouses left them 46 points adrift at the basement with just five matches to play.
An 11th defeat of the campaign had looked eminently avoidable when Bank reached both 78-1 and 163-4 in pursuit of 221, but familiar batting frailties again exposed themselves and the hosts were dismissed for 205 with eight balls of their innings remaining.
On the plus side, teenage spinner Josh Baker gave further proof of his talents with a brilliant 5-24 off ten overs as he kept a tight rein on the Wolverhampton side’s innings.
There were also two wickets for Tom Harris, with Alex McChristie top-scoring for the visitors with 61 in their total of 220.
In reply, most of the Sambourne Lane side’s top order made decent contributions but only skipper Steve Adshead with 43 off 52 balls posted a score of real significance until keeper Connor Adams made an unbeaten 51 in the middle order.
However, once Pete Alexander had departed for 25, wickets fell regularly at the other end and Fordhouses were able to celebrate a victory which had been far from certain throughout the rest of the encounter.
Astwood Bank face top half opposition over the Bank Holiday weekend as Penkridge are the visitors on Saturday before a trip to Attock on Monday.