REDDITCH Entaco remain top of the Worcestershire League Premier Division despite suffering a third defeat of the campaign when Stourbridge emerged victorious at Bromsgrove Road on Saturday.
After losing the toss, unsurprisingly the Kingfishers were asked to bat in difficult conditions in a rain-affected fixture after overnight rain delayed the start of the match, reduced to 42 overs per side.
With conditions favouring the seamers, Redditch struggled to get any momentum in their innings despite excellent knocks from Tom Field (49), Marlon Lokenath (39) and 34 from opener Olly Mason.
Redditch scored 201-8 off their 42 overs as Dominic O’Reilly (2-24), Jujhar Johal (2-39), Jitesh Jivan-Patel (2-35) and Dan Wale (2-44) took the wickets.
Redditch needed early wickets in reply but a fine opening partnership of 91 put Stourbridge in control and the visitors eased to a seven-wicket win thanks to a magnificent 119 not out from opener Johal.
On Saturday Redditch travel to Worcester, protecting a two-point lead at the top with just three points separating the top four.
The 2nds suffered just a second defeat of the season at Rushwick in Division Three. Redditch batted first in tough conditions and could only muster 129-9 in their 50 overs as James Bevan (26), Abdul Jabbar (22) and Asif Mukhtar (21) contributed.
In reply Rushwick wasted no time in scoring the required runs, taking just 25.4 overs as Stuart Parker led the way with a fine 68 not out to seal an eight-wicket win.
Pershore are the visitors to Bromsgrove Road on Saturday to take on eighth-placed Redditch.
The 3rds moved into third place in Division Ten with a fine victory at Hanley Castle & Upton 2nds.
Skipper Tom Prescott enjoyed a fine day with the ball, taking 3-13 as Hanley Castle scored 135-9 off their 45 overs.
In reply Redditch lost wickets but an excellent 45 from opener Jack Mayo and a cameo innings of 24 not out from veteran keeper Ian Phelan saw Redditch home by three wickets with three overs to spare. Hallow are the visitors to the Entaco this weekend.
The 4ths’ Division 12 South/East home fixture against Worcester 4ths was abandoned without a ball bowled and they will hope for better fortunes at Worcester on Saturday.