REDDITCH Entaco saw their Worcestershire League Division One lead cut to 31 points as they had to settle for a losing draw against title rivals Worcester on Saturday.
However, despite the afternoon proving trickier than the Kingfishers would have hoped for, Russell Southwick’s side refusal to accept defeat at Bromsgrove Road leaves Worcester 40 points behind the table-toppers with just four matches remaining.
Fellow title-chasers Cookley and Bewdley did register victories to move within 31 and 34 points of the leaders respectively but, ahead of Saturday’s visit to mid-table Stourport, Redditch remain firmly in charge of the race for promotion to Birmingham League Division Three despite seeing their six-match winning streak ended.
Southwick won the toss and put Worcester into bat but a promising opening partnership between Bryn Evans (76) and Henry Lewis (40) gave the visitors the upper hand.
However, Redditch bounced back with two wickets apiece from Noman Mohammed and Haris Ali, before Worcester skipper Chris Steele chipped in with a useful 31 to help his side close on 203-6 off their 50 overs.
In reply a hard-hitting 63 from Tom Phelan off just 53 balls put Redditch in charge but Worcester bounced back as Steele took 4-49 off 17 overs.
Ghulam Moyhuddin chipped in with 31 but was run out chasing the game and Redditch had to settle for the draw, finishing on 191-9 off 50 overs.
REDDITCH ENTACO 2nds enjoyed a magnificent eight-wicket victory at Worcester in a run-feast of a game.
Put into bat in this Division One 2nd XI encounter, Worcester scored 285-6 including 131 from Liaqat Hussain. Adam Gailey took 3-38.
In reply, Redditch bounced back in superb style as Faizan Ahmed made 119 not out, Geoff Eley 68 and Naseek Hussain 34 to guide the Kingfishers to 286-2 in the 48th over.
Redditch remain top but their lead has been cut to five points by local rivals Feckenham. On Saturday, third placed Stourport – 20 points off top spot – are the visitors to Bromsgrove Road.
The 3rds and 4ths complete their fixtures on Saturday with matches against Harborne at home and away respectively.
The 3rds will be looking to secure fourth spot in Division Five after a narrow six-run victory at Enville.
Redditch were dismissed for 102, in which opener Nick Little made a fine 40, before spin twins Ajmal Wafa (4-20) and Ben Hicklin (2-27) and Jacob Ottley (2-6) did the damage as Enville were bowled out for 96.