WEST MALVERN have secured promotion from Division Five of the Worcestershire County League without even bowling a ball.
The Mathon Court-based club saw their game against Old Elizabethans Thirds on Saturday fall foul of the weather but it proved to be enough as Hallow’s clash against Old Hill Thirds was also rained off.
After finishing fourth last season, West Malvern sit 25 points clear of third placed Hallow with one game remaining and barring any penalty points, will now ply their trade in Division Four next season.
It could mean they will face local rivals Hanley Castle & Upton and possibly Malvern who are battling relegation in Division Three next season.
Sitting just eight points behind league leaders Tenbury Wells, there is still the possibility West Malvern can go up as champions should they defeat Barnt Green Thirds on Saturday and Wells slip up at home to Droitwich Spa Thirds.
West Malvern skipper Matt Gammon praised the squad’s effort to achieve their target of promotion.
“It’s an excellent feeling to have secured promotion as the lads have worked hard all season to achieve it,” he said.
“It’s a shame we did not play on Saturday but our main goal this season was to go up and we are pleased top have succeeded.
“The top of the league is very close and Tenbury, who we got a really good win against the other week, are a very strong side so it’s advantage to them at this stage.
“We will do our best this weekend to win our game and it would be nice to finish above Tenbury but our main priority was promotion so we’re happy regardless of the result.”
BARNARDS GREEN eased their Birmingham League Division One relegation worries as they secured a four-wicket victory over second bottom Old Hill.
In a rain-affected game, Old Hill were put into bat after losing the toss and totalled 164-6 off 40 overs as Harry Baddams (51) and Thomas Elwell (66) provided the majority of the runs for the Black Country side.
Patrick Brown (2-17), Jonathan Dovey (2-30) and Josh Haynes (2-26) shared the wickets for a Green side who reached a revised victory target with eight balls to spare on 182-6.
Haynes top scored with 49 and was backed up by useful contributions from Worcestershire’s George Rhodes (33) and Kyle Giniotis (44).
Victory for the North End Lane outfit put an end to their run of six games without a win and moved them 48 points clear of the drop zone with five games to go.
Green entertain second placed Dorridge on Saturday (12pm start).
COLWALL’s hopes of maintaining a promotion push from Division One of the Worcestershire County League was further dented after their game against Belbroughton was rained off and league leaders Worcester Nomads eased to a ten-wicket victory over Pedmore.
Colwall travel to Cookley on Saturday.
KEMPSEY moved to within three points of the Division Three promotion places with a confident five-wicket victory over basement club Cleobury Mortimer.
With both sides reduced to 25 overs after rain affected play, Cleobury posted a score of 171-5 thanks to some useful batting from James Manley (46), Michael Green (47) and skipper Ben Griffiths (44).
In response, Kempsey secured victory in the 23rd over as Simon Dorrell’s unbeaten 79 went a long way towards the home side’s tally of 173-5.
Tristan Robinson (23), Samuel O’Neill (27) and Benjamin Ware (26) also added batches of runs for a Kempsey side who closed the gap on second place Old Vigornians.
Kempsey entertain fourth placed Netherton on Saturday hoping to jump into the promotion places.
MALVERN have four games left to keep their status as a Division Three side after their home game against fellow relegation-threatened battlers Barnards Green Thirds was abandoned.
The Ramblers sit 23 points adrift of safety with four games left to play and face a tough test on Saturday against fifth placed Bartestree & Lugwardine.
HANLEY CASTLE & UPTON further boosted their hopes of maintaining their Division Four status after claiming a draw against third placed Astwood Bank Thirds.
After losing the toss, Bank were put into bat where they bowled out for 213 in the final over.
Bryan Melliard (64), Isaam Ahmed (42) and James Boycott (34 no) proved to be the mainstays in Bank’s innings while Harry Tippell (4-61) and Tony Hutchings (4-47) got the lion’s share of the wickets.
In response, Hanley were set a reduced target of 200 from 42 overs due to the poor weather conditions.
Despite never troubling Bank’s target, slow and steady runs from Hanley’s batting line-up saw the home side reach 139-7 to claim a valuable seven points in their bid for survival.
Charlie Tippell (27), Ollie Price (24) and Will St Ledger-Chambers (21) batted stubbornly for Hanley as James Boycott (4-53) did the damage with the ball.
Second-from-bottom Alveley are Hanley’s opponents on Saturday.