Final Group Matches – Saturday 19th September 2020

Report submitted by Worcestershire County League

There was plenty to play for in the final week of the 2020 Regional Competitions structure as just a few of the twenty Play Off places had been secured across the five different competitions prior to play.

All went to plan though for the favourites as almost every team that topped their Group table on Saturday morning won their final Group matches to secure Play Off positions. Ombersley 3rd XI in the Plate Competition were the only team to lose their final group match of the season but were already guaranteed a home Play Off Semi-Final draw due to their previous commanding performances throughout the season.

In the Cup Competition the four Play Off Semi-Final places were secured by Old Hill 1st XI who beat Oldswinford & Stourbridge Social to top Group A, Pershore 1st XI beat Astwood Bank 1st XI in what was effectively a winner takes all match between the top two at the Bottoms in Group B, Old Elizabethans 1st XI won Group C as they were the beneficiaries of a concession win as Colwall 1st XI were busy winning the National Village Knockout and Ryan Derrick (151 in 66 balls) powered Stourport-on-Severn 1st XI in to the Play Offs as they comprehensively beat Hagley 1st XI to win Group D by just one point.

In the Trophy Competition Halesowen 2nd XI beat closest rivals Netherton 1st XI to win Group A, Astwood Bank 2nd XI chased down Himbleton 1st XIs first innings total for the loss of six wickets to win Group B, Barnards Green 2nd XI travelled to Eastnor 1st Xi and came out on the right side of a low scoring games to win Group C and finally Kidderminster 2nd XI beat Old Elizabethans 2nd XI by seven wickets at the Memorial Ground to seal Group D and book their Play Off Semi-Final spot.

Netherton 2nd XI chased down Coombs Wood 2nd XIs impressive first innings total to win Group A in the Vase Competition, Bromsgrove 3rd XI secured Group B by the narrowest of margins as they beat Droitwich 2nd XI to finish level on points and games won at the top of the table with Alvechurch & Hopwood 1st XI but their superior runs per wicket differential which separated the two by just 1.43 runs was the difference. West Malvern 2nd XI were the benefactors of a concession win against Colwall 2nd XI which ensured they finished Group C on maximum points which guaranteed a home Play Off Semi-Final and finally Claverley 1st XI beat Alveley 1st XI win Group D.

In the Shield Competition Himley 3rd XI beat Belbroughton 2nd XI by five wickets at their Wolverhampton Road base to win Group A, C Moncrieffe (6-12) helped Barnt Green 3rd XI secure the Group B title with a comfortable win against Harvington 1st XI at the Douglas Ground. Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 2nd XI won Group C by posting a big first innings total which proved twenty too many for a battling Rushwick 2nd XI to chase and Claverley 2nd XI beat Highley by five wickets to secure the honours in Group D.

Romsley & Hunnington 2nd XI did what was required against basement side Alveley 2nd XI to win Group A in the Plate Competition by just one point from Old Halesonians 1st XI. Himbleton 2nd XI made no mistakes in Group B as they posted over three hundred in the first innings in their one hundred run win against Cookhill 1st XI. Evesham 1st XI beat Hanley Castle & Upton 2nd XI by nine wickets to secure Plate Group C and as mentioned above, despite losing to second placed Tenbury Wells 1st XI, Ombersley 3rd XI had already done enough to win Plate Group D and guarantee themselves a home draw in the Play Off Semi-Finals.

Regional Competition Play Off Semi-Finals - Sunday 20th September 2020 With the Play Off positions now decided and the top two best Group winners in each Competition receiving home draws Sundays Play Off Semi-Finals produced the following outcomes;.

In the Cup Competition first innings contributions from Liam Ridings (66) and Chris Miles (63) helped Pershore 1st XI compile a first innings total that proved too many for Old Hill 1st XI to chase despite the best efforts of S Bukhari (61) for the visitors in the second innings. This victory sets up a mouth-watering final at Kidderminster Cricket Club next Saturday against Stourport-on-Severn 1st XI for whom in form all-rounder Ryan Derrick (75*) continued his excellent form to lead his team home to a comfortable eight wicket victory against what has to be said an under strength Old Elizabethans 1st XI side who were unfortunately decimated by players forced to self-isolate under advised ECB protocol following an untimely positive Covid-19 case at their club ten days ago.

In the Trophy Competition first innings half centuries from George Blannin (76) and Andy Wheeler (56) helped Barnards Green 2nd XI post a testing total which proved just fifteen runs too many for visiting Astwood Bank 2nd XI after Rehaan Edavalath (4-15) helped the Green squeeze the visitors in the second innings. The South Worcestershire based outfit will face Kidderminster 2nd XI in the Trophy Final at Barnt Green Cricket Club next Saturday as opening batsman Sam Beadsworth (126*) carried his bat in the first innings to help the home team set a first innings total that proved too many for visiting Halesowen 2nd XI to chase as they were eventually bowled out fifty six runs short.

In all of the ten Play Off Semi Finals only two teams won away from home, both in the Vase Competition. After winning the toss and electing to bat first at Sandford Park against Claverley 1st XI, Netherton 2nd XI batsmen Gogi A Iqbal (93) and Abaaz Mehmood (57) set about the home attack to help the visitors post a challenging first innings total which eventually proved enough to win as only Tom Grainger (75) fired in the second innings for the home side. Their opponents in next weeks Vase Final at Halesowen Cricket Club will be Bromsgrove 3rd XI for whom Tom Downing (69*) played the anchor role in his teams four wicket victory at West Malvern.

In the Shield Competition Barnt Green 3rd XI beat Claverley 2nd XI by seven wickets at the Douglas Ground to set up a Final clash next week at Ombersley Cricket Club against Herefordshire based Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 2nd XI who beat visiting Himley 3rd XI by thirty four runs. Finally, the two teams who will contest the Plate Competition Final at Himley Cricket Club next week will be Evesham 1st XI for whom Faizal Alam (79) scored a second innings half century to help steer the South Worcestershire side to a tight two wicket victory against Himbleton 2nd XI and Ombersley 3rd XI who beat visiting Romsley & Hunnington 2nd XI by a comfortable fifty six run margin at their home ground.

All Super 40 Competition Finals will start at 12 Noon on Saturday 26th September at the five different venues identified above.