HALESOWEN'S poor form continued as they collapsed to defeat at Barnards Green in the Birmingham and District League Division Two.

The home side won the toss, batted first and closed on 233 for seven from 50 overs.

Ryan Tongue, batting in the middle order was unbeaten on 74, while opening bowler Jonathan Dovey, promoted to open the batting, added 47.

Eddie Rhodes bowled steadily and took 3-27 for Halesowen while skipper Alexei Kervezee was more expensive, taking 3-52.

The Halesowen reply was a disaster with no batsman reaching double figures. They were 37 all out in 24.1 overs with Phil Harris taking the honours for Barnards Green with 5-15.

The next two weeks will see a round of play-off matches to determine the two clubs who will replace Tamworth and Brockhampton.

The competing teams will be Wem from Shropshire, Pelsall from Staffordshire, Walmley from Warwickshire and Astwood Bank from Worcestershire.

Halesowen's second XI suffered defeat but escaped relegation thanks to results elsewhere.

Astwood Bank 2nd XI were the visitors to Seth Somers Park totalling 204 in 45 overs with Ciaran Baker Smith 4-34 and Scott Jones 3-43 the bowling mainstays. In reply Hales got off to a decent start thanks to Jones (49) and Joe Tromans (32) but only Ram Jaswal with 38 kept the scoreboard ticking as they subsided to 174 all out to lose by 30 runs. The third team suffered an 8 wicket defeat at Alvechurch 1st but not before 16 year old Daanyal Ahmed with a career best 44 in adult cricket held the innings together in a total of 90 all out.

Captain Alexei Kervezee said: "Clearly this weekend's performances are not good enough. With the league getting tougher each year as a result of the new play offs system we will have to improve otherwise we will be following the likes of Brockhampton and Tamworth to relegation.

"To do this things will need to change at Halesowen over the winter and we have some ideas in place. It would be fair to say the season has been poor for all of the top three teams it’s a malaise which needs tough action and we will take stock of the season and then come back with a clean sheet and a renewed attitude."

Meanwhile, the Halesowen Women's 1st XI complete their season with two key fixtures to ensure they win their competition at the first time of asking.

On consecutive nights they take on Alveley and Alvechurch in testing matches to secure the Division Two title.