This week we reached the halfway stage of competition in the Worcestershire County League this season and after last weeks' near washout a full program of fixtures was played in the top five divisions.

In the Premier Division Ryan Derrick (102*) scored an undefeated second innings century to help new leaders Stourport-on-Severn 1st XI maintain their position at the summit with a hard earned seven wicket victory against Ombersley 2nd XI.

Stourbridge 1st XI are now second, thirty four points behind the leaders after Jujhar Johal (5-33) and Maverick Perry (88*) combined to secure a five wicket win against Droitwich Spa 1st XI at St. Peter’s Field.

Old Hill 1st XI moved in to third place as Jahanzib Khan (4-24) and Bilal Hassan (4-30) shared eight first innings wickets in a seven wicket win against former leaders Pershore 1st XI at Haden Hill.

Elsewhere, Tom Underhill (113) and Tom Pedley (107) recorded first innings centuries in Astwood Bank 1st XIs winning draw against basement side Colwall (who need to find form quickly if they are to avoid the drop).

Overseas all-rounder Ben Tredget (126) scored a first innings century and Nabeel Asghar (6-46) returned excellent second innings figures in Redditch 1st XIs win against Old Elizabethans 1st XI and Brockhampton 1st XI recorded a forty run win against Bromyard 1st XI at Flagonners Green to move closer to mid division.

In Division One Ghulam Abbas (124) helped Chaddesley Corbett 1st XI ensure that they are still the team to catch despite having their lead trimmed as they could only muster a winning draw against Coombs Wood 1st XI whilst second placed Worcester Nomads CC 1st XI beat visiting Pedmore 1st XI by 6 wickets thanks to an undefeated second innings century from their overseas all-rounder Maxwell Meyer (100*) at Whitegates Farm.

Barnt Green 2nd XI Captain Hayden Froggatt (129*) made sure his team stayed in the hunt for promotion as his first innings century set up a winning draw against Halesowen 2nd XI which puts them in third place just eleven points off the promotion places.

Waqas Ahmed (102*) led a strong first innings batting performance from Lye CC 1st XI which eventually earned them a winning draw at Chester Road against Kidderminster 2nd XI for whom Jack Burton (75) lead the rear-guard action.

In other matches in the division, Hagley 1st XI Captain Michael Stead (101*) scored an excellent unbeaten first innings  century which ultimately proved in vain as Bewdley 1st XI chased down the first innings total to win by two wickets and finally Owen Williams (73) lead basement team Oldswinford 1st XI to an important win against Worcester 1st XI which brings them back closer to the pack at the foot of the table.

In Division Two the fight for the promotion places remains as close as ever with the top three teams separated by just six points and the positions changing weekly.

Bromsgrove 2nd XI moved to the top after securing a maximum point winning draw against Harborne 3rd XI. Oliver Baker (143*) hammered an unbeaten first innings century for second placed Himley 2nd XI which helped them secure a winning draw against Himbleton 1st XI at Harrow Lane and although they were beaten by the improving Belbroughton 1st XI at Hackmans Gate Lane, Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 1st XI sit just two points adrift in third.

In other matches in the division Bartestree & Lugwardine 1st XI Captain Ryan Trattell (88*) helped his team secure an important win against Astwood Bank 2nd XI. Ben Dunn (5-42) returned excellent first innings figures for Alvechurch & Hopwood 1st XI who beat Bredon 1st XI by an eight wicket margin and five wicket hauls from Matt Gill and Charlie Rankovic helped Enville 1st XI grab an important nineteen run win against Cookley 1st XI who remain just above the relegation zone.

There is no doubt that Netherton 1st XI are the team to catch in Division Three as Sakander Farooq (4-43 & 65*) produced a fine all round performance to help brush aside visitors Old Hill 2nd XI by six wickets.

The Black Country outfit is now forty nine points clear of second placed Stourbridge 2nd XI who frustratingly had to settle for a winning draw against Redditch 2nd XI despite the best efforts of Nigel Davenport (67 & 6-28).

Third placed Avoncroft 1st XI came unstuck as Barnards Green 2nd XIs batting line up returned to form again at North End Lane when Jake Hill (118*) first innings undefeated century helped them post a total that proved too many for the visitors to chase in the despite the best efforts of Dan Elliott (96) who fell just four short of a deserved century, a result that keeps the Green in the promotion picture in fourth place.

Elsewhere, on the back of good performances from talented teenagers Charis-Rebekah Pavely (4-68) and Angus Rees (57) Old Elizabethans 2nd XI beat Martley 1st XI to go fifth. Brockhampton 2nd XI grabbed a much needed victory against an under strength basement side Coombs Wood 2nd XI and Old Vigornians 1st XI grabbed a winning draw in a high scoring match against Feckenham 1st XI in which six half centuries were shared between the two teams.

Division Four is beginning to look the closest of all divisions as the top nine teams (who all at one stage of the season have experienced dips in form) are now separated by just thirty nine points.

Claverley 1st XI are the new leaders after Aroon Iqbal (119) put last weeks leaders Netherton 2nd XI to the sword in the first innings to set up a comprehensive home win that helped his team leap frog their opponents at the top.

Third placed West Malvern 1st XI were also humbled when Rushwick 1st XI Captain Lewis Hooper (64*) lead his in-form team home to a two wicket win at the Alf Tolley Memorial Ground which means just eight points separates the top three.

Elsewhere, Ansar Mahmood (6-32) helped Lye 2nd XI to a comfortable win against Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI who drop to fifth place.

Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI beat Romsley & Hunnington 1st XI by a wide margin at Longmore. Five Ways Old Edwardians 1st XI enjoyed a big win after posting well over three hundred in the first innings against Worcester 2nd XI who remain in the bottom two level on points with Eastnor 1st XI who lost by five wickets to Bromsgrove 3rd XI who in turn widened the gap to the bottom two.  

At the halfway stage all divisions are still very much wide open and as we approach the run in well over half of the teams in all divisions are still capable of gaining promotion which ensures an enthralling last half of the season.