The sun reappeared on week 13 and with temperatures touching thirty degrees Celsius across the county a full program of matches was played in mostly sweltering conditions.

The match of the day was no doubt the top of the table clash In the Premier Division between leaders Stourport-on-Severn 1st XI who welcomed second placed Stourbridge 1st XI to Walshes Farm Meadows for what was by far the most important match of the season so far.

Prior to the start the home team enjoyed a thirty point lead over the visitors and any positive result would have made it difficult for anyone to catch them. However, after winning the toss and inserting the opposition the Stourbridge 1st XI attack produced an excellent all round performance to dismiss Stourport 1st XI for an under par 188 on another excellent Walshes Farm Meadows surface with only Ted Bayliss (63) showing any real resilience against a well drilled attack.

The visitors then continued to show their class in the second innings as the opening pair (Michael Hingley (11*) and Juhjar Johal (54) thwarted the dangerous and usually penetrative Stourport 1st XI attack to provide the perfect foundation for the Glassboys to go on and win the game by a comprehensive eight wicket margin, which in turn cut the lead to just twelve points.

Elsewhere in the division, third placed Old Hill 1st XI failed to take advantage of the leaders defeat as they were beaten by two wickets at Haden Hill by Old Elizabethans 1st XI for who Jack Taylor (5-46) returned excellent first innings figures for the visitors.

This result in turn helped Astwood Bank 1st XI to re-enter the race as Jake Browning (86) fired a second innings half century to help them take full advantage of Old Hill 1st XI's slip up by beating visiting Redditch 1st XI by four wickets to gain a maximum points win at Sambourne Lane, a result that sees them close the gap to the promotion places to just twenty four points.

In other matches long time leaders Pershore 1st XI were beaten by four wickets by Droitwich Spa 1st XI at St. Peter’s Field, whilst at the foot of the table Colwall 1st XI breathed life back in to their fight for survival by gaining an important and timely win against Bromyard 1st XI at Flagonners Green.

In a low scoring match the visitors held on to win by just one wicket in what must have been an enthralling last act as the final pair at the crease (Toby Newman and James Wagstaff) combined to produce an unlikely thirty six run partnership to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat against their Herefordshire rivals who are now just seventeen points above the drop zone that includes their opponents in eleventh and Ombersley 2nd XI two points further adrift at the bottom after putting a battling performance to gain a losing draw against Brockhampton 1st XI who were inspired by overseas player Tobias Van Den Heever (90*) whose unbeaten first innings contribution helped his team post what proved to be too many to chase down in the second innings.

With nine matches to go the division it is still difficult to predict at both top and bottom which ensures an enthralling ride for the remainder of the season.

In Division One despite the best efforts of Sakib Ali (86) in the first innings and Ikram Mussadaq (5-40) in the second leaders Chaddesley Corbett 1st XI could only muster a winning draw against a battling Pedmore 1st XI which helped second placed Worcester Nomads 1st XI close the gap at the top to just nine points after first innings centuries from David White (123) and overseas player Maxwell Meyer (113) and (7-23) in the second from paceman Nick Jones helped them completely dominate proceedings against local rivals Worcester 1st XI to earn a maximum points win at Whitegates Farm.

The gap to third place has now widened to fifty four points as third placed Barnt Green 2nd XI were beaten at Bigmore Playing Fields by Oldswinford 1st XI who won a high scoring match by five wickets. Coombs Wood are just two points further back after a solid first innings batting performance helped them to a maximum points win against Hagley 1st XI at Stewarts Road a result that propelled them in to fourth place as Lye 1st XI were beaten in another high scoring match this time at Seth Somers Park against Halesowen 2nd XI for whom opening batsman Scott Jones (124) provided the innings impetus, whilst in the other match in the division Josh Tidmarsh (4-19) and Gomez Vincent (4-29) helped Kidderminster 2nd XI grab a timely one wicket win against Bewdley 1st XI in a low scoring thriller at Lower Park, a result that took them out of the relegation zone and condensed the field at the bottom to a position where the bottom six teams are separated by just twenty three points and the bottom four by just eight.

The consistent unpredictability of Division Two was again in evidence on Saturday as, after taking a twenty point lead at the top of the table last week, this week Bromsgrove 2nd XI were beaten by five wickets at St. Godwald’s Park by third placed Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 1st XI who closed the gap to their opponents (who slipped to second) to just one point and remain just three points adrift of new leaders.

Himley 2nd XI who, after being bowled out for a mediocre first innings total by a Belbroughton 1st XI attack led by Aksay Sreenivasan (5-24) managed to re-group and produce what could be a vital second innings bowling performance to snatch an unlikely maximum points victory by just one run at Hackman’s Gate Lane.

Elsewhere in this tightest of tight divisions Alvechurch & Hopwood 1st XI remained in close proximity in fourth place just twelve points behind the top three after Ben Dunn (5-49) helped lay the foundations for a comfortable seven wicket win against visiting Himbleton 1st XI who remain bottom.

Astwood Bank 2nd XI made sure they kept up with the pace in fifth by beating Cookley 1st XI by thirty five runs at the Cookley Recreation Ground to remain just six points further back and two teams who gained important wins to ensure the division remained as tight as ever were Bartestree & Lugwardine 1st XI for who Ryan Trattell (6-57) and Matthew Tulacz ( 72*) were the main protagonists in their nine wicket win against Bredon 1st XI and Enville 1st XI who bowled out Harborne 3rd XI for a low second innings total largely thanks to an excellent second innings return from Charlie Rankovic (5-33).

With nine matches to go just forty points separate the top nine teams in what is proving to be an extremely competitive contest in which pretty much each team is capable of beating anyone on their day, which no doubt means that there are many twists and turns left before in this enthralling division before the end of the season

Division Three produced runs galore on Saturday with five teams positing over three hundred runs. Leaders Netherton 1st XI were forced to settle for a winning draw against Feckenham 1st XI in a high scoring match at Highbridge Road that saw both teams compile scores in excess of three hundred which contributed to the final match total of well over seven hundred runs scored on the day.

Stourbridge 2nd XI retained their second placed position after beating Martley 1st XI by four wickets in another high scoring match at the War Memorial Ground which saw well over five hundred runs scored on the day. Avoncroft 1st XI remain third after Josh Cound (168) led from the front in the second innings to post a big hundred that helped his team chase down Redditch 2nd XI's first innings total (316-6) in which Rizwan Chaudhry (159) had earlier lad the charge.

The fifth team to post over three hundred were Barnards Green CC 2nd XI for whom Elliott Hennessey (134) and James Styles (104) both contributed first innings centuries and Ben Clements (6-11) returned excellent bowling figures in the second innings in a comprehensive win against Coombs Wood 2nd XI at North End Lane

In other matches in the division, Old Elizabethans 2nd XI beat Old Hill 2nd XI by two wickets at the Memorial Ground to move in to fifth place just twenty one points off the promotion places and Old Vigornians 1st XI produced a fine team performance to beat Brockhampton 2nd XI by six wickets at The Parks to narrow the gap to the relegation zone at the foot of the table.

In Division Four West Malvern 1st XI made the long road trip to leaders Claverley 1st XI worthwhile as second innings centuries from Charles Bevan and Will Lloyd sealed a six wickets win which resulted in the visitors moving above the Shropshire based outfit in to second position just seven points behind new leaders Netherton 2nd XI who took full advantage of this result when they recorded a maximum points win on the road against fourth placed Lye 2nd XI in a high scoring match at Stourbridge Road.

Elsewhere, Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI and Rushwick 1st XI benefitted from Bromsgrove 3rd XI's forty eight run win against Five Ways Old Edwardians 1st XI at the Hedges Ground to move in to fifth and sixth place respectively as both recorded away wins against Worcester 2nd XI at Norton Barracks and Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI at Longmore and finally Charlie Tromans (83) helped Romsley & Hunnington 1st XI return to winning ways as his first innings contribution helped set a first innings target which Ed Holland (4-24) ensured remained out of reach for visiting Eastnor 1st XI in the second innings as they were dismissed seventy two runs short of the target.

With nine weeks to go all divisions are still well balanced with opportunities available to progress for the majority of teams, in particular those who can find their best form now and continue this through the remainder of the season.