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Bank on verge of clinching title
6:07pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Sport
ASTWOOD Bank all but sealed the Worcestershire League Division One title and earned promotion after a stunning Bank Holiday weekend.
Crushing victories over Hagley on Monday and Oldswinford on Saturday ensured Astwood have a 60-point lead over second-placed Bromyard with three games of the season left.
Even if Bromyard recorded three maximum point wins, as long as Astwood pick up 12 points they would still win the championship and go up to the Birmingham League because of their superior record against them.
Astwood can win the league at local rivals Redditch (1pm start).
Captain Steve Adshead said: “There are 72 points still available but as long as we pick up 12 and Bromyard don’t win all three of their games with maximum points we should be there.
“We don’t want to be thinking about the title until it is for certain and Redditch won’t make it very easy for us at all.
“But it’s been a great season. Different players have stepped up and performed when we needed them to.”
Astwood have won six of their last seven games to see off the challenge of Hagley, Bromyard and Pershore at the top-of-the-table.
On Saturday, Vince Valente recorded his first century for Astwood as bottom side Oldswinford were thrashed by 133 runs.
Adshead also scored 99 as Bank reached 278-5 and the Black Country outfit were dismissed for 145 after good work by Thomas Harris (4-54) and Dan Taylor (3-45), who impressively stepped up from the seconds.
On Monday, title rivals Hagley were impressively swept away by Astwood huge 169 run victory.
Adshead (77) and Sam Thomas (77) filled their boots as the home side made 274-5.
Taylor shined with the ball with four wickets for seven runs, while 18-year-old Mike Desmond also removed Hagley dangermen Amjad Ali (0), Paul Morgan (0) and James Spavin (29) as the visitors were skittled for 105 in 33 overs.
Adshead praised the impact of the young guns who stepped into the firsts.
He said: “The people like Dan and Michael have came in and played brilliantly and that just shows where we are at the moment. Our bowling has been dominated by spinners this season but both of them stepped up when we needed them.
“The first and seconds are very strong and that has given us a lot of strength in depth.”
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