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Astwood Bank crowned Worcester League champions
2:37pm Monday 9th September 2013 in Sport
ASTWOOD Bank were crowned champions of the Worcestershire County League Division to put the icing on a fantastic season.
Saturday’s six-wicket win over Belbroughton ensured the Sambourne Lane club’s hard work paid off as they opened an unassailable lead over second-placed Bromyard.
With one match of the season left, Bank have a 38-point lead and have won 15 of their 21 matches, setting a new record in the league.
Now they can look forward to playing in the Birmingham League Division Three for the first time in the club’s history.
Captain Steve Adshead praised the efforts of the squad, who apart from Vince Valente and Ian Morgan, have came through the ranks at Astwood.
He said: “Apart from one or two players, every member of the squad has came through the junior ranks at Astwood.
“It’s been a squad effort this season, everyone has played their part.
“There’s been a lot of hard work since I joined the club four years ago, we’ve been making plans ever since and some of the guys who have played a big role were just playing in the seconds.
“But promotion to the Birmingham League means a lot to the club, not just the first team.
“We’ve lost juniors before because Worcestershire wanted their players to be playing to a Birmingham League standard and now we can provide that and hold onto them.”
After last weekend’s wobble at Redditch, Astwood made no mistake against Belbroughton, restricting the visitors to 197-9 before Valente (123) guided the home side to 201-4 in reply.
Bank had made a powerful start to the season with seven wins in a row to take a 50 point lead over closest rivals Hagley.
But a bad patch in June and early July saw Hagley overtake them, before winning seven of their last nine games guided Bank to the title.
Adshead admitted winning the league matches his achievements with county side Gloucestershire, where he helped them to clinch the C&G Trophy in 2003, as well as reach Twenty20 finals day and finish top of the County Championship Division Two.
“Winning this title ranks up there with the best in my career,” said the skipper.
“I have more invested in Astwood Bank than when Gloucestershire won the C&G, that time I only had to play one innings and field a bit.
“It’s not the level you’re playing at but how involved a person is. I’ve spent four years coaching at Astwood and working hard and to see it pay off is incredibly fulfilling.”
Astwood complete the season at Wocester and Dominies on Saturday (12.30pm start).
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