ASTWOOD Bank produced a solid all-round display to beat Worcester and tighten their grip on the top spot in the Worcestershire County League Division One.

The Sambourne Lane outfit extended their lead to 20 points over closest rivals Hagley, who suffered defeat at the hands of improving Belbroughton at the weekend.

With six matches left, it’s a slender but crucial advantage in an unpredictable title battle.

After a blistering start to the season, Astwood had a 50-point lead at the top before a mid-season wobble allowed Hagley to top the table.

Bank have found their consistency in the last few weeks and now go into the final quarter of the season in pole position.

Captain Stephen Adshead though is not getting carried away just yet.

He said: “We’re not really looking any further than the next match to be honest.

“This season it has been close and we’ve got to focus on picking up the points each game.”

Adshead was pleased with Astwood’s overall display as Bank put Worcester to the sword.

Put into bat on a slow surface they made 211-9 in 50 overs, with Sam Thomas scoring an all-important 68.

But Astwood’s bowlers and fielders put the squeeze on the home side, who were dismissed for 118.

Andrzej Jagielski took four wickets, while there were two for Jon Summers and one each for Adam Watson and Dan Taylor. The captain and Summers also ran out Bryn Evans and Liam Weston respectively.

Astwood are set to be without three players for Saturday’s home clash against mid-table Pershore (1.30pm start). Summers, Andy Alexander and Tom Harris all miss out, with the first two also unavailable for the matches against Oldswinford and Hagley.

Astwood will call up players from the seconds, who boast an 84-point lead in 2nd XI Division One.