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Draw's a blow to Knowle & Dorridge's title ambitions

CHAMPIONS Knowle and Dorridge were dealt a huge blow to the defence of their Birmingham League Premier Division title  when held to a draw by Himley.

CHAMPIONS Knowle and Dorridge were dealt a huge blow to the defence of their Birmingham League Premier Division title  when held to a draw by Himley.

This setback has allowed title rivals Shrewsbury to climb above the Station Road side by a slender one point margin, while fellow contenders Kidderminster Victoria have drawn level with just one game remaining.

The irony is that Shrewsbury must visit Kidderminster next Saturday in what could prove a title shoot-out.

Knowle and Dorridge can only hope both sides drop points, providing they pull off a maximum success at Wellington at the same time.

Knowle and Dorridge soon hit trouble when they couldn't dislodge Worcestershire's  Ben Smith before he'd made 86.

Dan Bassett offered plenty of support with 44 as Himley piled on the runs to reach 254 for nine, South African Jacobus Pienaar picking up  four for 36.

For once, Knowle and Dorridge's formidable batting line up failed to fire properly as Himley's India A player TP Singh and  Chris Tranter both picked up four wickets.

Together they restricted Knowle and Dorridge to 202 for nine at close - a total that could well cost them the title.

At the bottom end of the table Moseley won their shoot-out with Walmley and virtually comdemned the Sutton Coldfield side to the drop at the same time.

Moseley could only muster 156 for eight, veteran wicketkeeper Jason Robinson making a modest top score of 31.

The real damage came when Walmley replied as their fragile batting was exposed by the spin of Usman Awan  who snapped up six for 15.

Awan reduced Walmley to 114 all out,  which was 42 runs short.

Dorridge lost out to likely Division One champions West Bromwich Dartmouth by a slender two wicket margin.

Once again Dorridge impressed with the bat by reaching 223 for six, skipper Abdul Hafeez leading from the front with 70 while Valeed Butt struck 72 not out.

It wasn't enough as Nav Poonia led Dartmouth to victory when making 92 from their 224 for eight total.

Berkswell's chances of going up from Division Two rest on a knife-edge.

The men from Meeting House Lane go into their final against Water Orton just two points adrift of second placed Old Elizabethans and automatic promotion.

Berkswell kept up the pressure with an overwhelming nine wicket win over Ombersley.

South African Wes Hartslief  took five for 18, Babar Khan claimed  three for 0 while ex Leicestershire man Dave Brignull grabbed  two for 27 as Ombersley were blown away for just 54 runs.

Olton are relegated from the Birmingham League after losing their Division Three match to Oswestry  by six wickets.

That was after Olton had been bowled out for 109, Mudasser Pasha prising out figures of four for 23.

It means Olton will be back in the Warwickshire League next season along with Bablake, while two more places have yet to be decided.

Sutton Coldfield still have a chance of survival, but must win their last match with Oswestry and then hope  other sides slip up.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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