KNOWLE and Dorridge’s superb season got even better over the bank holiday weekend as they all but clinched the league title and won the regional final of the Cockspur Twenty20 competition.
In a rain-affected West Midlands Area Final, K & D defeated Northampton Saints and Burslem in a three-way battle, meaning they will play the winners of the East Midlands final next Sunday. The winner of that knock-out will feature in a televised final on Sky Sports at the end of September.
In the Cockspur Twenty20 games, rain interrupted much of the play during the day. Despite the cloudburst above though, K & D stormed their way to two wins out of two.
Impressing with the ball were Ben Coley (3 for 4) and Nick James (3 for 9), and Richard Johnson and Luke Parker with the bat.
K & D then completed a routine five wicket victory at Walmley, in the Birmingham League, leaving them within touching distance of the Premier Division Title for the first time ever.
The Station Road club were put into field and Walmley skipper Chris Howell (40) steered his side to 185 all out, with Ben Coley and Nick Warren picking up three wickets each.
The impressive Warren (52 not out), back after recovering from a badly broken finger, joined Nick James to guide K & D to another 24 points, despite losing five early wickets.
James (72 not out) took the Man of the Match award but Warren’s successful return bodes well for K & D in their final quest for the league title and the national Twenty20 competition.
In the first division of the Birmingham League, Dorridge beat Wellington and Old Hill during the bank holiday fixtures - leaving them with a good chance of promotion.
Against Wellington, Ian Stevenson (71) and Abdul Hafeez (64) were the main contributors to Dorridge’s score of 266-7. With the ball, they easily disposed of their top-of-the-table opponents for 100 runs, with spinner Hafeez (3-9) bagging the most wickets.
In their game against Old Hill, who are, like Dorridge, fighting near the top of the table, Hafeez’s century helped Dorridge race to 230-5. In reply, Old Hill were bowled out for 138, with Hafeez (3-20) and David Ball (3-45) grabbing the important wickets.
In the same division, Berkswell remain rooted to the bottom of the table after losing by 104 runs to Old Hill and by eight wickets to Smethwick.
In Division Three, Olton and WW are resigned to a mid-table finish after losing to Fordhouses and Newport at the weekend, by four and six wickets respectively.
In the Warwickshire League Premier Division, Solihull Blossomfield recorded a draw with Atherstone Town and a win at Pickwick by 83 runs.
There was final day drama in the Third Division (the lower leagues finish first) with three local teams all in with a shout of the title.
Knowle Village and Marston Green, who were joint top, had their fate in their own hands whilst Castle Bromwich had to win and hope one of their rivals dropped significant points.
As it was, it went down to the last ball of the day at Hampton & Solihull, as Harold Turner took Marston Green’s last wicket - seeing Castle Bromwich pip them by a point.
In the Cotswold Hills League, Rowington were celebrating after recording their best ever finish in the league - fourth place.
Eike Gilbert was the star with the ball as he managed 3-29, off just five overs, as opponents Ashton under Hill reached 214-8.
Alex Smith (68) and Scott Rogers (82) helped the Rs start brightly, and in the last over Clive Haywood (41no), smashed the ball for six to get them past Ashton’s target.