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Rain-hit Olton hit rock bottom as match called off

by Nick Pullen

RAIN wreaked havoc with the Birmingham League programme this week with most matches being washed out.

Top of the table Knowle and Dorridge had their game with Smethwick called off without a ball being bowled, while Moseley's trip to Kenilworth Wardens suffered a similar fate.

Dorridge did manage a bit of action in their Division One clash with Attock, but that too was abandoned after Dorridge had reached 63 without loss.

Olton and West Warwicks Division Three contest with Lichfield also fell victim to the rain.

To make matters worse, relegation rivals Brewood managed to get most of their game against Wolverhampton side Fordhouses played.

Brewood made 206 for four and then reduced Fordhouses to 122 for six when play was finally curtailed.

It meant Brewood were able to pick up 13 bonus points to take them 18 points clear of Olton who currently occupy bottom spot.

With four teams relegated from Division Three, it leaves Olton 39 points adrift of safety with only five games remaining.

Berkswell had to put their Division Two promotion charge on hold when their game with Tamnworth fell foul of the weather ... but there was a much better day for the Balsall Common side to follow.

On Sunday, Berkswell pulled out all the stops to become the Birmingham League Twenty20 champions.

Berkswell belied their Division Two status to lift the crown following a glorious day at Cannock.

Brilliant Berkswell beat defending champions Walmley in the first semi final by 40 runs.

Inserted to bat first, Berkswell made light of that disadvantage as skipper Dominic Ostler and Warwickshire Academy player Phil Neale put Walmley's bowling to the sword.

Former Bears favourite Ostler struck 53 while Neale remained unbeaten on 53 not out - the pair laying the foundations for an imposing total of 159 for five off their 20 overs.

Walmley couldn't match that in reply as they were restricted to 119 for seven.

Khizer Zaman claimed three for 10 while Wessel Hartslief with two for 21 and Babar Khan who took one for 21 all proving difficult to score off.

Berkswell then faced another Premier Division side Himley in the final, who had earlier disposed of Shrewsbury.

Once again Berkswell made a flying start with the bat as Ostler and Hartslief hammered 24 runs off the first two overs.

After that, 17 year old Tom Milnes took charge with 42 not out, while Neale added a further 22.

It led to a Berkswell total of 154 for six, which proved beyond Himley in reply.

Both Hartsleif with two for 18 and Milnes who took three for 15, tightened Berkswell's grip on the trophy from the start as they reduced Himley to 13 for four.

The Black Country side couldn't recover and were finally bowled out for 105.



Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
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