DROITWICH Spa collected their first Worcestershire County League Division One victory of the season at the 17th time of asking with an emphatic five-wicket victory over title-chasing Bewdley.
After winning the toss, Spa skipper Ian Cottrill had no hesitation inserting the opposition and would have been delighted to see them dismissed for 117 in the face of a complete bowling and fielding performance from his side.
Jake Young claimed 4-16 from his ten overs while left-arm spinner Martyn Davies also picked up a deserved four-for.
After the loss of an early wicket, opener Ash Fearnall and Greg Mazgajczyk added 43 for the second wicket which proved vital as the latter’s dismissal saw Spa lose a further three wickets for the addition of just 11 runs – including Fearnall for an imperious 46.
At 76-5, Bewdley sensed they were in with a chance but their hopes were dashed by gritty knocks from Jordan Renau (24 not out) and Cottrill (16 not out), which ensured Droitwich’s first victory of the season in only the 25th over.
The Seconds remain top Division Two Second XI after a comfortable seven-wicket win over promotion rivals Belbroughton – a victory which puts them 45 points ahead of their opponents.
Spa reduced the home side to 18-5 as Dave Stephens ran through their top order to claim 4-24 from his ten overs.
Carl Thomson then picked up 3-24 but Belbroughton skipper Pete Margetts remained steadfast and scored 92 of his team’s 114 runs before he was dismissed by his opposing counterpart Karl Goddard, who finished with impressive figures of 3-4 from eight overs.
A confident opening partnership between James King (34) and Martin Keen (38) ensured the result was never in doubt as Droitwich retained their 18-point lead over Cookley, who in turn are 24 points in front of Chaddesley Corbett with five games to go.
Callum Goddard hit 70 for the Thirds as they posted 172 in their winning draw at Redditch in Division Five.
After looking as though they were going to win, the home side were pegged up and ended up hanging on at 155-8 as spinner Joe Smith returned 4-36.
In the exciting reverse Fourths fixture in Division Five Second XI, Droitwich triumphed by four wickets in the last over win as they successfully chased down 207, thanks to a century stand between Tom Goss (81) and Steve Pearson (41).
On Saturday the Firsts will be hoping to maintain their winning form when Burghill, Tillington & Weobley visit St Peter’s Fields.
The Herefordshire outfit are the opponents for the Seconds too while the Thirds and Fourths play Pershore.