HIMBLETON have been crowned champions of Worcestershire County League Division Three following a ruthless eight-wicket victory over Five Ways Old Edwardians.
Skipper Stuart Dickenson won the toss for the sixth game running and invited Five Ways to bat in a shortened game.
Usmaan Mahmood (16) and Dave Potter (39) got off to a brisk start adding 51 in eleven overs before veteran Paul Guy (4-27) was introduced to the attack.
Guy, using his guile and experience, picked up two wickets in his first three balls, dismissing the dangerous Mahmood and then Craig Roberts for a duck.
The game was evenly poised with the visitors ominously placed at 86-2 off 19 overs when further rain came.
On resumption, Five Ways added a further 42 to reach 128-6 off their 25 overs.
Himbleton had 20 overs to reach their target and achieved it in just 15 overs.
The top order of Rich Pretty (24), Ali Pretty (45no) and the rejuvenated Sean Jenkins (48no) were all merciless in their shot selection, hitting 11 fours and six sixes in a brutal attack on the visitor’s bowling.
The combination of the victory and Kempsey’s draw meant Himbleton secured an historic promotion with a game to spare.
Dickenson said: “It was a great team effort to win this game but it’s just as important that the big game players like Guysie, Ali and Sean step up as individuals when it matters most, as they did on Saturday.
“The opposition were very supportive in helping us get a game in and I’m very grateful to Alex Jones and his team for that.
“I’m exceptionally proud of this group of players and equally proud to have led them to a promotion and a title.
“It’s an outstanding achievement in any sport to win three quarters of your matches across a season, so we can look back at that with satisfaction.
“I hope the lads can go on from here and make a good impression in Division Two.”
Himbleton Seconds also ran out as champions of Division Four Second XI after third-placed Himley lost and the Meadow Boys’ top-of-the-table clash at Kidderminster was abandoned.