AN EXCELLENT batting performance ensured Droitwich earned the bragging rights over near neighbours Himbleton with an eight-wicket victory in the first-ever Worcestershire County League Division Two fixture between the sides.
Almost 500 runs were scored on a sweltering afternoon at St Peter’s Fields with two crucial partnerships proving pivotal for Spa as Max Young hit 107 not out for the hosts who reached their victory target of 248 with three overs to spare.
Despite an accurate opening spell from Phil Thomas which yielded two wickets, the home side seemed to struggle with the heat and Himbleton’s Sean Jenkins, who took advantage of a beautiful batting track and lightning outfield.
He was eventually dismissed for a half century but, with opener Richard Sugden and captain Stuart Dickenson at the crease, the visitors still looked capable of posting 300 for the second successive week so they will have been disappointed to be dismissed for 247.
Chief culprit in their demise was Carl Thomson, who finished with 4-36 from a very controlled spell of medium pace.
In reply, Droitwich openers Martyn Davies and Young looked to take the game to the opposition, despite a steady opening spell from left armer Sam Jenkins.
They raced to 35 before the former was caught aiming another lusty blow.
After an early offensive in his innings, Stuart Bryan and Young then adopted a more measured approach as they scored consistently at a steady five runs per over in an important stand of 120.
Bryan fell for 61 and was replaced by elder brother Paul, who continued in the same way as he partnered Young to the finish with an unbeaten 47.
Young was in imperious form and never looked liked being dismissed as he recorded a well-deserved century and Spa cemented their place in the top half of the table.
There was another glut of runs at Hagley, where the Seconds were defeated by five wickets in Division One Second XI.
Rhys John was unlucky not to hit a ton as he was run out for 94 as Spa posted 248-7.
The Droitwich bowlers failed to shackle the Hagley reply or take the chances which came their way as Russell Andrews (98) and Simon Burgess (69) put on 133 for the second wicket as their side romped home with nine overs to spare.
Despite 104 from opener Dean Brookes, the Thirds’ bowlers restricted Pershore to 201-7, a target that they overhauled in the 33rd over thanks to 65 from Ajay Kumar to claim a four-wicket win in Division Five.
Meanwhile, the Fourths were on the receiving end of Bromyard’s Ben Whittenbury, who blazed 215 as his side hit 333-7 with only nine player in Division Five Second XI.
Steve Pearson made 61 for the home side who had a good go in reply but eventually came up short on 277-7.
On Saturday the Firsts are at home once again to Kempsey while the other three Droitwich sides play Harborne.