Halesowen Cricket Club hit one of the lowest points in their 153 year history on Saturday as they were relegated from Birmingham League Division One.

Just eight years ago the Seth Somers Park outfit were hoisting the Premier Division trophy but that is now a distant memory after a one wicket defeat to promotion-chasing Bromsgrove condemned them to life in Division Two next year.

It was a relegation which had long-seemed inevitable after a disastrous campaign in which the first XI lurched from one disappointment to the next.

Skipper Luke Willetts quit just a month before the season was due to begin and the side were winless until late July.

Two successive victories and the signing of Sri Lankan test player Shalith Warnapura gave some hope but momentum quickly fizzled out, along with the Sri Lankan’s form.

To their credit, Halesowen came close to pulling off the win against Bromsgrove which would have kpet hopes of survival.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, Ishtiaq and Shalith Warnapura got them off to a great start with an opening partnership of 83.

The skipper and Wes Griffiths (33) battled hard to get Hales to 161-2 but Griffiths’ departure triggered a sudden collapse as the rest of the order vaniched without trace.

Halesowen were eventually bowled out for 190 in 47.4 overs, Ishtiaq top scoring with 82.

Ishtiaq and Evrist Tempro then struck early to leave the visitors 12-2 but Brett D’Oliveira and Tom Green (47) set them on course for victory, until Bromsgrove also collapsed.

Six wickets fell for just 13 runs as 171-3 became 184-9. However, D’Oliveira held his nerve to complete his century and edge his side over the line, the winning runs coming with a six.