RICHARD Bradley believes Stourbridge CC will take great confidence from their flying start to life in the Birmingham League.

Stour are top of Division Three after the first round of games, following their three-wicket win at Aston Manor last Saturday in one of only two matches to beat the weather.

Josh Banks was the star, hitting an unbeaten 115 as Stour successfully chased down the home side’s total of 208, much to the delight of skipper Bradley.

He said: “It will give us a bit of momentum for the early part of the season.

“Now we won’t be sitting around in a few weeks time waiting for our first win as we’ve already got it under our belts — that will boost our confidence.

“They were in the second division last year and are a good side.”

Bradley believes his side were actually out-performed with the ball, even though Matt Bradley (5-82) and Audy Alexander (4-53) impressed.

But the hosts accumulated their total in 40.4 overs, giving Stour almost 70 overs to get the runs.

In the end they needed nearly all of them, crossing the line with four overs to spare.

Banks’ superb knock anchored the innings, with Alexander’s 33 the next highest score.

Bradley added: “I thought at tea 208 would be a tall order.

“But they were a little ill-disciplined with the bat and gave us plenty of overs to get the runs.

“It meant we could pace the innings and we needed to do that.

“Josh played magnificently, he gradually began to bully the bowling and they had no answer.

“Although the rest of the individual scores may not look like much, we made sure players occupied the crease and gave Josh support.”

Stour will welcome back batsman Steve Game for this Saturday’s home bow against Streetly.

In Worcestershire League Division One there was only frustration as Pedmore, Oldswinford and Hagley all saw their games called off.

Hagley seconds did play their game against Astwood Bank, thanks to sterling work by groundsman Mark Baker.

But it was a disappointing day as the hosts fell to a seven-wicket defeat.

Things started to go wrong from the moment skipper Andy Shaw lost the toss and Hagley were asked to bat on a damp track.

Openers Fady Jadayel (21) and Neil Hurst (17) got Hagley off to a decent start, reaching 31-0, but Jadayel then became the first victim of Steve Haines (4-33) as he was caught behind.

With Haines then picking up Andy Lee (8) and Simon Burgess (7) and Hurst falling to Mark Brind (6-35), Hagley were in real trouble.

The middle-order never were able to recover this and Brind’s slow swing bowling coupled with some poor shot selection saw Hagley bowled out for 96 in the 29th over.

Dan Morgan picked up the early wicket of Bank opener Chris Hancox to give the hosts some hope.

The visitors were having to grind out the runs and when Zeeshan Khan removed Mike Desmond (18) they fell to 44-3.

But Sam Churchley (42 not out) and Iain Morgan (13 no) guided them home in the 35th over.

Hagley skipper Shaw said: “It was great to get a game on despite the result and thanks go to our groundsman.

“They were some real positives with our bowling and fielding and hopefully we will sort the batting out this week.”