HALESOWEN maintained their promotion charge with victory over Bromsgrove.

A patchy Boars batting effort saw them restricted to 177-9 in 50 overs with Halesowen seamer Charlie Hartley taking 3-43 and Harry Kitchen and Alexei Kervezee picking up two wickets each.

The game was halted by rain with Halesowen on 150-1 after 33 overs, which left them easy winners by 63 runs after Jamie Harris had hit an unbeaten 75.

Captain Alexei Kervezee said: "We are slotted in nicely in third spot at the moment and play Leamington next week who we owe one to from earlier in the season.

"We have six games left and four of those are at home due to the re-jigging of the fixture list at the start of the season (when the poor weather caused the season to be delayed). So in some ways we have an advantage that we need to make the most of and hopefully we will do that. Also it was really great to see Jamie Harris in full flow again he really is a delight to watch at times.

"Looking forward to next week we need to make sure we put back to back wins together and set ourselves up for the bank holiday weekend matches where we also face promotion chasers Shifnal which will probably be a key indicator to the final placings in the division. We have a nice blend in the team now and although we have lost players during the season for one reason and another its pleasing to see people adapting to the step-up."

The second team have slipped to fourth in the table after losing to Bromsgrove. Batting first they scored a useful 221 all out with Hassan Quami (85) being the mainstay of the batting but lacked any real support from other batters which is so key to taking the game away from the opposition. In turn Bromsgrove then moved to 190-6 from a strong opening partnership and then accelerated in the middle order before the rains came but won on the DLS method despite Hassan Akram’s efforts (3-39) to keep the score in check. The second team will need to get back to the form they showed earlier in the season to avoid a tricky end to the fixture programme.

A very young third XI also had their game abandoned at Astwood Bank again due to the poor weather. Bank scored 250-6 in their 50 overs and in reply Hales were 51-3 and took seven points from the game to remain in top spot. The thirds saw a debut for 12-year-old off-spinner Ciaran Baker-Smith who showed much promise for the future.

The fourth team won their sixth game in a row thanks to a handy first innings total of 228 -7 (Alex Jordan 72 and Haseeb Arif 33) and then reduced Malvern to 70-6 (Alex Taylor 4-19) before the game was called off Hales winning on a run-rate calculation.