OLD Hill’s hopes of promotion from Birmingham League Division Three are over despite a thrilling three run victory away at Stratford-upon-Avon.

After back-to-back defeats put league leaders Stourbridge out of reach, Jonathan Wright’s side knew even a win could leave too big a gap between them and the promotion places.

But at Swans Nest Lane, Stratford won the toss and elected to field, with Zain Shahid (32) and Harry Baddams (34) opening the batting for the visitors.

Old Hill were on 86 when the first wicket of Shahid – who was caught out by Archie Walker from Dexter Purser’s (3-17) bowling – was to fall.

This led to a catalogue of wickets, with Thomas Genders (0) and Gurpreet Singh (0) heading off the pitch after facing just two balls each. Old Hill skipper Wright was also out for a duck after being caught and bowled by James Urquhart (2-21).

Dylan Keeling (16) and Naqaash Tahir (20) gave Old Hill a lifeline, but the visitors ended up all out for 144.

After performing well with the ball, Purser was the pick of Stratford’s batters, top scoring 38 on what was a good day for the bowlers.

Henry Hopkins, Finlay Hatch, Archie Walker and Sam Douthwaite were all bowled out for ducks, with Stratford coming up three runs short of victory on 141 all out.

Shafiq Ahmed (4-16) was the key man in Old Hill’s bowling attack, ably supported by Naqaash Tahir (3-30) and Zain Shahid.

Following the win, Old Hill needed second-placed Rugby to falter at Milford Hall, but it was bad news for the Sandwell side as Rugby sealed a 132 run victory, giving them a 51 point lead ahead of Old Hill with just two matches left to play in this season.

Old Hill now head to Pelsall on Saturday (noon start) before hosting Redditch on the final day of the season.