HALESOWEN suffered a five-wicket defeat against Birmingham League Premier Division Two leaders Wolverhampton.

Despite the absence of skipper Matthew Kleinveldt, who had returned to South Africa following a bereavement, Wolverhampton were too strong for Halesowen who elected to bat first after Wolverhampton waived their right to an uncontested toss.

Jamie Harrison batted well at the top of the order but when he was out for 34, only Alexei Kervezee (81) looked like making it a contest.

Halesowen were all out for 155, in 33.5 overs, with Worcestershire prospect Adam Finch taking 4 for 37 and Aaron Patel finishing with 3 for 49. Halesowen lost their last six wickets for just 13 runs. Wolverhampton were made to work hard in reply but a classy unbeaten 92 from 103 balls from Aneesh Kapil eased them to a five-wicket victory.

The second team game at Ombersley also proved to be too tough for the Hales players as they only mustered 170 and in reply Ombersley knocked off the runs for the loss of just one wicket to go joint top of the Division. In Hales innings only all-rounder Rob Horn with 47 looked the part on the day.

Equally the third team had a tough day at the office being bundled out for just 70 on an uneven and dry pitch at Earls High School. Losing by 9 wickets in a contest that lasted just 3 hours mean they remain stranded at the bottom of the Division 4 table along with their fellow 2018 promoted sides Astwood Bank and Romsley and Hunnington.

The fourths were the flagship team for the club with a tensely fought victory at Pershore. Dismissing Pershore for just 101 with Matt Slater (6-28) leading the way with the ball Halesowen set off in reply with some good contributions but a mid innings wobble saw them creep over the line for a 1 wicket win to remain 4th.

Commenting on the weekend Alexei Kervezee said:"Our top three teams have had as bad a weekend as I have known since I came here.

"We all know that as a result of the new league set up we are playing in higher standards of cricket now but then so is everyone else. We are not adapting as well as others and it’s a cause for concern. There are a number of issues that we need to address this week before another big weekend which will be addressed privately with the players."

The first team go to Ombersley this Saturday, the seconds welcome Barlestree and Lugwardine to Seth Somers Park, the thirds travel to Worcester CC seconds, and the fourths welcome Hagley thirds.