Saturday's round of matches was the final week of competitive matches in this year’s Worcestershire County League divisional competitions.

Premier Division champions Old Hill CC 1st XI now continue on into the Birmingham & District Premier Cricket League (B&DPCL) play offs where they will face Wellington CC 1st XI (champions of the Shropshire County League) at Haden Hill on Saturday 16th September, Milford Hall CC 1st XI (champions of the South Staffordshire County Premier Division) at Moseley Cricket Club on Saturday 23rd September and finally Olton & West Warwick Cricket Club 1st XI (champions of the Warwickshire County League) away on Sunday 24th September.

Should they finish in the top two places they will automatically gain promotion in to the B&DPCL Premier Division Two and in effect replace Bromsgrove CC 1st XI who were unfortunately one of two teams relegated from the B&DPCL Premier Division Two this season.

Should they not finish in the top two places and miss out on promotion this means that the WCL will bear an extra team and throughout its divisions will need to relegate three teams from each division and promote two, as Bromsgrove CC 1st XI automatically come back in to the WCL Premier Division in 2024.

This means that all teams that finished in tenth place in the top seven divisions are now reliant on the performance of Old Hill CC 1st XI in the B&DPCL play offs

Premier Division Champions Old Hill 1st XI cemented their place at the top of the summit with a closing fourteen run victory against fourth place finishers Pershore 1st XI at the Bottoms. Stourport-on-Severn CC 1st XI backed up their win last year with a second placed finish after they beat relegated Droitwich Spa 1st XI by five wickets at Walshes Farm Meadows and Stourbridge 1st XI (who eventually finished third) lost to Old Elizabethans 1st XI at Neel Park despite a first innings century from the division leading run scorer Jujhar Johal (120).

Elsewhere, fifth placed Astwood Bank 1st XI finished with a defeat against Chaddesley Corbett 1st XI and Worcester Nomads 1st XI lost a close encounter by just five runs to Redditch 1st XI, a significant loss which means they will finish tenth and in potentially in danger of the drop as Bromsgrove CC 1st XI have been relegated from the B&DPCL and will play in the WCL Premier Division next season which in turn means if Old Hill 1st XI do not qualify for the B&DPCL via the Play Offs, Worcester Nomads would need to be relegated as both Brockhampton 1st XI and Bromyard 1st XI gained enough points in their match to finish in the higher group position, just so in the case of Bromyard, who potentially avoid relegation, level on point but ahead on the fourth dividing criteria (Runs Per Wicket Differential) which would be  a cruel way for Worcester Nomads 1st XI to be relegated.

Champions; Old Hill CC 1st XI,

Runners Up; Stourport-on-Severn CC 1st XI

Relegated; Chaddesley Corbett CC 1st XI & Droitwich Spa CC 1st XI

In danger 10th; Worcester Nomads CC 1st XI

Division One Champions Lye 1st XI were beaten at home by Hagley 1st XI which means that they finished seven points clear of second placed Pedmore 1st XI who beat third placed Ombersley 2nd XI by six wickets.

Worcester 1st XI finished level on points with Ombersley 2nd XI but missed out on third place when they were beaten at home by Coombs Wood 1st XI whom after an indifferent start to the season finished safe in ninth place after some creditable second half performances. Bewdley 1st XI finished in mid division despite losing to Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 1st XI who finished just two points behind in seventh

Elsewhere, Archie Greaves-Hall (4-5) helped Barnt Green 2nd XI beat Halesowen 2nd XI by a comfortable margin at Seth Somers Park, a result that gives them hope of survival finishing in tenth after Bromsgrove 2nd XI beat Colwall 1st XI by four wickets at Stowe Lane, a result that ultimately meat that both clubs would be relegated as Colwall 1st XI need a win to survive and Bromsgrove 2nd XI needed Barnt Green 2nd XI to lose to have any chance of survival.

Champions; Lye CC 1st XI

Runners Up; Pedmore CC 1st XI

Relegated; Bromsgrove CC 2nd XI (11th) & Colwall CC 1st XI (12th)

In Danger; Worcester Nomads CC 1st XI (10th)

Himley 2nd XI emerged as Division Two Champions on Saturday as Chad Brandrick (6-17) returned excellent first innings figures to help restrict Enville 1st XI (who finish in danger of relegation in tenth) to a meagre total that proved no trouble in chasing down to seal a win which ultimately earned them the title as leaders Bartestree & Lugwardine 1st XI were bowled out cheaply in the second innings of their encounter with third placed Alvechurch & Hopwood 1st XI, who will feel unlucky to miss out on promotion finishing just five points off the promotion places in their first season back in Division Two for a while.

In other matches, Netherton 1st XI finished strongly and guaranteed fifth position with a win against fourth placed Bredon 1st XI at Highgate Road. Astwood Bank 2nd XI finished the season in mid-division following a three wicket win against Kidderminster 2nd XI who finished safely in ninth. Jamie Brighton (101*) finished the season with an unbeaten century for Cookley 1st XI in a thumping win against Redditch 2nd XI who finished bottom and will be relegated alongside Harborne 3rd XI for whom Captain Lewis Baines (121) scored a first innings century to set up the win against Oldswinford 1st XI (for whom Matt Watts - 118) responded with a second innings century which proved in vain. 

Champions; Himley CC 2nd XI

Runners Up; Bartestree & Lugwardine CC 1st XI

Relegated; Harborne CC 3rd XI (11th) & Redditch CC 2nd XI (12th)

In Danger; Enville CC 1st XI (10th)

Division Three Champions Barnards Green 2nd XI finished the season in style with a nine wicket win against Avoncroft 1st XI who finish seventh.

The race for the second promotion place was where the story of the day lay as Belbroughton 1st XI in third place nine points behind second placed Lye 2nd XI at the start of proceedings managed to overturn the deficit by taking full advantage of Lye 2nd XIs defeat at the hands of Old Elizabethans 2nd XI by beating relegated Old Vigornians 1st XI by a comfortable margin at Hackmans Gate Lane after Rick Wrigley (119) led the way in the first innings to help post over four hundred which secured the win against relegated Old Vigornians 1st XI, for whom Chris Drew (104) fired a second innings century in a losing cause.

Old Elizabethans 2nd XI, who did what they needed to do in the race for promotion by beating Lye 2nd XI finished third just two points behind Belbroughton 1st XI who made sure they were the principal benefactors of the day.

Elsewhere, fifth placed Netherton 2nd XI were beaten by relegated Stourbridge 2nd XI who were indebted to Ben Brigdale (110) in the first innings as his century helped post just too many for Netherton to chase who eventually fell just fourteen runs short. Himbleton 1st XI finished in mid division after sealing a six wicket win against Martley 1st XI who finished just above Brockhampton 2nd XI who finished in danger of the drop in tenth after suffering a defeat against Feckenham 1st XI who finished in eighth place.

Champions; Barnards Green CC 2nd XI

Runners Up; Belbroughton CC 1st XI I

Relegated; Stourbridge CC 2nd XI (11th) & Old Vigornians 1st XI (12th)

In Danger; Brockhampton CC 2nd XI (10th)

In Division Four Stourport-on-Severn 2nd XI gathered the points they need to become Champions when they bowled out Rushwick 1st XI in the first innings for 258, Chris Mobley – 115). Rushwick’ s task then was to dismiss Stourport and gain the win that would clinch promotion for them in second place. After as solid start by the Champions the dismissal of Mark Bagley proved crucial s only Ryan Delo (75) offered any real resistance against an attack that bowled to order, eventually dismissing the Champions to seal a thirty two point win and promotion.

Elsewhere, Old Hill 2nd XI beat Romsley & Hunnington 1st XI to finish third just five points shy of the promotion places. Worcester Nomads 2nd XI finished fourth after securing a four wicket win against Five Ways Old Edwardians 2nd X at Whitegates Farm. Claverley 1st XI finished fifth, five points ahead of West Malvern 1st XI after beating them by five wickets at Mahon Court. Harborne 4th XI beat relegated Coombs Wood 2nd XI by eight wickets and finish in the danger zone in tenth and finally relegated Chaddesley Corbett 2nd XI finished with a win against eighth placed Bromsgrove 3rd XI.

Champions; Stourport-on-Severn CC 2nd XI

Runners Up; Rushwick CC 1st XI

Relegated; Chaddesley Corbett CC 2nd XI (11th) & Coombs Wood 2nd XI (12th)

In Danger; Harborne CC 4th XI

In Division Five Worcester CC 2nd XI became Champions after hanging on to their slender lead with an away victory against Pedmore 2nd XI in which Joshua Jones (83) proved the backbone of an impressive second innings chase that resulted in a four wicket win. Third placed Hagley 2nd XI, led by Joe Lennon (101) posted a strong first innings total that second placed Droitwich Spa 2nd XI passed for the loss of seven wickets to finish one point behind then leaders in second place. 

Elsewhere in the division Muhammad Zubair (7-13) returned excellent second innings figures for fourth placed Pershore 2nd XI against relegated Colwall 2nd XI. Malvern 1st XI finished fifth despite being on the end of an excellent all round performance from Eastnor 1st XI all-rounder Josh Emery (4-37 & 62). Trent Turner (97) fell just three runs short of a second innings century in Astwood Bank 3rd XIs seven wicket win against sixth placed Bewdley 2nd XI and finally Barnt Green 3rd XI beat Stourbridge 3rd XI to finish in the dreaded tenth place, still unsure of their position in 2024.

Champions; Worcester CC 2nd XI

Runners Up; Droitwich Spa CC 2nd XI

Relegated; Stourbridge CC 3rd XI (11th) & Colwall CC 2nd XI (12th)

In Danger; Barnt Green CC 3rd XI (10th)

With both teams guaranteed promotion before the start Todd Mathews (59 & 4-20) helped Hanley Castle & Upton 1st XI become Division Six Champions after his excellent all round performance helped beat Tenbury Wells 1st XI by sixty eight runs at the Glebe.

In other matches in the division, Bromyard 2nd XI finished in third place with victory against Alveley 1st XI who finished just clear of the relegation zone in ninth. Muhammad Rizwan (154*) helped fourth placed Claverley 2nd XI post a first innings total that proved out of reach for visiting Kidderminster 3rd XI who finish eighth. Fifth placed Halesowen 3rd XI beat sixth Belbroughton 2nd XI by four wickets at Earls High School. Whilst at the bottom end of the table Old Vigornians 2nd XI registered what could be a massive when they beat Cutnall Green 1st XI by two wickets which helped them move out of the relegation places into the dangerous 10th place at the expense of both Enville 2nd XI who are relegated despite beating eleventh placed Kempsey 1st XI at Plovers Rise. 

Champions; Hanley Castle & Upton CC 1st XI

Runners Up; Tenbury Wells CC 1st XI

Relegated; Kempsey CC 1st XI (11TH) & Enville CC 2nd XI (12th)  

In Danger; Old Vigornians CC 2nd XI

In Division Seven (North) Champions Himley 3rd XI celebrated their title win with a comfortable win against Halesowen 4th XI who finished fifth. Pete Alexander (153) struck a first innings century to enable Cookhill 1st XI to beat Oldswinford 2nd XI comfortably and finish second. Harborne 5th XI beat Romsley & Hunnington 2nd XI to finish in third place just two points ahead of Stone 1st XI who beat Five Ways Old Edwardians CC 2nd XI who will be relegated.

Elsewhere in the division, Alvechurch & Hopwood 2nd XI beat Feckenham 2nd XI by six wickets which means they finished on level points but gain the higher finishing position on the fourth decider Net Run Rate and finally Ian Ingram (88) helped Bromsgrove 4th XI beat relegated Kidderminster 4th XI to finish in tenth place.  

Champions; Himley CC 3rd XI

Relegated; Five Ways Old Edwardians CC 2nd XI (11th) & Kidderminster CC 4th XI (12th)  

In Danger; Bromsgrove CC 4th XI (10th)

In Division Seven South, Champions Harvington 1st XI and second placed finishers Burghill, Tillington & Weobley 2nd XI suffered final day defeats at the hands of third placed finishers Ombersley 3rd XI and Barnards Green 3rd XI who finished in fourth place after Birlingham 1st XI (who finished fifth) were beaten by Bartestree & Lugwardine 2nd XI for who Chris Tulacz (113*) compiled an undefeated first innings century.

In other matches in the division, Jack Delo (108) scored a first innings century and Richard Foley (5-24) followed up with excellent second innings bowling figures for Stourport-on-Severn 3rd XI to help record a victory against Worcester 3rd IX however the result could not prevent them from being relegated as tenth placed Martley 2nd XI beat Old Elizabethans 3rd XI by three wickets at the Jewry Field.

Champions; Harvington CC 1st XI

Relegated; Stourport-on-Severn CC 3rd XI (11th)   

In Danger; Martley CC (10th) 

In the Regional Division Eight, Play Off Semi-Finals there were wins for Pershore 3rd XI who beat Worcester Amigos 1st XI by just one wicket at Spetchley Park and Himley 4th XI who made the long trip to Herefordshire and beat Canon Frome 1st XI on their home soil by eight wickets.

Division Eight Play Off Final;

Himley CC 4th XI v Pershore CC 3rd XI - to be played on Saturday 16th September – 12:30 pm Start at The Cinderella Ground

In the Regional Division Nine Play Off Final Coombs Wood 3rd XI made the long trip to play Harvington 2nd XI in the Final and were crowned Division Nine Champions after defeating the South Worcestershire outfit by a wide 96 run margin.

Report submitted by Worcestershire county League