ASTWOOD BANK head to Pershore on Saturday knowing only victory will do as they bid to maintain their faint Birmingham League Division Three promotion chances.
The third placed Sambourne Lane side enjoyed a profitable Saturday as their seven-wicket DLS victory over visitors Whitchurch, coupled with the abandonment of Pershore’s match at promoted Fordhouses, saw them move within 30 points of the second placed Plums with four matches still to play.
However, two days later Steve Adshead’s side suffered an agonising three-wicket defeat at Lichfield on a day when Pershore won at lowly Eastnor, leaving Pershore with a 44-point cushion over Bank with just three rounds of fixtures remaining.
Bank were put into bat at Lichfield but and were restricted to 206-7 off their 50 overs as Adshead (47) and Sam Thomas (41no) led the way before some late impetus from Mike Desmond (26no).
A crucial victory looked a real possibility for the visitors as their renowned bowling attack reduced the hosts to 72-4 in reply.
However, a superb 92 from Stuart Fielding, aided by 40 from Joe Seager, steadied Lichfield and, despite wobbling from 179-4 to 192-7, they got over the line on 209-7 with two balls to spare. Desmond took 2-26 and Andrzej Jagielski 2-44 for Bank.
On Saturday Bank reached a DLS target of 150 off 40 overs to see off Whitchurch at the Bank Bowl.
The visitors were dismissed for 158 as spinner Dan Taylor starred with 4-26, with only skipper Ijaz Yousaf (62) offering any resistance.
Aided by a staggering 42 extras, Bank then made 104 for the first wicket chiefly due to Tom Pedley (53) before Underhill (29no) eased them over the line in just the 19th over.