Three-way fight for Premier title

THE Cotswold Hills Cricket League Premier Division title race is heading for a thrilling climax on Saturday.

Any one of three clubs can get over the line first following a rain-hit penultimate weekend of the season.

Earlswood hold a slim onepoint advantage over Bretforton but any slip-up by the pair could see Wellesbourne defend their crown.

Bretforton host fourth-placed Exhall and Wixford on Saturday, while Earlswood entertain basement boys Henley-in-Arden and Wellesbourne welcome midtable Shipston-on-Stour.

Division Six is over with new boys Inkberrow narrowly pipping Winchcombe seconds to the championship.

Badsey have won the Division Four title with one match left after an abandoned game with Catherine de Barnes earned 12 points.

  • Shipston-on-Stour seconds’ battle to stay in Cotswold Hills League Division Two will go down to the final Saturday.

They aim to beat The Lenches at home this weekend while hoping Exhall and Wixford seconds, who are four points ahead, lose to champions-elect Catherine de Barnes Second-from-bottom Shipston earned 10 points against Rowington after scoring 216-7 with the hosts making 2-0 before the match was abandoned due to rain. Shipston were asked to bat and lost two wickets before the in-form Sam Hince came to join opener Neil Harper at the crease. Hince was first to his half-century in the 28th over followed by Harper in the 33rd.

Rowington rotated their attack in an effort to break the partnership which bore fruit when Harper, who scored 52 with only three boundaries, was tempted into a top-edged pull shot which was neatly pouched at deep midwicket.

Hince reached a fine 102 not out with seven fours and two sixes but wickets tumbled as Shipston’s middle order searched for quick runs.

With two rain interruptions in the first innings shaving nine overs off their reply, Rowington needed 173 runs in 36 but a huge thunderstorm ended the game after just eight balls.

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