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Double promotion hope
1:26pm Friday 13th September 2013 in Sport
TWO cricket clubs hope to be enjoying a double celebration in the Malvern Hills this weekend by gaining Worcestershire League promotions.
Colwall plan to return to Division One swiftly after one season away, while Malvern bid to break into the Division Three promotion zone on the final Saturday.
Third-placed Malvern visit Harborne thirds, who are second, tomorrow (12.30pm) and need to make up a fivepoint gap against their rivals.
Colwall, who host mid-table Netherton (12.30pm), already sit second with a small eightpoint cushion over Enville who must visit champions Harvington.
Malvern maintained their promotion charge with a comprehensive 172-run victory against Avoncroft at home last weekend with their fellow high-fliers skittled for just 82.
Batting first, the Regency Road outfit totalled 254 all out with another sparkling innings from captain Anthony Arnold (91) who played every shot in the book before falling just nine short of his third league century of the campaign.
Arnold was well supported by Max White’s classy 47, Ashley Jones’s typical quickfire 32 and Jeremy Lee (23).
Stephen Lake (2-20) quickly made inroads into the Avoncroft batting and from then on the afternoon belonged to Rob Francis. Only opener Matt Hare (47) showed any resistance as the other visiting batsmen had no answer to Francis’ bowling.
He finished with 6-37 from 14 overs to give Malvern a superb victory and 24 points ahead of their crunch promotion-decider.
Colwall had to be content with a 13-point winning draw at mid-table Feckenham in Division Two despite amassing 303-6 from 50 overs.
An opening stand of 187 between Tom Coleman, who smashed 23 fours and two sixes in his 133 from 109 balls, and wicketkeeper Dan Head (53) underpinned their big total in a rain-affected encounter. Max Backhouse added 36 not out and Jacob Rodgers 20no.
In reply, Coleman (2-23) and Backhouse (2-46) also picked up a couple of wickets each. But Colwall’s chances of forcing a win were reduced by the loss of 10 overs to the weather, allowing the hosts to reach 205-4 from 40 thanks to Jamie Reddish (78no) and Jamie Griffiths (53).
Colwall were relegated from Division One last season but have shown determination to put themselves on the verge of an immediate return with 11 wins from 21 games and only two defeats.
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