CHAIRMAN Ben Griffiths believes Cleobury Mortimer Cricket Club’s comprehensive success over Netherton is testament to the villagers’ progression.

Griffiths top scored with 53 as Cleobury raced to a six-wicket victory after rushing out the visitors for just 120 in Saturday’s Worcestershire County League Division Three clash.

Griffiths said: “It was very pleasing and the most comfortable win we’ve had this season and the wicket is improving all the time.

“It was only a few years ago that we were playing against Netherton 3rd and to beat their first team is very pleasing. I think it shows that, as a club, we have made some progress.

“Netherton were second in the table at the start of the day and I think they travelled to Cleobury expecting to get more points.

“Netherton had some very good batsmen. Anyone in the 11 looked good enough to have opened the batting.”

Cleobury are now third-from-bottom in the division, 23 points above the relegation zone, and host seventh-placed Ross-on-Wye this Saturday.

The experienced Grant Carbines bagged 4-44 , while Griffiths took 2-13 and Dave Shorter, 2-29, in last weekend’s victory for Cleobury.

Griffiths said: “Grant Carbines is having an excellent season and bowled quite well and his figures from the match probably don’t do him justice.”

Griffiths and Ed Kemp (24) gave Cleobury a solid reply and then skipper Mike Green (22 not out) and Craig Shorter (11) took the hosts to the target in the 27th over.

Griffiths said: “I have batted terribly this season and I have got two golden ducks.

“Ed Kemp and I put on 80 runs for the first wicket and gave a very good platform for the chase.

“Once we got past 50 Netherton’s fielders became very quiet and expected the worst.

“It was nice to get some runs and very satisfying to get an excellent victory.”

Cleobury have been fined £50 and deducted 15 points by league officials for failing to raise a second team for a match a few weeks ago.

The villagers are expecting a stern test from Herefordshire outfit Ross-on-Wye this weekend.

“It will be a very interesting test because Ross are an excellent side,” said Griffiths.

“We have a few players away – and that has been the story of our season.

“Our aim at the start of the season was to hold our own in this league and to maintain our second team.”