STAND-IN skipper Tom Pugh hit 81 as Tenbury Wells moved into the Worcestershire League Division Nine promotion places with a tense final-over win at Five Ways Old Edwardians seconds.

With Ben Thompson stepping down as captain and replacement Rob Farrar absent, Pugh led from the front, making almost half of Tenbury’s 45-over total of 174-5 on a tough wicket.

He put on an excellent opening partnership of 124 with Chris Giles (31), who then shone with the ball in Five Ways’ reply, taking 3-19 off nine overs.

His brother Stephen returned an almost equally-economical 2-22 to give Tenbury the upper hand in the middle overs after the hosts had started well.

Jamie Farrar (2-25) took the key wicket of Samir Ahamedzah (40), superbly caught on the boundary by Jonathan Duce, to spark a Five Ways collapse from 154-5 to 167 all out.

Needing eight off the last over, Edwardians lost their two remaining wickets to Nigel Payne (3-41) in consecutive balls, Pugh taking the final catch to give Tenbury a thrilling seven-run win.

Pugh said: “It was a really good game, a thriller. It ebbed and flowed throughout.

“Jamie Farrar took a vital wicket but what swung the game in our favour were some very tight middle overs from the Giles brothers.

“As long as the more seasoned of us players continue to put in good performances with bat and ball, we will definitely be in the mix for a promotion spot.”

Tenbury seconds paid the price for losing early wickets in a five-wicket defeat at home to Barnards Green thirds.

Matty Clent (22) tried to rebuild, while Darren Thompson (23) and Ian Taylor (21) chipped in with lower-order runs but Tenbury were all out for 148.

In reply, Alfie Watts (2-17) struck twice but Barnards Green cruised home at 152-5.