LUDLOW, Cleobury Mortimer and Tenbury Wells all claimed important wins in their respective relegation and promotion battles on a key weekend.

Ludlow eased their Shropshire Premier relegation fears with a win at Sentinel, while Cleobury and Tenbury both boosted their promotion hopes with emphatic victories.

Cleobury thrashed Martley seconds by 155 runs in Worcestershire League Division Eight to move within 12 points of the top two.

Fourth-placed Cleobury now face two key trips to promotion rivals Burghill, Tillington and Weobley, in third spot, and second-placed Bredon over the next three weeks.

Mortimer have recorded four wins on the spin, including the scalp of leaders Birlingham, and skipper Sam Evans said: “We are on a really good run.

“We won a county Twenty20 cup a few weeks ago and the taste of silverware has enabled us to keep the ball rolling.

“Then the win at Birlingham was massive. It was a game-changer for us because it showed we can do it against the top sides.

“We’ve beaten Burghill too and when we lost to Bredon earlier in the season, a lot of the lads were away at a wedding so they will be shocked by the team we turn up with.

“Our overall target is promotion. We have got to play two of the top three, if we beat them and win the rest of our games, we should be there or thereabouts. I fancy ourselves to do it.”

James Manley (77), Liam Williams (56) and Michael Green (40no) helped Cleobury post 272-2 against Martley and skipper Evans’ 4-20 helped skittle the visitors for 117 in reply.

Evans added: “The top five or six batsmen have been chipping in with runs, we have a great selection of bowlers and we have taken a lot of catches in the field – everyone is playing a big part.”

Tenbury Wells, meanwhile, thrashed Alveley by eight wickets to move within a point of Worcestershire Nine’s top two.

Nigel Payne (4-31) helped restrict Alveley to 162, with Jay Griffiths, Chris Giles and Tom Pugh taking two wickets apiece.

An excellent century opening partnership between Pugh (76) and David Hunt (58) helped guide Tenbury to a routine win at 163-2.

James Kinder (100no) hit a superb unbeaten ton off 98 balls, sharing an undefeated partnership of 147 with Luke Miles (45no) as Ludlow cruised to a nine-wicket victory at 166-1 at Sentinel.

Earlier, Joe Williams (4-28), Miles (3-22) and Will Sparrow (3-54) dismissed Sentinel for 165 to help Ludlow move well clear of the bottom two.

Ludlow seconds, however, suffered an agonising five-run defeat to fellow high-fliers Oswestry in Division Three.

Having restricted Oswestry to 183-8, Ludlow were well ahead of the required rate as William Wood hit a classy 60 but they ran out of wickets as their tail folded.