TENBURY Wells CC are hoping the weather gods remain on their side after two bowling points saw them creep into the Division Nine promotion places on a rain-hit Worcestershire League weekend.

Wells began the day third but jumped above Worcester thirds – whose game was totally rained off – thanks to the three wickets they took in their abandoned game against Himbleton.

Now, Tenbury are hoping the rain holds off this weekend for a trip to second-bottom Stourbridge fourths before a potentially crucial clash with promotion rivals Worcester at Penlu a week later.

Batsman Tom Pugh said: “[Leaders] Old Elizabethans bowled Stourbridge out for 90-odd last weekend so it is definitely a game we feel we can win but, again, a lot of it is down to the weather.

“Then we have Worcester after that and any head-to-head between sides at the top of the table are big deals now at this stage of the season.

“But it’s nice to be in this situation, where we have something to play for. At times this season, we have only had ten players but we’ve managed to keep ourselves in the mix.

“If we can get 11 players out for both the first and second team between now and the end of the season, we will have a chance.

“But it’s too tight to call at the moment – whatever happens, we have done ourselves proud this season, especially the younger players like Jay Griffiths and Jonny Duce.”

With Saturday’s game reduced to 30 overs, Tenbury began well with the ball as Ian Bowkett (2-8) struck twice early on to remove both Himbleton openers.

However, the visitors regrouped with Andrew Street (49no) and Martyn Preece (44no) leading them to a very creditable 143-3 before downpours prevented Tenbury’s reply from ever getting underway.

“It was a shame because it was turning into a good game,” added Pugh. “They did really well to score over 140.

“It would have been a difficult score for us to chase down but it would have been a good challenge so it’s just a shame we didn’t get the chance to see if we could have got it.”

Conversely, Cleobury Mortimer slipped further adrift of the top two in Division Eight as they lost an important game at Burghill, Tillington and Weobley seconds.

A superb spell from Liam Williams (4-29) helped Cleobury break an ultimately match-winning opening stand between Denholm Smith (62) and Oliver Maund (53).

But some fine tail-end batting and some wayward bowling from the Mortimer attack – who conceded a whopping 47 extras – ensured the hosts were able to post a mammoth 294-9.

Ed Kemp (78) and James Manley (67) gave Cleobury a real chance of chasing down the target but their tail could not wag and the visitors were all out for 225.