MILFORD Hall firsts gave their hopes of avoiding relegation a major boost with two wins from their two matches over the Bank Holiday weekend.
They recorded their first victory in eight matches by defeating bottom of the table Evesham by nine wickets on Saturday then followed this up with a 112 run trouncing of Bridgnorth on Monday.
In Saturday’s game, Evesham batted first and were dismissed for 191 with Milford skipper Guy Bulpitt picking up 5-26 and Brendon Buchanan 4-36.
Yasser Bashir (51) and Mushtaq Ahmed (43) had seen the Evesham score recover from 42-3 with an 87 run partnership but Milford quickly regained the upper hand and only a late flurry from Saqib Ali (24) gave Evesham a reasonable score.
In a show of batting strength that has been all too rare this season, Milford eased past their target finishing on 193-1 with Paul Hollinshead leading the way on 78 not out.
Matt Cottrell made an unbeaten 54 with Christian Smith the man out for 36.
Monday saw Milford firsts hit 173 against Bridgnorth with Cottrell again in the runs, making 61, while Luke Ponder hit a valuable 35.
Bridgnorth were shot out for just 61 in their reply with Buchanan taking 3-17 while Bulpitt and Todd Henderson took two each.
The result leaves Milford 11 points behind Aston Manor with the two teams due to face each other on the final day of the season.
The seconds also won both their games in convincing manner in the Birmingham and District seconds Division Two.
On Saturday, they eased to a 196 run victory against Whitchurch after Milford rattled up 270-8 with the trio of Mark Shrehorn (60), Luke Ponder (59) and Pat Turner (52) all contributing well.
Chris Rogers picked up five wickets for the visitors but at a cost of 52 runs from his nine overs.
Whitchurch slumped to 49-5 in their reply then proceeded to lose their last five wickets for just four runs as they were dismissed for just 74.
Sam Jeavons took 5-15 while Chris Dean also bowled well to return figures of 2-13.
Monday afternoon saw Brewood suffer as they were bowled out for just 71 thanks to Jordan Bulpitt who was the chief destroyer, snapping up 5-19 while Jeavons picked up 2-13.
In reply Shrehorn (30) and Kevin Royce (32 not out) saw Milford finish on 75-3 to record a seven wicket success.
There was a thrilling finish to the thirds visit to West Bromwich Dartmouth in the Staffordshire Club Cricket Division One.
WBD struck 220-8 from their 50 overs with useful contributions from Amandeep Randhawa (48), Dilesh Patel (41) and Najuf Ikhlaq (37).
Thirds bowlers Ras Gamage, Ruan Markram and Nik Patel picked up a couple of wickets each.
Markram then produced another dominating performance with the bat by smashing 120 in just 79 balls.
Markram’s innings included nine sixes but WBD will rue dropping him a couple of times early on in his innings.
When Markram finally fell to a good caught and bowled, Milford were still 37 runs short of WBD’s total.
But Thusitha Dissanayaka and captain Matt Turnock stuck together and with some nervy running and positive hitting they gradually edged closer to their target.
A boundary from Dissanayaka from the second ball of the final over eventually gave Milford an unlikely one wicket victory.
The girls stole the show in the fourths victory over Himley with ladies team members Hannah Smith and Tash Firth in the wickets as the visitors failed to chase down Milford’s 162.
Firth was appearing alongside father Dave and brother Robert, a first for Milford in the Staffs Clubs Championship although Smith played alongside her father Dave last season.
Ryan Nokes top scored for Milford with 67 with John Nunan leading the support on 28 as Milford posted a defendable score.
Chris Copp (2-15 from nine overs) then produced a tidy spell to restrict Himley’s reply but it was the combination of Smith (3-16) and Firth (2-18) that brought about a rapid end to their innings, Himley dismissed for 103.
Milford top the table, 12 points ahead of Hammerwich. Both sides have two games to play while Armitage are 35 points behind but have a game in hand.