BARNARDS Green thirds head Worcestershire League Division Five after a five-wicket victory over rivals West Malvern at Newland.

After rain throughout the week, the ground staff ensured the pitch was in good condition.

Green captain Jez Clarke won the toss and asked Peter O’Connell’s men to bat first in high winds.

Clarke turned to his experienced opening attack of Tim Williams and Matt Brookes and wickets fell quickly.

Williams (4-23), bowling a good line and length, was at his most dangerous during a second spell when West were seven wickets down.

At the other end, Brookes (2-31) finally found his rhythm, taking the wicket of Will Lloyd (19) and trapping Steve Wright lbw for 13.

With the score on 51-5, Green were in control and turned to all-rounder Chris Smedley, who looked rusty but finished with 2-21.

Overseas player Stewart Hepburn (1-19) was the pick of the bowlers and had Robin Lloyd (4) caught behind during a tidy display of wicketkeeping from Jack Dickenson.

Green finished off the tail to bowl West out for 98.

Clarke and Chris Hill took to the crease with real intent to get the job done.

The skipper was bowled by Matt Gammon (1-17) for 15 but Tim Clarke soon found the boundary.

Green lost Hill (17) after a glance to square leg was caught well by Phil Chaundy off Rowan Dakin (2-32).

The hosts lost momentum as Hepburn (13) and Dan Metcalfe (5) departed cheaply.

But Tim Clarke (27 not out) finished the job and earned Green 20 points.

The fourths' visit to West was abandoned due to rain.