MALVERN Cricket Club 2XI inflicted a first defeat of the season on league leaders Ledbury after a narrow two-wicket victory. 

Ledbury went into the clash having gone through the entire 2023 season unbeaten and seemingly racing to winning the title and promotion into Division Seven. 

They remain top and still have a 24-point lead over second-placed over Brockhampton 3XI but another defeat for Ledbury and they would be in a spot of bother.

There are four games remaining in the current campaign with games to come against Bredon, Eastnor, Brockhampton and West Malvern. 

That clash with Brockhampton could prove the pivotal one as a win or defeat will most likely go a long way to deciding who takes the title. 

Ss for the 2XI, they were also on the other end of defeat last weekend as they went down by eight wickets at home to Pershore 4XI. 

Ledbury were put into bat after losing the toss and at 74/3, they were in a decent position but wickets fell at regular intervals as they were eventually skittled for 158.

Opener Steve Burgess (25), number four Chris Ritchie (28) and all-rounder Edward Nolan (38 not-out) were the only batters to register any sort of score.

Pershore then came into bat and lost only two wickets in their chase of the total. Harry Chivers (74) provided the majority of the runs required, before James Thomas' 49 not-out saw them over the line in comfortable fashion. 

This weekend, both first and second teams are in league action as the season edges towards its conclusion. The first team host Bredon on Saturday afternoon, whilst the second team make the trip to Brockhampton.