MONMOUTH overcame a major batting collapse to record a crucial three-wicket home win over Lye in a low-scoring Crusader Worcestershire County League Division 2 clash.

The Welshmen have moved up to ninth following their win over Lye, who struggled to score quickly against some accurate bowling on a drying pitch. Mark Temple (3-33), Ian Mackinlay (3-37) and Jonathan Roberts (2-24) pegged back the visitors to a final score of 131 all out, while skipper Dan Head made three stumpings to take his season's tally to 18.

In reply, Monmouth appeared to be cruising after reaching 90-2 from 24 overs in a match reduced to 41 overs a side because of rain. Despite losing Wayne Etheridge on 18, David Teague (31) and Ian Morgan (28) combined for a sizeable third-wicket partnership against some lack-lustre bowling.

But Mazhar Hussain then ripped through the heart of the Monmouth innings with figures of 4-24 to leave the hosts in trouble on 99-6 after 29 overs. A further wicket fell before Charlie Bye hammered four boundaries in a quickfire unbeaten 24 to seal Monmouth's first home win of the campaign.

Monmouth now leap-frog Luctonians who slumped to a 51-run defeat at second-placed Netherton, despite some outstanding bowling from Ed Rollings and David Bottoms.

The pair claimed all 10 of Netherton's wickets between them and recorded figures of 6-83 and 4-38 respectively to restrict the hosts to 154.

However, the visitors found the Netherton attack equally stubborn and could only manage 103 in reply.

Duncan Platford offered the most resistance, top- scoring with 27 while Rollings also weighed in with a useful 15 but the visitors finished 52 runs short of their target.

The game between Wormelow and Malvern was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to the heavy rain.