HIMBLETON suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2016 as they lost by 81 runs to fellow promoted side Kempsey in Worcestershire Cricket League Division Two.

Having asked the visitors to bat, the Meadow Boys carved through the batting order.

At 171-7 off 40 overs the game looked to be Himbleton’s for the taking but they did not account for Sam O’Neill.

As O’Neill seemed to play his way into form, he found allies down the order and produced a one-man assault in the final 10 overs, scoring 70 out of 90 runs.

He finished on 118 not out as no one else topped 20 with 48 extras the main other contributor.

Mike Rogers (3-73) was the pick of the bowlers.

Himbleton’s reply never got out of second gear as wickets fell with alarming regularity.

Despite always been up with the run-rate, no two batsman could form a noteworthy partnership.

Jamie Alford (26) and Sean Jenkins (25) top scored but the Kempsey bowlers stuck to their task as they dismissed their hosts for 182.

Steve Winstanley took 5-38, Adam Baker 3-65 and Rhys Goode 2-54 for the mid-table visitors.

But Himbleton skipper Stuart Dickenson said: “I’m not worried at this stage.  We’ve had four good, competitive games of cricket and we’re stronger for that.

“Our batting is on the verge of clicking into gear and when it does we’ll start putting together the types of scores that won us the league last year.

“We welcome back Rob Perrins and Rich Pretty this week so we’ll pretty much be at full-strength for the trip to Old Vigornians (on Saturday).”