WORCESTERSHIRE Women’s Rapids guaranteed ECB County Championship Division Two status for a second successive season.

Rapids overhauled Somerset to move out of the two relegation places despite losing by 55 runs to Essex in a rain-affected match on the hybrid wicket at Blackfinch New Road.

The six bonus points secured by Rapids were sufficient to take them above Somerset whose match with Devon at Taunton was washed out.

Bottom-placed Durham could have overtaken the County but went down to Cricket Wales to seal their fate.

Staying up capped a turnaround in fortunes for Rapids under head coach Gareth Davies and assistant coach-pathway manager Steve Magoffin.

They lost their first four games but got a lifeline by defeating Wales and Somerset last month.

Without skipper Georgie Adcock for the finale due to work commitments, Rapids vice-captain Chloe Hill top-scored with 48 not out off 75 balls to help secure three batting bonus points.

The bowlers also collected three with Flora Bertwhistle taking 4-28 from nine overs.

The County put Essex into bat and rain meant only 11.4 overs were possible before a lengthy break.

Essex were on 60-3 with Emily Arlott (1-44), Clare Boycott (1-28) and Sarah Glenn (2-34) each claiming a wicket.

The match was reduced to 43 overs per side and Catherine Dalton (70) and Grace Poole (33 not out) guided Essex to 197-8.

Chasing a revised Duckworth-Lewis total of 194, the County slumped to 50-5 but Hill steadied the ship and hit eight boundaries.

She figured in partnerships with Ellie Anderson, Arlott and Bertwhistle to steer Rapids to 138-7.