MATCH of the weekend in the Sweetfuels CDCA Division One was at Notgrove where visitors Stow-on-the-Wold beat an Andrew Phillips-inspired NATS by the narrowest margin to stay top of the league.
Batting first, the visitors did not have it all their own way as several early wickets fell. Their innings was held together by Max Fisher (88no) as wickets continued to fall at the other end with Andrew Phillips (3-38) the main wicket-taker.
On a good wicket the Stow total of 194-7 was competitive but not out of reach.
After tea the hosts also lost regular wickets but opener Phillips (98) looked like taking them to victory with the help of the middle order until he fell to Jimmy Larner (4-43). With two needed for victory off the last ball Larner took his fourth wicket to keep his team at the top.
At Southam, Adlestrop reminded everyone that they will compete strongly to retain their title with a powerful victory over high-flying Cricklade.
A solid knock from opener Adrian Vale (59) provided the backbone and good support from Sam Keen (31) helped the visitors to what looked like a below-par 146-7. Angelo Rigali was the pick of the home bowlers with 4-32.
After the break tight spells by the visiting opening bowlers provided run-rate pressure then first change bowler Sam Rawlings blew away the Cricklade top and middle order with a devastating spell of 6-39. Only when he had finished did the hosts score any meaningful runs with No.10 S Dye (24) top-scoring, but by then it was too late and the innings petered out to 95 all out.
A run-feast was dished up at Oakridge where the hosts posted an impressive 239-3 after being inserted by visitors Poulton II.
The prolific Mark Robbins (107) and Martin Smith (64) put on 177 for the first wicket and provided the platform for a formidable target.
In reply bottom-of-the-table Poulton took the positive approach and went for the runs straight from the off. The loss of an early wicket did not deter them as opener Joe Gardiner smashed 13 fours and two sixes on his way to a rapid 83. The onslaught was continued by the middle order and a fine 58no from wicketkeeper Ian Musty took Poulton to an unexpected first win of the season with three overs to spare.
At Barnsley Park a fine performance from visitors Sherston Magna kept them in the hunt for the league title. After being inserted solid batting from the top order of skipper James Harmer (57), Ben Littlejohns (43) and Andy Jarvis (30) set the visitors on the way to an excellent 207-8 at tea. Andrew Coulter (3-22) was the main wicket-taker for Barnsley.
In the second innings early wickets put a brake on the hosts' ambitions with opener Andrew Walker (45) the only one of the top eight to reach double figures. A defiant knock from Vijay Sankuratri (25) helped secure a batting point but hosts Barnsley fell well short on 119-9 at the close.
All the visiting bowlers returned good figures with Ewen Kenny (3-29) the pick.