CHEDWORTH stay clear at the top of the SweetFuels CDCA Division One after an emphatic win at home to Barnsley Beeches. The visitors batted first but could only post a modest 127-9 due to some tight home bowling. Andrew Walker (26) top-scored with Oliver Lockey (4-25) the main wicket-taker.
In reply Chedworth had no real trouble in knocking off the runs for the loss of only three wickwts.
After the loss of a couple of early wickets evergreen opener Darryl Drinkwater (53no) played the anchor role and, helped by a rapid 30 from Dan Heaps, guided his side to victory.
At Cricklade, second-placed Stow-on-the-Wold demonstrated their hunger to take the title as they demolished the hosts in ruthless fashion. After being inserted hosts Cricklade were blown away by some excellent bowling.
Jimmy Larner (3-15) started the rot by removing both openers for ducks. Dan Smith (5-10) then decimated the middle order and Ash Andrews (2-7) cleaned up the tail to leave the hosts embarrassed on 56 all out.
Stow then knocked off the required runs in little more than 10 overs through Chris Heaps (33no) and skipper Ash Andrews (21no) to stay hard on the heels of leaders Chedworth.
Sherston Magna lost further ground on the front runners after losing their second match in a row, this time at Notgrove.
Hosts NATS chose to bowl on a decent batting track and were soon questioning this decision as Sherston opener Andy Jarvis hit a 97-ball century and was replaced by Richard Cartwright who scored 45 off only 19 balls. Meanwhile, Ian Gould (51no) played the anchor role and helped his side to a competitive 215-3.
In reply the hosts were undaunted by the target which was always going to be within reach while the Phillips family were at the crease. Right on cue Andrew Phillips (112) and Stuart Phillips (78) set up the win finished off by father Bob Phillips (19no) with eight balls to spare.
Current champions Adlestrop stayed in the hunt with a comprehensive win at Oakridge. Batting first the visitors posted 201-4 thanks to Adrian Vale (77) and Sam Keen (62no). In reply the hosts got off to a solid start against excellent bowling from Sam Keen (1-13 off eight overs). Once the openers had been removed the hosts appeared to settle for batting points rather than chase an unlikely victory and closed on 105-5. For the visitors Sam Rawlings (3-21) was the main wicket-taker.
The battle of the bottom two ended in a rare win for Poulton's second XI at Williamstrip.
The hosts posted an excellent 195-6 after good knocks from Steve Reeves (87) and Kevin Sandhu (30). However, this proved to be an inadequate target due to a magnificent innings from young Callum Higginson (133no) which helped the visitors leapfrog their hosts and off the bottom of the table.