THE race for the Sweetfuels CDCA Div One title is going to the final matches this weekend after the top three sides all won on Saturday.
In pole position are Chedworth, who thrashed fourth-placed Cricklade by 10 wickets.
Hosts Cricklade were invited to bat but never came to terms with the accurate Chedworth attack, lost wickets at regular intervals, and could post only an inadequate 74 all out. Skipper Paul Dewsbury top-scored with 23 but only one other Cricklade batsman made double figures as Dan Heaps (3-9) and Oliver Lockey (3-19) cleaned up.
In reply Chedworth, conscious of the need to take maximum points, batted solidly but still took only 18.2 overs to reach the target without losing a wicket.
This was the second successive Drinkwater-Lait unbeaten opening partnership but this time it was Jamie Lait (49no), brother of last week’s centurian Henry, who did the damage. Chedworth now need 14 points from their final game at home to Williamstrip to be sure of their first title since 2003.
Stow-on-the-Wold kept up the pressure in second place with an easy win at Poulton II.
After being inserted the visitors posted 171-8 off their allotted overs and will have been disappointed not to reach maximum batting points. In reply hosts Poulton were bowled out for just 60 to leave themselves favourites to return to division two.
Adlestrop remain hard on the heels of the other two with a good win at home to Williamstrip. After being inserted on a soft pitch the hosts posted a competitive 161-8 off their 40 overs with Sam Keen (44) and Matt Barnes (33) the main contributors. M Berry (4-40) was the pick of the visiting bowlers.
After tea a flurry of wickets left the visitors reeling at 49-5 but a good knock by Mark Godwin (49) with support from Steve Reeves (24) kept them in the hunt. However, once Godwin was bowled by Dan Parker (3-26) the innings petered out 23 runs short on 139 all out. The other successful bowler was Nick Keen (3-31).
At the other end of the table Oakridge gave themselves some breathing space with a good win over previously high-flying Sherston Magna who suffered their fourth defeat on the trot. Batting first the visitors posted a competitive 180-8 thanks to a captain’s knock from James Harmer (76) with good support from James Kutchera (38). For the hosts C McWhannell (4-44) bowled well.
After the break an excellent unbeaten century from Martin Smith (102no) guided the hosts to an impressive victory and boost their chances of division one cricket next season.