Fairford first XI closed the gap on second in the league Newent at home to 15 points with a 34-run win at home, a huge turnaround given the 178-run loss Fairford suffered to Newent earlier in the season.

Fairford opted to bat first on what looked like a good batting deck.

Chris Clayton back opening the batting after regular opener Tom Dutton was left out due to a finger injury.

He and Colin Bullock started off the innings warily, seeing off the new ball and the pace the Newent bowlers.

Clayton took the lead hitting some lofty blows over cover to take Fairford to 84 before the first wicket fell with Clayton hitting a full toss from McNab to cover to end on 56.

Clarke followed quickly for five, bringing Hart to join Bullock at the crease.

Bullock looking to build on the foundation he set missed a straight one from McNab (3-38) to be bowled for 25.

Chris Hart and Derek Townsend proceeded to continue building on the work done upfront with Townsend hitting a quickfire 27 before being bowled out with Hart soon following being caught on the boundary for 52.

Fairford’s lower order saw the innings through to finish on 225-7 off the 45 overs.

Newent’s Thomas Morley opened the batting with Jack Welch but Morley fell early, missing a straight one from Welch for 0, Jack Cowles ignored this set back and hit a quickfire 40 off 29 balls before smashing the ball back to Welch (2-32 off 8 overs) who bowled to remove the dangerman.

Matthew Conolly batted smartly for Newent and he and Morgan Evans (23) took the innings deep before Evans was caught and by Kev Smart, before then Conolly (75) hit a full toss from bowler Harvey New straight back to him.

After these two wickets the Newent’s innings ground to a sliding halt with the spinning combination of New and Smart (2-32 off 9 overs) being too good and wickets flowed with New finishing with 4-29 off 9 overs and Fairford bowling Newent all out for 190 off 40.3 overs.

Fairford remain 3rd in the league and travel to Dymock this weekend.