HATHERLEY & Reddings surged 65 points clear of their nearest rivals and a significant step closer towards the title and promotion with a comfortable 63-run victory at Gloucester in the Gloucestershire division of the Courage West of England Premier League.
Half centuries from Nipuna Gamage and Tom Wilson helped their side reach 265-7 at Gloucester who then came up well short against Max Kelly (4-37), Andre Soma (3-29) and Gamage (3-41).
The result stretched Hatherley’s unbeaten run and also ensured maximum advantage was taken of rain preventing a result in the clash between second-placed Bourton Vale and Corse & Staunton, who are third.
Bourton Vale were 64-1 off 18 when play had to be abandoned, hindering hopes of making up ground on Hatherley with just five more rounds of games to be played.
At the other end of the table, Cheltenham Civil Service are out of the bottom two following a 58-run triumph away to Cirencester where Richard Robinson shone with fabulous figures of 7-29.
Bottom side Tewkesbury recorded only their third victory of a testing summer, edging Painswick by three wickets, and Frocester 2nds slipped back into the bottom two following a seven-wicket reverse at Rockhampton.
In Premier One, Bristol swapped places with bottom side Taunton St Andrews following a seven-wicket home success over their rivals, Gloucestershire’s Will Tavare unbeaten on 71.
Newcomers Cheltenham made it three in a row with a dramatic last-over one-run victory against champions Clevedon, skipper Nick Evan contributing a crucial 52. And Downend were 96-run home winners over Bedminster, Dan Semple top scoring on 59.
New Zealander Jacob Duffy came back into the attack to claim five wickets without conceding a run as Bishopston powered their way to victory over Weston-super-Mare in Premier Two Bristol/Somerset.
The 24-year-old Otago all-rounder started the day in fine style by dismissing both openers in a lively opening spell.
And Duffy was even more devastating when he was called back for a second spell, reducing Weston from 63-5 to 67 all out to finish with figures of 7-11 from 8.5 overs.
Bish went on to complete an eight-wicket win while high-flying Winterbourne trumped Taunton by 119 runs, skipper George Ford compiling the first century of his career.
Captain Luke Davis, meanwhile, was in inspired form as Thornbury completed a 19-run victory at Stroud to move back into pole position for promotion from Premier Two Glos/Wilts.
The all-rounder dug in to top score on 62 off 90 balls for the visitors who reached 245-7 after losing the toss, younger brother Dan hitting 60 off 90.
And Luke followed up by dismissing both home openers en route to figures of 3-38 from ten as Thornbury made it three in a row.
Thornbury took advantage of a 70-run slip up by previous pacesetters Chippenham, at home to Biddestone, to move two points clear while Frocester overcame Trowbridge by 118 runs and Dumbleton’s home date with Burbage & Easton Royal was abandoned because of rain.
Knowle made it five in a row at the top of Bristol & North Somerset with a six-wicket home success over Congresbury who started the day third.
The visitors were rattled out for 106 by Oli Haynes (3-12), Habib Naqvi (2-18 from ten), Sam Britton (2-23) and Jack Weston (2-24 from ten). South African Darryl Losper (32) and Weston (29 not) then ensured Knowle eased to the points.
Bath 2nds clinched a 72-run triumph away to Brislington for whom Tabish Khan top scored on 53.
Twyford House edged up a couple of places to third following a four-wicket home success over Frenchay and Stapleton dispatched Bristol 2nds by nine wickets, Ash Birkinshaw (4-38) and Bilal Hussain (3-5 from four) starring before skipper Olly Sharp smashed an unbeaten 49 off just 21 balls (seven fours, three sixes) to wrap up the points.