THORNBURY are preparing for their final match of the season on Saturday with the knowledge that only a win will do after being pushed off the top of WEPL Premier Two Glos/Wilts following a five-wicket setback away to Burbage & Easton Royal.
Thornbury started the day with a 16-point lead over Chippenham but ended it a point behind their rivals who they now host in a winner-takes-all for a prized place in Premier One.
Luke Davis elected to bat at Burbage but his side were quickly 4-2 and never recovered, limping to a total of 125 with Yvan Grant (35) top scoring.
Skipper David Cope finished with 3-21 for the home side and then swiftly ended any hopes of a Thornbury triumph by blasting 68 off only 35 balls (seven fours, five sixes) in an opening stand of 75.
Chippenham, meanwhile, moved into pole position courtesy of a 98-run home success over Goatacre.
Frocester were 19-run victors at Corsham, captain Uzi Qureshi hitting 111, and Stroud chased down a challenge of 197 away to Dumbleton, Harvey Jupp taking 4-61.
In Premier One, Bristol’s relegation was confirmed with a 27-run defeat at Lansdown, but newcomers Cheltenham completed a nine-wicket home win over Downend with openers Kieran Smith (119 not) and Peter Woodland (70) dominating.
Bedminster were beaten by 100 runs at Clevedon while the title was sealed by Potterne despite a five-wicket home defeat against Bath.
In Premier Two Bristol/Somerset, the relegations of Keynsham and Shapwick & Polden were confirmed as both sides suffered narrow defeats.
Keynsham went down by seven runs away to Ilminster while Shapwick succumbed by three wickets at home to Weston-super-Mare.
Winterbourne were four-wicket home victors over Bishopston, Jon Oakes crashing an unbeaten 75 off 78 balls (nine fours, three sixes). Joe Wenham (68) and Dave O’Brien (51) had earlier top scored in Bish’s challenge of 193-7, Nick Crane capturing 3-23 from ten.
Bath 2nds clinched the Bristol & North Somerset title and promotion with a seven-wicket home win over relegated Timsbury.
Orville Pennant’s unbeaten 79 saw Bristol West Indian Phoenix to a five-wicket success at Bristol 2nds, and Tom Bibby’s 46 not out was in vain as Frenchay also dropped down following their seven-wicket defeat at Congresbury.
Chris Taylor’s unbeaten 107 was the highlight of Twyford House’s two-wicket victory at Knowle, and Ghulam Shabbir guided Stapleton to an exciting one-wicket win against Brislington with an unbeaten 80.
Hatherley & Reddings, the Gloucestershire division champions, edged bottom side Tewkesbury by six runs, Nipuna Gamage compiling 116 and Andre Soma bagging 5-31 to foil Seth Fledermaus (105).
Finn Dixon (116 not) starred in Frocester 2nds’ seven-wicket defeat of Cheltenham Civil Service, while Ankit Patel was dismissed for 99 for Gloucester who were 85-run victors at Painswick and Rockhampton won by 56 runs at home to Bourton Vale.