THORNBURY suffered a two-wicket home defeat in the big play-off clash on the final day of the season with Chippenham who sealed the WEPL Premier Two Glos/Wilts title and promotion to the top flight.
An absorbing battle of wills between these two rivals went down to the wire with Chippenham closing out a nail-biting victory.
The visitors got off a strong start after losing the toss in a clash reduced to 41 overs per side because of lunchtime rain, reducing Thornbury to 33-5.
The home side dragged themselves into the game thanks to Danny Slade’s 39 and 24 from Sam Summerfield but were still under par at 132.
Thornbury needed a good start with the ball and got it from skipper Luke Davis and brother Dan who took two wickets apiece to make the score 35-4.
Chippenham recovered so well that the match seemed all but over at 81-4 but back came Thornbury again, Dan Lezar enticing three outside edges which were all pouched by wicketkeeper Summerfield and at 110-8 the momentum appeared to have shifted once again.
But the Wiltshire side chipped away at their target and finally got over the line with two wides as Thornbury filled the runners-up slot for the second successive season.
Frocester finished third on the back of a 118-run home triumph over Dumbleton, Will Naish hitting 70, and newcomers Stroud celebrated securing their status with a 65-run success over Biddestone, Louis Gegg unbeaten on 74.
Potterne, confirmed last week as Premier One champions, ended with a two-wicket away reverse at Bedminster who claimed third – their highest-ever finish.
Relegated Bristol piled up 237-4 from 35 overs at home to newcomers Cheltenham before Gloucestershire’s Gareth Roderick responded with an unbeaten 131 off just 68 balls (13 fours, seven sixes) to seal a seven-wicket win – and a fine fourth-place finish – with almost six overs to spare.
Downend were bowled out for only 137 at home to Bridgwater but then held on for a two-run triumph, former skipper Matt Jackson (3-22), Bobby Naeem (2-24, both from eight) and Callum Gregory (2-39) all shining.
Winterbourne finished third in Premier Bristol/Somerset after a ten-run reverse away to Weston-super-Mare, and Bishopston bagged fourth following a two-wicket home setback against Ilminster.
Bath 2nds are promoted from Bristol & North Somerset with Timsbury and Frenchay returning to the Bristol & District League.
Hatherley & Reddings concluded a highly satisfying Gloucestershire Division championship with a 14-run home triumph over Rockhampton while bottom side Tewkesbury return to the Gloucestershire County League.