JEREMY Yearsley turned in a battling display with bat and then ball to help St Philips North to a nerve-tingling two-run home victory over Westbury-on-Severn 2nds that could prove crucial in helping his side avoid the drop from Division Seven in the Greene King IPA Gloucestershire County League.
North began the day second bottom in a division likely to see three sides relegated, but they ended it seventh with a seven-point barrier after digging deep in this low-scoring clash with fellow strugglers Westbury.
Yearsley top scored on 23 in North’s challenge of 132, Glyn Bayley claiming 3-11 from 6.3, and then followed up with two early strikes en route to figures of 2-19 from eight.
Westbury, though, appeared to be in the driving seat while Will Hargreaves (34) and Gary Morgan (29) were at the crease but their dismissals gave North a chance, Jack Francis (3-22) and Adam Sprigmore (2-15) leading the charge.
Elsewhere, the top four all won. Unbeaten leaders Eastcombe saw off Poulton 2nds by 56 runs while second-placed Parkend dispatched Chalford by eight wickets, Tom Tremlett taking 3-18 off six.
Painswick 2nds stayed in touch courtesy of a 49-run success away to Bourton Vale 3rds, and Down Hatherley were five-wicket victors at Oaksey, Dan Yeates starring with figures of 4-23.
There were no results at all in Division Six, but a full set of games was completed in Division Five where leaders Churchdown and second-placed Cricklade both won.
Dave Watkins (4-8 from 4.5) helped dismiss Minchinhampton for 83 ahead of his side winning by six wickets while Cricklade overwhelmed Lydney 2nds by 10 wickets as Chris Nicholas (90) and Paul Paginton (48) took charge on the batting front.
Stone moved out of the drop zone with a nine-wicket triumph away to Gloucester 2nds, Harry Mayo unbeaten on 56, while Cirencester 2nds clinched a rain-hit home date against their Stroud counterparts by five wickets and Charlton Kings 2nds edged Witcombe by five runs in another game affected by the weather.
In Division One there were wins for title rivals Charlton Kings and Tewkesbury.
Leaders Kings were 92-run victors at Chipping Sodbury, Saurav Kamath (3-9) and Jonny Hardman (3-27) both shining, while Tewkesbury were two-wicket home winners against Kingsholm.
Aston Ingham earned themselves some breathing space at the other end of the table with a seven-wicket success away to Cheltenham 2nds, Angus Bartlett smashing 64 off 49 (six fours, five sixes) in a rain-affected encounter.
Division Two pacesetters Chipping Campden extended their lead with an eight-wicket home win against Hatherley & Reddings 2nds, Sam Groves (4-18) and Jack Groves (88 not) both shining, while Langford overcame Shurdington by seven wickets, Jeremy Kirby’s unbeaten 50 coming from only 22 balls (seven fours, one six).
Division Three leaders Rockhampton 2nds won by six wickets at Frampton-on-Severn, Tiger Sherred-Isles returning the figures of the day with 6-29 from 6.4 overs, and Bourton Vale 2nds edged Fairford by four wickets, Matt Keyte (5-32) and Andy Philips (48) playing key roles.