EVEN the likes of Shaun Rashid (4-59) and James Stevenson (4-63) failed to contain the batsmen from A&B 2nds – but Abbots Bromley still managed to comfortably overhaul a challenging 224 to complete a very useful three-wicket victory.
The result lifts Bromley back to the top of Viceroy Restaurant Division Four South ahead of rivals Mickleover, who came off second-best against a strong Dunstall 2nds side.
A&B won the toss and elected to bat and two early wickets left Bromley in control. The visitors hit back strongly, however, through Matt Daft (51) and Kabeer Imtiaz (53), with further runs from Kironpal Dorka (49).
After the break, Courtney Crowther (2-41) grabbed an early wicket but runs from Owen Strudwick (34), Darren Yeomans (34) and Martin Weston (26) kept Bromley on target despite the best efforts of a persistent Rick Crowther (5-46).
It took crucial knocks from Stevenson (60no) and Rashid (27) to secure the spoils for Bromley, the win coming in the first of A&B's three unused overs.
Third-placed Ticknall 2nds continued their poor run of form at home to Etwall, a losing draw earning them just seven points with the prospect of promotion slowly disappearing.
Ticknall elected to field and Ousman Khizer (4-85) took an early wicket but Leon Nixon (34) and Shaun Gowtage (90) combined brilliantly and further runs from Chris Southall and Elliott Dalton (78no) left Ticknall chasing the game.
Callan Harvey (3-53) bowled well enough but he could not prevent Etwall from forging a formidable 281-7.
Ticknall in reply lost cheap early wickets and never recovered. Ross Condie (3-29) intervened to separate Haris Butt (32) and Ousman Khizer (44no) and then Dan Helliwell (2-26) and James Armishaw (2-1) began to turn the screw but Khizer was in no mood to surrender and he and last man Kaiser Hayat (1no) saw Ticknall safely to the close on 165-9.
Barton are too close to relegation for comfort following defeat to fellow strugglers Quarndon 2nds at the Common.
Barton chose to bat first but made only 171, with Nick Campion's 39 the best contribution.
Ben Greatorex (4-47) was the major thorn in Barton's side.
Quarndon were comfortable in reply thanks to an excellent effort from Will Richardson (84), the hosts easing home by four wickets in the 32nd over despite the attentions of Andy Chambers (3-66) and Waseem Sajid (3-38).
Bottom-of-the-table Dunstall 2nds provided the surprise of the day by dominating a draw against title-chasing Mickleover.
It was a performance that not only gives them renewed hope of survival but also boosted the title hopes of Abbots Bromley.
Dunstall were put into bat and Freddie Matthews (4-67) caused early problems, the visitors dipping to 35-2, but Matt Benstead (66) and century-maker Dan Tomlinson (100) put on 130 superb runs for the third wicket and Dunstall made 242-7.
Tom Bailey (2-64) grabbed an early wicket as Mickleover replied but the visitors reached a healthy 66-1 thanks to Jamie Holloway. Dave Walker (3-19) then struck a double blow to reduce Mickleover to 71-3 and a third wicket for the experienced campaigner left the visitors work to do on 103-4.
Dan Pratley (42) attempted to keep Mickleover in the contest but George Tomlinson intervened and wickets for Dan Featherstone (2-43) then successfully kept the reply in check.
Unfortunately time had run out for Dunstall and they were unable to force victory, Mickleover closing on 177-8.