Milton Keynes City were second best on Saturday as fellow Division One strugglers Eaton Bray won by six wickets at Woughton on the Green.
The pair went into the match occupying the two spots above the Division One drop zone, knowing a win for either side would help give a bit more breathing space between them and Cranfield and Newport Pagnell.
Winning the toss, Eaton Bray chose to bat first and it looked like the right decision.
Home side City were bowled out for 166 with just three balls remaining of their innings, setting Bray up with a chance of victory.
Runs were hard to come by though, with some tight bowling from the City attack. But with plenty of wickets in hand, Bray were able to avoid risky shots and play some safe cricket.
They eventually made it to victory with a score of 167-4.
And it’s just as well - Cranfield (102) also picked up their second win of the season, beating high-flying Thurleigh by 66 runs after a dramatric batting collapse which saw Thurleigh bowled out for 38 runs.
North Crawley remain top after two batsmen scored centuries against New City. Alex Walker (114) and Pete Barnes (109) helped Crawley to an enormous total of 307-4.
And skipper Richard Bryce took 5-10 as New City slumped to just 68 all out, losing by 244 runs.
Olney Town sprung a surprise win over Milton Keynes to bring them back into the midtable battle.
Winning the toss, Olney elected to field, and their decision paid off as they took three quick wickets.
With batsmen falling regularly, Kaushik Sunkara (50) and Neil Gordon (32 not out) helped put decent runs on the board for MK, but they fell with 157 on the board. Stuart Keeping was the pick ofhte bowlers, taking 4-25.
And he was needed to take the bull by the horns with the bat too as Olney too lost their top order with little on the scoreboard.
Daniel Ramsell (2-21) and Joe Fairbrother (3-17) did their level best to halt Olney’s progress, but Keeping’s 51 not out, partnered at the end with Mike Brown’s 35 not out, saw Olney over the line with 159-6 and a four wicket win.
Peter Young played a captain’s innings for Milton Bryan as they cruised to victory over Old Bradwell in Division Two.
Deciding to bowl first, Milton Bryan came up against some stubborn batting from Old Bradwell, sticking in on a damp seaming wicket.
But they lost cheap, early wickets as Neale and David Shearn picked up the top order.
Graham Downard hit a valuable 56 not out, partnered with Anthony Perry (25 not out) as the home side closed the innings on 168-7.
But Young’s fine innings at the top of the Milton Bryan order helped get them off to a terrific start, despite losing Matt Pullan for just 9.
Young went on to hit 73 before falling to Jimmy Daniel, but the damage was done as Milton Bryan (172-4) cruised to a six wicket victory.
The vital win sees them open a 24 point gap to Old Bradwell, as Milton Bryan consolidate themselves in seventh place.
Aspley Guise are in third after a seven wicket victory over New Bradwell.
Robert Harrison took 3-36 and Mike McDonald’s safe hands took four catches as New Bradwell were all out for 139. But despite slipping to 13-2, John Rowbotham (50 not out) and Joe Tomlin (48) saw Aspley Guise (143-3) home.
Ivinghoe & Pitstone picked up a vital victory against Open University to get their shaky start to the Division Three season back on track. Winning the toss, Ivinghoe skipper John Lowe put OU in.
Philip Badrick and Adam Nice picked up an early wicket apiece as the OU found themselves on 32-2. But Param Gill came to the crease and became the thorn in Ivinghoe’s side, though his partners didn’t want to hand around much. Gill hit 68 when he finally fell with the score at 136-6, sparking a late collapse as OU finished on 161 all out. Philip Badrick was the pick of the bowlers with 3-63.
Four batsmen in the Ivinghoe line-up made 20 or more as they comfortably made it to victory (163-5) by five wickets and nine overs to spare.
Stewkley Vicarage were on the end of a 194 run thumping at the hands of North Crawley 2nds when top met bottom.
Max Jordan hit 12 boundary 4s and five maximums on his way to an unbeaten 105 as North Crawley declared on 263-5.Patrick Wright took 3-34.
But Stewkley collapsed with the bat in hand, slumping to 68 all out
Shenley Church End (73) remain in the relegation zone after losing to Tring Parn 4ths (76-3) by seven wickets.
Printers remain top of the league after their bowlers dug them out of a hole against Milton Keynes 2nds.
Bowled out for just 128, Thiyagalingam Shafa came to the rescue, taking 4-11 as MK were bowled out for 99.
Westcroft (138-6) were four wicket winners against Harlington (137-8), while New City 2nds (144-8) beat New Bradwell 2nds (142-8) also by two wickets.
Wing with Wingrave lost out on Division Five’s top spot as they lost to Great Brickhill 3rds.
Scoring 160-6, Wing simply couldn’t defend it as Brickhill (161-3) made it safely to a seven wicket win. The gap between Wing in second to Brickhill in third is now down to 12 points.
Olney 2nds’ (202-7) winning draw against Newport Pagnell 2nds (129-7) sees them go top of the table.
Whitchurch (186) took a winning draw against MK City 2nds (133-7), and Thurleigh 2nds (73-1) beat North Crawley 3rds (70).