Leighton Buzzard’s Division 2 woes continue to grow as they dropped into the relegation zone on Saturday following defeat to Horspath 2nds by 68 runs.
Their fourth defeat in succession sees them sitting ninth in the table, well clear of Sandford St Martin at the bottom.
Fortunately for Jack Kempster's side, 37 points separates them from Wolverton in third spot, but Leighton need to get back on the winning side if they are to get back into the battle for promotion.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat at Bell Close, and it looked to be the right decision from the off. Dominic O’Connor and Jamie Stead fired off 92 for the opening wicket, with Stead falling for 36.
O’Connor was the dangerman for Horspath, firing off 73 from 94 balls, eventually falling for the fifth wicket with the score on 154, removed by Dan Scott on his way to figures of 4-24 - the pick of Leighton’s bowlers.
Following O’Connor’s dismissal, it sparked the beginning of the end for Horspath as they were eventually all out for 220.
At the change, Leighton made a solid start, but lost opener Tom Light - bowled by Luke Heritage - for just 5 and the score on 35.
When the score reached 70 though, disaster struck for the home side. Phil Whatmore had his stumps taken out by Ryan Hicks, bringing Scott to the wicket, but he lasted just a single delivery - trapped LBW by Hicks again.
While Gareth Benger survived Hicks’ hat-trick delivery, he was back in the pavilion just two balls later when he was run out. From 70-1, Leighton were suddenly 70-4.
Wickets continued to fall cheaply for the home side. Matthew Gurney, who watched three of his team-mates come and go, fell for 24 as Leighton were 92-5 and struggling.
Mark Burfoot did his level best to try and drag Leighton into contention though. His rapid-fire 41 from 43 deliveries saw him hit seven fours en route to the top score of the innings, but when he fell, with Leighton 131-8, the writing was on the wall for the home side.
Heritage was the key man to close out the innings for Horspath as he finished with 4-45, with Leighton reduced for 152, 68 runs shy of the mark.
Leighton, dropping to ninth in the table, go back on the road next week, taking on third placed Wolverton.