Leighton Buzzard dropped back into the Division 2 relegation zone on Saturday after a low-scoring defeat to promotion hopefuls Cropredy.
With Challow & Childrey’s surprise win over Wolverton sending them up the table to seventh, Leighton’s misfortunes with the bat left them sitting second from bottom of the pile.
The tight nature of the bottom four though, with the exception of bottom club Minster Lovell who now look cut off from the rest, means a win for Leighton next week against fellow strugglers Horspath could see them jump up the table once again.
After winning the toss and opting to bat first, Leighton got off to a slow start, but it would be the trend of the afternoon.
Tom Light (8) and Bertie Barrett (1) were sent packing for single figures, but Richard Raine was holding up one end with his 28, but wickets would continually fall.
Dan Scott contributed 16, Antony Francis 32 and Alfie Ruston 18, but a series of ducks left Leighton toiling.
Sam Roberts’ unbeaten 45 managed to perform surgery on the innings, but their 166-8 looked perilous.
But it was not as bad as initially thought, especially given the start Leighton’s bowlers made.
With just one of Cropredy’s opening six batsmen reaching double figures, the home side were left toiling.
Francis came away with figures of 3-40, but the stand for the eighth wicket would ultimately win it for Cropredy.
With Josh Maynard (38 not out) and James Coleman (41 not out) at the crease, the pair frustrated Leighton as they top scored, firing the home side to victory on 168-7.