CHELTENHAM Civil Service showed nerves of steel to complete a one-run win away to fellow strugglers Cirencester and move off the foot of WEPL’s Gloucestershire division for the first time this season.
Ciren, needing 166 for only their third victory of the summer, appeared to be on the very brink of the spoils at 155-7 with plenty of overs to spare.
But Civil Service tightened their line and length to pile the pressure on, Will Fell taking the final wicket to bring the curtain down on a tense afternoon.
Alex Christie finished with 4-41 and George Leadbetter 3-21, both from ten, while opener Mike Howell top scored on 53 for Ciren who now find themselves bottom, three points behind Civil Service with five rounds of games to go.
Charlton Kings, in eighth, gave themselves valuable breathing space with a seven-wicket home triumph over Bourton Vale, Tom Hayward taking 3-33 and Charlie Watkins top scoring on 73.
Leaders Tewkesbury trumped Gloucester by 92 runs, Tom Allcoat hitting 80, and second-placed Dumbleton were 84-run victors at Frocester 2nds, Rashmika Madushanka compiling 104 off 92 (10 fours, four sixes).
Brothers Ewan (5-49 from ten) and Callum Gegg (71) steered Stroud to a three-wicket home win against Chipping Sodbury.
Former Bedminster all-rounder Jon Conolly top scored on 81 and followed up with a haul of 5-46 as Painswick turned the tables on leaders Thornbury by 15 runs in Premier Two Glos/Wilts.
Corse & Staunton find themselves bottom after a 106-run reverse at Hatherley & Reddings for whom opener Lesego Senokwane hit 100 off 107 (12 fours, two sixes), replacing Marshfield who trumped Cheltenham by eight wickets.
In Premier One, Bristol overcame Frocester by 48 runs, captain Louie Shaw hitting 49, and there was a six-wicket success for Bedminster at Lansdown, Gloucestershire spinner Tom Smith claiming 4-24.
Bishopston are back on top of Premier Two Bristol/Somerset thanks to an eight-wicket home win against struggling Bridgwater 2nds which was completed as previous pacesetters Golden Hill slipped up by 45 runs at home to Ilminster.
Kiwi Gus McKenzie shone with 4-16 from ten and unbeaten 32 for Bish while Josh Beal’s 59 was in vain for Golden Hill.
Captain Callum Loud crashed 108 off 99 (16 fours, one six) in Downend’s 102-run home triumph against Weston-super-Mare, the pacey Hamdi Saleem following up with 3-27.
One of the innings of the day came in Bristol & North Somerset with Milo Ayres plundering 176 off only 70 (16 fours, 15 sixes) for Brislington who went on to trump Bedminster 2nds by 120 runs, Gloucestershire Women’s seamer Charlie Phillips bagging 4-37 from ten.
Bristol West Indian Phoenix inflicted a first defeat of the summer on leaders Congresbury, completing a three-wicket win, Andre Adika Bailey (3-21) and Jack Baber (3-46) both shining.
Bottom side Winterbourne showed plenty of character in a three-wicket home victory against fellow struggler Knowle, Ahmed Tabraiz taking 5-38 and Owen Lingard hitting a crucial unbeaten 67.
Frenchay dropped a place to ninth following an eight-wicket home setback against Bristol 2nds, Dan Jones taking 4-29 and opener Bobby Brown unbeaten on 76.