BUDLEIGH Salterton hurtled to a run-rate win over relegated Ipplepen to stay hard behind Paignton in the battle for the second promotion place in the A Division.
Leaders Bradninch are over the horizon as far as promotion is concerned, but second place is a straight fight now between Paignton (222pts) and Budleigh Salterton (218).
Lewdown in fourth can only catch up if they play on the next two Saturdays and the two teams above them are rained off.
The last Saturday of the season throws up a likely winner-takes-all clash between Budleigh and Paignton at Ottermouth.
That could change this Saturday if Budleigh lose at Hatherleigh and Paignton win against Chudleigh to go 20 points or more clear. That’s promotion: job done.
If Paignton lose and Budleigh go second by winning, it’s going to be a real edge-of-the-deckchair affair in the last round of games.
Ipplepen made 183 for nine before rain stopped play in the last of their 50 overs.
Keeper Jack Lewis opened up with Joe Abbott and the pair put on 50 for the first wicket.
Abbott perished to Somerset’s Max Waller, who had impressive figures of one for 18 from 10 overs – and there was a bit of a wobble as Andy Procter (2-45) and a Matt Junk run-out reduced Pens to 83 for four.
Lewis was still there though and got Pens back in the game with a stand of 53 with Sam Wakeham.
Wakeham seldom fails to entertain when he gets going. His 39 came ff 31 balls with five fours and two sixes.
Lewis was last man out to returning paceman Trevor Anning in the penultimate over. He had top scored with 67 off 152 balls, four of which he hit for four.
Rain breaks brought Budleigh’s target down to 112 in 31 overs – and they exceeded it comfortably.
When rain stopped play in the 21st over – three balls after the point at which run rate is used as a decider – Budleigh were 114 for two.
Junk had gone for 20 and Waller was in and out for four in two balls – both wickets falling to Jonny Norman (2-29).
Ben Phillips was 43 not out when umpires Sleep and Jolliffe took the teams off.