PAIGNTON were involved in a nail-biting finish for the second week running when they lost by four runs to visiting Lewdown.

Lewdown made 238 for eight in their 50 overs – South African star Johannes Wessels hitting 134 at the top of the order on his return to the side.

Wessels missed the previous week’s defeat by Budleigh Salterton as he had gone back home to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

Seven days earlier Paignton were involved in a thrilling finish at Barton, where the game ended in a tie.

A target of 44 to win from the last four overs with four wickets left was fractionally beyond them this time with skipper Chris Kelmere out with a ball remaining for 47 in a last attempt to make the runs.

Paignton lost a bit of ground at the top of the table as they dropped back from second to joint third. They are only three points behind second-placed Budleigh Salterton.

Lewdown are a point behind in fifth.

Wessells was fifth man out for Lewdown – dismissed by partnership  breaker Dan Wolf – having hit 19 fours and a six during a 132-ball stay.

Along the way Wessels put on 31 with Tom Pengelly (5), 37 with Leon Horn (9), 63 with Billy Searle (23) and 77 with Matt Witcher (42).

Rob Shergold was the most effective of the Paigntn bowlers with two for 17 off nine overs. George Yates (1-21) kept it tight and youngster Harry Ward (0-43) showed some promise.

Paignton made a mixed start as Wolf and Connor Bryan went cheaply to Wessells (2-38) and Tallan Burns (1-34).

Ollie Higgs (43) picked up the chase and in Shergold (57) found a willing running mate during a fourth-wicket partnership of 49,

When Higgs fell to Leon Horn the Paignton pursuit continued with Richard Ashworth (27) and Shergold notching 59.

Paignton were always a little behind the asking rate and 72 off the last seven overs when Shergold fell caught and bowled to Dan Fogerty (2-46) was steep.

Kelmere had a go – his 47 came off 22 balls – but Paignton fell short.

Winning captain Burns said the target for Paignton was tougher than it looked as the outfield was slow, but defending it required some serious work.

“At the halfway stage we backed our bowlers to do their jobs,” said Burns.

“We were able to take the first three wickets for 55 runs, but after that stopping partnerships was key.

“Every time a Paignton partnership looked to push on we took a wicket, which shows great team spirit to keep fighting.

“Our bowlers bowled exceptionally well, particularly Dan Fogerty and Billy Searle who had the job of bowling the last few at either end.”