Snitterfield CC hosted the first-ever Cotswold Hills League meeting between Norton Lindsey & Wolverton and Warwick and it ended with a 13-run win for the promotion-chasing visitors.
After Warwick were put in to bat, opener Sanjiv Patel (15) was keen to push the score but tried one too many expansive shots and was well caught at cover by Steve Dellow off Varun Goel.
John Maundrell then joined the attack and removed number three Owen Griffiths (9) when he stepped inside a straight one and was bowled.
At the other end, Dellow bowled a tight line, conceding only 22 runs from his ten overs and counting top scorer Vikas Sangwan (22) among his three victims.
Harrison Williams (19) batted very tidily to hold the middle order together but when veterans Tim Fell and Bob Penrose got to work with the ball, things rapidly fell apart as they took two wickets each.
Skipper Martin Hall returned to finish things off in the 37th over to leave the final score on 115.
The solid performance in the field had given Norton with a real chance of an upset. However, Warwick rose to the occasion, with all their bowlers returning economical spells.
After opener Nils Purser (2) was harshly adjudged lbw, number two Stuart Prout-Richardson (29) top-scored with the bat.
He was denied the opportunity of a much more valuable return when he damaged knee ligaments early on, restricting his ability to score.
The reply then crawled along as no other batsmen reached double figures, with 36 extras flattering Norton’s final score of 102.
Youngster Harrison Williams returned the best figures of three for 15 off his ten overs, closely followed by Steve Webb’s 10-3-17-2.
The Cotswold Hill Premier Division season is heading for an exciting finish with three teams separated by just 11 points in the race for the title.
Norton Lindsey & Wolverton strengthened their position in third place, edging to within five points of Exhall & Wixford courtesy an emphatic victory at Tanworth and Camp Hill.
Returning to the skipper’s role after an operation, James Pyatt won the toss and decided to bat which proved a brave decision on a soft pitch which looked to be the most challenging of the season so far.
That proved to be the case as openers Martin Perfect (9) and Steve Rushton (0) fell early to leave the score on 13 for two at the end of the fourth over.
Richard Pozzi (42) and Stuart Shephard (29) then grafted hard and pushed the score to 68 before the third wicket fell.
Further good work from Conor Green (30) and Pyatt (50) dragged the numbers further towards respectability.
Just before the break, the Norton captain was removed as the opening bowlers returned to finish their overs.
Three more wickets fell in the final balls, including a run out, and Norton scrambled to 183 for eight, leaving Banks with fine figures of four for 34, ably supported by Turnbull whose full spell cost just 24 runs.
It was considered a respectable total on a difficult wicket and the visitors decided to play the waiting game, bowling tight and pouncing on mistakes.
This proved to be the way to go and with Norton Lindsey holding all their catches, they worked their way through the order as all the bowlers tasted success.
Pozzi started the rot with an unplayable delivery that removed the off stump of Tanworth opener Turnbull and the home side never recovered.
The innings ended on 107 with Norton gaining a valuable two extra points for a sub-120 dismissal.
Pyatt commented: “The team did well with the bat on a tough pitch, with everyone chipping in. Same with the ball and it was great team performance.”
Norton host Leamington 3rds tomorrow confident they can keep the pressure on at the top of the table.
Runaway Division Three leaders Dorridge & Hockley Heath were made to work hard to secure a two-wicket win at Norton’s second string.
Home skipper Dan Fell (41) won the toss and opted to bat first, opening the innings with Mark White (28).
The pair succeeded in seeing off the new ball and had reached 72 in the 15th over when Fell was removed trying to capitalise as change bowler Moeen struggled to settle.
The middle order then gathered some momentum and drove the score up towards the 200-mark, with good contributions from Kieran Kite (27), Charles Tustain (33) and Ian Baber (22 not out).
Two quick wickets at the end of the innings left Norton on 201 for nine.
After tea, Waquas and Barker (21) made a good start to the reply against tight spells from Steve Bliwert and Steve Webber, reaching 65 before they were separated by Kite in his first over.
A tight five-over spell for 11 runs from Rory Baker kept the scoring rate under control and as Dorridge reached three figures in the 25th over, Tom de Freston dismissed opener Waquas for 58 to keep the pressure on.
Kite took his second wicket soon after, as Irfan went for 30 but Zaman (35 not out) and Singh (27) kept up with required rate with an imaginative mixture of caution and outright slogging.
Webber (3-38) and Bliwert returned for their final spells and within four overs, four wickets fell to leave the visitors eight down and wobbling.
However, it was too little too late and number ten Satty swung the bat effectively in the gathering gloom as Dorridge reached their target in the penultimate over.