FIVE matches left and there’s still four points between South Wilts, the defending champions, and Havant at the ECB Southern Electric Premier League summit.
The pair both won their penultimate Time Pennant matches – South Wilts by five wickets over a Bashley (Rydal) side almost devoid of confidence.
Without a win since late May and now beaten four times in seven Time Pennant outings, Bashley were bowled out for 167 by a South Wilts side which bounced back positively from its shock defeat by the Hampshire Academy seven days earlier.
Bashley were in disarray from the start – James Hibberd (2-11) and fit-again Steve Warner taking the first three wickets for only four runs.
Early victims Michael Porter and James Morris were among four batsmen to bag ducks.
Nick Baker (49), Richard Morris (45) and Sam Thomson (39) were the only three batsmen to make double figures as Bashley recovered to 103-3, only to lose the next six wickets for 36 runs, leg spinner Jake Foley (Pictured) taking 4-36.
The other eight Bashley batsmen managed only 17 runs between them.
Thomson (3-82) eked out three South Wilts batsmen to leave the visitors 57-3, but Steve Riddle (32) and James Hayward, with an unbeaten 46, ensured the champions would stay top with five matches to go.
The final session of Time Pennant matches take place on Saturday, 11.30, with South Wilts hosting St Cross Symondians at Bemerton, and Havant facing a potentially tougher task against Ventnor at Newclose.