SOUTH Wilts will finish third in the Southern League Premier Division after St Cross Symondians' clinched the runners-up spot by chasing down a 233-run target to win by five wickets with 14 balls to spare at Bemerton.

Long time leaders Bashley (Rydal), who host South Wilts in the final round of fixtures on Saturday, clinched the title with a five-wicket win at Bournemouth.

Tom Morton will probably regard third as a satisfactory finish - the season was always going to be a transitional one with promising young players blended into the squad.

It was the dismissal of Morton (for a typically forceful 33) - the first of five victims for gloveman Ed Ellis - that triggered a top order wobble against St Cross, who seized the initiative after South Wilts had progressed to 78-1.

James Hayward and Ben Draper fell to the Ellis/Jack Bransgrove (3-38) combination as South Wilts lurched to 105-4.

Arthur Godsal (56) glued the innings together before he too fell (to Harry Came) leaving the hosts 128-5.

The developing Raff Hussey (37) and Australian Peter Rowe (30) shared a half-century stand as South Wilts nudged just beyond the 200-run mark, before Harry Foyle (4-37) returned to bowl the final overs and have 'tail-waggers' Tom Berzins and Luke Evans being caught in the deep in the 50th as the Bemerton side closed at an under-par 233 all out.

St Cross lost Tom Foyle at 22, but Billy Mead (56) and Came (23) consolidated by adding 80 to put the visitors firmly in the driving seat.

Ironically, the pair were both trapped leg before wicket in quick succession to give South Wilts renewed hope.

It proved a false dawn as former Clevedon man Max Curtis (41) and Felix Organ, with an unbeaten 50, effectively secured the St Cross victory with their subsequent 83-run fourth-wicket partnership.