Bideford’s safety margin in the A Division survival scrap has been cut to a point after they lost by 16 runs away to fellow strugglers Abbotskerswell.

Abbots went past Ivybridge and Bideford to fourth from bottom in a table with two drop spots. And they now have a 10-point safety margin, although that might not survive a run in of Bradninch (3rd), Budleigh Salterton (4th) before bottom side Barton on the last day.

Bideford are on 131 points, one more than Ivybridge, who are second from bottom.

Abbots kipper Nick Watkin went in first wicket down and came out at 131 for three with 48.

Elliott Adams, who put on 84 with Watkin, made a top score of 64 not out in Abbots' total of 221 for five. Mark Gilmour (21) and Charlie Dowling (24) chipped in.

Adams (2-15) quickly reduced Bideford to nine for two before Paul Heard (39) and Tom Brend (46) turned things round.

The target came down to 206 after a rain break. Jack Ford (25) and Ollie Hannam (26) got Bideford in sight, but they ran out of time on 189 for eight.

Sam Carpenter's three for 13 late in the day included Hannam but by then Bideford had slid behind the clock.

Bideford skipper Heard said it was one of those days when little or nothing went right.

"We failed to switch on after rain delays and it cost us massively," said Heard.

"By dropping multiple catches we let Abbots get 30-40 more than they should have with the bat.

"We then lost wickets at the wrong times in the second innings and those of us who got in, failed to go on."