Bideford are clinging on to their A Division place despite suffering an 18-run defeat at Abbotskerswell.

Relegation rivals Chudleigh, Ivybridge and Brixham – who could be hit with a discipline points deduction after an alleged incident in their game Paignton last Saturday – all lost as well.

Bideford did pick up nine bonus points in their defeat, which opened up a 13-point safety cushion between them and the drop zone.

With promotion-hunting Cornwood then Chudleigh to finish with, it’s likely to be a nail-biting finish to the season.

Abbots’ player-coach Nick Watkin – revelling in a chance to bat up the order – stroked 125 in the home side’s total of 231 all out.

Watkin went in first wicket down after three balls, and was last man out with one ball to go.

Eddie Smout-Cooper (17), Sam Johnston (17) and Charlie Smout-Cooper (27) were Watkin’s supporting acts.

Bideford took wickets in pairs: two each for Jack Ford, Fred King, Cameron Atkinson and Jamie Lathwell.

Bideford looked on course at 195 for four after Tom Brend (33), Ollie Hannam (50), Alex Hannam (22) and James Ford (25) mounted a chanse.

Elliott Adams (3-19) had broken an opening stand of 111 between Brend and Ollie Hannam, but otherwise Bideford were on top.

The turning point was losing Paul Heard (17) and Alex Hannam to Noah Tobias and Watkin respectively as 195 five for four became 199 for six.

Tobias (4-33) got into the lower order as Bideford lost their last five wickets for 14 runs.