Adrian Isherwood achieved the hat-trick for North Devon in their crucial seven-wicket win over Bovey Tracey.
Bottom side North Devon could not afford to lose at Ashburton Road as fellow strugglers Sandford and Torquay were playing each other - and one of them was bound to pull away.
Isherwood's three in three - Ashley Causey (lbw) , Ashley Treeby (bowled) and Tom Andrew (lbw) - sent Bovey from a wobbly 46 for four to a perilous 46 for seven.
Lewis Hammett hung around for 102 balls to make 39 not out and, with help from tail-gunners Ryan Bougourd (16) and last man Hugo Whitlock (28) got Bovey up to 155 all out.
Spinner Isherwood took four for 16 and there were two wickets each for Jack Popham and Josh King.
North Devon took few chances knocking off the runs and got there in 35 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Most of the work was done by Dan Bowser (64no) and Jack Moore (49), who share a second-wicket stand of 117.
Ben Howe (18no) was in at the end with Bowser.
North Devon are still bottom but the distance between them and safety has been trimmed to 14 points. They are at home to leaders Heathcoat this Saturday.