Mixed results for the two sides ahead of North Devon derby on Saturday
Abbotskerswell turned the heat up under leaders Bideford when they beat them by 85 runs at Westward Ho!
Bideford appeared to be running away with the B Division title as all the teams behind them kept beating each other.
That was before Abbots beat Bideford to move within 12 points of the leaders in round 15 of 18.
If Bideford slip up against in-form Filleigh this Saturday, and Abbots complete the anticipated win over relegated Ottery, there could be new kids on the block at the top.
Filleigh are unbeaten in seven games – five wins, two rain-offs – so Bideford will be wary of them.
Tom Keily (73) and Jimmy Fulner (98) were the prime run getters for Abbots in their total of 246 for nine. Fulner went in at 29 for two and was eighth out at 226.
Jamie Lathwell and Josh Atkinson had three wickets each for Bideford.
Bideford slumped to 25 for four in reply, losing three for none in eight balls to Keily (2-29) and Ricky Small Boyce (2-32).
By the time Paul Heard (60no) got going the damage was done.
Heard batted through to the end in Bideford’s total of 161 all out.
Noah Tobias (3-23) polished off the stragglers.
Defeat was a setback but not a disaster for Bideford.
“We still need to play good cricket for the last three games,” said skipper Heard.
“We were poor. The bowling department did a reasonable job, but our fielding was shocking.
“Then we didn’t show any fight with the bat.
“The only positive was getting eight points out of the game.”
Filleigh are one more win from safety in the B Division thanks to a six-wicket victory over Barton.
Barton were held to 177 for eight which Filleigh knocked off with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Filleigh are 39 points away from danger and a win over Bideford this Saturday will make them safe.
Barton are in the bottom two and in danger of going down with doomed Ottery. They have to do something about the nine points between them and Thorverton. A win over Seaton this Saturday would help.
Openers Shaun Needham and Alex Hunt both made 33s for Barton, who went downhill rapidly from 126 for three to 147 for seven.
Jon Hickman (2-25) had the best of a consistent set of figures.
Filleigh were 13 for two then 54 for four after Adam Parker (2-25) picked up a brace.
Justin Saker (93no) and Filleigh skipper Simon Prideaux (51no) knocked off the rest without mishap.
That’s seven games without a defeat for Filleigh who have Ryan Bowden back this Saturday against Seaton.
“We have had a great second half so far and I hope it continues,” said Prideaux.
“Delighted to get a win and not to make it difficult for ourselves for a change.
“We dropped a catch early on and after a couple of misfields I thought it might be one of those days.
“We fought back really well in the middle 15 overs with excellent spells from John Hickman and Justin Saker.
“We lost a few early wickets but Barton weren’t able to get the key wicket of Justin who batted brilliantly.
“We’ve been guilty of giving our wickets away this season, leaving it to others, we didn’t want to make that mistake again.
“I was really happy to see the game through and chase the runs down in such measured way.”