CHIPPING Sodbury made it two in a row, producing another excellent all-round performance to overcome high-flying Cirencester and continue the battle to pull clear of the drop zone in the WEPL’s Gloucestershire division.

Sodbury first showed grit with the bat after losing the toss, making a solid start thanks to Phil Lill, who compiled an aggressive 52 plus opening partner Jake Reed (22) before John Rendell weighed in with a patient 47 as wickets began to tumble in difficult, damp conditions.

Craig Scully and Jerry Swatton then shored up the middle of the innings, Swatton choosing the right time to attack with a run-a-ball 33 whilst Scully’s patient 17 was equally valuable as their side were eventually all out for a highly competitive 202 in the final over.

With the weather closing in and players preparing for a Duckworth Lewis scenario, it was crucial for Sodbury’s bowlers to quickly find tight, accurate lines and they responded in style against a side pushing for promotion.

Ben Waldron led the attack with an excellent spell of seam bowling, finishing with terrific figures of 3-27 from ten overs, including six maidens, and was well supported by Mason Poole (1-27 from seven).

Spinners Lill (0-21 from eight) and skipper Jamie Rendell (3-28 from ten) then continued their good work, keeping a vice-like grip on proceedings as Ciren were 116-7 – well behind on Duckworth Lewis – when play was finally washed out.

Sodbury remain second bottom but significantly closed the gap on the teams above them and go into the final five rounds of games in a positive frame of mind for the challenges ahead.

It was a great day, too, for Sodbury 2nds who recovered from a shaky 46-5 to eventually total 238-9 at home to their Gloucester City Winget counterparts, paving the way for a 55-run triumph in Division Three of the Gloucestershire County League.

The batting hero of the day was Rich Lane who took the fight to Winget with a bruising 50 off 29 balls before completing a memorable century from just 60 deliveries.

Lane put on an unbeaten 68 for the last wicket with Tom Clay who contributed just four!

There was also a vital 49 early on from captain Bryan Jater while Rob Mozelewski hit 21 before making a big impact with the ball, claiming 5-30 to decimate the visitors.

Sodbury 3rds battled hard before succumbing by six wickets at home to Bristol & District Division Seven promotion chasers Wrington.

Kevin Ell (35) and Charlie Walker (34) top scored in Sodbury’s total of 175 while Walker (2-40 from seven) was the pick of the home side’s attack as Wrington chased down their target.

Sodbury 4ths were beaten on run rate away to Long Ashton 2nds in Division 11.

Opener George Ross (74) and Dan Morgan (42) dominated Sodbury’s challenge of 183-8, and Long Ashton had their noses in front at 149-3 off 28 when the weather had the last word, dashing Sodbury’s hopes.

CHIPPING Sodbury are in Gloucestershire Cup semi-final action on Sunday, at home to holders Downend (1.30pm).

Sodbury go into the tie as clear underdogs, relishing the chance to test themselves against opponents who are going well in WEPL Premier One.