The scrummage at the top of the Nottinghamshire Cricket Board Premier League table has turned into a two horse race.
And one of the relegation spots was confirmed when Papplewick lost to Farnsfield to seal their drop to the Bassetlaw League in 2014.
The key clash at the top of the table saw Rolls Royce slip to a six wicket loss away at West Indian Cavaliers, a result that leaves the Hucknall-based side 30 points off the top spot which could be too steep a challenge with just three games remaining.
The visitors posted a below-par 156 for eight in the first innings with only James Taylor (37) and Liam Andrews (31) managing to make significant contributions.
Cavs skipper Usman Afzaal continued his fine season with the ball taking 4-47 from 15 overs and his side has made a habit of fast chases so they reached their target with eleven overs to spare with Aaron Thomas (63 not out) and Bilal Shafayat (32 not out) adding an unbeaten partnership of 65 for the 5th wicket.
This result leaves the Cavaliers in second, still ten points behind leaders Cuckney who maintained their primacy after a close four wicket win over Plumtree at the PCG.
The home side’s batting has been brittle of late but they found some form to post 239 for five with their innings built around David Bedingham’s second ton of the season. He hit 113 from 116 balls with support from skipper Ben Thompson’s unbeaten knock of 37.
Luke Thomas and Will Butler each grabbed a pair of wickets. But Bedingham’s innings was to be overshadowed by Neville Talbot who smashed 110 from just 71 balls with seven 4s and eight 6s.
He was sixth out at 176 but skipper Butler saw his side home in the gathering gloom with 48 not out despite his counterpart Thompson taking 3-49.
Papplewick’s relegation was confirmed when they lost to Farnsfield by seven wickets at Papplewick Hall. The home side were bowled out for 205 in exactly 47 overs with Mark Nelson top-scoring with 64 supported by Ross Fitz-John’s 46.
Dave Loveridge led the Farnsfield attack, taking 4-48 from 14 overs with Osama Alam chipping in with 2-25. The chase started badly as the visitors fell to 20 for two but Michael Bell (74) and Paul Franks (82) shared an unbroken 4th wicket stand of 115 to see them home. This result sees Farnsfield stay in the bottom two but only 4 points behind Plumtree in tenth.
Welbeck and Clifton are both still in the race to avoid relegation at least mathematically but both will have been have been relieved to secure 12 points from an abandoned game at Sookholme.
The home hide were dismissed for 210 in the final over of the first innings, a decent score after they recovered from 76 for five. Rob French (44) and Jonathon Ball (69) put on 118 for the sixth wicket after David Lucas took 4-61 and Dom Harvey 3-60.
Clifton got off to a cracking start with Jarrod Coombe (51) and Scott McNeill (50) putting on 104 for the first wicket but Richie Bentley (2-17) got them both before Ollie Pringle took 3-55 to further slow their progress. The innings fell foul of bad light with six overs remaining and Clifton on 190 for seven.
The highest innings of the day came at Lady Bay where the Nottinghamshire Academy struck 297 for nine declared against Kimberley. Adam Tillcock continued his fine form with 98 from 89 balls with support from Sam Wood (77) and Brett Hutton (44).
Atif Sheikh led the visitors bowling attack with 3-77 with a pair of wickets for Elliot Bowles and Dominic Wheatley. Kimberley ended 70 runs short but for the loss of just four wickets with Sam Johnson hitting 76 not out with support from Bharat Popli (32) and Wheatley (31 not out).
The final game of the day saw Caythorpe secure a home win against Mansfield Hosiery Mills by seven wickets. The Millers were bundled out for 152 in the fiftieth over with only Gareth Curtis featuring with 33 and James Hawley taking 4-13.
Caythorpe reached their target with nine overs remaining with Darren Bicknell (79 not out) and Matt Dowman (39) leading the way.