CHIPPENHAM lost their spot at the top of the Premier Two Glos/Wilts table on Saturday after being beaten on home soil by near neighbours Biddestone.

Lee Ward’s troops might have restricted Saturday’s visitors to 214-8 from their 50 overs, but accurate bowling combined with the hosts’ inability to string together required partnerships saw Chippenham crash to 144 all out from 43 overs.

Thornbury’s 19-run win at Stroud means they hold the division’s top spot by two points with five fixtures remaining.

And when taking his side’s loss at Corsham into account from the weekend previous, Ward admits missed opportunities to extend Chippenham’s lead at the top of the table could come back to haunt them later on in the season.

He said: “It’s frustrating to miss out on these opportunities to build some breathing space at the top, but we are still there or thereabouts.

“We play Thornbury on the final day of the season, and we had a good chat at the end of Saturday’s game to make sure the boys know we are still in a good position.

“There is a gap starting to establish now at the top of the league, and we want to be in the hunt for promotion come the final day of the season.”

Charlie Slade starred with the ball for Chippenham (43-4) as Will Pritchett’s knock of 57 guided Biddestone to 214-8 from their allocated overs.

But for Chippenham, only Adeesha Nanayakkara (43) and Tom Makepeace (21) could pass 20 as wickets were shared by five visiting bowlers.

Ward added: “It’s disappointing to lose and fall off the top of the table. There were periods in the game where we played well and felt on top.

“Biddestone strung together some decent knocks in the middle of their innings to get to 214, but we still felt that target could be reached at the break.

“The pitch played well, the ball came onto the bat nicely after the first 10 overs where it did swing around a bit.

“But we just couldn’t put the partnerships together – a couple of decent partnerships would’ve won us the game.

“The wicket was a bit green, but I’d say 214 was about par for what scores we have seen at Chippenham this year.”

Elsewhere in Premier Two Glos/Wilts, Burbage’s clash at Dumbleton was abandoned after just five overs while Trowbridge lost at Frocester.

Corsham defeated Goatacre by four wickets.