FIXTURES against Frocester, Trowbridge and Goatacre must yield sufficient points to keep Chippenham in touch with WEPL Premier Two Glos/Wilts title rivals Thornbury ahead of what could be a final day showdown.

That’s the target set by skipper Lee Ward, who was pleasantly surprised to see his XI return to form on Saturday against Burbage & Easton Royal.

Chippenham downed Saturday’s hosts by 109 runs, and Ward paid tribute to his side’s complete team performance which earned them 20 vital league points.

Thornbury also won convincingly, beating Dumbleton by 44 runs. That result ensured Thornbury remain two points clear of Chippenham at the top of the table with just four fixtures remaining.

With that in mind, Chippenham skipper Ward wants to see more of performances like the one his side produced last weekend.

He said: “It was a solid team performance, and we talked about the previous disappointment following defeats to Corsham and Biddestone in the weeks before.

“We could’ve given a better account of ourselves in those two games, but this week we gave a strong account of ourselves and are back on track.

“The bowlers bowled superbly and stuck to the plan. Similarly, we scored good runs throughout with the bat.

“I’m very pleased with the victory.”

Saturday saw all six of Chippenham’s top batsmen post double-figure scores, while bowlers Charlie Slade, Tom Lloyd, Thomas Richards and Chris Munden picked up at least two wickets each.

Victory against Frocester this weekend will all but end the Gloucestershire side’s hopes of poaching the title from the division’s current top two.

Despite this, Ward expects a tough challenge on home soil, and said: “We know this weekend will be a tough challenge against Frocester, they have a strong team.

“For us, it’s about performing well enough in the next three games to ensure we go into our final game against Thornbury with a chance of winning the title.

“We want to be in a position where the title is in our hands for that final game – we’re all conscious of that being our goal.

“The pleasing part is that we’re not relying on one person to get all our runs or to take all our wickets.

“We have players contributing across the board, and that’s a good thing.”

Elsewhere, a fabulous five-wicket haul from Naeem Khan helped Biddestone to a 133-run victory at home to Corsham.

Khan took 5-16 to skittle Corsham out for just 66, with Biddestone having earlier posted 199.

Tyrone Isitt top scored for the hosts with 61 as Tom Smith took 4-47.

Trowbridge were beaten by 25 runs when they hosted Stroud.

Louis Gegg hit 85 not out to help Stroud hit 208-6 before James Job took over with the ball after tea to curtail the Trowbridge reply.

He took 6-32 as only Tom Weaver (68) and Kyle Oakley (51) were able to repel him in the hosts 183 all out.

Goatacre’s turbulent year continued when they were defeated by 88 runs at home to Frocester.

David Miles’ efforts with the ball (2-28) didn’t stop Saturday’s visitors scoring a hefty 332-9.

In reply, Goatacre were quickly bowled out for 244.