CHIPPENHAM took another step towards setting up a final-day showdown for the Premier Two Glos/Wilts title after edging past Trowbridge by 23 runs at the weekend, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Lee Ward’s men face the current leaders, Thornbury in the final round of fixtures on September 1, and another win before that against Goatacre this weekend could tee up the Hollywood ending every sportsperson desires.

Chippenham arrived at the County Ground in Trowbridge to see a damp pitch that would be tricky to bat on.

Ward forecasted 150 to be a par-score, but his side fell 16 runs short after losing the toss and being sent out to the middle first up.

Trowbridge were unable to form a decent partnership in response, though, as Adeesha Nanayakkara took 4-23 to help his side bowled the home team out for 111.

Ward felt his players managed expectations well and was relieved to see Chippenham come through a tricky test on a difficult surface.

He said: “If you look at the table when you turn up on the day and you see second playing bottom, you would have thought it wouldn’t turn out to be as close as it was.

“But the conditions really had an impact on both sides, in terms of playing on a wet pitch, playing a reduced-overs game, and we batted first on that wet pitch.

“We talked about having no complacency because of the players they’ve got, and when we got 130, we knew it was going to be a close game anyway.

“But we felt in control for most of it, so even though we only won by 20 runs, we felt confident defending that total.”

With two games of the season remaining, Chippenham are 16 points behind Thornbury, making the final-day showdown all the more crucial.

Skipper Ward has warned against thinking too far ahead and has asked for a big effort in their final home fixture of the campaign.

Ward said: “At the moment, it’s about putting ourselves in a position where we can turn up to Thornbury on the last day of the season and there’s enough in it to make it a winner-takes-all match.

“So it’s important for us to go out and beat Goatacre on Saturday at home.

“It’s a really big game for us to make sure we’re in a position to compete for the league on the last day of the season.

“We’re just focused on doing all we can to win the last two games of the season and we’ll see where that puts us in the wash at the end of it.”

Elsewhere, Thornbury’s Daniel Lezar scored 72 not out on the way to helping his team reach Corsham’s 167 all out with the loss of only four wickets.

A strong batting performance from Biddestone saw them defeat Burbage by 90 runs.

Biddestone batted first and reached 234-6 before Liam Boulton took 4-38 to dismiss the home side for 144.

In the battle of two mid-table sides, Goatacre defeated Dumbleton by 58 runs at home despite a gutsy 88 from Dumbleton’s Scott Tremain.

Stroud beat Frocester by one wicket with a ball to spare as they chased down 185 all out while simultaneously boosting their survival hopes.