BURBAGE & Easton Royal skipper David Cope is happy to be playing the role of keeping the top three in Prem Two Glos/Wilts honest following their 92-run victory away to Biddestone at the weekend.

Cope was pivotal in his side’s triumph as he made 101 in 108 balls to give his side a solid foundation, having elected to bat, supported well by Duncan Lorrain (44) as they put on a 154-run stand for the first wicket.

That allowed those behind them to play with more freedom and despite Deepak Joon (38) and Sourish Mukherjee (11) being the only others to reach double figures, Burbage posted a solid target of 235.

The hosts were always behind the eight ball as they found themselves struggling at 24-3 at one stage and, despite the middle order restoring some stability, with Tim Knight (38) top scoring at number five, they were dismissed for 153 in 40 overs, Joon Deepak saw off the tail as he claimed figures of 4-13.

With third-placed Westbury suffering a 39-run defeat to second-placed Cheltenham at the weekend, the gap between Burbage to the top three is down to three points.

But skipper Cope concedes that the league, with just two games remaining, is realistically out of his side's reach now.

“The league is not there for us to win, three or four teams have to slip up now,”

“Hopefully, if we can keep winning, it will stand us in a good place for a highest-placed finish possible and we will never say never.

“It was a good result at the weekend and hopefully it keeps that pressure on the teams above us.

“We’re still trying to affect the league and it was an all-round decent performance.

“We had a good start with myself and Duncan putting 150 on the board before we lost our first wicket.

“We could have pushed on for 240 or 250 but on a deck that you have to get in on, we lost wickets fairly regularly after the top three departed and it was always going to be difficult to get much further ahead.

“We also had a good start with the ball to build pressure and the early wickets were key.

“We made sure nobody got in and cashed in.”

Meanwhile, Goatacre remain 24 points clear at the top following their 50-run success over Hatherley & Reddings.

Ed Wilkins top scored with 63 as the visitors posted 200 in their innings, which was restricted to 35 overs, before Benny Howell secured a five-fer with the ball in hand as Hatherley were restricted to 150 runs for the loss of eight wickets.

Chippenham slipped to third from bottom as they lost by six wickets at home to Gloucester City Winget.

The hosts were dismissed for 92 inside 30 overs, Owen Alsop (26) top scoring, before the visitors made their total within 26 overs for the loss of just four wickets.