FROCESTER nailed down an exciting last ball four-wicket win over Taunton Deane to leapfrog their Somerset visitors into pole position in Premier One as the West of England Premier League reached its halfway point.
Deane, who lost the toss, recovered from 1-2 to total 213 thanks mainly to John Rogers who hit 111 before being bowled by Oliver Jones who finished with 4-39.
Somerset’s Steve Kirby, continuing his return from injury, weighed in with 2-24 and Josh Dunning claimed 2-37 for Frocester who then used every ball of their 50 overs to get over the line.
Louis Gegg contributed 57 and opener Uzi Qureshi 36 before wicketkeeper Sam Bracey took centrestage with an unbeaten 26 which included three sixes and a four to clinch a crucial win.
Callum Loud, a member of Gloucestershire’s under-17 development squad, smashed an unbeaten 45 in Downend’s excellent three-wicket triumph away to 2012 champions Bridgwater but Bristol succumbed by 35 runs at home to Corsham.
In Premier Two, Cheltenham remain sixth thanks to a five-wicket success at Goatacre, Liam Walker claiming 4-34 from nine and Steve Kelly hitting 57, but closed the gap on Thornbury who were rained out at home to Potterne.
There were no weather issues at Rockhampton who consolidated their lead at the top of Glos & Wilts with an eight-wicket home thumping of Swindon who were dismissed for 127 by Chris Perry (3-24) and Dave McCabe (3-30, both from ten).
The Rams were wobbling in reply at 10-2 before brothers Will (72) and Matt Tyler (35) shared an unbroken stand of 118 to clinch the points.
Ben Gwillam (4-54), David Vernon (3-31) and Tom Allcoat (3-27) put Tewkesbury on the way to a five-wicket win at Gloucester City Winget.
In Bristol & Somerset, brothers Joe and George Brimble bowled Knowle to a ten-run home win over relegation rivals Bishopston.
George bagged 4-33 from ten and Joe 4-27 from 7.2 overs, including last man Ryan Adams (10) who shared a tenth wicket stand of 36 with George Harris (20 not) to set nerves tingling.
Frenchay went down by seven wickets away to leaders Midsomer Norton in a rain-affected 29-over contest while Donovan Scholtz (5-33) helped set up a comfortable victory for Brislington against Taunton.
Former Australia and Gloucestershire all-rounder Ian Harvey claimed 5-34 for Bedminster but still finished on the losing side as Wembdon nipped in by 46 runs.
Winterbourne, meanwhile, prepared for a visit on Saturday from Bristol & North Somerset leaders Lansdown with a 91-run win at Twyford House.
The South Gloucestershire side totalled 203-9 before Twyford collapsed from 72-2 to 112 all out, Harry Blackwell finishing with 5-10.
League newcomers Bristol YMCA boosted their hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Bristol & District League with an important win at Claverham.
The visitors battled their way to 198-9 thanks mainly to a crucial unbeaten 49 from number eight John Colley before Claverham finished short of their target thanks to the efforts of veteran Hitesh Shah (3-33 from ten) and George Bacon (2-22 from six.