Hem Heath and Elworth put the finishes touches to their promotions from NSSCL Division One at the weekend.
Leaders Hem Heath, who are 13 points clear, dismantled Wood Lane, while second-placed Elworth secured enough reward in drawing at Newcastle & Hartshill to ensure they will also be stepping back up to the Premier Division.
Hem Heath needed just three points from their trip to Megacre to confirm their top-table place… and they were banked in the formative stages of the afternoon as they delivered a batting masterclass.
The visitors piled up 323-7 declared from just 40 overs with talisman Liam Banks leading the run spree.
The former Warwickshire batsman blazed 10 fours and 10 sixes in his 80-ball 137 to power Hem Heath to their formidable score.
Callum Leese also chipped in with 39, while Robert Price’s 3-76 was the pick of the Wood Lane bowling effort.
Jake Thompson (38), Danny Brierley (36) and Ashley Guest (28) provided some resistance after tea, but Wood Lane were eventually dismissed for 141.
Nazakat Ali (3-25), Banks (3-27) and Leese (3-55) all took three wickets.
Elworth will also be waving goodbye to Division One after drawing at Newcastle & Hartshill.
Ryan Sloan’s 90, which featured eight fours and one six, Ash Rogers’ 71, which contained five fours and three sixes, plus 46 from Chris Regan, enabled Elworth to post 273-5 from their 50 overs. Dawar Hussain and Oliver Tucker both took two wickets.
In reply, Asif Raza (59no), Ethan Brown (54) and Matthew Travis (32) dug deep to see Castle to 187-6 at the close. James Holt scooped 3-43.
At the other end of the table, bottom-side Little Stoke were relegated after losing at fellow strugglers Blythe.
Eranga Rathnayake hit 14 boundaries in his 82 to form the cornerstone of Little Stoke’s 159 all out.
Chris Dyer claimed 5-39 for Blythe, with Qaasim Adams and Scott Degg both taking two wickets.
There was plenty of fight from Little Stoke in the home side’s run chase as Nick Bratt, Rhys Owens and Ben Green all struck twice.
However, Khalid Malik (32no), Ben Smith (27), Tristan Elam (25) and Rob Ginders (22) did enough to complete a three-wicket win.
Leycett are in the drop zone – 0.25 points behind Sandyford – after losing to Knypersley, who all all-but confirmed third place in the process.
Cameron Allen and Asad Afridi took 3-7 and 3-21 respectively to dismiss Leycett for just 82. Chris Sheperd made 24.
Matt Johnson hit back with 4-22, but Afridi’s unbeaten 41 led Knype to a four-wicket triumph.
Sandyford have work to do on the final day to avoid the drop after being beaten at Eccleshall.
Fida Hussain’s 66 was the highlight of Eccleshall’s 227 all out, in which Yasir Ali helped himself to 6-26.
Ali (42) and Ben Turnock (40) fronted the Sandyford run chase, but Cameron Sinclair’s 3-28, allied to twin strikes from Scott Winnington, Myles Coughlan and Hussain, ensured the visitors were bowled out for 138.
Audley banked a two-wicket win at home against Endon.
Endon made their way to 149-6 from their allocation as Will Weston made 37 and Nick Atkinson chipped in with 30.
Recordo Gordon and Jack Redman both struck twice for the home side.
Josh Reynolds (3-30) impressed on the resumption, but Will Rhodes’ 25, 23 apiece from Richard Holloway and Oliver Wilde and Redman’s 22 helped Audley to the points.