OLD Bournemouthians were forced to draw on all their resources to maintain pole position in Division One of the Dorset Sunday League.
All-rounder Brett Custard played a pivotal role as the leaders edged to a three-run victory over Swanage following a dramatic conclusion at Days Park.
Chasing Old Bournemouthians’ modest 101, bottom-placed Swanage looked set to overturn the formbook as they reached 93 for six.
Earlier, a second-wicket stand of 52 between Ian Booth (24) and Paul Norman (15) had guided Swanage to 55 for one before Custard had Norman caught by James Dugan.
However, disaster struck for the hosts when Christian Blake’s three-wicket haul and a run-out saw Swanage lose their final four batsmen for the addition of just five runs.
Blake (4-27), who also claimed the scalp of opener Matt Thomas, combined with Custard (2-18) and Malick Kudmany (2-8) to earn the visitors an unlikely victory.
Custard (25) also made a telling contribution with the bat as Old Bournemouthians struggled against Swanage’s probing attack.
Although Blake (9) and Jack Owens (12) had put on 21 for the first wicket, they collapsed to 41 for seven before their last three wickets added 60 to take them to 101.
Last man Bhanu Saxena (11) was their only other batsman to reach double figures, with the visitors’ total boosted by 23 wides.
However, despite the efforts of Peter Constable (3-14), Mike Hernandez (2-12) and Steve Ramsey, Jem Warner, Terry White and Booth, who all claimed one wicket, Swanage were left to rue a fourth successive defeat.
In the two other games in the top flight, St Georges (136-9) beat Dewlish (80) by 56 runs, while Portland Red Triangle (172-7) lost to Fovant (174-4) by six wickets.