SWANAGE were left fighting for their lives following a potentially-disastrous defeat at the hands of Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League rivals Sherborne.

A 61-run reverse at The Terrace saw them slip 22 points adrift at the foot of the table with just two games remaining – against Bere Regis and Shroton.

Second-from-bottom Sherborne profited after winning an important toss with Ryan Monk (60) and Marc Lock (62) sharing 100 for the first wicket

And after Monk had been caught by Mike Salmon off the bowling of Elliot Baczala (1-54), James Elliot-Square (31) joined Lock to put on a further 64 for the second wicket.

Ryan Norman (1-60) came on to dismiss Elliot-Square before Emlyn Kuhn was run-out by Jonathan Gregory and Lock was pouched by David Goldsack off the bowling of Salmon (1-33).

Andrew Nurton (24) added late runs for the hosts, while Mike Hernandez (2-45) claimed the scalps of Tom Harris and Tim Durston as Sherborne posted 255 for six from their 50 overs.

Swanage made a dreadful start to their reply with Nurton (3-33) and Durston (3-46) ripping out their top order to leave them reeling at 49 for six.

Elliot Baczala and Peter Baczala briefly steadied the ship by putting on 58 for the seventh wicket to guide them to 108 for six.

But after Peter Baczala had been bowled by Elliot-Square, Swanage’s hopes all but disappeared after a brave knock from Elliot Baczala (87) came to an end.

Contributions down the order from Gregory (23), Hernandez (19*) and Phil Eades (18*) proved in vain as Swanage were stopped at 194 for nine.