Four remain in the title picture after a defeat for leaders
James Harris was the hero as Penkridge kept alive their hopes of winning the South Staffs County League with a thrilling one-wicket win over leaders Milford Hall.
Harris struck the winning runs to edge his team home and secure a victory which prevented Milford from clinching the Premier Division title, on a weekend when closest rivals Tamworth were beaten at Beacon, who are themselves still in the hunt.
All four teams have a chance to finish top heading into the final two weekends of the season, though it is Milford who remain in the driving seat.
They would already be home and hosed were it not for Penkridge, who pulled off a thrilling victory.
Aqab Ahmed finished with superb figures of 5-32 as Milford, batting first, were bowled out for just 139.
That was a target which looked comfortably within Penkridge’s reach while Jack Pope compiled a patient 32 to take his team within sight of the winning line, with five wickets still in hand.
But when he was dismissed just eight runs required, it sparked a clatter of four wickets for just six runs, meaning No.11 Harris walked to the crease with his team on 138-9 and still two runs short.
Showing little signs of concern, he duly hit the first ball he faced for four to earn Penkridge a memorable win.
Milford are still favourites for the title and can win it by beating Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall this Saturday in their final match of the season.
Yet any slip-up could allow Tamworth, Beacon or Penkridge to snatch the crown, with the latter two teams each having two matches remaining.
Beacon are third in the standings, two points ahead of Penkridge, after an impressive 78-run win over Tamworth.
Batting first, Oliver Green (47), Jake Cartwright (46), Daniel Green (44) and James Fildes (41) all made solid contributions to a final total of 204-8 from 40 overs.
It was a target which proved well beyond Tamworth, who never recovered from an early blast from Beacon seamer Matt Cartwright which saw both openers removed cheaply.
The visitors were eventually dismissed for just 126, Cartwright finishing with figures of 4-28, while Fildes made a strong case for man-of-the-match honours with three wickets to back up his earlier runs.
This Saturday, Beacon host Wombourne, who continued their resurgence with a thrilling five-run win over Wolverhampton.
Nathan Howell’s 92 and a half-century from Zac Smith helped Wombourne amass 217-7 batting first.
Tom Hudson and Ben Jewkes then quickly had Wolverhampton in trouble at 33-4 before Inam Ul Haq Muhammad crunched 96 from 103 balls to get his team back in the game.
Victory still looked a tall order when he was the eighth wicket to fall with the score on 165 and though Nikul Lal (38) and Andrew Mackleworth (22 not out) added 44 for the ninth wicket, Wolves still fell short, Andy Bowyer the last wicket to fall when he was run out with five still required.
Fordhouses remain on course for a top-five finish after beating Hammerwich by 48 runs, while Brewood are sixth thanks to a thumping 121-run victory over Old Wulfrunians Tettenhall.