West Bromwich Dartmouth have taken a commanding lead in the Birmingham League Premier Division after a crushing win over Kenilwoth Wardens.
With Knowle & Dorridge having to settle for five points after their match against Walsall was abandoned due to poor weather, it left Dartmouth with a 30-point lead and the only side with an unbeaten record in the division.
"In past seasons there have tended to be only two teams challenging for the title," their skipper, former Worcestershire spinner Matt Rawnsley, said. "But this year four or fives sides are capable of winning and that should make it an exciting season.
"We said at the start that we would be happy to finish in the top five and that's still the case.
"We're enjoying our cricket and we've earned ourselves a decent buffer but we know that things are about to get harder. Every other team is going to be desperate to spoil our unbeaten record."
Saturday's match was marred by controversy, however, when Dartmouth's opening batsmen, Ali Khan, was dismissed 'obstructing the field.'
The incident caused Rawnsley to accuse Kenilworth of "unsporting" behaviour; an accusation hotly disputed by Wardens' skipper, James Jordan.
"The batsman just played the ball down in front of him," Rawnsley said. "All he wanted to do was return it to the fielder quickly. I suppose in the letter of the law it was out, but we would never have appealed and I think it's pretty disappointing that they did. Even after they had, there was plenty of time to retract it."
Jordan saw events rather differently, however, saying: "The batsman was trying to play hockey with the ball. He wanted to run a quick single and was deliberately attempting to stop the fielders picking up the ball. To be called unsporting by them is a bit rich."
Both captains were in agreement as to the matchturning performance, however. "Robbie Whittaker came in at number ten and showed how to bat on that pitch," Jordan said. "He played very well, taking 23 off one of my overs and hitting it hard and straight."
Dartmouth had been struggling after Shitansu Kotak took five for 60. Only former Warwickshire batsman Huw Jones (42) and Khan (27) had looked settled and Dartmouth looked destined for a total of under 120 on a pitch freshened up by showers.
Whittaker's intervention marked a turning point, however, and with Rob Fenton and Naheem Sajjad bowling well, Wardens never threatened to get anywhere near the target.
"To be honest, the incident with Ali Khan just fired us up," Rawnsley said. "They probably did us a favour, though Robbie's innings was very important."
Barnt Green moved into second place after a fivewicket victory over stuttering Himley. Although Danny Bassett and Chris Pearce ensured a good start for Himley, Barnt Green's spinners kept the total in check while South African overseas player, Gerhard Strydom, continued to struggle with the bat.
In reply Himley took early wickets but an unbeaten 86 by Gloucestershire's allrounder Roger Sillence settled matters. Barnet Green took 20 points and Himley just four.
A fine all-round performance by Francois Klopper helped Leamington to a winning draw over Wellington in a rain-affected encounter. Klopper (48) and former England and Warwickshire allrounder Neil Smith (63) were the mainstays of Leamington's innings before Klopper, bowling unchanged throughout the Wellington innings, took five wickets to take his side to the brink of an outright victory.
Stoic defiance from Wellington's skipper, Gavin Byram, helped his side hold out, however.
Excellent bowling by captain Greg Smith powered his Coventry and North Warwickshire side to an upset
over Old Hill. Smith claimed seven for 54, taking two wickets with his seamers before reverting to his off-spin and capturing another five, as his side made light of a strong Old Hill batting order.
Earlier, Coventry had set an excellent total of 205 in only 36 overs on a pitch that had started quite damp. Keith Bell (41) and Ken Watkins (50) ensured an excellent start, with Richard Swaffield
and Smith also contributing. Coventry leap into the relative safety of mid-table.
The basement battle between mis-firing Moseley and apparently doomed Halesowen was abandoned.