COTSWOLD Hills Cricket League Premier Division leaders Shipston-on-Stour won at last year’s champions Earlswood for the first time since 2008.

They are 35 points ahead of second-placed Wellesbourne, who inched two closer with a big 104-run win over Catherine de Barnes.

Shipston edged home by two wickets with 180-8 after bowling out Earlswood for 177.

Jon Walker enjoyed early success by removing both openers.

Leon Everett (17) was caught behind by Tom Cox and James McGovern (4) taken at slip by Matt Corby but the next wicket did not fall for another 17 overs.

Carl Everett (44) and Tariq Mohammed added 78 runs before Paul Cross turned to spin and Justin Saker struck quickly, having the former caught by Cox.

The game changed when Dave Murphy bowled in partnership with Saker and they reduced the hosts from a healthy 145-3 with 15 overs left to 177 all out.

They were supported by fine catches taken by Jack Murphy, Marcus Ireland, Walker, Saker and Corby.

Tariq top-scored with 63 and Waqar Mohammed was left on 10 not out for fourth-from-bottom Earlswood as Dave Murphy and Saker returned their best figures of the season.

Murphy took 5-11 in 6.2 overs and Saker 3-36 from 10.

In reply, Julian Morris (29) and Corby (38) posted 68 runs in just 10 overs but both fell quickly.

Morris was bowled and Corby caught before Saker (9) fell lbw in the 19th over and, at 84-3, the match was interestingly poised.

Jack Murphy (35) played a gritty innings with Ireland but the pair perished within six balls.

Ireland was snaffled at cover and Jack Murphy caught and bowled before captain Cross and Walker improved the precarious position of 135-5 to 168.

Just when it looked like a comfortable win would be achieved, Tariq (3-15) struck in the 38th over to have Cross (11) caught at deep mid-wicket, Walker (22) pouched behind and Phil Hall (0) bowled.

Dave Murphy, in his 400th league innings, and Cox edged the score to 172-8 before the former played two important shots.

He chipped over mid-on for a scampered two and then blasted a lofted drive over long-on for a match-winning six.

Shipston have another tough test on Saturday at home to high-flying Broadway, who crashed by 83 runs to basement boys Elmley Castle in their last game.