A comfortable five-wicket win at Fareham & Crofton coincided with Hursley Park, Longparish and Ropley all losing – and the Watersiders opening up a 21-point gap at the top.
Despite an unbeaten 53 by Luke Cornish and a resolute knock from skipper Tom Kent (46), Fareham were unable to recover from early setbacks and could not defend a modest 175-9 at Bath lane. Andy Wakely’s unbeaten 72 carried Hythe to victory.
Hursley Park stumbled to an unexpected defeat at relegation threatened Rowledge II, while Longparish found themselves on the receiving end of a 270-run grilling at Bishops Waltham.
Openers Ian Budd (64) and Haider Khan (54) provided the platform for Simon Culmer (45) to hit out. Sam Trinder (64) responded in LP’s 148 all out.
Ropley, whose South African’s run gun Tim Niemand is sidelined with a dislocated shoulder, crashed to a third defeat in four weeks when OTs & Romsey (182) beat them by 18 runs.
Those losses have enabled Parley, last season CD2 winners, to leapfrog into second spot and become Hythe’s chief championship challengers during the run-in.
Parley hammered Burridge II by 159 runs after Ollie Green (85) [pictured left by John Beasley] and Alex Nippard (77) had shared a 141-run stand to guide the Dorset side to 280.
St Cross Symondians III made round 12’s highest total, 290-5 off the Hook & Newnham Basics II attack at the KGV, where Tom Fay (74), the promising Graham Barrett (63) and Harry Trussler (42) led the way. Ben Allnutt (52) and Harry Robson (45) helped Basics to 174 all out.
Ryde made hay at Burnaby Road, where Cam Mitchell (84) and Julion Jayerjah (81) led the islanders’ to 277-7 before Sam Mallinson (70) top scored in United Services’ 221 reply. Ben Wadmore took 4-40.
Andover II boosted their survival hopes with a Harry Blackburn (80) inspired four-wicket win over visiting Shrewton (215), while Alton II’s 204-9 proved enough as hosts Easton & Martyr Worthy fell 17 runs short on 187.