Pre-season favourites P & S took advantage of Ryde’s unexpected high scoring blip against Hook & Newnham Basics to move joint top.
Ryde were optimistic about nailing a ninth win in ten when Josh Procter, with a fiery 68 (three sixes and ten fours) off 49 balls and Ben Wadmore (67) eased them to 278-9.
But Hook gave chase and on the back of knocks by teenager Liam Doran (70), pictured, Ben Allnutt (53) and Harry Warner (39) got in by three wickets with ten balls to spare.
Portsmouth & Southsea, whose August 5 showdown with Ryde could decide the title, trimmed fading Ropley by 71 runs.
They were in the driving seat once they posted 265-8 (Steve Clements 60) and once Kieron Dunstan (4-41) had removed four of Ropley’s top six, the outcome was virtually assured. Ropley, now in sixth spot, were dismissed of 194.
Longparish, who also have Ryde on their upcoming fixture list, brushed aside Fareham & Crofton, whose Australian teen all-rounder Reece Abrams is sidelined with a broken hand.
Much hinged on Tom Kent (26) for Fareham, but once he went the innings folded to 147 all out, with James Bevan and Harry Martin sharing six of the scalps.
Will de Cani’s unbeaten 67 saw Longparish home – something that Fareham also achieved, having got lost and ended up at Fleet on their way back !
Shrewton are languishing in the bottom half of CD1, but they are always liable to produce a surprise result – as both Longparish and Lymington II have found in recent weeks.
They crushed fourth placed Lymington by eight wickets, chasing down 201.
OTs & Romsey are climbing the frame and moved into fifth spot after beating New Milton II by five wickets.
But they will want to eradicate the 49 extras (33 wides) they conceded and which, but for Steve Watts’ 55, would have top scored in Milton’s 208.
Steve Smith had a splendid match for OTR, taking 4-32 before scoring 55 as his side chased down the target, Gus Flack (45) and Colin Morris (38) playing their roles.
An unbroken match winning stand of 126 between man-of-the-match Hakin Peruzi and Kiwi Tarin Mason hauled Hythe & Dibden out of the mire and set up a five-wicket win over Ventnor II at Steephill.
Hythe, who have beaten several other clubs to the signature of former Bath ace Zach Millar, were on the run at 85-5 when the pair came together.
But they turned the tide in style, with Peruzi hitting 89 not out (having earlier taken 3-25) and Mason an unbeaten 42.
Martin Blackman (88) rescued Ventnor II from a desperate 85-7 and helped the hosts to 208.
United Services remain in serious relegation trouble after Bishops Waltham inflicted their eighth defeat in nine outings.
Only Sarisbury Athletic, beaten by six wickets by St Cross Symondians III, and Rowledge II lie beneath them in the log.
US crashed to 22-4 and later 59-5 replying to Waltham’s 249-7, leaving Gary Hounsome (68), Matt Easton (38) and the bottom order far too much to do. They were 213 all out.
Earlier, Dom Quincey (65) and Phil Baldock (44) guided BW to 132-2 but a middle-order wobble needed a repair job from Sam Medhurst (42) and Harry Barrett (32).
Tom Fay (61) top scored as St Cross chased down Sarisbury Athletic’s 204 (Chris Mottola 47), while Buridge lifted themselves out of immediate trouble with a six-wicket win over seemingly doomed Rowledge.