Totton & Eling are wobbling – just as British Gas Southern League Division 2 silverware began to glitter on the near horizon.
A second consecutive defeat – by 81 runs at near neighbours Paultons – has cut Totton’s lead at the top to a mere five points.
Second placed OTs & Romsey closed the gap with a Rob Newman (left) inspired 68-run win over St Cross Symondians II, who are now out of the promotion race.
Josh Metcalfe (55) and opener Cam Grierson (47) led the way as Paultons posted 204-9 (Rob Pike 29).
Zimbabweans Mark Mbofana and Kieran Geyle shared six Paultons wickets, but a new-ball blast by James Holgate (3-32) had Totton rocking at 29-3.
Geyle (59) and James Taylor (28) got Totton back into it, but from an improved 102-3 the Eels promptly lost their last seven wickets for 21 runs and were 123 all out.
Australian James Bills (3-22) and inspirational left-arm spin captain Andre Denney (3-31) took the spoils.
Rob Newman (87) and teenager Joe Vaughan (56) shared a 143-run partnership as OTs & Romsey piled up 267-8 at the Green Jackets Ground.
Paul Hawkins (55) and Alan Whitman (42) responded with a century opening stand for St Cross, who yielded to OTs variety of spin.
Jody Brown (3-31) claimed the first three wickets to leave the door open for Peter Newman (4-13) to clean up the tail.