STRATFORD gave their fight to stay in the Birmingham League a huge boost after pushing basement side Nuneaton closer to the drop.
After the previous week’s horror show against Sentinel, the Panthers bounced back with a crucial 123-runs win against Nuneaton at Swans Nest Lane.
Adam Bayliss top scored with 60 and shared a 90-run opening stand with John Price (35).
David Bailey (55) and Chris Whelan (53) continued the good work but the lower order wickets also tumbled at regular intervals as 207-4 became 224 all out.
Jason Jakeman took six for 79 for the visitors.
Stratford skipper Mike Brown then took four for 34 and Anthony Pratley snapped up three for 16 to dismiss Nuneaton for 101 in the 45th over.
The result means Stratford lie fourth from bottom in the Division Three table, eight points behind Handsworth who toppled promotion-chasing Astwood Bank.
Brown’s men head to Handsworth on Saturday for a hugely important contest.
Meanwhile, Nuneaton and Worcester Nomads slipped further adrift in the bottom two, with Brewood now 13 points behind Stratford.
BOTTOM OF THE TABLE
Stratford 2nds’ challenge for the title in the Second XI Division Two South suffered a setback after a four-wickets defeat to Nuneaton,
Having been put into bat, Stratford were skittled for 130 in just 35.4 overs. All the top six got starts but only opener Dexter Purser (37) and Josh Hickman (22) managed to push the score on as Paul Lovick finished with 6-26 for Nuneaton.
In reply, the hosts were indebted to a half-century from Robert Ison (50 not out) to steer them home in 47 overs on 132-6.
Tom Whitting led the Stratford bowlers with 4-41 in his 11 overs.
The Bards recorded a six-wicket win at Long Itchington 2nds in Division Three of the Cotswold Hills League.