DEVIZES skipper Joe Wookey paid tribute to his players for carving out a run of good form and giving themselves a fighting chance of avoiding the drop.

Wookey’s men beat Trowbridge last week to record their first victory since the opening day of the season and on Saturday, Devizes hauled themselves off the bottom of the table with a narrow five-run win at Marlborough.

“We know that we’ve massively under-performed this season. To go on a nine-match losing run just wasn’t good enough but that win over Trowbridge was a huge turning point for us,” said Wookey.

“We’ve had players missing games through work commitments, weddings and all the things that you usually get, so a lot of players have stepped up.

“That includes a lot of juniors, who sometimes can be like rabbits in headlights when they come into the team but they’ve been great.

“The credit has to go to the players and particularly the bowlers, who have done really well to keep us in games because our batting is where we’ve been poorest.

“It’s still really tight down there and I think this is the most difficult league I can remember at this level –it’s exciting though and we’ve got some really important games left.”

With the match reduced to 40 overs a piece, Devizes were put in to bat first, with Wookey (37), Tim Saye (36) and Jonathan Skull (31) helping the visitors post 153-5.

Ben Head (43) led the Marlborough run chase but Ben McGowen (2-20), Wookey (2-25) and Mark Banham (2-28) all did enough to restrict the hosts to 148-9.

At the top end of the Wiltshire Division, Burbage & Easton Royal kept their notched up their title charge on track with their tenth win of the season.

Tom Wallbridge’s side claimed a seven-wicket win over Winsley, with Oliver Lavis and Michael Papps taking 3-20 and Darran Freegard also claiming 3-25 as Burbage piled the pressure on their opponents.

Winsley’s Stuart Hammond made 55 as the visitors were skittled for 149 midway through the 39th over before Papps hit an unbeaten 62 to guide the hosts to victory.

Haydn Amor (32 not out) also weighed in as Burbage reached 151-3 in 34 overs.

Third-placed Marshfield were denied the chance to close the gap on Purton as their clash with Great Bedwyn was rained off.

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for Calne as they were beaten by 73 runs at Trowbridge.

Dan Knight’s side put the hosts in to bat first after winning the toss and Julian Kearney attempted to turn the screw as he took 4-34 but Mikey Reynolds (60) and Tom Oakley (50) helped Trowbridge post 200 before they were dismissed in the final over.

Tom Richards (40) spearheaded Calne’s run chase but Sam Julyan (4-21) piled on the pressure, with Knight’s men all out for 127 in just over 36 overs.