Any faint prospects St Cross Symondians had of featuring in the ECB Southern Premier League honours race this season probably disappeared with a one-wicket defeat by defending champions Burridge at the Green Jackets ground.

The respective clubs dominated the 2023 title race which came to an incredible climax in a winner-take-all final game of the season in which Burridge prevailed.

But with only two Premier Division wins under their belts at the halfway point of the season, it is unlikely St Cross will feature for a second year running.

Symondians were bowled out for 152 in only 34.2 overs - more or less half their Time pennant allocation - with a promising 39-0 quickly becoming 39-3 and later an alarming 72-7.

Inayat Ullah, who joined Burridge from RAM last season, produced a 5-40 return - his third five-wicket haul of the season - and alongside Oli Southon (2-32) did the damage.

Gareth Schreuder (40) repaired the pre-lunch damage but his run out left St Cross defending 152 - and Burridge oceans of time to knock off the runs.

But 152 proved competitive and when 2023 run gun Mat Goles (15) was caught off fellow South African Kyle Pluke (4-48) at 58-1 in the 14th over St Cross sensed they had a chance of winning.

Joe Collings-Wells (46) took the game to St Cross with a nine-four cameo, but as the tension mounted the visitors slipped from 74-2 to 112-7, Matt Stokes (3-35) making important inroads.

Ullah, whose 19 not out proved a match winner, and Francis Moore (14) took Burridge to 138-7 when Pluke took two wickets to four balls. Burridge now 138-9, still 15 runs short of the target.

It was nail biting stuff as Ullah and last man Ben White (no mug with the bat) gradually chiseled down the target and got the title holders home without further loss.