Knebworth Park beat Harpenden II by eight runs in a thrilling finish to snatch a lifeline to escape relegation.
After beating Hitchin the previous week it gave them back-to-back wins to move to within 12 points of safety – a position that seemed impossible two weeks ago.
In a game where fortunes swung repeatedly, the Park had seemed set to lose in the face of a superbly controlled innings of 76 by Nick Reeves until he was ousted by an amazing catch by Archie Stephens off the bowling of Gareth Jones.
Racing around the boundary, Stephens, pictured, dived full-length to snatch the ball before it was about to hit the ground.
Even then, with Harpenden nine down needing 26 to win, the last pair looked to be nudging home, especially after two catching chances were spilled.
Then, skipper Charlie Randall switched Sunny Iqbal to the Park end and he trapped last man Matt Ball lbw to bowl the visitors out for 174.
Earlier, opening bowler Gareth Jones had produced his best of the season, taking 5 for 30 and reducing the visitors to 21 for 3. With the help of two run outs the Park continued to look favourites at 99 for 6 and 135 for 8. But all the time Reeves was the threat.
Harpenden were chasing the Park’s 193 all out to win, a target reduced to 182 after a rain break.
Batting first after losing the toss, the Knebworth innings began brightly. Josh Roseberry (13) looked good before slicing a catch to gully. Mo Asif (36) plundered seven fours as they moved on to 62 for 1 before spinner Will Latham (4 for 24) removed him and Adam Sergeant.
All the middle order grafted hard for runs and made starts without pressing. Sibet Hussain (24), Stephens (22), Louis Clayton (19), Ollie O’Brien (13) and Charlie Randall (18) battled tp help post what looked a below-par total.
In the end it proved just enough in a game where in the closing stages a healthy crowd cheered every effort by the home side but held their breath as chances went begging.
When the Park snatched the final wicket to win, there was unbounded elation.