STOKE Gabriel are off the top of the B Division following a four-wicket defeat by Barton in the first-against-second clash on the Eastley Memorial Ground.

Miserly Barton bowling from Matt Lipton (2-5), Morgan Harford (2-31), Stuart Bowker (2-24) and Nick Watkin (2-27) helped limit Stoke to 154-9 in 45 overs.

Stoke’s innings was a stop-start affair at times with wickets falling in batches, 95-4 becoming 96-7 for example.

Opener Abhishek Anand made 32 patiently. Mike Smith dug in for 35 against one of his former clubs and Dan Bullock was 20 not out when time was up.

Openers Shaun Needham (29) and Tary Masakanda (61no) got Barton’s chase into gear. Losing three wickets between 53 and 69 slowed things briefly, Isaac Withington (3-37) doing the damage, but Adam Parker (23) accompanied Masakanda up to a hundred and beyond.

Stoke’s Jack Tolley (3-41) caused some alarm with a three-wicket burst, but Masakanda was still there and with Lipton (20n) for company, won the game in the 29th over.