ELWORTH look destined for a swift return to Division One after they slumped to defeat against Stone on Saturday.
Despite a promising start, the South Cheshire side have found it hard to cope with the standard of play in the Premier Division, after last year's glorious promotion campaign.
Now, with just two matches left and lying 16 points adrift of safety, their situation looks bleak.
Stone professional Mohammed Hussain undid Elworth with 6-69 in a 30-over spell at London Road. A battling 56 from skipper Dave Palin, along with good support from Pete Davies (46) and Russell Cope (20), helped them to 156 all out.
It was not enough as Stone reached their target in 50.2 overs. C Banks (57) was the main scorer for the visitors, with decent contributions from B Sims
(29), P Cheadle (27) and S Jenkinson (25) also doing damage. Jim Higgins (3-33) was Elworth's best bowler and Crompton took 2-57 as Stone cruised to 166-5. Elworth's six points is little help in their struggle against relegation.
Betley are the only team below El-worth and are almost certainly doomed after their loss at Little Stoke.
The visitors were bowled out for 125, with former England international Phil Defreitas (3-25) providing stern opposition.
Richard Cooper (3-33) did his best to restrict the hosts, but M Dawson (38no) and W Morrey (36no) helped Little Stoke cruise to victory with 127-5.
In Division One, Crewe's fine run of form came to an end on Saturday when a disastrous batting collapse allowed promotion favourites Meir Heath to snatch victory.
Visitors Meir batted first in the Division One encounter and Nick Lange made an early breakthrough, trapping Neil Crump lbw for no score. Aizaz Cheema bowled Richard Stonier for 21 but then a steady partnership of 49 between Andy Sharp and Jason Britton put Meir in a strong position at 83-2, before spin twins Martin Webb and Annu Sinha took a wicket apiece.
The score moved on to 104-4 before Cheema was recalled and, after Webb dismissed professional Sajid Ali for 10, the prolific Crewe professional ripped through the lower order in a devastating spell.
The last six wickets crashed for just three runs with Cheema returning 6-36 to leave a punch-drunk Meir on 107ao.
With Crewe's batsmen all in good form of late, it seemed an achievable target, but they were soon in deep trouble.
Former Sussex leg spinner Andy Clarke and Ali bowled a pulverising opening spell, snapping up five early wickets to leave the hosts on a woeful 10-5.
Mark Hurst battled hard but, when he went for 12, Crewe were in tatters at 22-6.
The experienced Richard Marsh and Mark Spencer revived hopes by taking the score to 45, but another flurry of wickets saw them crumble to a miserable 52ao with Marsh the only pillar of resistance as he was left stranded on 20no. Clarke's magic saw him finish with figures of 5-15 off 15 overs
Haslington remained rooted to the bottom after a woeful performance at Stafford.
The Clay Lane outfit were bowled out for 88, and youngster Tom Blackwood (37) claimed almost half of that total alone. Nobody else, aside from Johnny Phipps (12), reached double figures as the hosts shared the wickets around.
Stafford eased to 89-3 and a 20-point haul, with N Francis (46no) and F Iqbal (33no) doing the work. Haslington's Richard Brown returned 3-22. nSecond-team scores - Premier Division: Betley 128ao (A Rowley 34) Little Stoke 132-3 (T Philips 31); Stone 183-5(dec) (A Palmer 56) Elworth 179ao (A Winfield 6-62). Division One: Haslington 78ao (C Mertins 4-20, M Smallman 4-15) Stafford 205-7 (S Knighton 80); Crewe 176ao (N Hurst 34, N Webb 30, R Highfield 67) Rode Park 135ao (G Abblotts 3-13, I Birkin 4-25).