LEDBURY moved further clear of the drop zone in Marches Cricket League Division Two with a valuable winning draw at fellow strugglers Luctonians seconds.

A strong start spearheaded by Paul Andrews (84) and a 41 unbeaten from seventh man Brandon Caffull saw the visitors post 268-7 before they almost sent Luctonians crashing to defeat.

Seven of the hosts’ batsmen failed to hit double figures as Josh Evans (3-38) did the damage with the ball while Steve Evans finished with figures of 2-34.

Ben Amos (68) and Chris Burke (89) produced a match-saving stand before Matt Hargreaves weighed in with 34 useful runs.

But Ledbury claimed 24 points as Luctonians finished 43 runs short on 225-8 from their 45 overs.

The result saw Ledbury open up a 20-gap between themselves and second-from-bottom Colwall with three games to go.

Fifth-placed Ledbury host second-placed Strollers on Saturday (1pm) before visiting relegation rivals Knighton-on-Teme and Colwall thirds in the final two matches.

Meanwhile, Ledbury seconds slumped to a six-wicket defeat to Canon Frome at Orlham Lane in Division Three.

The home side got off to a decent start thanks to Robert Yeoman (20), Phil Caffull (39) and Thomas Willis (31).

Steve Burgess, Chris Ritchie and Paul Barnes all failed to fire before Neil Andrews (33) and Simon Ritchie (20) rallied as Ledbury posted 187-7.

Andrews then claimed three wickets but Canon Frome ran out victorious courtesy of a half-century from James Hughes.

Ledbury seconds travel to Builth Wells seconds on Saturday (1pm).