Ballyspallen have closed the gap on Glendermott at the top of the Championship to just one win after the Roe Valley side sealed a 46-run victory over St Johnston on Tuesday night.

Chasing the home side's 188-9 from the previous evening, the Donegal outfit gave themselves a real chance of a surprise win early on, with Jack Mcbeth's excellent half century providing the platform.

The teenager hit 4 fours in his knock and that, coupled with 28 from Michael Rankin and 18 from Ian Macbeth helped the visitors reach 98-1 before Craig Averill started a collapse.

Averill had made 40 for the hosts on Monday night as he, Ian Crown (47) and Darnell McCallum (37) did the bulk of the scoring in their competitive total.

Best with the ball for the Saints were teenage spin wizard Khyat Bhavsar (3-20) and David MacBeth (3-31) who each took three wickets.

Craig Averill and Stephen McCloskey bowled superbly in tandem , and scoreboard pressure told as Averill claimed a 5-wicket haul (5-29) to complete a fine all-round game.

The last 9 wickets fell for the addition of just 44 more runs as the Saints wilted- setting up what should now be a grandstand finish to the promotion race.

NW CHAMPIONSHIP

At Bridge Park, Ballyspallen (23pts) beat St Johnston (2pts) by 46 runs

Ballyspallen 188-9 (40 overs; I Crown 47, C Averill 40, D McCallum 37, K Bhavsar 3-20, D Macbeth 3-31, J Cole 2-36)

St Johnston 142 all out (38 1 overs; J Macbeth 50, M Rankin 28, C Averill 5-29, S Kennedy 2-29)