League leaders Optimus suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, edged out by Farmers-Caesareans in a thrilling encounter at Les Quennevais.

Batting first in sunny conditions, Optimus limped to 85 all out in 34.3 overs, in-form batsman Matt Hague making only 12 and Ryan Driver falling to a brilliant catch in the slips in the first over.

Economical left-arm spin in the middle overs from 18-year old James Faudemer, who returned figures of 4-13 from his 7.3 overs, then stifled any hopes of an Optimus recovery, condemning last year's runners up to their lowest total of the season.

But Farmers Cs were to make hard work of their chase as they stuttered to 30-7, Tony Carlyon's 4 wickets in 6 overs doing the bulk of the damage. It would fall to the battling heroics of Chuggy Perchard and number 11 Faudemer to see the Farmers home, Perchard's brave 35 not out securing victory with 3 balls to spare.

The weekend's action also saw victories for Rathbone OVs and the Rathbone Victoria College First XI.

Sam de la Haye's undefeated 132 from 108 balls helped the OVs to 245 for 5 from their allotted 45 overs, de la Haye starring in a fifth-wicket partnership of 128 with Ben Silva. In reply, Springfield could muster only 101, Alex Cooke top-scoring with 43 not out and Chris Jones picking up 3 wickets from his 7.4 overs.

Meanwhile at College Field there was a first win of the season for Rathbone Victoria College First XI, beating SCF by 77 runs. Dan McAviney and Aidan Maguire notched up half-centuries for the home side in their total of 251 for 7, Maguire hitting an eye-catching 65 not out from 32 balls.

SCF could then only reach 174 in reply, Alex Noel the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-22 from his seven overs.

Optimus' defeat sets up things nicely for their next fixture against OVs, a top-of-the-table clash that will no doubt prove significant in shaping the league table come the end of the season.