Wokingham CC pull clear but Finchampstead CC slip up

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Stuart Hayter and Ed Oliver enjoyed good days with the bat (Pics by Steve Smyth)

WOKINGHAM are 31 points clear at the top of Thames Valley Division 1 after an eight-wicket win over Marlow.

That victory, the Oaks’ seventh in a row, coupled with a draw for Stoke Green, who did occupy second spot, sees Stuart Hayter’s men open up a healthy lead with seven games to play.

It was another dominant display from Wokingham on Saturday.

Once again they opted to bowl first and dismissed Marlow for just 138.

Jacob Clark took two early wickets

The quick bowlers kicked off proceedings brightly, leaving the hosts 28-3 thanks to two wickets from Jacob Clark and one for Lewis Sharp.

Paul McCraw then took over, posting figures of 5-35 with Paul Dewick also picking up a couple of wickets to end the Marlow innings after 34 overs.

And as has been the case in recent weeks, there was no drama in the chase.

Captain Hayter hit his first half century of the season with a knock of 55 before Dan Housego’s 57 not out saw the win over the line after 31 overs.

Wokingham travel to third-placed Boyne Hill this weekend.

But it was not such an enjoyable afternoon for FINCHAMPSTEAD as they slipped to a surprise defeat against Tring Park, a first loss in eight weeks.

Tring have struggled for much of the campaign but completed a league double over the title chasers, winning by three wickets with just seven balls to spare.

In a rain affected game, Finches lost Andrew House (7) early, but pushed on from 10-1 to

JJ Dewes was the pick of the Finchampstead bowlers

109-2 before Dan Marles fell for 55.

Adam Dewes soon followed having made 38 but fine knocks from Billy Rogers (54), Jandre Coetzee (23) and Ed Oliver (61no) saw the hosts close on 248-6.

Given 50 overs to reach the target, Finchampstead struggled to take wickets after stand-in wicket-keeper Oliver caught opener Liam Gough off the bowling of Coetzee for two.

Charlie Macdonell went on to score 101 to shape the innings and despite the best efforts of JJ Dewes (3-69), Tring clinched the win.

Marles’ men do stay second in the Home Counties Premier League table but are now 20 points behind leaders Henley.

Finch take on surprise package Horspath on Saturday away from home.

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