PEPPARD STOKE ROW missed out on a chance to create substantial daylight at the head of the Premier Division as they slumped to a 14 run home defeat against second-placed MORTIMER WEST END.
The hosts elected to field after winning the toss and South African pace ace Matt Hopper made early inroads as he removed Andy Johnson and Tom Mackenzie cheaply.
Tim Vines also bowled well to claim two wickets to leave the visitors on 54-4.
Mortimer West End captain Nick Kingston again proved a thorn in the Peppard Stoke Row side, making a well-crafted and ultimately match-winning 51 before he was well caught in the deep by Paddy Hennessy.
Ian Jackson bowled tidily at the death to claim a pair of wickets and the returning Hopper returned figures of 4-21 as the visitors reached a seemingly under par 142-9.
The hosts suffered an early double blow in the chase as Gerry Bacon was adjudged caught behind and Hennessy nicked off.
Andy Watts was given out lbw to reduce the hosts to 32-3 before Senthil Muniyasamy’s brief cameo - which included a straight six - was ended when he slapped a full toss to square leg.
Tim and Paul Vines set about a recovery but after the latter fell attempting a pull shot, Hopper fell in quick succession after being trapped in front by spinner Andy Johnson.
With Tim Vines at the crease the Peppard Stoke Row dream was still alive, but when he was stumped for 30, swiftly followed by Harry Jordan and Dion Sampson, the hosts were 94-9.
A last wicket stand between Roy Hayden and Ian Jackson caused a nervous denouement for the visitors, but Johnson eventually bowled Jackson to dismiss the hosts for 128.
The result means with six weeks to play, Peppard Stoke Row head the table with an average of 27.25, a mere 0.03 ahead of Mortimer’s 27.22 tally.
MORTIMER WEST END
J Stead, c Hennessy, b T Vines 37
A Johnson, c Muniyasamy,
b Hopper 7
T Mackenzie, lbw, b Hopper 0
A Mackenzie, lbw, b T Vines 3
N Kingston, c Hennessy, b Sampson 51
W Bray, c P Vines, b Jackson 20
B Hodson, c P Vines, b Jackson 7
K Allsobrook, not out 9
J Beale, b Hopper 0
G Stamp, b Hopper 0
H Patrick, not out 3
TOTAL (9 wkts) 142
• Best bowling: M Hopper 4-21, T Vines 2-29, I Jackson 2-23.
PEPPARD STOKE ROW
A Watts, lbw, b Allsobrook 18
G Bacon, c Stead, b Allsobrook 0
P Hennessy, c Stead, b Kingston 3
S Muniyasamy, c Hodson,
b Kingston 10
T Vines, st Stead, b Hodson 30
P Vines, c Kingston, b Hodson 12
M Hopper, lbw, b Johnson 1
H Jordan, c Johnson, b Hodson 7
D Sampson, c Beale, b Kingston 3
R Hayden, not out 12
I Jackson, b Johnson 16
WOODCOTE completed the double away at reigning champions SULHAMSTEAD, coming away winners by 59 runs.
The hosts won the toss and put Woodcote into bat. With the ball swinging the home team were soon in the driving seat as Woodcote lost early wickets.
Visiting skipper Paul Knox steadied the innings, helping himself to a half-century and the final total appeared within the capabilities of the home batsmen.
When Sulhamstead batted the game soon began to swing in the opposite direction. Knox soon had the batsmen struggling, with the new ball swinging as much as in the first innings, while at the other end the pace and lift of Steve Henderson’s bowling had the batsmen in trouble.
Henderson helped himself to six wickets for 23 runs, four of which were the result of attempted hook shots from the home batsmen. Knox completed a good personal performance with 3-22 off 12 overs while wicketkeeper Andy Silver put in a good performance behing the stump.
J Mayo, run out 6
S Henderson, c Mercer, b Gill 0
JP Brouard, b Palmer 14
P Knox, c Hafeez, b Godfrey 51
M Stroker, c & b Thompson 13
Z Ahmed, c Godfrey, b Thompson 0
J Worsfold, b Thompson 12
Z Akram, c Gill, b Thompson 8
A Silver, c Thompson, b Gill 8
K Brouard, c Briggs, b Macdonald 5
C Mattimore, not out 0
M Godfrey, c Worsfold,
b Henderson 7
J Seward, c Silver, b Henderson 21
M Hafeez, c & b Henderson 0
M Thompson, b Knox 4
T Evans, lbw, b Knox 0
A Briggs, c Ahmed, b Henderson 2
C Mercer, c Silver, b Knox 6
C Palmer, b Ahmed 14
S Dove, c K Brouard, b Henderson 0
M Gill, b Henderson 3
D Macdonald, not out 0
• Best bowling: S Henderson 6-28.
Put into bat on a damp pitch at EMMBROOK, visitors CHECKENDON were 30-5 as the home seamers exploited favourable bowling conditions in this Division 1 clash.
Jack Hoyle and Vasu Gupta staged a 57-run partnership and vital contributions from the tailenders took Checkendon to 115 in 29.2 overs.
The visiting side proved well able to defend this modest total thanks to the medium pace bowling of Vikas Chib who took 6-30 in his 12 overs, supported by left arm spinner Varun Kaushal with 3-29 as well as three catches.
Keeper Matt Heslop took two stumpings as Checkendon applied pressure in the field to dismiss the home side for 103.
J Warren, c Dozier, b Cole 18
L Gray, c Dozier, b Cole 0
V Chib, c —, b Viroja 6
S Manning, lbw, b Viroja 4
J Hoyle, b Woodward 36
M Heslop, lbw, b Cole 0
V Gupta, c & b Lewis 21
V Kaushal, c —, b Lewis 1
M Wickens, b Woodward 7
A Podoiski, not out 1
H Wickens, c Dozier, b Phelps 8
A Cobb, b Chib 12
S Jain, c Kaushal, b Chib 6
P West, st Heslop, b Kaushal 24
S Woodward, c Hoyle, b Chib 4
T McNelly, c Gupta, b Kaushal 12
R Phelps, c Gray, b Chib 10
M Dozier, c & b Chib 2
R Cole, st Heslop, b Kaushal 2
S Kaleswaran, c Kaushal, b Chib 0
A Lewis, c Kaushal, b Hoyle 9
A Viroja, not out 17
• Best bowling: V Chib 6-30, V Kaushal 3-29.
GORING secured a crucial victory in their battle against relegation by defeating high-flying STRATFIELD TURGIS/HARTLEY WESPALL.
With Stratfield’s new covers arriving during the week, the wicket was in excellent condition despite the overnight rain, encouraging Goring skipper Duncan Kent to choose to bat when winning the toss.
Andy Steele got Goring’s innings off to a decent start with a bright and breezy 29, but after his dismissal wickets fell at regular intervals. When opener Kent fell caught behind after a battling 23, Goring were 80-6 after 28 overs.
However, a seventh wicket partnership between Peter Slade and Stephen Wincott changed the tone of the innings and pushed the run-rate up. With Slade scoring rapidly he reached 61 not out and Goring eventually finished on 182-8 in their 45 overs, a total that had seemed far out of reach an hour earlier.
In reply, Stratfield started steadily as James Wright and Trevor Wright kept Turgis in striking position of the required rate. However, with good fielding from all the Goring team and 100 per cent of catches held the wickets fell at vital points.
The most crucial was Ollie Carrier clean bowling Dan Reynaldo with seven overs remaining when Stratfield’s seventh wicket partnership looked set to win the match for Turgis.
The final three wickets followed quickly as Goring wrapped up the maximum 37 points available. Peter Slade added to his fine batting performance with three wickets, Carrier picking up three and Andy Steele and Owyn Tong-Jones each chipping in with two apiece.
The victory lifted Goring out of the relegation zone.
O Tong-Jones, c Clarke, b Dyson 6
D Kent, c Wright, b B Reynaldo 23
A Steele, c Wright, b Dyson 29
O Carrier, c Milward, b Shepley 7
A Hussain, c Dyson, b Ayers 11
J Russell, b B Reynaldo 6
P Slade, not out 61
S Wincott, b D Reynaldo 27
T Hedge, b Clarke 2
R Tong-Jones, not out 1
TOTAL (8 wkts) 182
• Best bowling: B Reynaldo 2-26, M Dyson 2-32.
STRATFIELD TURGIS/HARTLEY WESPALL
T Wright, lbw, b Slade 25
S Clarke, c Hussain, b Steele 9
J Wright, c Carrier, b O Tong-Jones 45
M Dyson, c Steele, b Slade 13
T Millward, lbw, b Carrier 12
T Shepley, c Kent, b Steele 15
R Carter, lbw, b Slade 0
D Reynaldo, b Carrier 19
B Reynaldo, c O Tong-Jones,
b Carrier 0
N Girle, c Carrier, b O Tong-Jones 0
S Ayers, not out 0
• Best bowling: P Slade 3-19, O Carrier 3-22, O Tong-Jones 2-31, A Steele 2-47.
Division 2 league leaders’ PEPPARD STOKE ROW 2nds’ match away to MORTIMER WEST END 2nds was cancelled due to the weather, as was PEPPARD STOKE ROW 3rds’ home Division 4 clash with RUISLIP VICTORIA 2nds.