ROYAL Ascot remain in a relegation battle after losing their Division 2b home game to Wargrave by five wickets on the Duckworth/Lewis method, writes Richard Ashton.

Gareth Baker top scored with 64 as the home side posted a competitive 229-8, Jack Clark taking 3-46.

Wargrave lost Luke Taylor early, but a useful knock from opener Sam Bowers (56) kept their noses in front, and despite Nick Wiggett’s 3-33, Wargrave reached 192-5 in 42 overs, captain Neal Robinson top scoring with an unbeaten 60.

Royal Ascot visit table-toppers High Wycombe 2nds this coming Saturday.

A dismal batting performance saw second-bottom Hurst lose by 79 runs to the only side below them in the league, Wokingham 2nds.

Manpreet Singh top scored with 50 as the Oaks were bowled out for 173, Phil Higgs taking 3-31 with his off spin.

No Hurst batsman got going in reply, however, and with Paul McCraw (4-23) and young Charlie Carter (3-20) in fine form, they were shot out for just 94.

Hurst visit Beaconsfield on Saturday.

Finchampstead 2nds recorded a 25-run Duckworth/Lewis home win against Thatcham Town.

Gary Loveday (99no) fell just short of a brilliant century and Matt Eldridge also made 91 as Finches totalled a competitive 267-4 in their 50 overs, and Michael O’Donohue then took 4-5 as Thatcham reached 167-6 in 35 overs before the rain arrived.

Eversley dropped to third in the Division 2a table after they suffered an eight-wicket defeat at champions-elect Hayes.

The Boars were bowled out for 179 in 46.2 overs, and Hayes eased to 184-2 with more than 20 overs in hand.

Eversley are at home to Amersham 2nds this coming Saturday.

In Division 3a, Finchampstead 3rds were edged out by 12 runs at Wooburn Narkovians on the Adjusted Run Rate (ARR) method.

David Bushnell (90) and Ben Barker (63) rescued the Narks after a slow start, the hosts reaching 269-9 in 45 overs.

Finchampstead lost four early wickets, but an excellent unbeaten 94 from Khartik Khanti got them up to 180-6 in 32.1 overs before the weather intervened.

Binfield (80-1) were crowned Division 4a champions with three weeks to spare after hammering Reading 2nds (76) by nine wickets.

South African all-rounder Wynand Lamprecht was the star man, taking 5-34 before scoring 39 not out.

Binfield visit Theale & Tilehurst on Saturday.

Gary Clarke top scored with 68, but Royal Ascot 2nds (173) lost by six wickets to Newbury (143-4) via ARR.

In Division 5b, third-placed Bracknell’s promotion hopes remain on track following a nine-wicket dismantling of Thatcham Town 2nds.

Junaid Ashiq led the way with 3-24 as Thatcham were bowled out for 127, and Taz Shah’s unbeaten 73 fired the visitors to 128-1 in reply.

Bracknell host Eversley 2nds this coming Saturday.

Wokingham 3rds beat Eversley 2nds by six wickets in another game decided by ARR.

Jack Staples took 4-41 for the Oaks, but good innings from youngster Will Perkin (62no) and Paul Ager (42) carried the Boars to 206-9 in their 45 overs.

In reply, Wokingham reached 163-4 in 31 overs with Craig Rintoul scoring 52 not out and Ed Fox-Smith chipping in with 43.

Binfield 2nds (187-4) remain 20 points clear of Bradfield in the race for the second Division 6b promotion spot after a wonderful 82 not out from opener Tim Vines helped them past Theale & Tilehurst 2nds (184-9) by six wickets.

Ben Fisher top scored with 88, but in another ARR-adjusted game, Finchampstead 4ths (212-7) lost by seven wickets to Bradfield 2nds (149-3 in 26 overs).

Hurst 2nds conceded their game against table-topping Taplow 2nds.

In Division 7a, Hasanain Ghafoor batted well for 71 to guide Wokingham 4ths (212) to a 32-run victory against Theale & Tilehurst 3rds (180-9), but Eversley 3rds (245-6) were thumped by nine wickets at Kidmore End 2nds despite useful knocks from Matt Salter (85) and Gerard Soames (70).

For Kidmore End, Mark New (108no) and Chris Pigden (52) did the bulk of the damage in the run chase.

Royal Ascot 3rds (149) lost to Yateley 2nds (150-6) by four wickets., while Bracknell 2nds (162-6) remain third in Division 8a following their 36-run success against Thatcham Town 3rds (126).

Disney Abeyesekara’s 50 was the only consolation on a bad day for Royal Ascot 4ths (92) as they lost by 207 runs at Hayes 3rds (299-4).

Under 14 Joe Sheldon (106no) made his maiden senior century as Division 9a table-toppers Finchampstead 5ths (230-5) overcame Eversley 4ths (166-7) by 64 runs, while second-placed Wokingham 5ths obliterated Maidenhead & Bray 4ths by 188 runs.

Ranjeet Sidhu made a magnificent 125 to help the Oaks post 231-7, and Mark James then took 5-18 to skittle Maids out for just 43.