FINCHAMPSTEAD beat Aston Rowant by two wickets off the very last ball to secure the 20 points which virtually end their fears of being dragged into relegation trouble in Division One of the Home Counties Premier League, writes Dave Wright.

They needed two runs and Aussie Connor Corlet hammered the ball back past the bowler, Leo Bethell, before scrambling home with partner Josh Lincoln, whose brother Dan was away on 12th-man duties with England in the Ashes Test at Lord's.

Starting 90 minutes late following rain, the match was reduced to 43 overs a side.

The visitors, looking for a win which would keep alive their hopes of a top-two finish behind champions-elect Henley, made steady progress, reaching 228-8 with Tom Condon scoring 68 off 88 balls and Hayden Rossouw finishing unbeaten on 53, which came from just 33 deliveries and included two sixes and four boundaries.

Off-spinner Billy Rogers was the pick of the home bowlers, taking 3-33 off eight overs, while Josh Lincoln claimed 2-24 from four.

Finch soon lost their previous week's centurion, Greg Smith, for 10 with the total on 11, but Adam Dewes and Toby Albert added 79 for the second wicket before the latter offered a return catch to bowler James Coles for 24 . It became 91-3 when Rogers was bowled for a third-ball duck.

Dewes and Ed Oliver batted steadily without taking any risks and at one stage Finch found themselves needing 10 runs an over if they were to reach their target.

But they eventually did improve the scoring rate, although the odds continued to be in Rowant's favour.

They put on 105 before Oliver was brilliantly run out for 59 (off 63 balls). Ryan Bone was caught behind for one and Finch slipped to 207-6 when Dewes was run out for 96.

He was so annoyed with himself for missing out on a century that, instead of returning straight to the pavilion to receive the applause of his teammates, he walked out of a side-gate of the ground and along the road, although he did eventually return.

A third wicket went down in the space of two runs when Zac Jones was bowled for a duck, but a six and a four from Josh Lincoln brought the hosts back into the hunt, leaving them needing seven runs from the final over.

The first three balls from Bethell went for singles and stand-in skipper Craig Hodges took two off the next before being bowled off the penultimate delivery to add to the drama.

It was left to Corlet to decide the outcome of the game and the Aussie didn't let his side down by sprinting for two runs with Lincoln.

With three fixtures remaining, Finch stay fourth from bottom with 164 points, ahead of this Saturday's trip to Tring Park, the side immediately below them in the table.

They need eight points to guarantee their safety, while a win for Tring would leave Slough and Horspath hovering over the relegation door.