FINCHAMPSTEAD CC stayed in the Home Counties Premier League Division One title race with a 24-run victory at Oxford.

Finch skipper Dan Marles chose to bat, but his side were in a spot of bother early on as Samad Fallah removed Andy House and the captain to leave the away side 28-2.

Dan Lincoln (37 from 78 balls) batted patiently alongside Adam Dewes, the pair adding 82 before the former was trapped in front by Shami Mendis.

Useful cameos from Ed Oliver, Josh Lincoln and Jandre Coetzee kept the Finch score rising, but the outstanding knock came from Dewes (81). His 164-ball marathon came to an end when he was the sixth man to fall, the returning Fallah (4-83), and with Harvey Eltham (4-49) accounting for the tail, Finces were bowled out for 224in 61.4 overs.

Coetzee (2-14) made a double early breakthrough as he removed Ben Charlesworth and Eltham with the score on 13.and spinner JJ Dewes (5-66) then worked his way through the middle order to leave Oxford 103-6.

Jamie Perkin (54) and Fallah (45no from 40 balls) led something of a comeback, but it proved in vain as the home side were bowled out for 200.

Second-placed Finchampstead – who have won five of their past seven games during an unbeaten run – hos relegation-threatened Tring Park on Saturday (11am).

In Division One of the Thames Valley League, Finchampstead 2nds won for the first time this season as they overcame high-flying Stoke Green by three wickets.

Spinners Max Uttley (4-50) and James Woodford (4-54) combined to dismiss the away side for 166 in only 38.2 overs, Pav Bhachu top scoring with an unbeaten 52 from 47 balls.

The game appeared in the balance as Finch slipped to 113-7, but a fine partnership between Darron Augustus and Ashley Hull (both 31no) took them to victory.

Sam Taylor (4-51) and Mike O’Donahue (4-89) helped third-placed Finchampstead 3rds (198-7) overcome Cove 2nds (197) by three wickets in Division 3a. Mac Keast made a superb 71 not out to anchor the run chase.

James Bewick (3-66) was the stand-out bowler as Finchampstead 4ths (275-7) fell just short of Farnham Common 2nds’ 279 in a thrilling Division 6b draw.

Marcus Bazley (82no) and Kartic Kanthi (73) were in fine form with the bat for Finches.

Liam Matthews (95) and a brilliant all-round display from Ollie Armstrong-Wood (3-30 and 45) inspired Finchampstead 5ths (227-7) to a fine three-wicket win at Datchet 4ths (225-9) in Division 8a.