FINCHAMPSTEAD easily defeated High Wycombe on Saturday in the match that decided third place in the final Home Counties Premier League standings.

Last season’s champions had started the day fourth in the table, one place behind Wycombe, but leap-frogged their opponents with a comprehensive 153-run victory.

Finches finished on 244 points, just four behind surprise runners-up Oxford, but a long way adrift of champions Henley with 306 points.

Electing to bat first, home openers Andrew House and Greg Smith made a rapid start, putting on 40 in six overs.

Smith departed at 54, caught behind off seamer Tom Hampton for 11.

House and skipper Dan Marles brought up the 100 in the 17th over, but 10 runs later House was caught by Hampton at long off for a well-worked 63.

Billy Rogers and Marles continued to push the score along, but Rogers was bowled for 24 and Marles was unlucky to be run out for 68 off a deflection onto the non-striker’s end.

With seven overs left and 221 on the board Simon Bell was lbw to Alan Duncan for 16.

For a time the Wycombe bowlers tightened their attack and restricted the runs, but in the last seven overs Finch added 70 runs with Adam Dewes making 37, Jandre Coetzee 24 and Matt Carter 24 not out, leaving them with a useful 291-7 off their 50 overs.

Wycombe were soon on the back foot, losing their first three wickets for 31 in 11 overs to paceman Anthony Parson and Carter.

Half the visiting side were back in the pavilion for 80 with Carter taking two superb catches, one at slip and the other on the boundary.

There was no way back for the visitors and they were polished off by spinner Max Uttley (3-13) and House (1-13), Wycombe being dismissed for 138.

  • FINCHAMPSTEAD 2nds maintained their late-season surge, winning by three wickets at Marlow, but it still didn’t prevent them from finishing bottom of the Thames Valley League’s Division One, 21 points behind second-bottom Marlow.

Replying to Marlow’s 268-7 (Imran Nawaz 86) the visitors raced to their target in 44.2 overs with Josh Lincoln making 63, Andy Lazenbury 54, Tommie Predgen 42 and Russell Lane 34.

In Division 3A, Finchampstead 3rds shot out visitors Purley-on-Thames for 137 (Sam Smith 5-37) before going on to win by three wickets in 30 overs with Tom Wroot scoring 49 and Mike O’Donohue 31 not out.

Finches finish third in the table, just three points behind runners-up Wargrave.

Purley on Thames 2nds posted an impressive 303-9 (Ben Cole 5-72) in their 52 Division 6b overs with Finchampstead 4ths being bowled out for 158, of which Ben Fisher contributed 60.

In Division 8a, Finchampstead 5ths (207-9) drew with Windsor 4ths (225-4).

Youngsters Joe Loveday and Parv Patel both made 32 for Finches, who end the season eighth in the table.