THATCHAM are clinging on by a single point at the top of Division Three A of the Thames Valley League after being left to hang on for a draw at home to leading chasers Royal Ascot at Brownsfield.
The home attack had limited Ascot to 204-8 in the full 52 overs with Chris Bird and Duncan Johnson each picking up two victims.
But Thatcham’s chase was soon in trouble as Scott Gibson and Tom Mahoney were back inside with only six runs on the board, and it was soon 30-4 with Paul Spriggs and Jack Young also departing.
It was down to survival after that with skipper Duncan Johnson (43) and Steve Bird (27) leading the resistance, although the essential stonewalling came at the end as Matt Denness, Callum Johnson and Chris Bird staved off a dozen overs in taking their side to 162-9 although the 15-7 points split leaves Thatcham with very little breathing space.
Newbury are now well off the pace after going down to Purley by five wickets.
Newbury were bowled out for only 130 and only Ed Uden’s unbeaten 31 and 22 from Sat Pal got them into three figures.
Purley shook off a poor start with Paul Reber’s unbeaten 69 settling them and Dan Clark adding 32 as they got home in the 47th over.
Falkland’s Division One promotion hopes were dealt a major blow when they went down by 50 runs at home to second to bottom Eversley.
The home side’s batting let them down as they failed to test the visitors’ 243-8 scored off the maximum 52 overs with Tino Mutombondzi’s 70 the mainstay of the innings.
Falkland lost Danny Williams and Hamza Riazuddin for four apiece before Will Langmead and Bruce Martin put on 50, although that turned out nto be the highest of the iningds.
Langmead went for 48 at 130-5 and although Mark Abrams and Ben Piper got into the 20s, Falkland fell well short when the final wicket fell at 193 inside 39 overs.