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CRICKET: Thumping defeats means the gap at the bottom is getting bigger

HEAVY defeats have left Falkland and Thatcham further adrift at the bottom of their respective leagues with only three weeks remaining to pull off great escapes from the threat of relegation.

Falkland's defeat at the hands of High Wycombe was hardly unexpected against the Home Counties Premier League leaders, but a 10-wicket beating and a single point return leaves Falkland 58 points away from safety with three games to play.

Falkland were skittled out for only 125 at Wycombe. Openers Sam Piper and Jim Ettridge failed to score and although Bruce Martin (35) and Will Challoner (13) held out for a spell, wickets were soon tumbling and only a wagging tail led by Neil Gunter's 16 enabled Falkland to get into three figures as Sohail Sussain took 4-29 and James Benning 3-35.

The target was easy for the home side as Matthew Eyles made an unbeaten 51 and Nitin Segal 65 not out and they coasted home to 128 without loss in the 32nd over.

THATCHAM are 55 points away form survival in Division One of the Thames Valley League after their nine-wicket beating at Finchampstead.

Thatcham survived 51 overs before they were all out for 181, J. J. Eyles taking 5-47 before Matt Jones cut loose to score an unbeaten 120 as Finchampstead coasted to Wycombe coasted to 183-1.

Thatcham's position worsened when Beaconsfield took maximum points from their 143-run win over Fleet.

NEWBURY lost some ground at the top of Division Three A in the wake of their draw with Chiswick and Latymer. Leading rivals Yateley had the better of their draw with Beaconsfield II while Newbury fell just short of reaching their target of 272 to win at Chiswick, scoring 268-9 with Rajeev Hanabe making 64.

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