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Falkland slip to eighth following thumping defeat

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Falkland's up and down season continued with a thumping 129 run defeat at Gerrards Cross.

The hosts won the toss, opted to bat and reached 69/0 despite some tight bowling from Falkland's Charlie Dale.

Brandon Gilmour and James Bird then combined well to pick up three important wickets for Falkland as Gerrard's Cross were pegged back to 127/3.

Brandon Gilmour bowled 10 overs 2-48
Brandon Gilmour bowled 10 overs 2-48
James Bird finished with 2-44
James Bird finished with 2-44

However, Falkland's bowlers were powerless to stop a 110 run fourth wicket partnership as Gerrards Cross powered to 237/3 and then declared on 271/4.

As has been the story of much of Falkland's season, their batters never really got going and the visitors were soon reduced to 19/3 and then 61/6.

James Morris (25) tried to reduce the arrears but Falkland soon slumped to a disappointing 142 all-out and dropped to eighth in the league table.

Falkland 2nd, on the other hand, hit the summit of the Division 4a table following a convincing five wicket win over Finchampstead 3rd.

Skipper Duncan Johnson won the toss and chose to bowl but Finchampstead's openers reached 59 without loss in a difficult first 10 overs for Falkland.

However, the spin of Graham Beal (2-39) produced the all-important first wicket before the pace of Razon Dash (4-52) wreaked havoc with Finchampstead's middler order.

Johnson, the league's leading wicket taker, added two more to his impressive tally before youngster Edan Camplin (2-47) cleaned up the tail, leaving Falkland a target of 172.

Falkland's batters made a nervous start, losing three early wickets and limping to 64/3.

Opener Craig Williams (53) remained resolute and led the fightback, combining with Will Herrington (74) to bring Falkland within striking distance.

Falkland's Craig Williams finds the middle. Pic: Richard Marsham
Falkland's Craig Williams finds the middle. Pic: Richard Marsham

That left Johnson and Beal to take Falkland over the line and to the top of the table, a point above Peppard Stoke Row.

Falkland 3rd made it four wins on the bounce with a resounding 178 run win over local rivals Newbury 2nd.

Opener Charlie Mabbatt set the tone for Falkland with a well made 45 before John Woodbridge (84) and Ben Thomas (64) combined for 154 in just 15 overs as Falkland reached 292/6 from their 45 overs.

Falkland were then dominant with the ball as Newbury crumbled to 55/6 and then 114 all-out.

Gamini Rajapakse (4-28), George Hawkins (3-12) and Stephen Clarke (2-23) all impressed with the ball as Falkland leapfrogged Newbury in the league table.

The development team's unbeaten run came to an abrupt end following a five wicket defeat at Crowthorne and Crown Wood.

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