Davenham 160 Malpas 160

ONE of the matches of the season so far has convinced Davenham captain Mark Greaves his side are ready to play in a higher league.

Malpas won the toss and decided to bat but were soon 11-1 and lost another wicket the over after. It required Crichton and Rickett to put on a third wicket partnership of 105 to propel Malpas to 124 in 33 overs, before Crichton (40) was caught and bowled by Paul Jackson.

The Malpas batting collapsed against the bowling of Dean Jackson (4-45 off 12.5) and Paul Jackson (4-39 off 15) and Davenham claimed the final wicket in the last over, with the visitors' score on 160.

Davenham openers Aidan Baker and Louis Bentley scored at a steady rate until Bentley (31) was caught by Goldsmith in the 11th over with the score on 47. Both Dave Holden (9) and Greaves (4) spent time at the crease with Baker as he steadily moved the score on to 104 after 28 overs before he was bowled.

With the score on 104-4, Paul Jackson slowly moved the score on with the assistance of Chris Hornby (11) and Jay Cartlidge (9) and with one over left Davenham were poised for victory on 159-8. Jackson scored a single run from first ball, only to see his two remaining partners both lose their wickets.

Nevertheless, Greaves said: 'This was a really great performance and shows that Davenham are ready to play at a higher level.'

Oakmere 91-2 Brooklands 90:

Oakmere got back to winning ways with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Brooklands thanks to a skipper's innings from Ian Eaton (62no) and, earlier, another devastating spell of 4-28 from Chris Nelson.

Nelson's pace and bounce proved too much for the Brook-lands batsmen who crumbled under the pressure of a disciplined performance in the field. Craig Phelan (3-16), Andy Norton (2-15) and Pete Hutchinson (1-8) were the other wicket takers but it was the team's attitude off the pitch that skipper Eaton is most pleased with.

'To see so many players netting throughout the winter, working hard on all aspects of their game, is now starting to pay off,' he said.

'We have already seen several match-winning moments that have come from players working with the coaches and it looks to be setting us up for a decent promotion push this year.'

Chasing Brooklands' 90 was never going to be a problem as Paul Hutchinson (21) and Eaton saw Oakmere home in comfort to maintain their position in second place.

Oakmere 2nds were well beaten by table-topping Brooklands as their batting failed to fire. An Oakmere fightback with the ball saw Brooklands' nerve tested, but they eased home with more than 10 overs to spare. Oakmere posted 112-9, Brooklands 115-5.