IT has been looking inevitable for weeks, even months, but Reading’s relegation from Division Two of the Home Counties Premier League is now confirmed.

Their eight-wicket defeat by Harefield at Sonning Lane on Saturday has left the tailenders 113 points behind third-bottom Shipton-under-Wychwood with just four games remaining.

And those fixtures are against the sides who currently occupy the top four places in the table.

They have failed to win a single match this season and never looked like ending that sequence against a Harefield side who came down with them from Division One last year.

Reading, put in to bat, made a steady start, reaching 35 before Pav Chima fell lbw to Thomas Crick for 16.

Fellow opener Abid Ul Wahab was stumped for 18 with the total on 56 and two runs later skipper Firaz Amjad was run out for 17.

Asim Zaka fell lbw to Scott Morris for 12, leaving the hosts 81-4, and first-team newcomer Nat Narayanasamy was bowled by Morris without any addition to the total.

Morris (5-43 off 14 overs) then proceeded to rip through the lower order and, on a day of rain interruptions, Reading could only make 129-9 from their 41 overs.

Number four Sam Gemmill offered some resistance, being the last man out after scoring 36 off 71 balls.

Reading managed to take two Harefield wickets, at 34 and 51, with Amjad having Matt Ogden caught by Gemmill for 11 and the pairing playing reverse roles to dismiss Poojan Vyas for 29.

Dhavalkumar Norotam was still there on 44, off 57 balls, and Dan Ogden 37 off 45 when the Middlesex club secured their seventh league victory of the season in the 31st over.

Reading visit third-placed Chesham this Saturday as the league reverts to the 50-50 format for the final four weeks of the season.

In Division 4a of the Thames Valley League, relegation-threatened Reading 2nds lost by 120 runs to promotion-chasing Slough 3rds.

They bowled out their hosts for 189 (Geyhas Khan 83) with spinner Shreyas Narayanasamy finishing with excellent figures of 7-41 off 15.5 overs.

But Reading’s reply was just 69, with only Domenic Boyce (20) and Kurt Fletcher (18no) making double figures, half the wickets falling to Sulaiman Akhtar (5-33).

Reading 3rds’ Division 6b game at Aldershot 3rds was washed out without a ball bowled, while Reading 4ths’ saw their Division 8a fixture forfeited by Windsor 4ths.

This weekend, the 2nds and 3rds host unbeaten leaders NPL and Hurst 2nds respectively, while the 4ths go to Datchet 4ths, all 12.30pm starts.