READING Cricket Club chair person Jacqui Salazar is determined to continue turning things around at Sonning Lane, writes Dave Wright.

The first team have been relegated two seasons running in the Home Counties Premier Division, which means they will be back playing in the Thames Valley League in 2018.

But, having improved things enormously off the field, she is now turning her attentions to team matters.

“Our aim is to bring in new players to strengthen the side,” said Mrs Salazar.

“We are doing everything we can to find a sponsor and, if we can get one or two on board, that would help us towards bringing in an experienced player or two, even an overseas one.

“I honestly believe we can put a side together that will prove competitive in Division One of the TVL.

“‘Suggestions we could go down to Division Two are rubbish. That is very negative in our view and it won’t happen in my view.”

During last winter Reading made a lot of improvements off the field in the way the club is run, as well as the facilities offered on match day, and were later commended by HCPL officials.

Reading completed their HCPL fixtures last Saturday when they crashed to a 10-wicket defeat at the hands of a Datchet side packed with current and former Berkshire county players.

Electing to bat first, they were shot out for just 106, having been 49-7, and only reached three figures thanks to No. 9 Simeon Farnworth, who made 32 off 41 balls with a six and four boundaries.

Opener Pav Chima made 12, one less than the extras column.

Berkshire professional Chris Peploe took 4-29 off 10 overs, while Max Stevenson claimed 3-13 in 14 deliveries.

Datchet, who finish fourth in the table, needed just 12.1 overs to knock off the required runs, with former Berkshire opener Simon Macey blasting 78 off 35 balls with five maximums and 10 fours, while opening partner Lewis Smith made 24.

Reading, suffering their 15th defeat, have gone through the season without winning a game, giving them 61 points, 51 fewer than Great Brickhill, the other relegated side.

In the Thames Valley League, Reading 2nds lost by 28 runs to Burnham 3rds, leaving the sides eighth and ninth respectively in the final Division 4a standings.

Reading 3rds ended their Division 6b on a winning note, defeating Cove 3rds by 86 runs.

In their 225-4 declared, Nat Narayanasamy scored 72 and Michael Griesel 47, the pair putting on 111 for the first wicket, while Mark Spruyt remained unbeaten on 52.

Nat’s son Shreyas then took 4-57 and Usman Ul-Haq 3-18 as Cove were blasted out for 139.

Reading end up sixth in the table.

Reading 4ths (246-3) had much the better of a draw with Bagshot 3rds (169-5) in Division 8a, leaving them ninth.