SULHAMSTEAD dropped into the bottom two in Division 3a of the Thames Valley League after a batting collapse caused them to lose by four wickets at Farnham Royal, writes Richard Ashton.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bat, but they suffered an early setback when Chris Mercer was trapped lbw by Ben Pulsford to leave them 13-1.

Steve Belcher and Usman Shah (31) added 41 for the second wicket until the latter fell to Harry Barton, caught by Eshwar Dutta, and Belcher was then dismissed by the same bowler with the score on 63.

Marc Thompson and Phil Walden took the score to 81, but from there things fell apart for Sulhamstead.

Former Berkshire and Henley left-arm spinner Monty Singh proved to be the destroyer-in-chief, taking 4-26 in 11 overs as Sully spiralled to 119 all out, Joe Masih also chipping in with 3-17.

Paceman Doug Macdonald (2-40) took two wickets without a run being scored to bring the away side back into the game, only for Amir Abbassi and Singh to add 45.

However, Singh was run out and skipper Matt Shave then trapped lbw by Shah to leave Farnham Royal 58-4 and the game in the balance.

Pulsford and Abbassi (47) shared another useful stand but when they both fell to Sanjay Dove (2-42), there again appeared a way in for Sulhamstead.

However, Jack Barton and Andrew Bryant held their nerve to put on an unbeaten 27 and push their side to 121-6, winning the game in the 34th over.

Sulhamstead travel to Slough 3rds on Saturday.

In Division 6b, Sulhamstead 2nds were edged out by two wickets by table-topping Bradfield.

Sully were reduced to 77-7 before Christian Blackford's excellent 54 hauled them up to 141, Tim Smith (4-47) and Ben Armstrong (3-26) the pick of the Bradfield bowling attack.

Opener Smith (55) led the reply efficiently, but he lacked support as the visitors slipped to 92-6.

However, the Bradfield lower-order kept their title-chasing momentum on track by getting over the line in reaching 143-8 after 46 overs.