TONGHAM continued their drive for the I’Anson Division Two title with a heavy defeat of bottom side Badshot Lea on Saturday.

Fernhurst look sure to accompany Tongham after Pirbright’s failure to raise a side against them.

Tongham’s formidable top order again did the business, Mathew Carrington cracking 109 and Desai weighing in with 53. A flurry of runs from the lower order (Scott Meyer 23) saw Tongham reach 300-9 in their 45 overs, Dave Jennings finishing with a creditable 5-51.

The total was far beyond the capabilities of Badshot Lea, but opener Tom Spooner made a spirited 33 and the reliable Tim Gray ensure respectability with top score of 48. The home team were dismissed for 158 in 38 overs.

Elstead and Witley, both relegation candidates, chalked up vital victories.

Peter Cheeseman played another important innings for Elstead, his unbeaten 38, with staunch support from the tailenders, helping the home side to 178-8 – a score they could defend.

Grayshott II looked to be coasting in reply as their top four all got into the 20s. However, old stagers Pat Murphy and Keith Tilson turned the game around with accurate, probing spells. Murphy took 4-29 and four of the last five batsmen failed to score as Grayshott fell 18 runs short on 160 all out.

Skipper Ollie Hickman compiled a measured 75 not out to give Witley victory after Frensham II had set them a stiff target. Frensham totalled 239, with Ben Maxwell, John Wallace and Ben Harrison all getting into the 40s, but were to pay the price for not batting out their overs. Kurt Lyall took 3-55.

Newcomer Andrew Davies bowled with guile for Frensham, but Hickman and Adam Keane (53) played match-winning innings in a 100 partnership for Witley. Hickman and B-J Duddell added 43 in an unbroken stand and Witley, helped by a generous dollop of 35 wides, won with nearly five overs to spare.