A FANTASTIC spell of bowling from Maidenhead & Bray captain Louis Blackwell helped his side secure a five-wicket win at Eversley in Division 2a of the Thames Valley League.

The result lifts Maids out of the relegation zone, and they made a fine start as Henry Grover had Phil Wise caught behind for just eight.

However, James Magowan (70) and Jack Ford (31) shared a second-wicket stand of 84 and at 102-1, the Boars looked set to post a competitive total.

But Blackwell (6-49 from 15 overs) had other ideas, playing the key role in helping dismiss Eversley for 178.

That total never looked like being enough after Sachin Moudgil and Will Cunliffe (75no) put on 71 for the first wicket, and Maidenhead & Bray eventually reached their target in 36 overs as former captain Brett van Niekerk also chipped in with a useful 36.

Captain Chris Last was the pick of the Eversley attack (2-36).

Eighth-placed Maidnehead & Bray – who are now three points ahead of Bagshot and just a point behind Eversley – are at home to Kew this coming Saturday (1pm).

Maidenhead & Bray 2nds climbed into the Division 5b promotion places with a four-wicket success at home to Falkland 3rds.

All of Falkland’s top nine scored between 10 and 34, Santosh Mudaliar and Sunil Sharma sharing top scorer honours, but the visitors’ inability to push on and have a match-defining innings meant they were eventually bowled out for 192 in 51.2 overs.

The chief destroyer for Maids was Jawad Murtaza, whose 19.2 overs resulted in him finishing with fine figures of 5-79.

Matt Armstrong also bowled well, claiming 2-38 in 13 overs.

The Maidenhead reply started poorly as they lost five early wickets, Suthaharan Nadesapillai (3-62) grabbing three of them.

However, opener Alex Hess remained resolute, and finally found some support from Brian Dixon (20no) and Mark Banham (40no).

And with Hess (85no) batting through the innings, Maids were able to chase their target down in 41 overs.

In Division 7a, a disastrous batting collapse cost Maidenhead & Bray 3rds dearly as they lost by 70 runs at home to Theale & Tilehurst 2nds.

The hosts looked to be well on top at the half-way stage, as Mark Goodwin (6-27 off 11.1 overs) and Tom Allen (2-9) combined to dismiss T&T for 139.

Mohammed Jamil (51) top scored for the visitors, while James Martin made 34.

Jamil (4-9) and Jared Mizen (4-43) ripped through the top order, however, and remarkably the top six for Maidenhead could only muster eight runs between them.

Arul Appavoo (39) offered some resistance, but with number 11 Goodwin (11no) the only other man to reach double figures, Maids were shot out for only 69 in 22.3 overs.