BERKSHIRE Over 50s powered into the quarter finals of the County Championship with a convincing eight-wicket success against Durham at Finchampstead on Sunday, writes Richard Ashton.

John Macdonald was the pick of the Berks attack with 3-28 from eight overs, while Mark Baker (1-18), Simon Myles (1-19), Richard O’Toole (1-37) and David Shaw (1-45) picked up a wicket apiece to help restrict Durham to 177-9 in 40 overs.

Nick Pitcher was trapped lbw by Dave McCabe to reduce Berkshire to 22-1, but a sensational 146-run partnership between Gordon Morgan (98) and Gary Loveday was only ended when the former narrowly missed out on a deserved century when he was caught off the bowling of Garry Purcell.

However, Loveday proceeded on his merry way to an unbeaten 51, and with Shaw finishing the job with him, the home side reached their target with nine balls to spare.

Phil Ridgeway top scored with 39, but Berkshire Over 50s 2nds were thrashed by nine wickets at home to Kent 2nds on Thursday.

Steve West chipped in with an unbeaten 28, but the hosts had only made 153-8 from 37.4 overs when rain arrived at White Waltham.

Kent were set a revised total of 149 from 36 overs, and with Peter Carey smashing an unbeaten 77 from only 55 balls, they achieved the target with 13 overs in hand.

Berkshire Over 60s 2nds were beaten by six wickets at Hampshire 2nds on Wednesday.

Skipper Ian Stuart led the way with 27, but the visitors were skittled for only 106, Chad Cudjoe the second top scorer with 19.

Ken Fuller (2-18) and Nigel Haines (2-21) took a brace apiece in reply, but Hampshire eased to victory.

Channisingh Sethi (4-21) and Fuller (3-18) bowled Berkshire Over 60s 2nds into a strong position, but they lost by 29 runs to Essex 2nds (134-9) the day before.

Only Wayne Stewart (31) and John Muir (29) really got going as the hosts were shot out for 105.