Having begun the season with three straight defeats, the Hatchet (Childrey) has undergone a rich vein of form and which has catapulted them to the top of the Oxford Division.

Their latest opponents, Far From The Madding Crowd ‘B’ (Oxford City), ended up on the wrong side of a 50 point thrashing (39-89) last Thursday, and with only four fixtures left in the current campaign, the Hatchet are clear favourites to secure the title.

However, both of their nearest challengers also managed to post victories in round 12.

Second-placed Green Road Club (Kidlington) were rewarded for their trek to Oakley with a 65-59 success over hosts, the Chandos Arms.

Meanwhile, the North Oxford Conservative Club (Summertown) stays third following a very scratchy performance at home to the Blue Boar Bees (Chipping Norton).

A run of four losses may have led to frayed nerves; nevertheless they dug in to prevail 63-61 against a side who no doubt returned to base feeling that that was one that got away.

What a great night for the Royal Sun (Begbroke). Most importantly for them, their stomachs were treated to a chicken/pasta bake courtesy of the catering staff at the Blue Boar.

In between mouthfuls they did enough to see off their genial opposition in a match that went down to the wire (66-62). Their position at the head of affairs in the West was strengthened by a setback for the Windrush Club (Witney).

As with the Hatchet, there is still sufficient pressure from elsewhere that thoughts of lifting the silverware would be a little premature.

Lying in second spot, the Seacourt Bridge (Botley) bounced back from an indifferent display seven days earlier to land the honours in a high-scoring belter with East leaders, the Green Dragon (Haddenham), 76-74, whilst the White Hart (Eynsham) moved into third after a slightly less frenetic night than the week before, when they attempted to begin proceedings without the questions, by cruising past the Chequers (Chipping Norton), 72-47.

In the Premiership, all three protagonists attained the positive results anticipated. The Plough (Wolvercote) retained pole position with a convincing 76-56 display at the Eight Bells (Long Crendon) while stablemate, the Ploughman’s Bunch!, continues in their slipstream having breezed past the Windrush Club, 82-63. Clinging onto their coattails are Far From The Madding Crowd ‘A’, but only just! They survived a major scare before eventually sneaking past the gallant Black Swan (East Oxford), 68-64.

Despite that blip in Summertown, the ‘Bees’ still lead in the North Section thanks, in no small part, to the in-form Sun (Hook Norton) edging out the Bell (Lower Heyford), 65-61.

In the one other game of the night, the King’s Arms (Wheatley) failed to capitalise on the Green Dragon’s misfortunes, and thereby close the gap in the East, as they were narrowly defeated by the Gardener’s Arms (North Parade), 64-61.