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CRICKET: Downs end on the up
10:00am Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Sport
HORSPATH and Oxford Downs played out a rain-affected draw that left both sides with plenty to celebrate as the 2013 Cherwell League season concluded.
The result extended champions Horspath’s unbeaten run in the Cherwell to a remarkable 70 matches, and also meant Downs escaped the drop and will play in the top flight for the ninth year running.
Skipper Adam Krol, who stepped down after the match, and his predecessor Robbie Eason were both playing on May 16, 2009 when Horspath last lost a Cherwell League match. Since then they have won 41, drawn 20 and seen nine matches abandoned.
At the weekend Krol claimed 3-15 and Eason’s younger brother Will took 3-29 as Downs were reduced to 38-4 after 15 overs. Mark Wingfield-Digby (57) led a recovery that ended on 152.
The Easons then contributed with the bat, with Will making 44 and Robbie 30, but Richard Beer (5-30) produced the best bowling figures against Horspath.
Will Eason said: “We have had a fantastic year. We have had our ones and fours winning the league and our twos getting promotion as well.
“The experience of last time in the Home Counties will put us in good stead for next year. The format with the 50-over games will suit us as well and we are looking forward to it.”
The sixth wicket to fall was to prove vital as it gave Downs the point they needed to stay up, given that Buckingham’s match was being rained off and Leighton Buzzard Town were losing.
The hosts were 126-6 after 25 overs when rain prevented any further action.
Downs would have been relegated had Buckingham not suffered a 31-point deduction and will hope to challenge at the other end of the table next year.
Horspath will aim to do better on their second foray into Home Counties Premier League Division 2 West.
Horspath 7pts, Oxford Downs 13
Thame Town skipper Mike Higgs captured 5-7 and bowling partner Sam Lachlan collected 5-17 to dismiss Leighton Buzzard Town for 73 and consign their hosts to Division 2.
The home side had been looking good for the win that would have kept them up when Tom Light took 8-77 in Thame’s 186 all out. Only Will Taylor (34) posted a score of note.
But Leighton’s fate was sealed when they were blown away for less than 100 for the third time this season.
Leighton Buzzard Town 5, Thame Town 25
Buzzard will be joined in the lower flight by Buckingham Town, who paid a heavy price for their 31-point deduction for indiscretions.
On Saturday they were asked to field first by Oxford 2nd, who compiled a competitive 211-9 thanks principally to Tim Sutton (60).
Matthew Thatcher took 4-61 and then watched Rob Large hit 39, but a combination of Adam Price (3-82) and a shower left Town on 133-6 from 34 overs at the close.
Buckingham Town 6, Oxford 2nd 16
Banbury 2nd stay up despite failing to win any of their last 16 matches.
Ollie Murrey (59), Jamie Coles (50), Sam Ryan (43) and Andrew Sabin (30) took them to 222-9 at Great Brickhill, who started the match bottom.
They secured a third season in the top flight when Graeme Carter (93no) and Garth Davson (79) took them to 226-5 in 41 overs.
Great Brickhill 25, Banbury 2nd 10
Shipton-under-Wychwood made sure of second place after enjoying a home win over Twyford.
Dave Powles (40) and Bilal Afzal (33) were the mainstays of the visitors’ 177 all out, while Charlie Brain, George Seacole and Craig Wood all picked up three wickets.
Wood (52) and Brain (33no) then steered Shipton to 179-5.
Shipton-under-Wychwood 25, Twyford 8