A VALUABLE knock of 84 from James Crichton helped guide Thame Town to a three-wicket win at Buckingham with just eight balls to spare in Division 1.

The match was one of only two top flight matches to survive on the opening day of the Cherwell League season.

After electing to bat, the hosts were grateful to a third-wicket stand of exactly 100 between Simon Myatt (60) and Justin Frew (49).

It saw them recover from 10-2 to finish 206 all out, Will Rooney finishing with 3-39.

It looked a tough target as Thame fell behind the run rate, but Crichton’s heroics gradually put the visitors in command.

Buckingham regained the initiative when Jason Ell (3-50) picked up two quick wickets and Will Taylor was run out for 53, but the visitors scrambled home in the penultimate over.

  • Buckingham Town 11pts, Thame Town 25

Promoted Tiddington slipped to a four-wicket defeat at Oxford 2nd in a rain-affected affair at Roman Way.

Put into bat, the visitors had their innings reduced by rain to 40 overs.

They could manage only 126-8, with Will Cooper (59) easily top-scoring, while Adam Price picked up 3-23.

The run chase was turned into a formality by John Barrett (76no), despite the best efforts of Sam Hollingshead (3-35).

  • Oxford 2nd 25, Tiddington 7

Banbury 2nd’s home game against Twyford, Great Brickhill’s trip to Cumnor and the meeting between Oxford Downs and visitors Wolverton Town were all rained off.

All teams have received six points.

Division 2

ATIF Ali hammered an unbeaten 80 as Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts got their season off to a flying start with a nine-wicket win at Aston Rowant 2nd.

The hosts decided to bat first and did well to reach 150-7 between the showers, which reduced their allocation to 40 overs.

Tom Condon (38) and Thad Cooper (30) led the way, while Nondies’ off spinner Mark Strong took 4-31.

Ali and opening partner Tim Rattigan (39) put the visitors in control and their victory was secured in the 25th over.

  • Aston Rowant 2nd 3pts, Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 25

Abingdon Vale skipper Charles Smook finished with figures 3-5, but was still left disappointed at the end of his side’s drawn opener at home to Cropredy.

The visitors posted 173-9 from their 47 overs, with Joe Fox hitting 69 and Ed Somerton 38.

Vale were docked four points for a slow over rate, and lost wickets at regular intervals in reply before closing on 158-8.

  • Abingdon Vale 4, Cropredy 15

Luke Finch (46) and Stephen Green (37) helped Horspath 2nd post 191-5 from 40 overs after they were asked to bat at home to Bledlow Village.

With only 28 overs at their disposal, Bledlow were always likely to struggle and despite Adam Mould’s 47, Adam Krol (4-40) and Ceri Holmes (3-24) restricted the visitors to 100-7.

  • Horspath 2nd 17, Bledlow Village 3

Cublington could only muster 123-9 from 41 overs as Leighton Buzzard Town left armers Dan Scott (3-34) and Lee Selfe (3-40) enjoyed the damp conditions to set up a four-wicket victory.

Greg Jenkins then 3-37 for the visitors, but Chris Thompson’s 39 set up Town’s successful chase, which ended on 126-6 in the 24th over.

  • Leighton Buzzard Town 25, Cublington 7

Only 19 balls were possible at Challow & Childrey, where the hosts had made seven without loss after being inserted by Long Marston when rain intervened.

  • Challow & Childrey 6, Long Marston 6

Division 3

Chris Thompson hit 75 and Greg Pearson scored 38 as Sandford St Martin made 171-7 to beat Didcot with 11 balls to spare.

The visitors were bowled out for 168, Ross Fryatt hitting 48 as Danny Smith took 4-54.

Rob Keat (4-56) almost matched him after tea, but his efforts were in vain.

  • Sandford St Martin 25pts, Didcot 10

Paul Hill (3-20), Ollie Murrey (3-25) and Josh Hill (3-47) joined forces for Banbury 3rd to restrict Bletchley Town to 140-9.

Banbury always looked on course and made it to 141-6 in the 45th over.

  • Banbury 3rd 25, Bletchley Town 8

Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd slumped to 69 all out at home to Oxford Downs 2nd, who made the most of winning the toss.

Steve Roberts (4-14) and Darryl Woods (3-8) had everything their own way.

Downs did not find batting much easier against Valentio Guiraud (3-24), but they made it to 70-6 in 22 overs.

  • Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd 6, Oxford Downs 2nd 25

Peter Ferguson took 5-34 to bowl Bicester & North Oxford to a seven-run victory over Great & Little Tew 2nd.

Bicester made 165-9 with the help of Richard Simpson’s 41.

Kevin Taylor took 5-36 for Tew, who fell just short on 158.

  • Bicester & North Oxford 25, Great & Little Tew 2nd 6

Division 4

Quentin Sanders took 6-19 as newly-merged Blewbury & Wallingford won their first league match by 145 runs.

Tom Newell (57) and Alan Bowman (51) took them to 211-9, Ken Baker taking 4-27.

Ed Holland hit 30 as Chearsley were dimissed for 66.

  • Chearsley 4pts, Blewbury & Wallingford 25

Dan Swindells (3-17) and debutant Olly Burnley (3-21) helped Witney Mills reduce East Oxford to 74 all out.

Mills were less impressive with the bat, but made it to 75-6 in the 25th over.

  • East Oxford 6, Witney Mills 25

Jon Hart (3-16) and Nick Tarrant (3-19) did the damage for Horley, who knocked over Kingston Bagpuize for 101.

Matthew Warner took 3-29 after the interval, but the hosts reached 102-5, thanks to Andrew Stanley (36no).

  • Horley 25, Kingston Bagpuize 6

Bledlow Ridge’s 111 was nearly enough as they lost by one wicket at Great Brickhill 2nd.

Lee Morgan (4-21) and Drew Burrows (3-14) starred for Brickhill, but they needed Greg MacDonald (36) as the home side scraped to 112-9.

  • Great Brickhill 2nd 25, Bledlow Ridge 10

Rain prevented any play at Kimble, who picked up six points along with Leighton Buzzard Town 2nd.

Division 5

ABINGDON Vale 2nd rued dropping Jake Kubinek on one as the he hit 105 from 47 balls to give Twyford 2nd a seven-wicket victory.

The Aussie was key in the hosts’ 165-3 from 19 overs.

Mark Edwards (58no) and Jordan Ford (38) had taken Vale to 161-8.

  • Twyford 2nd 25pts, Abingdon Vale 2nd 6

Bledlow Village 2nd were skittled for 86 as they lost at home to Brackley by 64 runs.

Robert Cartwright (5-19) did most of the damage, while Michael Cartwright (63no) and Andie Witney (3-28) did well in the visitors’ 150-5.

  • Bledlow Village 2nd 2, Brackley 25

Rain wiped out Cumnor 2nd’s visit to Didcot 2nd, Thame Town at home to Stokenchurch and Tiddington 2nd versus Oxford 3rd.

Divisions 6-10

GERAINT Hughes took 6-15 as Aston Rowant 3rd cruised to a six-wicket victory at Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 2nd in Division 6.

The haul saw the hosts all out for 71, a target the visitors surpassed in the 17th over.

Mark Cook’s 52 made the difference as Sandford St Martin 2nd edged to a six-run win at Oxford 4th in Division 7.

The wicket-keeper’s precious innings carried the away side to 151-8, which proved just enough as Oxford were dismissed for 145.

Robert Blundell’s superb 75 not out was in vain as Witney Mills 2nd fell agonisingly one run short in their Division 9 clash at home to Long Marston 3rd.

Tom Brooks (48) had helped the visitors to 179-8, but Mills looked on course for victory before Martin Keable (5-46) hit back to engineer a late collapse, which saw Blundell run out of partners at 178 all out.