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Banbury skipper keeping grounded after top start
Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips is not getting carried away with their start to the Division 1 season.
Phillips’s side, who visit Tring Park tomorrow, have won their first two matches to lead the table by 14 points.
But he stressed: “There is a long way to go and we had the advantage of playing in that first week.
“We are not getting carried away, but we are really happy with how things have gone.
“It’s good to be top and to have beaten Henley, who we expected to be challenging for the title.
“We know we are in good shape, but if we are still top in four, five or six games’ time, we can be a bit more excited.”
Last week’s century-maker Nathan Hawkes (wedding) is away, so Justin Lambden comes in.
Experienced batsman Stewart Laudat returns from an ankle injury for Oxford’s trip to High Wycombe.
He replaces Vishane Perera as Ian Crosby’s side look to build on their victory over Tring Park.
“Stewart was nearly fit last week, but wanted to give it another week to be sure,” said Crosby.
“I am quite happy with how the team is shaping up.”
Miles Hammond makes his seasonal debut for Aston Rowant when they visit Harefield.
The 18-year-old Gloucestershire off-spinner is one of three changes, withOxfordshire opener Damian Shirazi now available and left-arm seamer Leo Bethell, signed from Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts, making his Home Counties debut.
They come in for Ricky Hopwood, Gordon Harris, who drops down to the seconds, and Linsey Smith, who has a training weekend with the England junior women.
Great & Little Tew will be wary of a Falkland backlash when they host the Berkshire club in Division 2 West.
Falkland were skittled for just 68 in last week’s defeat at Horspath, but Tew captain Andy Harris is not reading too much into that.
“They have some very good players in their side that we cannot afford to take lightly,” he said.
“We are expecting a tough test.”
Wicket-keeper Ashley Hubbert returns in place of Robbie Catling, taking over the gloves from Harry Smith, who took three catches and a stumping in their victory over Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Horspath also have a wicket-keeping change, with regular gloveman Andy Wynd away at a wedding.
Shahbaz Ali, who missed the Falkland win for a wedding, returns, while Robbie Eason takes over behind the stumps.
“Robbie has done it in a couple of pre-season games and done well,” said his brother, captain Will Eason.
“We have got no issues about him keeping.”
Shipton-under-Wychwood visit Reading.
Aston Rowant (v Harefield, away): Morrick (capt), Watling, Ferraby, Morgan, J Smith, Cook, Shirazi, Penhale, Muttitt, Bethell, Hammond.
Oxford (v High Wycombe, away): Clough, Laudat, Vainker, Perkin, Davies, Crosby (capt), Mendis, Hole, Beer, Sutherland, I Evans.
Banbury (v Tring Park, away): L Sabin, Harris, Haupt, Lambden, West, Cater, Bartlett, Manley, Blanchard, Ryan, J Phillips (capt).
Great & Little Tew (v Falkland, home): White, Jor Garrett, Smith, Slatter, Brock, Hubbert, Woods, Clark, Shurmer, Harris (capt), Bryan.
Horspath (v Cove, home): R Eason, Cutter, Phillips, Conradie, Mohammed, Foster, Ali, W Eason, Skelton, Krol, Belcher.
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