CRICKET: Banbury pipped at the post by six off the last ball

Witney Mills celebrate the dismissal of Blewbury & Wallingford’s Tom Newell for seven

Witney Mills celebrate the dismissal of Blewbury & Wallingford’s Tom Newell for seven

First published in Sport

Division 1

A six off the final ball consigned Banbury 2nd to the narrowest of defeats in an astonishing finish to their home match with Wolverton Town.

As Ollie Murrey bowled the last delivery of the match, Banbury needed one wicket and Town needed four runs to win.

Seconds later, visiting players were swarming onto the field in celebration as the ball sailed over the mid-wicket boundary via the bat of No 11 Zaheer Khan.

Rain before the start reduced the match to 63 overs.

Banbury chose to bat and made 168-7, thanks mainly to Ed Smith (62) and Ian Tew (35).

A majestic 87 from Kieran Lampard left Town needing only 37 in 36 balls, but Ollie Wright (4-34) snatched three wickets from nine balls to put the game in the balance.

Town, who were 160-8 at the start of the final over, scored five runs from the first four balls, then lost a wicket, only to pull off a dramatic of victory.

  •  Banbury 2nd 12pts, Wolverton Town 25

There was another tight finish at Buckingham Town, where the home side squeezed past Cumnor to secure a three-wicket win.

Put in to bat, the visitors struggled to 140 all out, with Matt Lake (34) and Sam Jones (31) failing to make the most of their good starts, while Harry Ackland (31no) ran out of partners.

Jack Parish (3-23) and Wayne Platts (3-33) did much of the damage.

Carl Thompson (4-46) may have lost a little pace over the years, but he still burst through the Town top order to leave them struggling on 81-5.

Steve Brunning (53) stood firm, however, and the hosts made it to 141-7 with one over to spare.

  • Buckingham Town 25, Cumnor 9

Oxford 2nd are the new leaders after they prevailed in a topsy-turvy affair with Oxford Downs.

First, Adam Price (4-27) then Freddie Simon (4-21) had Downs deep in trouble on 80-7, as only Wes Bartlett (40) put up much resistance.

Nonetheless, their final score of 118-9 looked likely to be enough when Oxford collapsed to 66-5 in reply, before Price and Simon showed they can bat too by steering their side to 121-6.

  • Oxford 2nd 25, Oxford Downs 7

Tiddington’s latest defeat came at home to Great Brickhill, but they pushed the visitors all the way.

A delayed start saw Brickhill’s innings reduced to 46 overs, during which Matt Johnson took 4-17 to restrict them to 172-9. Anton de Beer bashed 69.

Nick Pykett’s 65 kept the home side interested, but they were undone by George Humphries, who took 7-49, including a last-over four-wicket maiden, and fell 11 runs short on 161 all out.

  •  Tiddington 7, Great Brickhill 25

Thame Town lost top spot after their match at Twyford had to be called off due to heavy morning rain.

  •  Twyford 6, Thame Town 6

Division 2

Atif Ali took 6-37 as Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts beat Cublington to stretch their lead at the top to 19 points.

The hosts were bowled out for 160 and so suffered a 64-run defeat.

Earlier, Nondies had been put in to bat and started well thanks to all-rounder Ali (43), before three quick wickets forced them to rebuild through Tim Rattigan (39).

Bilal Ali’s quickfire 66 then took them to an imposing 224 all out.

  • Cublington 8pts, Oxford & Bletch Nondescripts 25

Horspath 2nd recovered from a disastrous mid-innings collapse to post a respectable total of 153 away to Leighton Buzzard Town.

Stephen Green (65) watched the procession from the non-striker’s end as Horspath slumped from 35-1 to 75-7.

Left-armers Lee Selfe (4-36) and Dan Scott (3-43) wreaked havoc.

Green and No 9 Ben Henderson (36) at least gave the visitors’ bowlers something to defend.

Town were soon in trouble on 11-2, but Phil Whatmore (75) added 124 with Antony Francis (56no) and the hosts had few problems in reaching 154-5.

  •  Leighton Buzzard Town 25, Horspath 2nd 7

Abingdon Vale are adrift at the bottom of the table after being battered by Bledlow Village.

Adam Mould hammered an unbeaten 118 and Matt Pearce was also not out on 56 when Bledlow’s innings closed on 251-7.

Vale were still more than 200 runs behind when their seventh wicket went down, and it wasn’t long before they were all out for 123, despite a defiant 30 from all-rounder Jason Cardy.

  •  Abingdon Vale 4, Bledlow Village 25

The other two matches in the division between Challow & Childrey and Aston Rowant 2nd, and Cropredy against Long Marstonwere called off following morning downpours.

Each side took six points.

Division 3

Steve Roberts picked up 5-16 to take Oxford Downs 2nd to a victory over Buckingham Town 2nd that sent them soaring to the top of the table.

Buckingham elected to bat but could muster only 57 before being rolled over.

William Hook (32no) then steered Downs to 61-4.

  •  Oxford Downs 2nd 25pts, Buckingham Town 2nd 4

Morning leaders Banbury 3rd slumped to fifth after a 90-run reverse at Bicester & North Oxford.

Their decision to bowl first looked like paying off until Ryan Moore (50no) and Reece Green (49no) came together to propel Bicester to 209-5 from their 44 overs.

Ijaz Mohammad was the pick of the bowlers with 3-52.

Banbury were soon in trouble after tea, and Daniel Savin (3-16) and Richard Simpson (3-34) sent them packing up the M40 for 119.

  •  Bicester & North Oxford 25, Banbury 3rd 3

Didcot are still seeking their first win after slipping to their third defeat in three starts, this time at Great & Little Tew 2nd.

Connor Morrison’s 55 was the only highlight of their below-par total of 143, which would doubtless have been higher had wily Kevin Taylor (5-20) not destroyed the middle order.

Matthew Clark (52), Jack Haggett (41) and Markus Jeacock (33) then steered the home side to 149-5.

  •  Great & Little Tew 2nd 25, Didcot 7

Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd climbed three places courtesy of an easy win at home to hapless Bletchley Town.

The visitors lost five points before the start for failing to provide a scorer, and then managed only 127 before being bowled out.

Valentin Guiraud (4-32) was the most successful of the home attack.

Shipton suffered few alarms in reaching 131-4, thanks to experienced duo Steve Bates (37no) and Russell Hayes (35).

  •  Shipton 2nd 25, Bletchley Town 0

No play was possible at Dinton 2nd where Sandford St Martin were the visitors.

  •  Dinton 2nd 6, Sandford 6

Division 4

Blewbury & Wallingford maintained their strong start to the season in Division 4, but lost their 100 per cent record at Witney Mills.

Oxford Mail:

  • Blewbury & Wallingford's Mark Carey plays a forward defensive

The heavy rain that swept the county in the morning caused a delayed start, reducing the match from 100 overs to 84.

The newly combined club made light of losing the toss, cruising to 114-3 and looking set fair to post an imposing total all the while James Barrett (65) was at the crease.

However, Sam Haselgrove (3-75) removed him, Lee Ainsworth and Ben Denton in quick succession to check their progress and leave them with a par score of 199-8.

Mills got off to a shocking start in reply, but from 21-3 got right back in it thanks to an 132-run partnership between veteran Malcolm Evans (56) and Haselgrove.

The latter cracked two sixes and nine fours in his rapid 63.

Blewbury & Wallingford then hit back through Tommy Newell (3-14), who removed both batsmen and Mills’ skipper Mike Dove in the space of 12 balls.

Oxford Mail:

  • Witney Mills' Ollie Burney sends down a delivery

Chaminda Wimalarathna smashed Warren Ainsworth for six, but was promptly stumped next ball, leaving the hosts to settle for a draw.

  •  Witney Mills 8pts, Blewbury & W 15

An outstanding all-round display by Muhammad Naeem Khan helped East Oxford crush Kingston Bagpuize by 128 runs.

First, Khan crashed 52 and skipper Ali Shah hit 75 as the home side racked up 189-9 dec after being invited to bat first.

Kingston had managed only 41 in their previous match and fared little better this time, slumping to 61 all out as Khan collected 5-5.

  •  East Oxford 25pts, Kingston Bagpuize 4

Horley narrowed the gap at the top to two points after dominating their draw at Great Brickhill 2nd.

David Taylor (66) helped lay the platform for the visitors, then Dave Clark (72no) and Nick Tarrant (53no) took them to 252-5 from 47 overs.

Darren de Bruyn (3-40) and Pete Papenfus (3-65) then left Brickhill hanging on at 168-8.

  •  Great Brickhill 2nd 5, Horley 19

James Venness made 41 and Matt Ricketts 40 in Chearsley’s 153-6 against Kimble, which came from 46 overs after rain delayed the start.

Ed Holland’s 3-46 made the visitors work hard for the win, but Steven Richards (43) and Dave Bull (44no) saw them over the line on 156-6.

  •  Chearsley 8, Kimble 25

The match between Bledlow Ridge and Leighton Buzzard 2nd was abandoned.

  •  Bledlow Ridge 6, L Buzzard 2nd 6

Division 5

Matthew Butcher, his father Chris and uncle Paul all shone in Abingdon Vale 2nd’s visit to Bledlow Village 2nd.

Matthew starred with the ball, taking 4-61 in Bledlow’s 198-8 from 43 overs.

Tom Moore top-scored with 62, while Marcus Goodchild chipped in with 41.

After the interval, Chris hit 77 and Paul made 69, but Vale came up just short on 181-6.

  •  Bledlow Village 2nd 13, Abingdon Vale 2nd 9

The matches between Brackley & Stokenchurch, Cumnor 2nd & Oxford 3rd, Didcot 2nd & Twyford 2nd and Thame Town 2nd & Tiddington 2nd were all called off.

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