WES Morrick picked up five wickets in a marathon spell to earn Aston Rowant a hard-fought draw at home to Tring Park in Division 1.
The Rowant skipper bowled unchanged for 27 overs to take 5-61 and restrict their rivals to 138-8 in reply to the hosts’ 143.
His heroic effort capped a topsy-turvy encounter, which had started in dramatic fashion with Rowant being reduced to 1-2 after being put in to bat.
Openers Tim Morgan and Nick Ferraby perished without scoring, and Rowant were in dire straits when Dan Matthews and Richard Cook were also dismissed to make it 21-4.
Morrick stood firm in the middle order, but when he went for 32, Rowant were 79-8 and odds-on for defeat.
Tom Condon followed one run later, but then Leo Bethell and Tom Needham shared a club record tenth-wicket stand of 64 to take Rowant to their final total.
Bethell, who recently made his Oxfordshire debut, led the way in the partnership – which beat the 43 Leigh Lewis and Gordon Harris posted against Cove in 2012 – with an excellent 48.
The 16-year-old then provided Morrick with good support with the ball, taking 2-22 off 13 overs as his experienced skipper held Tring in check at the other end, while first change Ferraby picked up 1-23 off nine accurate overs.
The visitors’ batsmen all made a start, but no-one was able to go on and play a match-winning innings as they fell six runs short of their target with Stephen Dutch’s 23 being the top score.
At the same time, Rowant were unable to force victory.
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