Oxford MailCRICKET: Cater and Darby sparkle to put Oxon in command (From Oxford Mail)

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CRICKET: Cater and Darby sparkle to put Oxon in command

Oxford Mail: Jonny Cater hammered an unbeaten 117 to help put Oxfordshire in the driving seat against Shropshire Jonny Cater hammered an unbeaten 117 to help put Oxfordshire in the driving seat against Shropshire

Jonny Cater hit an unbeaten century and Hugo Darby fell one run short of a ton on his debut as Oxfordshire took control on day two of their Unicorns Counties Championship Western Division clash against Shropshire at Bridgnorth.

Cater made 117 not out as Oxon passed 300 for the first time this season by reaching 323-6 to establish a first-innings lead of 39 runs.

Oxfordshire then reduced Shropshire to 184-7 in their second innings, leaving the hosts with a precarious lead of 145.

Resuming on 94-2, Oxon lost Lloyd Sabin without addition to his overnight 24 when he skied a catch to James Ralph at mid-on off Gurman Randhawa.

But Cater was then joined by Durham MCCU batsman Darby, who lives in Oxford, in a fourth-wicket stand of 154.

Darby hadn’t given a chance until he reached 99 when he agonisingly chopped a delivery from off-spinner Ralph into his stumps.

His runs had come off 215 balls with fours boundaries and one six.

Jamie Perkin was bowled by Randhawa one run later, but Chad Keegan smashed 40 off 20 balls as Oxon swept past Shropshire’s 284, before the stand-in skipper was caught behind off Ralph.

It left Cater undefeated at the close, with his chanceless innings coming off 143 balls with 13 fours and one six.

Keegan then got stuck into Shropshire with the ball, bowling Steve Leach for five.

Francois Vainker trapped fellow opener Joe Carrasco lbw with his left-arm spin, before Adrian Evans and Ryan Lockley shared a stand of 102 for the third wicket.

But the breakthough came when Evans edged a delivery from 15-year-old left-arm spinner Lloyd Belcher into Cater’s gloves for 52 and Lockley followed soon afterwards for 57.

And Belcher was again involved, taking a good catch at deep square leg off Keegan.

Sabin then reacted smartly to run out Omar Ali with a throw to Cater from mid-wicket, before Keegan ripped through Ralph’s defences for his third victim to leave Shropshire 162-6.

Belcher then struck a big blow in the last over when he had Randhawa caught by Keegan at short leg.

It saw Oxfordshire’s all-time youngest player finish the day with admirable figures of 2-32 from 18.3 well-controlled overs.

Scores: Shropshire 284 & 184-7 (R Lockley 57, A Evans 52), Oxfordshire 323-6 (J Cater 117no, H Darby 99).

FOOTBALL: City beaten at Ardley

Oxford Mail: Callum Convey scored Ardley United's winner in their 1-0 success at Ascot United on Tuesday

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Oxford City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Ardley United in their penultimate friendly before the new season gets under way.

RACING: Longsdon's double bid

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is double-handed in the thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30) at the Irish track today with Vulcanite and Grandads Horse.

RACING: Charlie in action again

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Charlie Wells, the horse trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at Blewbury, near Didcot, who tested positive for morphine, runs in the 7.15 at Ffos Las tomorrow.

Appleton's closing in on striker for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

AUNT SALLY: Title race thrown open as Six Bells falter

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE battle for the Premier Section crown is alive after leaders Six Bells C lost for the second match in succession, writes ANDY BEAL.

Commonwealth Games: Watson aiming to lift crown

Oxford Mail: Ben Watson just missed out on a place in 2010

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

BEN Watson will look to convert his English title into a Commonwealth Games medal tonight.

Commonwealth Games: England pays price for lack of finishing power

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

HANNAH England admitted she did not have enough finishing speed after fading to seventh place in the 1500m final last night.

Commonwealth Games: Fox frustrated as hockey team lose

Oxford Mail: hockey - field

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

DAN Fox was left frustrated as England’s men’s hockey team lost 2-1 to New Zealand.

CRICKET: Ayaz's nine-wicket blitz crushes Minster

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Cowley Internationals’ bowler Ayaz Khan nearly took all ten for a second time when he bagged a nine-wicket haul in their 65 win at Minster Lovell in OCA League Division 1.

CRICKET: Cumnor push Downs closer towards drop

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Former Oxfordshire opener Andew Sabin compiled a match-winning innings of 92 not out as Banbury 2nd eased to a convincing eight-wicket win at Thame Town in Cherwell League Division 1 on Saturday.

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