CRICKET: Keegan's an injury doubt for Oxfordshire's semi-final clash

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425457

Oxfordshire have an injury worry over their key fast bowler Chad Keegan ahead of their Unicorns Counties Trophy semi-final against Wiltshire at Bicester & North Oxford on Sunday.

The former Middlesex and Sussex seamer turned over on his ankle during Oxon’s nine-wicket defeat by Shropshire in the Unicorns Counties Championship Eastern Division this week.

The 34-year-old, whose hard hitting down the order, has played a big part in Oxon reaching the last four, was unable to bowl on the final day.

An X-ray revealed no ligament damage, but there is a floating bone from a previous injury which is causing a problem.

“I don’t know if Chad will be fit, but it would be a big blow, if he were not able to play,” said Oxfordshire captain Luke Ryan.

“He adds such value to the side whether batting, bowling and fielding – and is the ‘go-to’ man as far as I’m concerned.”

There is also an injury worry over Thame seamer Will Rooney, who has a bad knee.

However the good news is that Ryan, himself, will be fit after recovering from the neck injury that caused him to miss the Shropshire game.

Oxon must find a new pair of openers with both Lloyd Sabin and Richard Kaufman away on holiday. Michael Beard and Jamie Perkin have been earmarked for the role.

When the counties met in a Championship clash last month, a weakened Oxon side crashed to a ten-wicket defeat in just over two days at Bridgnorth“I’m not that worried by that result as we had 14 players unavailable for that game,” said Ryan.

“If we can get our team out, we’ve got the experience to win. Wiltshire have got nothing to scare us.”

This is Oxfordshire’s ninth appearance in the semi-finals, but they have never reached the final, which this year will be held at the late John Paul Getty’s picturesque Wormsley ground, near Stokenchurch, on Wednesday, August 27.

Their other finalists will be either Devon or Cheshire who meet at Sidmouth tomorrow in the other last-four clash.

Ryan said: “I’m not worried about history, but it would be very nice to make the final at last.”

Oxon squad: L Ryan (Banbury) capt, M Beard (Frocester), A Blanchard (Banbury), J Cater (Banbury), H Darby (Spencer), N Hawkes (Banbury), C Keegan (Henley), L Manley (Banbury), J Perkin (Oxford), K Penhale (Aston Rowant), W Rooney (Thame), F Vainker (Oxford), R West (Banbury).

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