CRICKET: Seamer's absence leaves hole for Oxford

Stuart Hole's short cricket season is over as he reverts to football with Southern League side North Leigh

Stuart Hole's short cricket season is over as he reverts to football with Southern League side North Leigh

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

Oxford will be without skipper Ian Crosby and strike bowler Stuart Hole for the Division 1 derby clash at home to Henley tomorrow.

Crosby misses his first match in three years as captain to attend the wedding of clubmate Joe Porter.

There is no nominated vice-captain, but spinner Francois Vainker will take over the reins for this match.

Meanwhile, Hole’s short cricket season is over as he reverts to football in a friendly for Southern League outfit North Leigh at Kidlington.

“We know that we are going to get only a limited number of games from Stuart each summer – but it’s great to have him,” said Crosby.

Hole bowed out with a spell of 3-15 in eight overs in the rain-affected draw at home to Gerrards Cross on Saturday.

He is replaced by off-spinner Ian Evans, while in-form Alex Davies, who made his debut for Oxfordshire last month, or Andrew Clough will replace Crosby.

One thing is certain, Brad Sutherland will open the batting.

The Kiwi seamer went to the top of the order as a makeshift opener this season, but two half-centuries in three inn-ings mean he has consolidated his position.

Henley have made a slow start to the campaign.

Crosby said: “I’m slightly surprised by where they are in the table, but they have been badly hit by the weather and I know they are fine side with a quality attack.”

Leaders Banbury are stren-gthened by the return of Oxfordshire captain Luke Ryan from injury for their match at home to Gerrards Cross.

But Lloyd Sabin (on holiday), and Dean Bartlett (knee injury) are absent.

Ian Tew comes in to bolster the batting.

“We have a very well-balanced side, but can’t be complacent,” said Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips.

Aston Rowant are at home to High Wycombe.

After their win over Hors-path, Shipton-under-Wychwood are third in Division 2.

They are boosted by the return of St Edward’s School, Oxford pupils, Joe Barrett and Calvin Dickinson for their home match with Falkland.

“For the first time I can remember, we’ve got strength in depth with genuine competition for first-team places,” said Shipton captain Simon Hole.

Horspath make two changes at home to Finchampstead.

Matthew O’Connor comes in for the holidaying Robbie Eason as an opening partner for Kit Cutter, who notably carried his bat throughout a completed innings against Shipton last week.

The other change sees leading seamer Patrick Foster return for Mark Skelton, who drops down to the 2nd XI.

Bottom club Great & Little Tew will be hoping for a change of fortune when they visit Chesham.

Jordan Garrett returns in place of Lawrence Brock, while Ashley Hubbert is fit again to keep wicket.

Tomorrow's line-ups Banbury (v Gerrards Cross, home): Tew, Harris, Haupt, Hawkes, West, Cater, Ryan, Blanchard, Manley, Wright, J Phillips (capt).

Oxford (v Henley, home): from Suth-erland, Perera, Laudat, J Davies, A Davies, Clough, Vainker (capt), Mendis, Perkin, I Evans, Bowyer, Beer.

Great & Little Tew (v Dinton, away): Harris (capt), White, Smith, Hubbert, Catling, Jordan Garrett, Bryan, Woods, Lloyd Brock, Slatter, Clark.

Horspath (v Finchampstead, home): O’Connor, Cutter, Phillips, Ali, Wynd, D Conradie, Foster, W Eason (capt), Faruq, Belcher, Rana.

Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Falkland, home): Hole (capt), Brain, R Barrett, J Barrett, Dickinson, Wood, Sanklecha, Seacole, Cross, Hunt, Miller.

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