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.
Thame’s decision to bat first looked sensible enough when they posted 206 all out, the last wicket falling to the final ball of their 53rd over.
James Crichton (33) got the ball rolling, then Hassam Mushtaq top-scored with 62 and Mike Higgs chipped in with 34.
Left-arm spinner Steve Hart was the pick of the visitors’ attack, finishing with 4-65, while Craig Haupt, playing a rare game for the 2nd XI, was also in the wickets with 3-37.
Banbury were always in complete control of the run chase, with Sabin holding the innings together, while Ed Phillips also struck 65.
The success of the Cherwell League clubs in the Home Counties Premier League this season means it is highly likely that only one team will be relegated from division one this year.
However, there are still six weeks of the season remaining, and Thame could yet be dragged into a battle against the drop.
Cumnor squeezed past Oxford Downs by three wickets in a tightly- fought clash to send their local rivals even closer to the relegation trapdoor.
Downs chose to bat and struggled to score quickly, eventually posting 183-7 from their 53 overs.
Will Watts led the way with 53 for the hosts, while Wasim Mehmood weighed in with 34.
Cumnor kept losing wickets in reply, but stayed in touch with the required rate before reaching 188-7 with 13 balls to spare.
Tiddington are another side in relegation trouble after they crashed to 118 all out and a heavy 85-run home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Twyford.
Twyford’s decision to bat first was vindicated by Stafford Sansome (59) and Bilal Afzal (54), although Sam Hollingshead took 4-31 from 14 overs and Matthew Johnston picked up 3-32 to keep the hosts in it.
However, the visitors’ final score of 203-9 proved more than enough as Arbeeb Ahmed (3-27) made early inroads and Afzal (3-26) finished off Tiddington and leave them one off the bottom.
Great Brickhill chose to bat and promptly racked up 307-7 at home to Oxford 2nd.
George Morris (83), Doug Aris (75), Patrick Prasad (68) and Graeme Carter (36) were all in the runs, while Phillip Evans did his best to stop the onslaught with 4-52.
Oxford were never in contention after tea, but staved off defeat on 168-9 thanks in part to Joe Claason (37) and despite the efforts of Ahad Khan (4-29) and Pete Hastings (3-30).
A tenth-wicket partnership of 56 proved crucial in Wolverton Town’s 40-run home win over leaders Buckingham Town.
Fahad Arshad (23) and No 11 Zaheer Khan (35no) took their side from 117-9 to 173 all out.
Buckingham were well-placed on 86-2, but Khan entered the attack to take 4-28 and spark a collapse that included the wicket of Jack Parrish for 36 and ended with the visitors all out for 133.
Challow & Childrey played out a thriller at Bledlow Village, where the match ended in a draw with the scores level in Division 2.
Bledlow chose to bat and recovered from losing both openers early to declare on 237-9 after 52 overs thanks to Matthew Pearce (51), Ryan Chapman (50) and Adam Mould (43).
Challow looked well set after opener Ryan Gordon hit 54, then Fred Walker (51) and Tom Pill (45) also got going. But a late flurry of wickets left both sides agonisingly short of victory with Challow on 237-9.
There was another tight affair at Long Marston, where Abingdon Vale pushed their hosts all the way before slipping to a two-wicket defeat.
The visitors’ 182-8 included Amith Premkumar’s 39 and Joe Butcher’s 34.
Mark Green hit 75 not out and James Beesley 47 in Marston’s 183-8.
Garry Adamson smashed five sixes and six fours in an unbeaten 77 that took Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts to a three-wicket win over leaders Leighton Buzzard Town.
Nondies were chasing the visitors’ 189, in which Mark Strong took 4-20 and Atif Ali 4-55.
Horspath 2nd raced to a six-wicket win at home to Aston Rowant 2nd.
Rowant’s 201 all out looked respectable enough. George Reid hit 51 and Hendrick Robyns made 42, while Harrison Ward took 5-66 and Adam Krol collected 4-48.
Jack Biggs (61) set up Hors-path’s run chase, which ended in the 40th over on 203-4.
Cropredy remain in deeptrouble after being thrashed by eight wickets at Cublington.
After choosing to bat, the visitors managed 174 as Kieron Sear took 5-49.
The hosts wasted little time reaching 177-2, Nick Talbot leading the way with 79.
LawrencE Brock took 4-35 as Great & Little Tew 2nd hammered Oxford Downs 2nd to go back to the top of Division 3.
The visitors were dismissed for only 97 in 40 overs, which Tew surpassed for the loss of three wickets.
Morning leaders Sandford St Martin collapsed from 133-3 to 190 all out on their way to a five-wicket defeat at Banbury 3rd.
Paul Hill did most of the damage, taking 4-32.
A 138-run partnership for the third wicket between Jamie Coles (72) and Tom Hill (65) set up Banbury’s successful pursuit, which ended on 195-5.
Didcot’s last home match under the shadow of the town’s power station cooling towers ended in five-wicket win over Bicester & North Oxford that keeps their promotion hopes alive.
Ian Demain took 5-31 to help dismiss Bicester for 172, of which Jamie Carter contributed 44.
Shaun Burningham (87) and Simon Pritchard (55) then steered Didcot to 175-5, despite Ryan Moore’s 3-32.
Oxfordshire Over 50s all-rounder Paul Hemming was the star of the show for Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd at Buckingham Town 2nd.
First, he hit a fine 107 not out in Shipton’s 233-6 and then followed that with 3-20.
Another veteran, Chris Panter, also took 3-16, but it was not enough for victory as Town clung on at 129-9.
Abhinav Premnath (50) and Ken Turner (49) helped Bletchley Town reach 196-9 at home to Dinton 2nd.
Their total was put into perspective after tea, when Dinton dashed to 197-4 from only 23 overs.
Neil Roberts led the six-wicket romp with 71.
Steve Palmer took 3-27 and then hit an unbeaten 70 as Horley maintained their title charge by beating Kimble by five wickets in Division 4.
The visitors were restricted to 143-9 by Palmer and Dave Eaton, who captured 4-44.
That was never going to be enough on Horley’s small ground, and so it proved as the hosts needed only 30.4 overs to reach 146-5.
Blewbury & Wallingford stayed in touch with Horley by beating East Oxford by six wickets at home Charlie Sutton took 4-72 and Scott Harris 3-30 as East Oxford reached 192.
Lee Ainsworth (40) got the reply ticking over nicely, then Alan Bowman (58no) and Ian Harris (52no) finished the job in the 39th over.
Russ Turner top-scored with 82 as Bledlow Ridge closed on 206-8 at home to Witney Mills.
The visitors were always in with a chance thanks to Mike Dove (41), Sam Haselgrove (38) and Oliver Burnley (35no), but came up just short on 203-8.
Will Sawrey-Cookson (85no) and Andy Crichton (59) helped Chearsley to an imposing 258-6 at Kingston Bagpuize.
Arthur Verdin was the most successful home bowler, taking 3-64.
Marco Cecchini (42) gave Kingston a glimmer of hope, but their innings fell away badly against Marc Hignell (5-41) and they were left teetering on 131-9.
Gareth Benger (51), Andy Smith (44) and Steven Baines (42) were the major contributors in Leighton Buzzard Town 2nd’s 224 all out at home to Great Brickhill 2nd.
Hamid Miah took 4-37 and Drew Burrows 3-43.
Brickhill were soon in dire straits at 59-7 in reply and despite Tristan Hardy’s battling 38, they were out for 119 – 105 runs short.
Richard Carr crashed 92 not out as Thame Town 2nd thrashed Abingdon Vale 2nd by eight wickets.
Vale were defending a meagre 146 all out, of which Jordan Ford contributed 36. Alistair Thomas took 4-36, while Derek Patey picked up 3-59 for the visitors.
Thame needed only 19.4 overs to reach their victory target.
Tiddington 2nd are up to third after crushing hosts Twyford 2nd by 106 runs.
Andrew Willis (83), Ben Smith (48) and Neil Smith (39) all batted well as Tiddington reached 266-8, only Ed Selby-Jones (4-89) enjoying much success with the ball.
The Smiths then heaped misery on Twyford, with Neil taking 4-26 and Ben 4-45 as the visitors were all out for 160.
Fine knocks from Callum Russell (91) and Alex Kidd (46) helped Cumnor 2nd to a competitive 230-8 from their 53 overs at home to Brackley.
Openers Lee Davis (38) and Eric Carpenter (31) got Brackley’s reply off to a good start. Michael Lowe (30) and Michael Cart-wright (39no) built on their work.
However, Jamie Douglas (3-24) and Mo Chatterji (3-60) slowly reduced them to 209-9.
Cumnor were deducted four points for their slow over rate.
Miles Picknett cracked 117 not out in Oxford 3rd’s 240-7 declared from 50 overs against Didcot 2nd.
Andy Griffiths captured 4-45 for the visitors, who were then blown away for 118 by Callaem Biel’s 5-15 to lose by 122 runs.
Charlie Downes (50), Marcus Goodchild (48) and Manoj Parmar (41) were all in the runs as Bledlow Village 2nd reached 224 all out at Stokenchurch.
Arshad Latif claimed 3-15 before scoring 41 after the interval, then Ashley Hunt hit 51 not out to take his side to a one-wicket victory at 226-9 and the top of the table.
CUMNOR 3rd’s Ben Reiss produced the stand-out bowling figures in the lower echelons with a spell of 7-34 to set up a six-wicket victory over Blewbury & Wallingford 2nd in Division 8.
The visitors still managed a reasonable total of 170 despite seamer Reiss’s efforts, but Cumnor eased home at 171-4.
Horspath 3rd saw off Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 2nd in Division 6 thanks to 5-43 from James Earnshaw, who sent them packing for 96. Ned Murray saw Horspath to a nine-wicket win with 48 not out.
Another five-wicket haul set up an eight-wicket victory for Abingdon Vale 3rd against local rivals Didcot 3rd in Division 7.
It came from Adrian White (5-22), and with veteran Robin Newman chipping in with 3-4, Didcot could manage only 54, which was easy meat for Abingdon.
Latest Sport news
12:00pm Monday 4th May 2015
Have your say on the main talking points at Oxford United in our final 60-minute interactive discussion of the season.
11:50am Monday 4th May 2015
Andy Whing is contemplating hanging up his boots this summer, but the popular midfielder is in talks about staying at Oxford United in another role.
11:39am Monday 4th May 2015
CLUB captain Matt Corker will embark on a ninth season with London Welsh after signing a new deal with the Exiles.
8:00am Monday 4th May 2015
Michael Appleton wished the end of the season was still a month away after Oxford United continued their strong form with a 1-0 win at Newport County.
7:20am Monday 4th May 2015
OXFORDSHIRE cruised to their second commanding Group 4 victory when they beat Bucks by eight wickets in a weather-affected game at Wormsley yesterday, writes MICHAEL KNOX.
7:20am Monday 4th May 2015
Sam Humphreys was thrilled to finally make his senior debut for Oxford United, 12 years after joining the club.
3:12pm Sunday 3rd May 2015
Oxfordshire's Bradley Smith came home eighth in today's Spanish MotoGP in Jerez.
12:09pm Sunday 3rd May 2015
WATCH Kemar Roofe's wonder goal as Oxford United finished the season with a 1-0 win at Newport County.
5:54pm Saturday 2nd May 2015