CRICKET: It's looking bleak for spirited Downs

Great & Little Tew 2nd batsman Sam Barnes is bowled during their two-wicket defeat by Sandford St Martin in Division 3 on Saturday.

Great & Little Tew 2nd batsman Sam Barnes is bowled during their two-wicket defeat by Sandford St Martin in Division 3 on Saturday.

First published in Sport

Oxford Downs need a miracle to stay up in Cherwell League Division 1, despite having the better of a draw with Thame Town, the only team they can catch.

Thame asked Downs to bat first and struggled to make much headway as the visitors reached 236-4, thanks James France’s 96 not out and Henry Sesecal (51) to secure maximum batting points from their 53 overs.

The hosts staved off defeat on 176-8.

Downs are home to Great Brickhill, on Saturday, while Thame are at Cumnor.

Tom Rowley’s 109 helped Tiddington continue their surge up the table by beating Cumnor.

The visitors batted well before being bowled out for 256 from 47.2 overs. Joel Washbourne-Calcutt (63), Harry Ackland (47), John Williams (36) and skipper Sam Jones (33) shone, while Sam Hollingshead finished with 4-53.

Opener Rowley then got Tiddington’s reply rolling, Nick Pykett hit 61 and Jon Talbot made 39 as they reached 258-5 in the 51st over.

Banbury 2nd looked well placed when they closed on 220-8 at home to champions Buckingham Town.

Charlie Hill (57), Justin Lambden (53) and Will Briggs (39) had all batted well.

But Justin Frew hit a sublime 140 no as Town raced to 224-4 in only 38.4 overs.

Oxford 2nd dismissed Twyfordfor only 121 but still contrived to lose the match.

Joe Claasen took 3-34 while first Stafford Sansome hit a patient 30 then Jake Kubinek scored somewhat quicker in making 32.

Oxford looked well set on 67-3, but Bilal Afzal (4-19) and Rory Lyon (4-38) joined forces to bowl them out for 108.

Graeme Carter (99) and Doug Aris (97) both fell short of their centuries as Great Brickhill amassed 253-8 against erstwhile title challengers Wolverton Town.

Pete Hastings (3-19) soon had Town in trouble, then Julian Blackwell took 3-33 as they slumped to 95 all out.

Abingdon Vale remain deep in relegation trouble in Diviison 2 after slumping to a five-wicket defeat at home to Challow & Childrey.

Only Joffy Cummings (35) batted with much freedom as Vale crawled to 146-9 from their 53 overs. Nigel Hill (4-23) helped keep the runs down.

Challow were always in command after tea, with Freddie Walker (37) and Justin Penrose (33) steering their side towards 147-5 despite Paul White’s 3-28.

Aston Rowant 2nd are 17 points ahead of Vale after they were hammered by Cublington, who look safe.

Ben Orchard took 5-41 as Rowant were rolled over for 123. Then Pip Webb hit an unbeaten 70 as the home side reached 124-2 in 27 overs.

Rowant need nine points against Long Marston at the weekend to guarantee staying out of the bottom two.

Cropredy, who have been resigned to returning to Division 3 for some weeks, suffered their tenth defeat of the summer at home to Leighton Buzzard Town.

Dan Scott took 5-27 and Tom Light picked up 4-26 as the hosts slipped from 80-1 to 141 all out. Pete Cooling made 36.

Chris Thompson (64) got the reply rolling, and they made 142-5 in the 34th over.

Horspath 2nd slipped to defeat in a thrilling finish at Long Marston.

Openers Joe Todd (50) and Jack Biggs (44) helped Horspath reach 170 with Jack Doodson 4-52) and Ed Robinson (3-18) sharing most of the spoils.

Andy Cummings then took 3-40 to help reduce Marston to 87-7, but Matthew Storey hit 45 not out in Marston’s 171-8.

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts stunned Bledlow Village, bowling them out for 120 to secure a 54-run victory.

Nondies lost both openers cheaply before Pablo Mukherjee (68) and Garry Adamson (47) led them to 174-8.

Atif Ali then took 4-44 and and Mark Strong 3-29 with only Ben Moore (39no) holding them up for long.

Sandford St Martin took the Division 3 title race into the final weekend of the season by beating Great & Little Tew 2nd in a tense battle on Saturday.

Tew would have been crowned champions with a victory but the visitors prevailed by two wickets, and could yet pip their hosts for top spot.

They must beat Buckingham Town 2nd this weekend while Tew fail to collect nine points at Dinton 2nd.

Sandford won the toss and soon justified their decision to bowl first by removing both home openers cheaply.

With Tew’s top order suffering a rare off-day, it was left first to Marcus Jeacock (40) and Sam Smith (50) to haul them to 160.

Jack Belmont (3-37) ensured Sandford’s reply also got off to a shaky start, and the introduction of wily off-spinner Kevin Taylor (3-39) kept the game in the balance.

But Henry Portman hit an invaluable unbeaten 51 and Paul Tanner chipped in with 31 to help Sandford reach 164-8.

Tew now have to focus their efforts on their league match on Saturday before travelling to Lord’s to support the club’s first team in the Davidstow VillageCup final against Woodhouse Grange.

It will be some weekend if they are able to pull off a win double.

Ian Demain finished with the remarkable figures of 6-11 as Didcot brushed aside already relegated Bletchley Town to keep their own promotion hopes alive.

Town tumbled to 87 all out, and would have been humiliated without Phil Rusling’s 53.

Simon Pritchard then hit 32 as Didcot eased to 89-4.

Jason Hunt took 5-9 as Dinton 2nd were dismissed for only 98 at Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd.

Phil Gregory top-scored with 32 and Oliver Woodward made 31 before the lower order was blown away.

Jeremy Kirby (53) almost got the job done, but his was the only wicket to fall as Shipton reached 99-1 in 20.3 overs.

Bicester & North Oxford leapfrogged Oxford Downs 2nd at the foot of the table after beating their hosts by six wickets.

Downs got off to a poor start, recovered for a time through James Florey (56) but then collapsed to 130 all out against Ryan Moore (4-21).

Richard Simpson (39) and Jamie Carter (35) then took Bicester to 131-4.

Jamie Coles (65) and Tom Hill (50) helped Banbury 3rd accumulate 156 before being bowled out at Buckingham Town 2nd.

Dom Pritchard (4-48) and Matt Thatcher (3-15) did most of the damage with the ball.

Olly Clarke (3-51) kept Banbury in the hunt after tea, but Warwick May (38) and Thatcher (30) set up a successful run chase, which ended on 157-8.

Horley clinched the Divison 4 title by winning at nearest rivals Blewbury & Wallingford.

Veteran Rob Sessions top scored with 34 but all the other home batsmen struggled as they were bowled out for 157.

Darren de Bruyn took 4-58 from 16 overs.

Charlie Sutton (4-61) put the hosts in with a great chance, but Jonathan Hart hit 52 and Dave Clark clattered 47 as the visitors made their way to 162-7.

Witney Mills will finish third after securing an easy win over lowly Great Brickhill 2nd.

Sam Haselgrove took 4-30 as the visitors succumbed for only 119 from 50.2 overs.

Mills were always in control thanks to Dan Swindells (64no) and reached 120-5 in the 29th.

Matthew Warner took 6-27 and then top scored with 44 as Kingston Bagpuize squeezed past Leighton Buzzard Town 2nd by two wickets.

Put in to bat, Buzzard were relieved to see Yogesh Mistry hit 40 as they were bowled out for 150.

Bagpuize were 40-3 when Warner came to the crease and although he was out with the score on 110 they scrambled the required runs to reach 153-8 with 11 balls to spare.

Ed Holland (5-40) and Charlie Parker (3-40) joined forces for Chearsley to dismiss East Oxford for 138.

Only Urfan Ahmed (30) hung around for long.

Parker then hit 36 not out in the visitors’ 139-5.

Adrian Rose hit 97 not out and took 5-27 in an outstanding all-round performance for Kimble at Bledlow Ridge.

His efforts with the bat propelled his side to 206-7, and with the ball reduced Ridge to 147 all out.

John Mackie (89), Andrew Wills (56) and Jeff Higgs (52) all made hay as Tiddington 2nd racked up 243-5 before declaring after 47 overs at Cumnor 2nd in Diviison 5 Merlin Vaughan (3-43) produced some magic to put Cumnor in further trouble, then Neil Smith took 5-35 to dismiss them for 122. Stokenchurch are champions after an impressive batting performance saw off Twyford 2nd.

Stefan Read took 3-46 but the visitors still managed 195-8.

Arshad Latif then hit ten fours in his 56, fellow opener Joe Brown scored 49 and Tom Carpenter contributed 40 as the hosts raced to 196-4 in 36.4 overs.

Eric Carpenter constructed a fine innings of 80 to set up Brackley’s declaration on 202-9 after 44 overs at home to Didcot 2nd. Ryan Higgins took 3-44.

Only two batsmen made it into double figures after tea as Didcot crumbled to 66 all out.

Keith Cartwright took 3-1 from four overs and Matthew Lowe claimed 3-14 from seven.

Ian McStay took 5-25 as Thame Town 2nd humbled Bledlow Village 2nd for only 38.

Thame had struggled with the bat themselves, but managed to reach 115 before being bowled out. James Hawkes took 5-48.

Oxford 3rd seamer Mark Murfett took 6-27 as Abingdon Vale 2nd were dismissed for 116, with David Atcherley-Symes (65no) running out of partners.

Openers Julian Lawton Smith (52) and Miles Picknett (39) put the result beyond doubt, although they lost wickets to Oliver Price (3-28) in reaching 117-6.

Horspath 4th sealed the Division 8 title with a 75-run win away to Tiddington 3rd.

After being restricted to 138 all out, Horspath dismissed their opponents for just 63.

More than 450 runs were scored in the Division 6 game between hosts Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts and Banbury 4th which saw Paul Tew’s 90 lead the visitors home on 236-3 by seven wickets, Earlier Joey Burgess (94) helped Nondies to 232-9.

In Division 7, there was a hat-trick for Bicester & North Oxford 2nd’s Sam Townsend as home side Abingdon Vale 3rd were shot out for 129 and beaten by four wickets.

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