OXFORD skipper Ian Crosby launched a scathing attack on the umpiring after his side crashed to a fifth successive defeat in the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League, writes RUSSELL SMITH.

Crosby was fuming at the decision of umpires Martin Thomas and Phil Hirst to award local rivals Horspath six penalty runs for his side failing to bowl their 50 overs in the allocated three hours and 20 minutes.

It helped Horspath, who reached the last over of Saturday’s Division 1 clash at Roman Way needing 11, secure a one-wicket victory.

Crosby claimed he had been told by Hirst that Oxford were within the allotted time, only to find out after the first ball of the last over – which saw Horspath captain Will Eason become the visitors’ ninth man out – that penalty runs were being awarded.

The Oxford captain said: “It was the worst display of umpiring I have seen in 11 years in that league.

“It was an absolute disgrace and ruined what was a really good game.”

With five runs coming off the next two balls, both sides thought the game was over.

But the umpires then ruled that the final three deliveries had to be bowled.

Eason said: “I can’t believe that we should have batted on for the last three balls after passing their total.”

League secretary Peter Tomlin, who spoke to Thomas, commented: “He just gave me the facts and everything was done properly.

“We may have to revisit the rules and put them in such a way that everyone can understand them.”