OXFORD Downs made the best of conditions as they beat Abingdon Vale by five wickets in Division 1.

Winning the toss, Downs’ skipper Was Mehmood had no hesitation in opting to bowl with damp conditions confronting them.

And the decision was soon rewarded as opening pair Johnny Law and Matt Woods removed Luke Maslen for a duck and the stylish Rob Hood for one.

A mini-recovery took Vale to 27, only for Terry Groome to be removed by Law and key man Joe Butcher being bowled for a first-ball duck.

Vale were on the back foot, but dug in.

Paul Butcher, promoted from the 2nd XI, did his best to stake a regular first-team place with an unbeaten 60, sharing a half-century stand with David Murphy, the only lower-order batsman to reach double figures.

Law finished with fine figures of 4-53 from 17 overs, while Woods took 3-33.

Harry Sutton wrapped up the tail with 3-17 as Vale were bowled out for 128 in the 46th over.

The hosts needed a good start when they took to the field, and they removed openers Mehmood and George Sandbach cheaply.

With Will Watts being dismissed with the score on 48, Vale sensed an opening, particularly when the talented James Ellwood followed for nine.

But Frankie Crouch steadied the ship for Downs, allowing Amin Rafiq (29no) and James Lauder to steer them home in the 41st over.

Abingdon 6pts, Oxford Downs 25

TIDDINGTON shocked Aston Rowant 2nd with a crushing eight-wicket victory.

Visitors Rowant opted to bat first, but struggled to get going as Ben Smith returned superb figures of 5-56.

Opener Tim Morgan hit 52 and shared an 89-run second-wicket stand with Alex Jewell (48), but that was as good as it got for Rowant.

Lewis Quainton, batting at No 10, was the only other Rowant player to make double figures as the visitors were restricted to just 166-8 in their 53 overs.

Tiddington raced to 169-2 inside 25 overs.

Opener Will Goodman led the way with 89 from 78 balls, including 14 fours and three sixes, before Nick Pykett (35) completed the job.

Tiddington 25pts, Aston Rowant 2nd 5

Twyford won a low-scoring clash at Cumnor as the bowlers held sway.

Alex Davies took 4-15 as visitors Twyford were shot out for 109 in the 34th over.

But it proved more than enough as Tom Weymes then claimed 5-28 as Cumnor were rolled over for 77, last week’s century-maker Joe Dale being dismissed for a third-ball duck.

Cumnor 5pts, Twyford 25

Horspath 2nd conceded 53 extras in their 97-run defeat away to Banbury 2nd.

The hosts rattled up 253-8, Justin Lambert (55) just beating extras for the top score. Josh Megson made 35, while Horspath skipper Mark Skelton took 4-50.

Skelton also excelled with the bat making 43, but that was the only support given to newcomer Mark Jefferson, who top-scored with 83.

The rest of the batsmen fell cheaply to George Tait (3-24), Ollie Murray (3-25) and Jimmy Phillips (3-51).

Banbury 2nd 20pts, Horspath 2nd 5

Faisal Ali smashed 104 not out as Dinton hammered visitors Long Marston by 232 runs.

Ali’s ton, plus 84 not out from Waqar Mohammed and 53 by Ashley Smith helped Dinton to to declare after 47 overs on 307-3.

Marston had no answer to the Dinton attack, Kelvin Burrows the pick of them with 4-13 as they were skittled out for 75.

Dinton 25pts, Long Marston 1

PACEMAN Jake Heath proved a class apart as Cropredy thrashed visitors Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts by 194 runs to become the early pacesetters in Division 2.

Winning the toss, Cropredy opted to bat first, and racked up 277-9, Russell Beckett hitting 66 and Aussie Matt McInerney 54. Idris Mohammed took 5-93 for Nondies.

In reply, Nondies could not stave off the pace and aggression of Heath, who finished with 5-33 as the visitors were shot out for just 83.

Cropredy 25pts, Ox & Bletch Nondies 4

Joe Harris returned figures of 5-26 to help Challow & Childrey to a seven-wicket win against visitors Oxford 2nd.

Harris and George Trewby (3-32) combined as Oxford were bowled out in the 38th over for 122, Mursaleen Sadiqi top-scoring with 46.

Challow took just 24.3 overs to reach the target as Ryan Gordon hit 52 and Luke Jones 45.

Challow & Chil 25pts, Oxford 2nd 4

Steve Dobson’s half-century helped Sandford St Martin to a thrilling ten-run win at Leighton Buzzard Town.

Dobson struck 53 out of Sandford’s 161 all out, Jack Kempster taking 3-21 for Buzzard.

Phil Whatmore scored 79 in the home side’s reply, but 4-21 from Phil Nicholas and 3-23 from Simon Smith helped to dismiss them for 151.

L Buzzard Tn 7pts, Sandford St M 25

Great & Little Tew 2nd fell to their second defeat, losing by 21 runs at home to Bledlow Village.

Jack Haggett took 4-47 for Tew as Bledlow were bowled out for 181.

But Tew fell for 160 in their reply, Waseem Khan taking 5-33 and Tom Moore 4-21.

Great Tew 2nd 8pts, Bledlow Village 25

Didcot narrowly avoided defeat at Buckingham Town 2nd as their last pair batted out for a draw.

Ben Laycock (71) and Ben Stafford (54) helped Buckingham to 210-9 in their 53 overs, Jordan Morrison taking 4-77.

Richard Cook (53) and Daniel Hall (43) shone in Didcot’s reply.

But they lost regular wickets, leaving last pair Robert Keat and Andy Griffiths to shut up shop for the draw.

Buckingham Tn 2nd 19pts, Didcot 7