BANBURY strengthened their Division 1 title ambitions with a commanding seven-wicket victory away to Oxfordshire rivals Thame Town.

Three wickets apiece for Brad Taylor, Steven Green and Richard West restricted the hosts, who had won the toss, to 190 all out.

It would have been even worse for Thame, but for a spirited last-wicket stand of 49 between Hassam Mushtaq (39no) and Kalim Khan.

Despite losing Craig Haupt in a fine opening spell by Michael Beard, Banbury got home with ten balls to spare after half-centuries from Lloyd Sabin and Quaasim Adams to close within two points of leaders High Wycombe, who could only draw.

James Fitzjohn hit a superb maiden league century in Horspath’s high-scoring draw at Henley.

He made 100 from 159 deliveries to help Horspath to 238-5 in reply to the champions’ 308-3 declared after they had been put in to bat.

Fitzjohn, who survived a chance in the slips just before tea after he had passed fifty, was especially strong off his legs as he racked up 18 boundaries, reaching three figures with a four down to third man.

After Horspath had been in trouble at 71-4, he shared a club record fifth-wicket stand of 141 with Darryl Brown, who made an unbeaten 86.

The South African’s runs came off 80 balls, and he went to his half-century with five successive boundaries off left-arm spinner Gurveer Singh as he posted 14 fours in total.

Earlier, Horspath’s bowlers toiled as Henley captain Michael Roberts hit 109 in a club record opening partnership of 211 with Matt Rowe (86).

Roberts’s runs came off 167 deliveries, with two sixes and 11 fours, while Rowe’s 131-ball stay included two sixes and eight boundaries, before they both fell on the same score.

Euan Woods continued where they had left off, though, with an unbeaten 47 from 35 balls to enable Henley to declare after 61 overs.

Oxford’s struggles continued when they lost by five wickets at home to Slough.

After choosing to bat first, the hosts were well-placed at 92-2, skipper Jamie Perkin having scored half of the runs.

But thereafter only Muhammad Ayub (64) reached double figures as Oxon reached 180-9 in 64 overs.

A second-wicket-stand of 102 between Daniyal Akhtar and Conrad Louth (73) helped Slough ease to victory in the 54th over, despite a fine spell by off-spinner Harvey Eltham, who took 3-72 from 20 overs.

Aston Rowant’s contest at home to Tring Park ended in a boring draw.

The visitors, put in to bat, made 235-9, Charlie Macdonell top-scoring with 92 off 179 balls. Daniel Moriarty was the pick of the home bowlers with 4-99 off 24 overs.

Rowant never looked like reaching the target after slipping to 110-6, but Moriarty and Will Pendered played out time at 162-6.

Great & Little Tew’s great start came to a halt when they suffered a 147-run loss at home to Wokingham in Division 2.

The hosts did not pick up a single point after being shot out for 82 in response to Wokingham’s 229-2.

Despite taking only two wickets, Tew must have been happy with restricting the visitors to a gettable target after choosing to field.

Seamer Robbie Shurmer and spinner Joe Thomas bowled containing spells, conceding only 59 runs in 26 overs between them.

But an unbeaten third-wicket stand of 125 between Stuart Parsons (87no) and Simon Myles (75no) accelerated the scoring near the end.

After a steady start, Tew collapsed against seamer Ian Muirden, who took 6-40.

Shipton-under-Wychwood suffered another disastrous batting collapse as they lost by 73 runs away to fellow strugglers Amersham.

Inspired by skipper Anupam Sanklecha, who returned figures of 7-64 in 19 overs, Shipton bowled the hosts out for 134 on a good pitch.

The visitors must have been hopeful of passing that small target and recording their first win of the season.

But they did not get close, slumping to just 61 all out, against the spin of Maduka Liyanapathiranage(6-25).