ASTON Rowant captain Josh Smith says his side are relishing their position as table-toppers.

Eight wins in ten completed matches have opened up a 19-point lead at the top of the Home Counties Premier League Division 1 table.

Smith knows a tough test lies in store when his side host Henley tomorrow, but says their run of results mean they fear no-one.

“Really, we are just a group of good friends who come together on a Saturday to play cricket – it’s been almost the same team for the last four years,” he said.

“We have a great balance in the team, are playing good cricket and enjoying ourselves.

“It’s certainly better than we expected, but no more than we deserve.”

Rowant make one change for their clash against third-placed Henley with Alex Ferreira coming in for Andrew Tolson.

“Henley are always strong and we are both up there for a reason,” Smith added.

Oxford name an unchanged team for their home clash against Finchampstead.

Jamie Perkin’s side have only Thame below them in the table and endured a frustrating clash at derby rivals Horspath last week, when they were forced to bat out for a draw, despite enjoying a good spell with both bat and ball.

However, a lack of consistency has frustrated their captain.

“We again got ourselves into a good position but then couldn’t see it through,” he said.

“We have done that numerous times this season and it has cost us.

“The table doesn’t lie, but we know that if we can put all three elements of our game together at the same time we can close the gap on those above us, starting on Saturday.”

Banbury captain Lloyd Sabin knows his side must be on their guard when they host Slough.

Having beaten their opponents back in May, Sabin is expecting a response from the high-flying visitors.

“I am sure they will be looking to get one back on us for earlier in the season,” he said.

“Both teams are in a bit of form and going well.”

Banbury make one change to last week’s winning team against High Wycombe, with Graham Beer coming in for Tom Bartlett.

Captain Will Eason returns in the only change to Horspath’s XI for their clash at Tring Park.

The skipper is back with Tom Cosford away on holiday, and is hoping for another dominant display after last week’s winning draw against Oxford.

Darryl Brown hammered a superb 118 in Horspath’s 272-7, but it was not enough to force victory, with their hosts batting out for a draw at 191-6.

“Darryl’s form with the bat is sensational, but he brings so much more to us,” Eason said.

“He has also been a key figure with the ball, but because he batted for so long last week we could not use him so much because he was knackered!”

He added: “We know how important it is for us to keep collecting points.

“The two teams below us in the table will pick up wins, so we need to do the same.

“We don’t want to be continually looking over our shoulder.”


Aston Rowant (v Henley, home): Reid, Ferreira, Condon, Smith, Watling, Bethell, Moriarty, Pendered, Muttitt, Harris, Morrick.

Oxford (v Finchampstead, home): Tong-Jones, Nutt, Dickinson, Ayub, Perkin, Kilpatrick, Murphy, Keat, Humphreys, Mendis, Barrett.

Banbury (v Slough, home): Sabin, Haupt, Clarke, Adams, Hill, Rana, Green, Wright, Beer, West, Tait.

Horspath (v Tring Park, away): Fitzjohn, Brown, Hawtin, W Eason, Green, Mohammad, Coleman, Belcher, Faruq, Robertson, O’Connor.


GREAT & Little Tew skipper Harry Smith is backing his side to stop their poor run of results when they travel to Amersham.

Four matches without a win has seen Tew plummet down the Division 2 table.

“We’ve hit a bad bit of form,” Smith said.

“We had a couple of unavailibilities from key players and are stuck in a bit of a rut.

“But we had a great start so know we can do it. I’m backing us to get out of the hole.”

Tom Price replaces Tim Wyatt in the only change to last week’s defeat to Harefield.

Shipton-under-Wychwood captain Anupam Sanklecha believes his team are still capable of turning their season around.

The basement side have won just once, but their captain says spirits are surprisingly high considering their tough campaign.

Seamer Adeel Rehman and batsman Callum Taylor come in for tomorrow’s home game against Wokingham, with Ian Lewis and Harry Davies missing out.

“Confidence is still good, because we believe that a couple of wins can change the look of the table,” he said.

“We are playing at home so will be positive.

“We know we have struggled to put runs on the board, so we will focus on that and hopefully we can get a positive result.”


Great & Little Tew (v Amersham, away): Smith, Catling, T Price, White, Lloyd Brock, Slatter, Broadbeer, O Price, Shurmer, Thomas, Lawrence Brock.

Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Wokingham, home): Norgrove, Marstin, C Miller, Sanklecha, Wood, Harris, Bates, Taylor, Rehman, Cross, S Miller.