NEW Zealander Adam Beck starred for Oxford Downs as they won their thrilling top-of-the-table clash with Great Brickhill by 17 runs to close in on the Cherwell League Division 1 title.

Just one point separated the two sides going into the match, and they produced a fitting, high-scoring contest, which went to the wire.

Brickhill opted to insert Downs, who racked up a massive 303-5 in their 50 overs.

Beck, opening the batting, smashed a brilliant 152, including 19 fours and three sixes, while skipper George Sandbach added 70 in hosts’ mammoth total.

But if they thought the job was done, they quickly realised it was not as Brickhill responded in great fashion.

Led by Marcus Critchley, who hit 114, Brickhill put up a fantastic run chase, only to finish just short on

286-9 in their 50 overs.

The result puts Downs 16 points clear and they are now favourites to win promotion Home Counties Premier League.

Banbury 2nd lost a thrilling match at home to Long Marston by just one run to all-but condemn them to relegation.

Chasing 231-8, Ollie Morgan’s 77 helped the hosts close in on their target.

But with two runs needed to win off the last ball with one wicket left, No 11 Stephen Hart was run out to break Banbury’s hearts.

Shabaz Alam’s magnificent 150 not out condemned Tiddington to defeat as Twyford won by six wickets.

Tiddington had earlier set 262-6 as Max Smith hit 94 and Nick Pykett 79.

But Alam’s brilliant knock saw Twyford to 268-4 with more than eight overs to spare.

Cumnor are still looking over their shoulders following a six-wicket defeat at Abingdon Vale.

Spin-twins Paul White (4-22) and Jonathan Jenkinson (4-29) restricted the visitors to just 146 all out, before Arthur Jones (41) saw Vale home at 147-4.

Challow & Childrey lost their crunch relegation battle at Buckingham Town by 17 runs.

The hosts were held to 199-7 by Challow, but then, despite 64 from Ryan Gordon, the visitors were bowled out for 182 to remain in the bottom two.

Division 2 leaders Westbury fell to a 92-run defeat at Horspath 2nd.

Jehan Mohammed (79) and Jamie Stead (58) helped the home side to 261-9, Richard Tredwell taking 5-36.

Westbury then fell to 169 all out as Luke Heritage took 4-21 and Mohammed 4-25.

Didcot outlined their promotion credentials with a 181-run victory at Leighton Buzzard Town.

Richard Underdown top-scored with 77 in Didcot’s 249-9, before George Woodley took 6-19 as Buzzard were shot out for 68.

After picking up their first win last week, Sandford St Martin were brought crashing back down to earth with a crushing ten-wicket defeat at Cropredy.

Ed Somerton’s 7-16 sent Sandford tumbling to 59 all out, Cropredy taking just 8.4 overs to reach 61-0, confirming Sandford’s relegation.

Aston Rowant 2nd moved out of the bottom two with a 57-run win at Wolverton.

Will Pendered hit 50 not out in Rowant’s 168-7, before taking 4-33 as Wolverton fell to 111 all out.

Oxford 2nd replaced Rowant after losing by four wickets at Bledlow Village.

The visitors set 210-9, but Bledlow eased home at 211-6 in the 42nd over.

Centuries from Adam Stapleford-Jones and skipper Ryan Moore led Bicester & North Oxford to a crushing 218-run victory over visitors Cublington as they wrapped up the Division 3 title.

Stapleford-Jones smashed 135 and Moore 106 not out as the hosts set 280-3.

The bottom-placed visitors crumbled to 62 all out as Dan Savin took 6-25 and Ben Clark 4-35.

Second-placed Horley slipped up by 109 runs at home to Stokenchurch.

The visitors set 297-6, Arshad Latif hitting 86, Jack Sears 71 and Josh Triggs 61. Horley fell to 188 all out.

Minster Lovell stepped up the pressure for the second promotion spot as they saw off Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts by four wickets.

Eddie Dunn (4-17) and Harry Ebsworth (3-11) combined to dismiss Nondies for 130.

Oxford Downs 2nd beat hosts Banbury 3rd by 101 runs.

Batting first, Downs recovered from 138-8 to post 223-9, thanks to a ninth-wicket stand of 85 between Prav Chahal (49no) and Cam Spilsbury (39no).

Spilsbury then took 6-21 as Banbury slumped to 122 all out.

Great & Little Tew 2nd kept alive their outside hopes of avoiding the drop with a 194-run win at Great Brickhill 2nd.

Jack Belmont (56) and Jamie Coles (55) helped the visitors to 268-9, before Brickhill crashed to 74 all out.

East Oxford stayed clear at the top of Division 4, beating visitors Bletchley Town by 25 runs.

They had been shot out for 130, but Kamran Shah then claimed 5-24 to dismiss Bletchley for 105.

Second-placed Thame Town 2nd ran out 105-run winners against hosts Witney Mills .

Christian Warwick hit 71 not out and Matt Furness 66 as Thame set 256-6. Matt Ridgway then took 4-30 as Mills fell for 151.

Basement boys Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd won only their second match of the season, defeating Tiddington 2nd by 53 runs.

Andy Hemming (56) and Jason Hunt (52) helped Shipton to 244 all out, before Paul Hemming claimed 5-52 in Tiddington’s 191 all out.

Rob Hood (62) helped Abingdon Vale 2nd to a four-wicket win at Long Marston 2nd.

The hosts set 213 all out, Matthew Darley taking 4-32. Hood and Max Owen (39no) then steered Vale to 215-6.

Charlbury were shot out for 100 as they lost by eight wickets at home to Brackley.

Aston Rowant 3rd took over at the top of Division 5 with a four-wicket win at Kingston Bagpuize, who were dismissed for 119, James Coles taking 4-30.

Horspath 3rd kept their promotion hopes alive with a 71-run win over visitors Cropredy 2nd.

Swapnil Kulkarni hit 71 in Horspath’s 190 all out, before Adrian Manger (5-27) and Robin Pykett (4-13) combined to dismiss Cropredy for 119.

Ian Demain (139no) and Luke Higgins (94) helped Didcot 2nd to 293-2 against visitors Chearsley, who were dismissed for 231 as Kieran Beesley took 3-43.

Cumnor 2nd’s Ben Harden smashed 123 not out in their three-wicket win against Leighton Buzzard Town 2nd.

Buzzard set 277 all out as Rhiaan Krynauw hit 130 and Ollie Deans took 4-38.

But Harden and Will Laird (52) saw Cumnor to 278-7.

Pat Bryan hit an unbeaten 91 as Challow & Childrey 2nd closed in on the Division 6 title with an eight-wicket win at home to Minster Lovell 2nd, who are now likely to be relegated.

Minster were dismissed for 160, before Bryan and Richard Hales (43) saw Challow to 164-2.

Chris Thompson smashed an incredible 172 not out as Sandford St Martin 2nd racked up 366-4 against visitors Banbury 4th.

Jim Howe added 131 in Sandford’s mammoth total before Banbury were restricted to 263-7.

In Division 7, Jonathan Atkins hit 127 not out to lead Aston Rowant 4th to a four-wicket win against Wolverton Town 2nd.

Will Irving’s 107 helped Bicester & North Oxford 2nd to a 97-run win over Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 2nd.

Charlbury 2nd secured the Division 8 title with a 19-run win at Abingdon Vale 3rd.

They were bowled out for 146, but Emelia Bartram (3-39) and Ellie Norton (3-42) sent Vale tumbling to 127 all out.