JAMIE Perkin is hoping Oxford’s first defeat of the season will give everyone ‘the kick up the backside we needed’.

The Home Counties Premier League Division 2 leaders saw their 100 per cent record shattered by Oxfordshire rivals Thame Town last week.

Despite having their opponents in all sorts of trouble at 79-9, the hosts recovered to post 119.

Oxford then slumped to 70 all out and Perkin says the performance will hopefully spark improvement.

“We were beaten fair and square by the better team,” he said.

“But that batting performance had been coming.

“We had been winning games without really playing very well. But hopefully that will give us the kick up the backside we needed.

“A few of the younger players had maybe been a bit naïve, but that result should be the wake-up call they needed.”

Oxford make two changes for their home clash with Chesham tomorrow, Calvin Dickinson and Shami Mendis coming in for Ollie Price and Freddie Smith.

Thame skipper Michael Beard was understandably delighted with the result, but has urged his side to keep the hammer down when they travel to bottom side Dinton.

Victory took them to just nine points off second place and with a game against a side who

have lost all six matches, they have a great chance to climb further.

“It was a great result for us,” he said.

“We played three spinners and hoped the pitch would turn later on which it did.

“Oxford were top and tomorrow it’s a very different challenge with Dinton bottom.

“But we cannot undo the work from last week, they still have some good players so we have to maintain our focus throughout.”

Thame make two changes with Mike Higgs and Chris Jeffcock unavailable, meaning Dev Warner and Jimmy Adams come in.

Oxford Downs are confident they can return to winning ways at home to Burnham.

A poor batting display resulted in a six-wicket defeat at Chesham.

Third-placed Downs are boosted by the return of Will Watts, Chris Sandbach and Luke Maslen this weekend.

And skipper George Sandbach is backing his side to rediscover their early form, which saw them win four of their opening five games.

“We take our loss last week as a one off,” he said.

“With three all-rounders coming back into the team we strengthen the XI hugely and always back ourselves when cricketers like Will Watts, who are superb at all three formats of the game, grace the pitch.”

“Chris Sandbach offers lots with both bat and bowl and a good strategic leader on the pitch.

Luke Maslen will be used as a bowling all-rounder for us having bowled superbly a couple weeks ago in his debut.”

Aston Rowant are hoping to click into gear when they travel to Buckingham Town tomorrow.

Five defeats from six games leaves Josh Smith’s side rooted to the bottom of Division 1.

It is in stark contrast to 12 months ago when Rowant were among the frontrunners and bowler Dom Whatman wants improvement this weekend.

“It’s been a frustrating start,” he said.

“We’ve not quite got going and we need another win to kick-start our season and get ourselves where we should be.

“We need all three facets of the game to come together pretty quickly.”

Rowant make two changes, with Dan Matthews and Gordon Harris coming in for James Coles and Andrew Tolson.

Lloyd Sabin will not be underestimating second-bottom Slough when Banbury make the trip to Berkshire.

The north Oxfordshire side were left frustrated last week when rain led to their home match with Datchet ending in a draw.

Banbury are determined to pick up maximum points at struggling Slough, but Sabin is cautious of playing a side who were runners-up last year.

“They’re a dangerous team,” said skipper Sabin, who recalls George Tait in place of Dave Whiteley.

“On their day, Slough can be very strong.”

Will Eason wants to see Horspath find top form with the bat at Datchet.

Mark Skelton top-scored with 34 as they were dismissed for 150 in defeat to High Wycombe last week.

Horspath’s performances have generally encouraged Eason, but he would like to see improvement.

“We’ve not fired with the bat as such yet,” he said.

“But Saturday was our lowest score this season.

“It will come together hopefully sooner rather than later.”

Robbie Eason, Milly Faruq and Will Robertson replace unavailable trio Jimmy Phillips, Tom Coleman and Skelton.


Aston Rowant (v Buckingham Tn, away): Condon, Rossouw, Fitzjohn, Smith, Watling, Matthews, Bethell, Morrick, Mathews, Harris, Whatman.

Banbury (v Slough, away): Sabin, Phillips, White, Clarke, Yousaf, West, Hill, Rana, Wright, Thomas, Tait.

Horspath (v Datchet, away): Cosford, Brown, Green, Hopper, Hawtin, W Eason, Rafiq, Belcher, R Eason, Faruq, Robertson.

Oxford (v Chesham, home): Tong-Jones, Eltham, Perkin, Ayub, Dickinson, Nutt, Simon, Mendis, Fallah, Keat, Humphreys.

Thame Tn (v Dinton, away): Beard, Ebsworth-Burland, Sutcliffe, C Russell, Bamford, Mushtaq, Ali, Van Dyk, A Russell, Warner, Adams.

Oxford Downs (v Burnham, home): Watts, C Sandbach, G Sandbach, Slater, Rafiq, Ellwood, Costley, Maslen, Crouch, Sillars, Rivett.