Division 1

HORSPATH hand a debut to 15-year-old Luke Heritage as they attempt to pull way from the drop zone tomorrow.

A home clash against fellow strugglers Aston Rowant in the Home Counties Premier League presents both sides – who have each only won once all season – with a chance to close on those above them in the table.

Horspath, who played four of the top five teams in June, are hoping a friendlier fixture list in July can bring about a change of fortunes.

“We’ve had a really tough month,” said captain Will Eason.

“We knew it would be a difficult four weeks for us.

“But now we really have to target the next four games and pick up as many wins as possible.

“We haven’t played badly and have been competitive in nearly all our matches, but we have not been able to turn them into wins – and that’s obviously a key with where we are in the league.

Horspath are forced into two changes, with Dom O’Connor on holiday and Mark Skelton unavailable.

Milly Faruq is recalled, while Heritage earns a first Home Counties appearance after a string of good displays for the club’s 2nd XI.

“Luke has performed very well for our twos and deserves his chance on Saturday,” Eason said.

“He bowls steady off-spin and with the match being at home where he has played a lot of cricket and knows the wicket well, it is a good chance for him.”

He added: “Obviously we have played against Aston Rowant plenty of times and we both know each other very well.

“But we really both need a win.”

Rowant are four points behind Horspath and just two ahead of basement side Slough.

Lloyd Sabin is hoping Banbury can maintain their fine form when they travel to Buckingham.

Two successive wins have lifted them to third in the table, although last week’s

one-wicket success at Finchampstead was closer than it should have been.

“We certainly made life hard for ourselves,” Sabin said.

“But we are playing well at the moment, have won both games in the longer format so hopefully can carry it on.”

He added: “It will be a big ask to catch the top two, but we will just take it one game at a time and try to win every match.”

Richard West is unavailable, with his replacement to be named after last night’s training session.


Banbury (v Buckingham, away): Sabin, White, Clarke, Yousaf, Tait, Hill, Rana, Wright, Thomas, Whiteley, AN other.

Horspath (v Aston Rowant, home ): R Eason, Brown, Green, Hopper, Hawtin, W Eason, Belcher, Rafiq, Faruq, Coleman, Heritage.

Division 2

JAMIE Perkin says complacency will be the biggest danger when Oxford travel to Dinton tomorrow.

The table-toppers make the short trip to Buckinghamshire to face a side who have lost all eight games this season.

With Oxford, who name an unchanged side, flying high with seven victories, another success looks to be a formality.

“Everybody will probably think that,” Perkin said.

“It’s a banana skin, but if we play properly and perform how we can, we’ll be fine.

“But we’re there to be shot at and there is no pressure on them.

“If we take our foot off the pedal we’ll be punished.”

Thame Town will look for a fourth successive victory when they travel to Amersham.

A superb run has seen Michael Beard’s side climb to second, and the skipper is keen to maintain the pressure on Oxford.

“The longer format suits us better and we have been in good form,” he said.

“We have always struggled at Amersham for some reason, so we know it will be tough.

“But hopefully we can keep our run going.”

Thame make one change with Ollie Burland coming in for Mike Higgs.

George Sandbach says a lack of a settled side his hindered Oxford Downs.

Winless in the last three games, the west Oxfordshire side are now just nine points off the relegation zone despite an encouraging start.

Olly Dunn and Luke Maslen are missing this week, presenting more issues, although skipper Sandbach is hoping matches against two sides below them in the table in the next fortnight, their fortunes may change.

“We have struggled with availability and have not been able to name a consistent side,” he said.

“We got away with it in the Cherwell League last season, but you don’t get away with it so much in the Home Counties.

“We are aiming for 50 points from the next two games, which will hopefully help us turn the corner.”

Freddie Smith and Pravdeep Chahal come in.


Oxford (v Dinton, away): Tong-Jones, Eltham, Perkin, Ayub, Dickinson, Nutt, Mendis, Ramalingam, Fallah, Keat, Humphreys.

Oxford Downs (v Cookham Dean, home): Watts, G Sandbach, Smith, Slatter, Rafiq, Ellwood, Costley, Crouch, Sillars, Rivett, Chahal.

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