JAMIE Perkin says Oxford need to produce a dramatically different display if they are to return to the top of Division 2 tomorrow.

A below-par performance against Wokingham last week saw them replaced at the summit by rivals Thame Town, who they host this weekend in a crunch clash at Jordan Hill.

And Perkin admits the significance of the match is not lost on his side, although he is hoping the change of format – back to the 50-over system – will benefit Oxford.

“We know it’s a big game,” he said.

“Thame are flying and last week we produced a bitterly disappointing performance in all three departments of the game. We simply cannot have a repeat of that.

“We are still in a good position though, and four wins from our remaining games will take us to where we want to be.”

He added: “Thame have been winning a lot of games but are maybe better suited to the other (timed) format.

“They often use only three bowlers, so it’s up to us to make sure we perform better and see their fourth and fifth.

“But if we bat like we did last week, they’ll only need to use three!”

Callum Russell says Thame go into the match on a high.

And he believes the format will not have an impact.

“Confidence is good and it’s obviously in our hands,” he said. “We have three front-line bowlers, but others have taken plenty of wickets and we have a powerful batting line-up so we’re looking forward to it.”

Thame make one change with Will Sutcliffe coming in for Chris Jeffcock.

Oxford Downs skipper George Sandbach believes his side are far better suited to the 50-over format.

The west Oxfordshire outfit, unchanged for the home clash with Chesham, won four of their opening five games before the change of system.

“We know we struggle to bowl sides out, but this suits us and I think now we’ll have a settled side for the season,” he said.

“If we win three or four of our final games I think we can finish third or fourth which would be a good season.”

Horspath captain Will Eason knows his side need to quickly turn around their fortunes if they are to retain their Division 1 status.

But with their final four games all against sides in the top five, it will be a tough ask.

“We’ve probably got to win at least two, but the change of format helps, it’s slightly stronger for us,” he said.

“We have got a very tough run-in, but one individual display can turn any match in this format – let’s hope that comes from one of our team.”

Mark Skelton replaces Robbie Eason in the only change.

Elsewhere, Banbury travel to Datchet and Aston Rowant are at Finchampstead.


Oxford (v Thame, home): Price, Eltham, Tong-Jones, Ayub, Nutt, Craze, Perkin, Mendis, Musk, Fallah, Keat.

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

Oxford Downs (v Thame Tn, home): C Sandbach, Smith, Watts, G Sandbach, Rafiq, Slatter, Sillars, Crouch, Mehmood, Costley, Brock.

Horspath (H Wycombe, away): Belcher, W Eason, Green, Hopper, Robertson, O’Connor, Manley, Cosford, Hawtin, Coleman, Skelton.