LLOYD Belcher has challenged Horspath to carry the momentum from last weekend’s thrilling victory over Chesham into their last three games of the regular season.

The Oxfordshire side won by two runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method after Angus Livingstone took three wickets in an exhilarating final over.

It made it back-to-back triumphs for Horspath and captain Belcher is hoping they can continue their winning run at Slough tomorrow.

He said: “It was probably the most intense game I’ve been involved in since I started playing cricket.

“For 75 to 80 per cent of the match I thought we played the perfect game, but we took our foot off the gas after about 20 overs of their innings.

“You’re never out of the game at this level, so it’s a concentration issue for us.”

Horspath have recovered from a slow start to the campaign and are in contention to reach the second set of post-season play-offs, for teams finishing fifth to eighth.

Belcher said: “Our last three games are going to be competitive, but I’d hope to come away with three wins.

“To bounce back the way we have is testament to the team.”

They make two changes for tomorrow’s game, with Will Hawtin and Stephen Green replacing Rob Wright and Tom Coleman.

One team looking to consolidate their play-off place is Oxford Downs, who are currently sixth.

They visit second-bottom Wargrave – a side yet to win this season – but skipper Tom Costley is taking nothing for granted.

He said: “The table can change so quickly and you could drop four positions in one week.

“They’re towards the bottom, but no-one expected us to beat Banbury and we did.

“We don’t know a lot about them, but we’ll go in with a professional attitude.”

George Sandbach is available again, with Ethan Davie dropping out.

Downs’ derby with tenth-placed Thame Town last Saturday was abandoned after 18 overs due to the weather.

Mike Beard’s men host Tring Park, who are among the five teams just one point above them.

The captain hopes his side can take a giant step towards securing a place in the top eight.

He said: “We probably need two wins out of our last three.

“It’s hard to feel like you’re in the run-in when you’re still hitting your straps, but it’s nice to still be in the mix.”

Will Rooney is unavailable, with Chris Jeffcock returning.

Oxford can call on Scotland Under 19 international Durness Mackay-Champion at Buckingham, with Oliver Mase missing out.

Their opponents are bottom of the table and captain Jamie Perkin hopes last weekend’s 14-run win over Wargrave – their first victory of the season – is the start of something.

He said: “If we win our last three games you never know where you’ll end up.

“In the first four weeks we weren’t playing well enough to get close.

“It’s just about trying to finish with some victories and taking that into next season.”

Towards the top of the table, Banbury were knocked off the summit by Henley last weekend when their game at High Wycombe was abandoned.

Lloyd Sabin’s side host lowly Great Brickhill and the captain is desperate to get back on track.

He said: “Our focus quickly changes to this week and getting back to winning ways.

“It’s a good opportunity, but anyone can beat anyone on any given day this season.”

David Whiteley comes in for Michael Burton, but the absence of Oli Wright is a blow.

Banbury’s vice-captain is in quarantine after holidaying in France and will miss the next two matches.

Meanwhile, skipper Josh Smith knows fifth-placed Aston Rowant need to focus at home to Datchet.

He said: “Every side has got players good enough to win a match on their own.

“It only takes one guy to take five wickets or score a century.”

Caspar Mason and Alex Chapman replace James Coles and Dominic Whatman.


Aston Rowant (v Datchet, home): Reid, Condon, Chapman, Smith, Fitzjohn, Watling, Pritchard, Bethell, Mannering, Morrick, Mason.

Banbury (v Great Brickhill, home): White, Whiteley, Sabin, Clarke, Phillips, Hill, Rana, Eaton, Thomas, Manley, Short.

Horspath (v Slough, away): Phillips, Turner, Sehgal, Ward, Brown, Green, W Eason, Hawtin, Beer, Belcher, Livingstone.

Oxford (v Buckingham, away): Mackay-Champion, Carey, Mathews, Tait, Ramalingam, Swanepoel, Perkin, Musk, Keat, Bridson, Nawaz.

Oxford Downs (v Wargrave, away): Crouch, Smith, Cosford, Sandbach, Costley, Watts, Maslen, Slatter, Warner, Brock, Rivett.

Thame Town (v Tring Park, home): Beard, Ebsworth-Burland, Meer, Adams, C Russell, Mushtaq, Jeffcock, Bamford, A Russell, Jelfs.