OXFORD had the better of their home draw with Aston Rowant in Division 1 of the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League, but the result helped neither sides’ ambitions.

With neither Welwyn Garden City nor Henley winning, victory at Roman Way would have boosted Oxford’s outside title hopes.

Had Rowant won, they would have leapt out of the relegation zone into sixth, but they remain seven points adrift of safety.

Rowant won the toss and inseretd Oxford in overcast conditions.

Solid contributions from captain Jason Harrison and Stewart Laudat gave Oxford a platform, while Nick Ferraby top-scored with 68.

Oxford were 97-4 at lunch, but lost Ian Crosby and Wasim Mehmood in quick succession.

Stefan Van Dyk added 21, but Oxford’s total of 237 would have been far less competitive had it not been a tenth-wicket stand of 55 between Shami Mendis (38) and debutant Tom Geeson-Brown.

This was an Oxford record in the league.

Rowant skipper Wesley Morrick bowled unchanged for his 4-89 from 33 overs, while Karl Penhale and Paul Humphreys claimed two wickets apiece.

Tim Morgan and Aaron Todd then put on 49 for Rowant’s first wicket.

Adam Cossins top-scored with 55 and Chris Watling added 27 to set up a promising position at 154-4.

However, Wasim Mehmood took the wicket of Rory Lyon with his first ball in Home Counties cricket and Oxford snuffed out any hopes Rowant had of winning.

Spinner Mendis finished with 3-39 to cap a useful all-round day.