Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire Cup

IT went down to the wire, but Shipton-under-Wychwood edged out holders Banbury to claim their first county cup success at Great & Little Tew yesterday.

Shipton finished on the same score as Banbury – 100 – but lifted the trophy by virtue of losing fewer wickets – seven as opposed to their opponents’ eight.

It capped a great weekend for the underdogs, who had already clinched the MP Sports Cherwell League title 24 hours earlier, as well as the inaugural Wilf Bennett Trophy with victory over Great & Little Tew in the morning.

Shipton recovered from 13-3 thanks to their key partnership between top-scorer Tim Senior (41) – who had replaced Joe Barrett from the earlier final – and Graham Newhook, but still only just got over the line.

They needed two to win off Ashley Blanchard’s final over and George Seacole scrambled a single off the fourth ball.

The fifth ball was a dot, meaning Andy Hemming just had to survive the last ball for victory, which he duly did.

It was not the emphatic finish Shipton may have hoped for, but having lost five previous finals, they were not going to grumble Shipton won the toss and elected to field, and Banbury openers Lance Shaw and Sam Cheshire were dropped in the first over, before stepping on the gas.

However, Shipton remained sharp in the field and struck to run Shaw out.

Senior, who replaced Joe Barrett for the main final, had earlier dropped a simple chance off Cheshire, but made amends to remove the left-hander with a diving effort on the long-off boundary.

Banbury struggled to regain momentum and, as in the day’s first final, left-armer Shaun Miller was hard to get away.

With Jason Hunt taking wickets in his first three overs, Banbury were pegged back to 62-5.

Lloyd Sabin mis-timed a drive to Graham Newhook, Craig Haupt was bowled going for a sweep, while Shahbaz Ali fell lbw reverse sweeping Hunt finished with four wickets, while Banbury’s 100-8 looked below par.

Three quick wickets, however, put Banbury right back in it as Shipton slumped to 13-3.

Sharp work from wicket-keeper Ian Hawtin earned two stumpings for Luke Ryan, while Blanchard bowled Hunt.

Senior and Graham Newhook rebuilt the innings with some sensible batting.

Senior was caught by Cheshire, as was Charlie Brain, but Seacole and Hemming saw Shipton over the line – just.