DEFENDING champions Aston Rowant 2nd were pushed all the way by Cherwell League Division 1 new boys Abingdon Vale as they edged to a two-wicket victory on the opening day.

Rowant inserted their visitors, who were bowled out for 176 in the 46th over.

They were indebted to opener Amith Premkumar, who top-scored with 51, while Henry Pickford added 41 not out from 43 balls down the order.

Rowant lost regular wickets in their reply as spinner Jonathan Jenkinson took four wickets.

Matthew McNab’s 84 not out led Rowant’s reply as they edged home at 182-8.

Oxford Downs’s first game back in the top flight ended in a three-wicket defeat at home to Dinton.

Skipper Wasim Mehmood top-scored with 48, but Downs would have been disappointed with their total of 170, Akeel Khan taking 5-39.

Downs’ debutant Matt Woods took 4-55 in Dinton’s reply as the visitors lost regular

wickets, but, thanks largely to Faisal Ali’s 54 not out, Dinton reached the target in the 48th over.

Two wickets apiece for Ben Smith, Neil Smith and Max Smith led Tiddington to a comfortable six-wicket victory at Twyford.

The hosts were shot out inside 24 overs for just 73 with only Ben Curley, Devane Warner and Zabi Saeed making double figures.

Tiddington wasted little time chasing the target, cruising to 74-4 in 18.4 overs to wrap up victory.

Banbury 2nd succumbed to a five-wicket defeat at Long Marston.

Batting first, Banbury were bowled out in the 50th over for 182, Justin Lambden top-scoring with 62 and Mark Pallett hitting 50, while Alastair Bee claimed 5-56 for the hosts.

Marston’s reply was led by an excellent 101 not out from Archie Hammond, around whom the innings was built as the home side reached 183-5 in the 46th over, Ollie Murrey taking 3-17.

Joe Dale scored a magnificent century for Cumnor, but his side could not force an opening day victory as Horspath 2nd clung on comfortably for a draw.

Horspath won the toss and put Cumnor in to bat, and they soon regretted that decision.

Although Ed Oakley trapped opener Jimmy Lee lbw for 15 with the score on 29, opener Finch and Dale then shared a second-wicket stand of 96 to put Cumnor firmly in control.

Former Horspath player Luke Finch was next out for 38, but Dale stayed in complete control.

He shared 50 with No 4 Alex Davies and then another 84-run partnership came with the big-hitting Will Bull, who finished 48 not out off just 26 balls.

But it was Dale, who provided the backbone of the Cumnor innings, his 113 from 138 balls containing 16 fours and a six.

Cumnor finished on 278-6 from their 53 overs, Mark Skelton the pick of the Horspath attack with figures of 3-59.

Horspath’s reply started solidly as openers Dom O’Connor and Mark Jefferson shared a 53-run opening partnership.

But a clutch of lbw decisions set Horspath back, Stephen Green

top-scoring with the home side with 35 before he became one of four leg before victims in the middle order.

With wickets tumbling regularly, Horspath fell well behind the required rate, and opted to shut up shop for the draw.

Alex Davies finished as the most effective bowler for the visitors, taking 4-81, as Horspath closed on 222-8.

Returning duo Vishane Perera and Richard Cook starred in Didcot’s first game at Boundary Park.

Perera, back at the club after a spell with Oxford, smashed a brilliant 139 from 142 balls in the Division 2 game.

Cook, returning from Aston Rowant, hit 59 from 47 deliveries, as Didcot racked up a formidable 294-6 dec in 47 overs against visitors Great & Little Tew 2nd.

Tew were shot out for just 97, Robert Keat taking 6-32.

Ryan Gordon’s century was not enough for Challow & Childrey to force victory as they were set a massive target of 312 at Bledlow Village.

The home side racked up 311-7 dec off 52 overs as Will Woodward slammed 126 from 142 balls.

Matthew Bolton (72) and Adam Mould (60) also shone for Bledlow, while Ollie Dimbylow took 4-71.

Challow put up an excellent chase, led by Gordon’s 109 off 98 balls, but they ran out of overs to close on 257-7.

Oxford 2nd comfortably held on for a draw at home to Cropredy.

Ed Somerton (51) and Richard Lynch (30) helped the visitors to 243-9 in their 53 overs.

Harold Porter (63) and Ian Crosby (40) were the mainstays in Oxford’s reply as they closed on 171-6.

Sandford St Martin were hammered by 140 runs at home to Buckingham Town 2nd.

Ben Laycock smashed 110 and Steve Beck 97 as Buckingham declared on 293-6 in the 47th over, Tom Goffe taking 3-50 for Sandford.

The home side never really got started as they slumped to 153 all out, Laycock completing an excellent all-round performance with 3-16.

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts fell to a crushing seven-wicket defeat at home to Leighton Buzzard Town.

Only Chris Day (33) got going as Nondies were dismissed for 127, Jack Kempster taking 4-13 and Lee Selfe 4-29.

Kempster then hit 68 not out for Buzzard as they eased home at 128-3, Liam Gregor claiming 3-14.