HORSPATH pulled off a great escape with a dramatic ten-wicket victory at relegation rivals Great & Little Tew, which sent their shell-shocked opponents down.

Going into the last game of the Division 1 season trailing their Oxfordshire rivals by 16 points, Will Eason’s side knew they not only had to win, but stop the hosts getting five points.

Horspath’s Houdini heroes defied the odds in style as the home side were shot out for 107 in the Home Counties Premier League.

Skipper Eason’s escapology act began by crucially winning the toss and putting Tew in to bat on a greenish pitch before his bowlers stepped up to the plate in stunning fashion.

Ian Slatcher made the breakthrough by bowling Tew captain Harry Smith, before Eason, during a superb spell of 1-10 from ten overs with five maidens, claimed the important wicket of Jordan Garrett, courtesy of Jamil Faruq’s terrific diving catch at mid-off.

Faruq then ripped the heart out of Tew’s batting, finishing with brilliant figures of 5-15 from his ten overs as the home side crashed from 30-1 to 40-6.

Andy Harris and Jancan Adams put on 49 for the seventh wicket, before Faruq returned to the attack to have the former caught behind by Robbie Eason.

With spinners Tom Cosford and Lloyd Belcher also picking up wickets, Tew were unable to break the shackles and their catastrophic collapse was complete when Will Eason ran out last man Ollie Price.

Tew’s batting disaster meant they had picked up just one point and left them needing seven Horspath wickets to beat the drop.

But they never got a chance as openers Tom Coleman and Robbie Eason resolutely steered the visitors to 108-0.

Coleman sealed an improbable victory with a four through the covers to finish unbeaten on 69 from 101 balls, with 13 boundaries, while Eason was undefeated on 27 to leave Horspath jubilant and Tew devastated.

Captain Lloyd Sabin hit 99 as Banbury secured a 140-run home victory over Oxford.

The hosts elected to bat and made a strong start with Sabin and Craig Haupt putting on 41, before the latter was trapped lbw by Harvey Eltham.

But a second-wicket partnership of 128 between captain Sabin, whose fine knock came off 104 deliveries, including 15 boundaries, and Olly Clarke (51), proved pivotal.

The skipper was eventually dismissed by Chris Humphreys just one short of a deserved century and from there on the home side lost wickets regularly as they posted 251-6 from their 50 overs.

Oxford faced an uphill battle and made a horrible start, quickly collapsing to 7-3 and then 21-4 as Bradley Taylor (3-22) and Aizaz Cheema ripped through the top-order.

Muhammed Ayub (46) steadied the ship in fifth and sixth-wicket partnerships of 44 and 25 with Shami Mendis and Freddie Simon.

But from 98-6, Richard West (4-11) ran through the tail as Oxford lost four wickets for 13 runs and were dismissed for 111 in the 30th over.

THAME Town secured promotion to the top tier for the first time when beating newly-crowned champions Aston Rowant by 19 runs.

Michael Beard’s side had to win Division 2’s top-of-the-table clash to ensure they finished as runners-up.

Rowant needed just five points to wrap up the title and picked up seven meaning both sides were celebrating at the end of play.

Hosts Thame elected to bat, but Will Sutcliffe fell to Wes Morrick for a golden duck as the hosts found themselves 1-1.

But Callum Russell (62) and Gamindu Kanishka settled the nerves with a partnership of 56 before the latter fell.

Captain Beard quickly followed, however, Russell enjoyed decent stands with Richard Straughan and Hassam Mushtaq to take Thame from 58-3 to 132-5.

But Russell became the sixth man to fall as the hosts lost four wickets for three runs, Sasha Barras taking 4-31.

The writing looked on the wall, only for a tenth-wicket partnership of 45 between Andrew Russell and Will Rooney to steer Thame to 184-9 from their 50 overs.

Rowant’s reply did not get off to the best of starts, falling to 11-1 and 23-2 as Mike Higgs (3-35) dismissed Alex Jewell and James McDougall.

Tom Condon and captain Josh Smith steadied the ship with a 52-run partnership for the third wicket.

But when the latter fell, Rowant collapsed from 75-3 to 79-6, Mushtaq (4-30) doing the damage.

Morrick (30) helped haul the visitors back into contention.

He combined with Condon and Leo Bethell to put on seven and eight-wicket partnerships of 25 and 41.

But Mushtaq caught and bowled the latter to leave Rowant on 145-8, before Morrick was run out as they slipped to 147-9.

Kanishka then bowled last man Barras to secure victory and Thame’s promotion.

Anupam Sanklecha took his seventh five-wicket haul of the season, but Shipton-under Wychwood lost by 86 runs at relegated Great Brickhill.

The home side chose to bat and Doug Aris smashed an unbeaten 167 off 145 balls, including 24 fours and five sixes, to steer them to 281-8.

Sanklecha, who took 5-29, including three maidens, proved a thorn in Brickhill’s side early on as they were restricted to 132-7.

But eighth and ninth-wicket partnerships of 40 and 109 steered the hosts to a formidable total of 281.

Shipton made a solid start in reply, openers Charlie Miller (39) and Simon Hole (34) putting on 52.

But when Hole fell, wickets followed regularly as they never looked in the hunt.

Shipton's lower order struggled to score as they were dismissed for 195 in the 34th over, Drew Burrows taking 3-52.