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CRICKET: Gritty Downs win fight for survival
5:37pm Wednesday 11th September 2013 in Sport
Oxford Downs escaped the drop after playing out a rain-affected draw at Cherwell League Division 1 champions Horspath.
The result means Downs will play in the top flight for the ninth year running.
Adam Krol claimed 3-15 and Eason’s younger brother Will Eason took 3-29 as Downs were reduced to 38-4 after 15 overs.
Mark Wingfield Digby (57) led a recovery that ended on 152.
The Easons then contributed with the bat, with Will making 44 and Robbie 30, but Richard Beer (5-30) produced the best figures by any bowler against Horspath.
The sixth wicket to fall was to prove vital as it gave Downs the point they needed to stay up, given that Buckingham’s match was being rained off and Leighton Buzzard Town were losing.
The hosts were 126-6 after 25 overs when rain prevented any further action.
Downs would have been relegated had Buckingham not suffered a 31-point deduction and will hope to challenge at the other end of the table next year.
Horspath will aim to do better on their second foray into the Home Counties Premier League Division 2 West Division.
Shipton-under-Wychwood made sure of second place after enjoying a home win over Twyford.
Dave Powles (40) and Bilal Afzal (33) were the mainstays of the visitors’ 177 all out, while Charlie Brain, George Seacole and Craig Wood all picked up three wickets.
Wood (52) and Brain (33no) then steered Shipton to 179-5.
Oxford Downs 2nd went down at home to Horspath 2nd in Division 3.
The visitors racked up 268-7, thanks to Mark Skelton (85), Stephen Green (61) and Dominic O’Connor (42). Jack Soppett captured 4-97 for the hosts.
Downs were then dismissed for 167 by Andy Cummings (4-23) and Lloyd Belcher (3-40).
Champions Long Marton’s 309-3 at home to Sandford St Martin is the highest total in division this season.
It was built around 107 by Steve Moss – who scored 131 when the sides met in July – 89 from James Cockbain and an unbeaten 68 by James Beesley.
Sandford were in all sorts of bother on 54-7 in the 16th over, with Pete Toovey (4-25) in rampant form, when rain stopped play.
Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd’s match at Bicester & North Oxford was also cut short.
The hosts made 229-9, with Rob Humphreys (71) to the fore, and the contest was evenly poised with Shipton on 133-4 after 24 overs when play was called off.
Tim Senior was back in the hutch having scored 50.
Witney Mills slipped to a seven-wicket defeat at Didcot who clinched the Division 4 title by two points.
Matt Jones (3-28) and Dan Alderson (3-32) did much of the damage as Mills fell to 111 all out. Michael Dove top scored with 33.
Ian Demain then hit an unbeaten 34 and so launched the home side’s celebrations as they reached 114-3.
Great & Little Tew 2nd had to settle for the runners-up spot despite a super run that has seen them win all of their last ten games.
Lawrence Brock (5-45) and Kevin Taylor (3-41) combined to dismiss Wallingford for 178, of which veteran Rob Sessions contributed 63.
Markus Jeacock followed up last week’s 166 not out with an unbeaten 84 in Tew’s 180-4.
Great & Little Tew 3rd drew at East Oxford 2nd who took the Division 7 title.
Oxford Downs 3rd forfeited their match against Buckingham 3rd.
Shipton-under-Wychwood 4th fell short of the Division 10 title despite a seven-wicket victory over Bicester & North Oxford 3rd, bowling their rivals out for 42.
They reached their target in 11 overs.