CRICKET: Witney Mills put brakes on leaders

First published in Sport

Witney Mills had to settle for a draw as they ended Blewbury & Wallingford’s 100 per cent record in Cherwell League Division 4 on Saturday.

The heavy rain that swept the county in the morning caused a delayed start, reducing the match from 100 overs to 84.

The newly combined club made light of losing the toss, cruising to 114-3 and looking set fair to post an imposing total while James Barrett (65) was at the crease.

However, Sam Haselgrove (3-75) removed him, Lee Ainsworth and Ben Denton in quick succession to check their progress and leave them with a par score of 199-8.

Mills got off to a shocking start in reply, but from 21-3 got right back in it thanks to an 132-run partnership between veteran Malcolm Evans (56) and Haselgrove.

The latter cracked two sixes and nine fours in his rapid 63.

Blewbury & Wallingford then hit back through Tommy Newell (3-14), who removed both batsmen and Mills’ skipper Mike Dove in 12 balls.

Chaminda Wimalarathna smashed Warren Ainsworth for six, but was promptly stumped next ball, leaving the hosts to settle for a draw.

Witney Mills 8pts, Blewbury & W 15 Oxford Downs could not prevent Oxford 2nd going top of Division 1 in a topsy-turvey clash.

First, Adam Price (4-27) then Freddie Simon (4-21) had Downs deep in trouble on 80-7, as only Wes Bartlett (40) put up much resistance.

Nonetheless, their final score of 118-9 looked likely to be enough when Oxford collapsed to 66-5 in reply, before Price and Simon showed they can bat too by steering their side to 121-6.

Oxford 2nd 25pts, Oxford Downs 7 Steve Roberts picked up 5-16 to take Oxford Downs 2nd to a victory over Buckingham Town 2nd that sent them soaring to the top of Division 3.

Buckingham elected to bat but could muster only 57 before being rolled over.

William Hook (32no) then steered Downs to 61-4.

Oxford Downs 2nd 25, Buckingham Tn 2nd 4 Great & Little Tew 2nd beat Didcot by five wickets at home, with Kevin Taylor bagging a five-wicket haul.

Connor Morrison’s 55 was the only highlight of their below-par total of 143, which would doubtless have been higher had Taylor (5-20) not destroyed the middle order.

Matthew Clark (52), Jack Haggett (41) and Markus Jeacock (33) then steered the home side to 149-5.

Great & Little Tew 2nd 25, Didcot 7 Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd climbed three places courtesy of an easy win at home to hapless Bletc-hley Town.

The visitors lost five points before the start for failing to provide a scorer, and then managed only 127 before being bowled out.

Valentin Guiraud (4-32) was the most successful of the home attack.

Shipton suffered few alarms in reaching 131-4, thanks to Steve Bates (37no) and Russell Hayes (35).

Shipton 2nd 25, Bletchley Town 0 No play was possible at Dinton 2nd where Sandford St Martin were the visitors.

Dinton 2nd 6, Sandford 6 Great & Little Tew 4th’s Simon Priscott shone with bat and ball, but it was not enough to prevent Chearsley 2nd winning by 64 runs in Division 9.

Priscott captured 3-19 in the visitors’ 170-6 and then top-scored with 43 in Tew’s reply, but they were undone by the bowling of Mark Claridge (4-13) and Trevor Spindler (4-10).

Gt & Little Tew 4th 3, Chearsley 2nd 25

Witney Mills 2nd went down to a three-wicket defeat against Shipton-under-Wychwood 4th.

Gareth Jenkins (4-41) and Ben Norgrove (4-42) restricted Mills to 147-9, before Shipton got home at 148-7.

Shipton 4th 25, Witney Mills 2nd 9

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