CRICKET: Now Downs must hope for miracle

Sandford St Martin celebrate as Great & Little Tew 2nd’s Tom Young makes his exit during their Division 3 clash

Sandford St Martin celebrate as Great & Little Tew 2nd’s Tom Young makes his exit during their Division 3 clash

First published in Sport

CHERWELL LEAGUE

OXFORD Downs need a miracle to stay up in Division 1, despite having the better of a draw with Thame Town, the only team they can catch.

Thame asked Downs to bat first and struggled to make much headway as the visitors reached 236-4, thanks James France’s 96 not out and Henry Sensecall (51) to secure maximum batting points from their 53 overs.

The hosts staved off defeat on 176-8. Downs are home to Great Brickhill on Saturday, while Thame are at Cumnor.

Thame Town 4pts, Oxford Downs 19

Sandford St Martin took the Division 3 title race into the final weekend of the season by beating Great & Little Tew 2nd in a tense battle.

Tew would have been crowned champions with a victory, but the visitors prevailed by two wickets, and could yet pip their hosts for top spot.

They must beat Buckingham Town 2nd this weekend, while hoping Tew fail to collect nine points at Dinton 2nd.

Sandford soon justified their decision to bowl by removing both openers cheaply.

With the top order suffering a rare off day, Marcus Jeacock (40) and then Sam Smith (50) hauled Tew to 160.

Jack Belmont (3-37) ensured Sandford’s reply also got off to a shaky start, and the introduction of Kevin Taylor (3-39) kept the game in the balance.

But Henry Portman hit an invaluable unbeaten 51 and Paul Tanner chipped in with 31 to help Sandford reach 164-8.

Gt & L Tew 2nd 11, Sandford 25

Jason Hunt took 5-9 as Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd dismissed Dinton 2nd for 98.

Phil Gregory top-scored with 32 and Oliver Woodward made 31 before the lower order was blown away.

Jeremy Kirby (53) almost got the job done as Shipton reached 99-1 in 20.3 overs.

Shipton 2nd 25, Dinton 2nd 1

Oxford Downs 2nd were leapfrogged by Bicester & North Oxford at the foot of the table after a six-wicket loss.

Downs got off to a poor start, recovered for a time through James Florey (56), but then collapsed to 130 all out against Ryan Moore (4-21).

Richard Simpson (39) and Jamie Carter (35) then took Bicester to 131-4.

Ox Downs 2nd 6, Bicester & NO 25

Witney Mills will finish third in Division 4 after securing an easy win over lowly Great Brickhill 2nd.

Sam Haselgrove took 4-30 as the visitors succumbed for only 119 from 50.2 overs.

Mills were always in control thanks to Dan Swindells (64no), who steered them to 120-5 in the 29th over.

Witney Mills 25, Great Brickhill 2nd 6

Sandford St Martin 2nd were crowned Division 7 champions after a four-wicket victory at home to Cublington 2nd.

Their win and Horley 2nd’s defeat to Oxford 4th meant they can no longer be caught.

Oliver Ong took 3-35 in Cublington’s 188 before Kris Jones (63), Charlie Beeson (40) and Ben Taylor (34no) led Sandford to 189-6.

Sandford 2nd 25, Cublington 2nd 9

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