AFTER a near-total wash-out last weekend, conditions are expected to be far better tomorrow in a fixture list which includes two local clashes.

Thame Town lost the most to the downpours after making a very bright start to their innings.

But skipper Michael Beard was philosophical as they make the short trip to Oxford looking for a second win in three matches.

“We were a bit gutted,” he said.

“It was looking like being a pretty good total, but it’s one of those things.

“We’ve had some good games against Oxford.

“If we can produce a similar standard to what we’ve done so far we’ve got a chance.”

Andrew Russell is unavailable, so Mike Higgs has come out of retirement for the visitors.

Their hosts make three changes, with Richard Musk, Dylan Swanepoel and Mark Beer returning as Andrew Busby, Kasim Nawaz and Balaji Ramalingam making way.

Captain Jamie Perkin has challenged his side to continue their impressive record at Jordan Hill.

He said: “We didn’t lose a home game all last year and that was my aim this season.

“I want to make sure we are strong at home and do the basics well, but it won’t be an easy game.

“Thame ended up winning the league last season and rightly so. They’re a good side and have all the bases covered.”

The other local clash sees Oxford Downs at home to Aston Rowant.

After losing to Henley on the opening day and then being hamstrung by the rain last week, the unchanged visitors are eager to get their season up and running.

Josh Smith, Rowant’s skipper, said: “We’re definitely looking to get the campaign started.

“We have a couple of new guys in the team and a couple who are trying to bed spots down, so it’s a learning year in how we’re going to play.”

George Sandbach is unavailable for Downs so Tom Costley will lead the side as Alex Ling comes in.

Although the hosts go into the game higher in the pooled table, Sandbach believes they are underdogs tomorrow.

He said: “In my eyes them and Henley were going to be up there challenging for the title.

“It’s going to be very hard, getting a win would be amazing.

“Their bowlers like Wes Morrick and Leo Bethell have good plans and it’s about us being proactive.

“Hopefully we get a good aggressive start and not be put on the back foot.”

Banbury lead the way after their game was the only one to finish last weekend.

They are unchanged and captain Lloyd Sabin wants to keep the hammer down for the trip to Buckingham Town.

“It’s always nice to sneak a win in when everyone else gets abandoned,” he said.

“It’s another tough game and we lost at their place last year.

“But what you might find is the teams that start well will be the ones that are up there at the end.

“If we could go three wins from three that would be spot on.”

Horspath, who claimed a decent victory in the Bernard Tollett Cup against Thame in midweek, host fellow winless side Great Brickhill.


Aston Rowant (v Oxford Downs, away): Reid, Condon, Coles, Smith, Fitzjohn, Watling, Pritchard, Bethell, Mannering, Morrick, Whatman.

Banbury (v Buckingham Town, away): White, Burton, Sabin, Clarke, Phillips, Hill, Rana, Whiteley, Wright, Thomas, Manley.

Horspath (v Great Brickhill, home): Phillips, Ades, Ward, Sehgal, Green, Hawtin, W Eason, Coleman, Beer, Belcher, Livingstone.

Oxford (v Thame Town, home): Mase, Carey, Mathews, Tait, Beer, Swanepoel, Perkin, Musk, Startin, Bridson, Porter.

Oxford Downs (v A Rowant, home): Maslen, Smith, Slatter, Ling, Watts, Cosford, Ellwood, Costley, Warner, Crouch, Brock.

Thame Town (v Oxford, away): Beard, Ebsworth-Burland, Sutcliffe, Meer, Adams, C Russell, Mushtaq, Jeffcock, Ali, Higgs, Jelfs.