THE tightest finish of the day in the Home Counties Premier League was at Jordan Hill, where Oxford lost a home league game for the first time since 2018.

Thame Town squeezed in by five runs to stay in a share of second place in the pooled table.

After electing to bat, the visitors’ top order all got in, although skipper Michael Beard (39) was the only one to really hang around.

They lost three wickets for 14 runs in the middle of their innings as Joseph Porter – who finished with 3-23 – struck.

Hassam Mushtaq’s 35 from 32 balls got them back on track though as Thame posted 189-9 from their 40 overs.

Oxford’s openers were dismissed quickly, but skipper Jamie Perkin (47) did most of the heavy lifting in a third-wicket stand worth 75.

Mushtaq and the returning Mike Higgs took two wickets apiece to slow the chase.

Porter and Dylan Swanepoel, whose 39 included five fours and two sixes, swung the advantage back towards the hosts as they put on 57 for the seventh wicket.

But Thame hit back through Faisal Ali (3-24) to see out a tight victory.

Aston Rowant claimed their first win of the season in the day’s other Oxfordshire derby with a 21-run success at Oxford Downs.

After a wobbly start instigated by Matt Warner (3-48), skipper Josh Smith (54) and James Fitzjohn (52) combined to put on 106 for the fourth wicket.

Christopher Watling (35) kept up the impetus after the pair were dismissed, as Rowant finished on 193-9.

Downs’ reply was well on track until George Sandbach was run out.

It was the first of three wickets for two runs, which included Tom Costley (48).

At 137-7 it looked a tall order and although Curtly Slatter blasted 21 from 15 balls, the hosts came up short.

Leo Bethell was the pick of the Rowant attack, with 3-40, while James Coles and Dominic Whatman claimed two wickets apiece.

Banbury’s perfect start to the season continued as they beat hosts Buckingham Town by 75 runs.

Opener Michael Burton’s 63 laid the platform for the leaders to set a decent total.

But the third win in three games was really sealed in the start to Buckingham’s reply which reduced them to 19-5.

Banbury had lost at Buckingham last season, but Burton and Joe White (33) put on 68 for the first wicket after being invited to bat.

Oliver Clarke also made 33, while Shazad Rana scored briskly to get them to 214-7.

Buckingham’s hopes of chasing that target down went out of the window within a few overs.

Their top three batsmen were all dismissed without troubling the scorers.

Two more quickly followed as the efforts of Liam Manley (3-16) were backed up by some sharp fielding which claimed two run outs.

Skipper Leigh Tomlinson (40) stopped the rot, while Joe Butcher carved out 62 to keep Banbury waiting.

The resistance lasted until the 37th over, when they were dismissed for 139.

Horspath came agonisingly close to pulling victory out of the fire at home to Great Brickhill before going down to a two-wicket loss in a last-over thriller.

Having posted 196-8 after choosing to bat, Horspath appeared to be meandering towards defeat as Marcus Critchley (63) and George Morris (53) led Brickhill to 160-3.

Fourteen-year-old Aadi Sharma maintained the momentum with an impressive 50 off 39 deliveries, but after he fell to Horspath skipper Lloyd Belcher to make it 187-5 the jitters set in.

Belcher (4-41) followed up with a double-wicket maiden and with Alfie Turner taking a wicket in the penultimate over while conceding just two runs, Brickhill arrived at the last over still needing three to win.

However, Jude Ramanadanpulle took a single off Belcher’s first ball before Anton De Beer hit the next delivery through mid-off for four to end Horspath’s hopes.

Earlier, Darryl Brown, in his first game since suffering a serious knee injury just over a year ago, hammered 59 off 54 balls in Horspath’s innings after opener Tom Coleman made 33 as Critchley took 3-34, including a hat-trick.