THE chase for the play-offs is hotting up with just two weekends of the shortened season left.

None of the six Oxfordshire sides are out of contention to finish in the top eight.

Oxford Downs are hoping to claim a spot in the top four, who will battle it out for the main cup competition.

Their credentials will be severely tested by unbeaten leaders Henley, but skipper Tom Costley, who brings in James Ellwood to replace Ethan Davie, cannot wait.

He said: “I wouldn’t say we’re flying, there are parts of our game to improve on. But we are showing how good we can be under pressure.

“This season is the one to see where we want to be in a couple of years’ time.

“Playing teams like Henley gives us a great chance to see where we want to be.

“They are a very good side but we take everything in our stride and will play the best we can.”

Thame Town are also feeling good after getting into the mix.

Their three wins this season have all come with a winning margin of five runs or fewer, which captain Michael Beard believes is no coincidence.

He said: “In our successful years we’ve won a lot of close games.

“I definitely think having that experience helps.

“I think one win from the last two should get us in the top eight. If we could win both then you never know.”

Beard and Chris Jeffcock are unavailable for the visit to Great Brickhill, with Will Sutcliffe and Will Rooney brought in as replacements.

Banbury host Aston Rowant looking for improvements after two defeats and an abandonment saw them slip from top spot to sixth.

Skipper Lloyd Sabin, who brings Michael Burton in for Ali Short, said: “We’re probably not as strong as we would like to be at the minute.

“It’s been a good opportunity for people to step up, that’s how we’re viewing it.”

The other Oxon derby is at Jordan Hill, where Oxford and Horspath meet in fine form.

Jamie Perkin, who leads the unchanged hosts, said: “We didn’t start well but we knew things would click.

“George Tait has been batting really well and is reaping the rewards of his hard work.”

Horspath make two changes for the game, bringing Robbie Eason and Dominic O’Connor in for Daryll Brown and Jimmy Phillips.


  • Aston Rowant (v Banbury, away): Reid, Condon, Chapman, Smith, Fitzjohn, Watling, Pritchard, Bethell, Mannering, Morrick, Mason.
  • Banbury (v Aston Rowant, home): White, Whiteley, Hill, Sabin, Clarke, Phillips, Rana, Eaton, Thomas, Manley, Short.
  • Horspath (v Oxford, away): R Eason, D O’Connor, Turner, Sehgal, Ward,Green, W Eason, Hawtin, Beer, Belcher, Livingstone.
  • Oxford (v Horspath, home): Mackay-Champion, Carey, Mathews, Tait, Ramalingam, Swanepoel, Perkin, Musk, Keat, Bridson, Nawaz.
  • Oxford Downs (v Henley, home): Crouch, Smith, Cosford, Ellwood, Costley, Watts, Maslen, Slatter, Warner, Brock, Rivett.
  • Thame Town (v Great Brickhill, away): Ebsworth-Burland, Meer, Adams, C Russell, Mushtaq, Bamford, A Russell, Jelfs, Sutcliffe, Rooney.