CRICKET: Buckingham leads Downs' defiance

Horspath’s Matthew O’Connor looks back anxiously after Oxford Downs wicket-keeper Will Watts takes a delivery from Amin Rafiq

Horspath’s Matthew O’Connor looks back anxiously after Oxford Downs wicket-keeper Will Watts takes a delivery from Amin Rafiq

First published in Sport

CHERWELL LEAGUE

GRAHAM SCOTT'S MATCH OF THE DAY

HORSPATH were left frustrated yet again after dominating a match but failing to seal victory in Division 1.

They declared on 231-1 after 50 overs at Oxford Downs, but could not get past a defiant Andrew Buckingham (57no) as Downs held on for a draw at 165-7.

The visitors’ innings was dominated by Matthew O’Connor (117), who was well supported by Robbie Eason (81no).

Tom Costley was the only bowler to celebrate a wicket when he removed O’Connor.

The declaration made it a 50 overs-a-side contest, but Downs were never really in the hunt after tea.

Paceman Lee Mason took 4-34, but Buckingham and Wes Bartlett (33) batted out enough overs to avert defeat.

Downs have been in the top four all season after making a good start, but have fallen away since and may need to strengthen if they are to challenge for the title next summer.

Horspath won their first five matches at a canter, but thereafter have had four games abandoned and been involved in five draws, two of them rain-affected affairs involving the bottom two.

So they have enjoyed little luck with the weather or the toss – which they have won only three times – but could still win the league if they beat Cumnor while leaders Great & Little Tew fail to collect 14 points at Banbury 2nd.

Oxford Downs 3 pts, Horspath 18

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