FOR the first time in Cherwell League history two top-flight matches ended in ties.

Oxford Downs and Great Brickhill shared almost 650 runs as both sides were dismissed for 321 in a high-scoring Division 1 affair.

But the opposite was true at Cumnor where the hosts and Abingdon Vale both made only 116 in the second tie.

Downs skipper George Sandbach hit a brilliant century as their top-of-the-table Division 1 clash ended in the most thrilling of circumstances.

Put in to bat, the Buckinghamshire side racked up 321 all out in 52 overs as Jilesh Pattni hit 79, Doug Aris 74 and Mark Nelson 50, Tom Costley taking 4-36 for Downs.

With 48 overs at their disposal, the visitors lost an early wicket, before Costley (51) and Sandbach to put on 142 for the second wicket.

Sandbach was particularly brutal, and finished on 144 from 101 balls, including 14 fours and eight sixes.

Amin Rafiq struck 42, as Downs continued to chase down the mammoth target, but with the scores level, last man Johnny Law was caught as it ended honours even.

Garth Davson took 5-78 for the hosts.

Incredibly, that was not the only tie of the afternoon as Cumnor and Abingdon Vale also could not be split.

Batting first after being inserted, the hosts were shot out for 116 in 41.4 overs, Jonathan Jenkinson taking 5-27.

But Vale could not chase down the low target, and with the scores level, Henry Pickford was caught by Rupert Kelley at square leg off the bowling of Alex Davies (3-20) to result in a thrilling tied contest.

Max Mannering was the pick of the Cumnor attack with 4-44 in 16 overs.

Challow & Childrey finally tasted victory at the seventh attempt as they saw off fellow strugglers Buckingham Town 2nd.

Choosing to bat first, Challow made 146 all out, Justin Penrose top-scoring with 72.

Hugh Atkinson then took 4-39 and Conor Jones 3-34 as Buckingham were all out for 119.

Banbury 2nd slumped to an eight-wicket defeat at Long Marston.

They were dismissed for 158 in 51 overs, Richard Simpson top-scoring with 36, before James Beesley struck 69 not out to steer Marston to victory at 162-2.

There was a thrilling finish at Twyford, who eventually had to settle for a draw against visitors Tiddington.

Ben Smith hit 57 as Tiddington set 200-9 in their 53 overs.

Shabaz Alam scored 45 in Twyford’s reply, but with Tom Weymes taking 5-39, the hosts finished eight short on 193-9.

Leaders Westbury marched on at the top as they hammered visitors Horspath 2nd by seven wickets in Division 2.

The visitors set 200-5 in their 53 overs, William Robertson top-scoring with 49.

But Tom Gurney (79), William Gurney (54) and Tom Wilson (41no) then saw Westbury home with more than four overs left at 202-3.

Didcot emphatically returned to winning ways with a crushing 154-run win over visitors Leighton Buzzard Town.

Adam Spears was the undoubted star of the show for the home side as he top-scored with 56 not out in Didcot’s 261-7, Elliot Mathews also chipping in with a vital 52.

Spears then took 5-47 with the ball as Buzzard were all out for 107.

Sandford St Martin remain winless after crashing to a 162-run loss at home to Cropredy.

Ed Somerton struck an unbeaten 123 as Cropredy set 269-7 in their 53 overs.

And Sandford never got close, falling for 107 as James Coleman took 3-9, Somerton 3-32 and Alastair Worby 3-29.

Oxford 2nd slipped to a five-wicket defeat against visitors Bledlow Village.

After being restricted to 191-8, Oxford could only watch and admire Harry Bartlett.

The Bledlow man smashed 105 not out to steer his side to 192-5 with more than nine overs to spare.

Aston Rowant 2nd held on for a draw against high-flying visitors Wolverton Town.

Wolverton were all out for 245, Ali Malik top-scoring with 87, Sasha Barras taking 5-78 and Chris Leaney 3-73.

Rowant’s Tim Morgan (58) and Thad Cooper (54) shone with the bat, but a regular loss of wickets meant they had to settle for a draw at 188-9.

Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts went clear at the top of Division 3 with a comfortable 48-run victory against visitors Minster Lovell.

Winning the toss, Nondies opted to bat first, and, helped by Pablo Mukherjee’s 59, reached 187 all out as Leigh Smith took 5-42 and Eddie Dunn 3-63.

In reply, Minster struggled to gain much headway as Arfan Ahmed took 3-26 and Rustum Rabani 3-46.

Minster’s top-scorer was Dunn, who struck 57, and their cause was not helped by a nasty injury to batsman Jack Simpson, who, while sweeping, top edged a ball into his eye.

Simpson was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and was unable to return, meaning Minster finished on 139-9, but effectively all out with Simpson needing stitches to a large cut on his eyebrow.


  • AERIAL ROUTE: Minster Lovell’s Eddie Dunn hits out Picture: Ric Mellis

Bicester & North Oxford fell to a surprising 30-run defeat at struggling Cublington.

The hosts set 210-7 in their 53 overs, Junaid Allie and Owen Venables both scoring 58.

Callum Doak then scored 73 in Bicester’s reply, but Venables took excellent figures of 7-55 as the visitors were bowled out for 180, slipping to only their second defeat of the season.

Oxford Downs 2nd moved up to third after a comfortable seven-wicket success against visitors Banbury 3rd.

In a rain-affected match, Banbury were restricted to 182-9 in 50 overs, the evergreen Steve Roberts taking 4-42 and Andrew Lake 3-35.

The reliable Darryl Woods then carried his bat throughout Downs’ reply, finishing 62 not out as his side reached 185-3.

Great & Little Tew 2nd conceded 280-7 at home to Great Brickhill 2nd, and opted to bat out for a draw rather than make an attempt at chasing the large target.

Greg Macdonald struck 133 in Brickhill’s innings, which proved far too much for Tew.

The hosts comfortably batted out their 47 overs, finishing on 172-5.

After racking up more than 400 last week, Horley were brought back down to earth as they lost by 81 runs at Stokenchurch.

The home side were all out for 233, Chris Sears top-scoring with 50 and Jonathan Hart taking 5-41.

But there was to be no repeat of last week’s batting prowess for Horley, as they slumped to 152 all out, Hart hitting 50.

Chetan Walia captured 5-41 as East Oxford went top of Division 4 with a ten-run win at Bletchley Town.

The visitors were dismissed for 142 in the 36th over, Fawad Khan top-scoring with 33 not out.

But Walia then took his five-wicket haul as the hosts were shot out for 132 in their reply.

Niall Devaney hit a superb 110 not out in Witney Mills’ thrilling draw with Thame 2nd.

At 59-5 Witney looked in trouble, but Devaney’s knock helped his side post 236-6.

Richard Carr fell just short of a century for Thame when he was dismissed for 94.

But an exciting climax saw Alastair Thomas run out off the final ball as the hosts ended one short on 233-9.

Charlbury continue to find life in the league tough as they were thrashed by 184 runs at Brackley.

The home side declared on 246-5, Josh Rowland making 75.

Charlbury then slumped to a paltry 62 all out, as Josh Markham took 3-7.

Shipton-under-Wychwood 2nd frustrated their hosts Tiddington 2nd as they batted out 47 overs to draw.

Max Smith hit 87 in Tiddington’s 179-7, and Shipton never got close, opting to settle for a draw on 130-7 in their 47 overs.

It was a similar story at Abingdon Vale 2nd, who batted out for a draw against visitors Long Marston 2nd.

Marston set 208-9 in a rain-reduced 50 overs, Charles Pickford taking 3-46 and Dan Hartley 3-47.

Matthew Darley (54no) and Pickford (41) then shone for Vale, but they closed on 169-9 in 43 overs.

Aston Rowant 3rd went top of Division 5 as they saw off visitors Kingston Bagpuize by four wickets.

Jack White claimed 5-35 and Leigh Lewis 4-44 as Kingston were all out for 155 in the 51st over, Arthur Verdin top-scoring with 62.

Matthew Luxford then struck 77 not out to help Rowant to 159-6 and maximum points.

Andrew Ward claimed 6-27 as Didcot 2nd cruised to an emphatic nine-wicket win at Chearsley.

Ward’s haul sent the hosts tumbling to 79 all out.

That target proved no problem for Kieron Beesley, who hit 35 not out, and Ian Demain, who was unbeaten on 34 as Didcot reached 83-1 in just ten overs.

Andrew Roberts struck a superb 114 as Horspath 3rd hammered hosts Cropredy 2nd by 191 runs.

Roberts’s ton saw Horspath to a formidable target of 276-5.

Ed Oakley then took 5-27 and Ceri Holmes 5-54 to shoot Cropredy out for 85.

Cumnor 2nd fell to a 31-run defeat at Leighton Buzzard Town 2nd.

Buzzard set 210 all out, Riaan Krynauw hitting 69 and Laura Crofts taking 4-65.

Cumnor got off to a dreadful start in reply when George Setterfield was trapped lbw off just the second ball of their innings.

And although Sam Herbert scored 32 in Cumnor’s reply, they were bowled out for179.

Jack Foster’s unbeaten 110 helped Kimble to a seven-wicket win at Dinton 2nd.

Chasing Dinton’s 231 all out, Kimble eased to 232-3 thanks to Foster’s brilliant century.

Richard Hart rolled back the years with a five-wicket haul as Horley 2nd edged out Twyford 2nd by one run in Division 6.

Horley set 223-9, David Quinney top-scoring with 65.

Veteran Hart then took 5-60 as Twyford were bowled out off the final ball of the match for 222 in a thrilling finish.

Freddie Robson starred with bat and ball as leaders Challow & Childrey 2nd saw off ten-man Minster Lovell 2nd by three wickets.

Minster were all out for 200 as Robson took 5-57.

Harry Whitehead (54) and Robson (41) then saw Challow home.

Challow & Childrey 3rd made it a perfect day for the club as they beat visitors Buckingham Town 4th by 18 runs in Division 8.

Ben Cox hit 82 in Challow’s 156, before Marc Gregory claimed 5-49 as Buckingham fell for 138.

Nathan Dales scored a superb century to help Tiddington 3rd to a 41-run win over hosts Kingston Bagpuize 2nd in Division 9.

Dales struck 123 as Tiddington poste 214-8 in their 45 overs, before Calvin Evans took 4-55 as the hosts were all out for 173.

Andy Jinman smashed 140 not out as Thame Town 3rd racked up an incredible 235-0 dec in their 134-run win over Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts 3rd.

Joe Phippen hit 50 not out, with 45 extras making up Thame’s total.

John Phippen then took 3-5 as Nondies were shot out for 101.

In Division 10, Richard Plumbe took 6-20 as Chearsley 2nd were skittled for 59, allowing Cropredy 3rd to race to a ten-wicket win.

Syed Ali took 7-35 as Didcot 4th beat Thame Town 4th by 70 runs.