Great Brickhill want to return to winning ways against local rivals Leighton Buzzard after defeat to Shipton-under-Wychwood on Saturday.
The six-wicket reverse means they slip back into the bottom two in Cherwell Division One with just six matches remaining of the season.
But their downfall was of their own making as they simply failed to score with the bat. Michael Baker top scored with 45, while Garth Davson chipped in with a valuable 31, though the remaining order failed to fire.
They came unstuck by left arm spinner Shaun Miller, who took a sensational 7-31 as Brickhill crumbled to just 148 all out.
Knowing they’d need a special bowling performance of their own to take anything from their afternoon, Doug Aris took 3-32, but with such a small total to defend, they were on the back foot throughout.
Shipton’s Jason Hunt holed out after scoring 55, but Simon Hole was unbeaten on 38 as he saw the home side coast to a six wicket victory on 150-4.
“Saturday’s game was disappointing,” said Great Brickhill skipper Graeme Carter afterwards. “We struggled against the left arm spinner a little and let ourselves down with the bat which has been the cause of most of our failure this year.
“There were some positives to take from the game - Michael Baker batted well for his 45 and also had a very good first game with the gloves.”
For Great Brickhill, six points from the match wasn’t enough to keep them from slipping into the bottom two as neighbours Leighton Buzzard sprung a surprise draw with league leaders Horspath to take a vital 19 points.
And the neighbours face each other for local bragging rights on Saturday, as Brickhill play host to Leighton Buzzard.
Carter added: “The Leighton game is always a big one and its something I and the boys definitely look forward to.
“Local rivalry is always extra motivation to do well, especially with both teams near the bottom of the ladder.
“Leighton had a very good result against Horspath last week so they’ll come into the game with a lot of confidence however we definitely have some proving to do after throwing our last opportunity to beat them away during the first half of the season.”
Carter admits his Brickhill side, who have in previous years been regulars at the other end of the table, have been struggling for consistency this season, but believes the longer the side play together, the better his new players will integrate themselves, bringing positive results with it.
He said: “We have been very hit and miss so far this season with a lot of new players trying to find their roles in the team.
“Having said this I know if we dig deep and play our better cricket, we’ve a good chance or getting a positive result.”
And there was a local battle in Division Two at Osborne Street on Saturday as Wolverton took on Bletchley, but it turned out to be a one-sided affair.
Wolverton, batting first, took to the Bletchley attack with no remorse.
N Shahzad hit a swashbuckling 105, while Zac Wade added another 65 as Wolverton put on a huge total, eventually ending on 279-7. Jude Ramanadanpulle was the pick of the bowlers for Bletchley, taking 4-83.
And Idrees Butt made sure Bletchley weren’t going to get anywhere near Wolverton’s total as he destroyed their batting line-up. He took 6-32 as Bletchley fell apart, bowled out well short for 113.
Bletchley remain rooted to the bottom of the table, while Wolverton stay second.