Cricket: Rain stops play on opening weekend of Cherwell League

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It could scarcely have been a more frustrating start to the Cherwell League campaign as the weather ruined any hopes of some sides getting off to a winning start.

While clubs in other leagues have been enjoying a rain-free start to their seasons, it could not have been a worse way to kick-off for teams playing in the Cherwell League.

Saturday’s weather saw a frustrating mixture of warm sunshine to start with, then rain and even hailstones in some parts as groundsmen all over the region were left to pull their hair out.

Cricketers in this country are used to dodging showers – it’s an occupational hazard – but after a very disappointing 2012 because of the weather, Saturday’s frustration rubbed salt into the wounds for some.

Brickhill probably had the biggest cause of complaint as they looked in good shape for an opening day Division One victory over Oxford Downs.

Michael Baker (41 not out) and Patrick Prasad (39 not out) were in fine form as the hosts had reached 85 for no loss in 20 overs when the rain came down and the game had to be abandoned – the two teams picking up six points each for their troubles.

Brickhill captain Graeme Carter was pleased to see his side begin so well, even if they were unable to claim the win their opening batsmen had laid the foundations for.

“Yes it was frustrating on Saturday. There was a lot of cricket left to be played so it’s hard to predict the result at such an early stage, however we were certainly on top for the 20 overs played,” he said.

“In recent years we haven’t started the league that well so I was pleased that everything within our control was going to plan early on in the season.

“Another positive for us was that the two batters that were in and set were making their debuts. It’s good to see the new members of the team doing well.

“The only positive I can see from the rain on Saturday was that the team seem even more excited to get on the park next time and play some cricket.”

Next up for Great Brickhill is a tough trip to Thame Town who also saw their first game of the season called off. That was probably good news for Thame who had totalled 166, before Horspath were looking good for victory on 91-2.

Incredibly Bletchley’s first game in Division Two was the only one in the league to fall victim to the weather, as all others brought results.

After a summer of change, Bletchley were desperate to get off to a winning start to the season at home to Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts at Manor Fields.

Under new captain Wasim Fayyaz, they began fairly well and made 37-1 by the time play had to be called off after just 16 overs – again the teams taking six points each.

Bletchley’s next fixture on Saturday is away to Challow & Childrey who were on the end of a nine-wicket thrashing by Wolverton Town.

It could hardly have been a better start for Wolverton as they had the visitors seen off for a mere 69 after 34 overs at Osborne Street, and it didn’t take them long to secure the win on 70-1.

Wolves travel to Cropredy – who lost to Abingdon Vale – looking to maintain that good form on Saturday.

Great Brickhill 2nds were also left frustrated after they looked on course for victory at Cumnor 2nds in Division Five.

Simon Chapman made 66 as Brickhill totalled 172-8 and then had the home team in a bit of bother on 27-1 when the rain arrived.

In Division Six, Wolverton 2nds (97) were on the end of a 94-run defeat to Didcot 2nds (191-7), and in Division Seven Bletchley 2nds (92-5) suffered an eight-wicket defeat away to Cublington 2nds (93-2).