Great Brickhill will be looking for a vastly improved second half to the season as they find themselves rooted to the bottom of Cherwell League Division One at the half way stage.
Brickhill took home six points from their match with Banbury 2nds on Saturday after a losing draw, but rivals Leighton Buzzard amassed 13 in their defeat to Thame, moving them eight points clear of Graeme Carter’s men.
There were positives to be taken from Saturday’s game though, as Brickhill managed to defend doggedly towards the end of the innings to hold on for the draw.
Banbury got off to a great start with the bat, as Ed Phillips’ swashbuckling 87 put the home side well in control.
Will Briggs added a valuable 40 too as Banbury set 247-8 from their allocation.
Brickhill never looked like getting close to Banbury’s huge total, especially when Steven Hart had the ball in his hand.
Hart took a sensational 6-62 as Brickhill fought bravely to save the draw.
Garth Davson batted well for his 31, while Nick Cadman’s vital 33 not out helped Brickhill to 174-9, taking six points for the losing draw.
Next up for Great Brickhill is a trip to Oxford Downs, who have been having a mixed season themselves too, and find themselves seventh in the standings.
Wolverton were involved in a thriller in Division Two which saw them beat Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts by just nine runs to stay fourth in the table.
Batting first, Wolves lost regular wickets as Kia Hamid took 4-63. Kieron Lampard top scored for Wolverton with 40, while Zak Wade added 39 as they were boled out for 185.
But while it looked like an achievable score for Nondies, Idrees Butt had other ideas.
The home side found him almost unplayable as he took a sensational 6-14 to set the match up for a nail biting finale.
Nondies batted for a mammoth 60 overs, but came up agonisingly short, losing their last wicket with the score on 176, falling short by nine runs.
Bletchley remain bottom of the league after another defeat, this time at the hands of Cumnor.
Their stubborn batting performance saw Bletchley bat for nearly 50 overs in the heat. The pitch was slow, making it tough for quick runs.
Ben Talbot was first to go after 14 overs as Max Mannering took the first of his six wickets. He’d finish with 6-51.
Talbot, having a rush of blood, skipped down the wicket only to be stumped. In came Woodwards who put together a very good partnership with Matt Shepherd to put Bletchley in a very good position at 97-1.
Shepherd was very impressive mixing solid defense with some positive stroke play too. He had reached 74 when Bletchley lost both he and Woodwards in consecutive deliveries. This was to prove their downfall as 97-1 became 125 all out. The only other batsman to reach double figures was a very good 20 by Steve Talbot who batted a very long time against his attacking instincts to be last out leaving Fayyaz not out on 0.
This has been Bletchhley main problem this season - losing wickets in clusters.
Cumnor came out attacking from ball 1 as this is their attacking approach that has led them to a number of victories in small chases. George Shrieves opened the bowling for Bletchley in his 1st team debut.
And the 15-year-old immediately put Cumnor on the back foot having opener Lee stumped for 5.
Cumnor (126-3) raced away to reach their target and win by seven wickets in 23 overs.
Having reached the halfway stage of the season Bletchley are hoping to have all their players available to make sure they still sstay up which was their main target this season.
Great Brickhill 2nds, pictured, seem to be faring better than their 1st team counter-parts as their fine start to Division Five continued on Saturday.
They kept up the pressure on leaders Leighton Buzzard 2nds with a fine display of batting in sweltering conditions against Tiddington 2nds.
James Wagg proved devastating with the ball, taking 7-48, but Mackie’s 81 and Maule’s 48 meant the visitors had a decent total behind them as their last wicket fell on 218.
But on a batsman’s wicket, Andrew Harwood and Andy Ward set about the chase in fine style.
Unfortunately for both though, the chase came to an abrupt end agonisingly short of their centuries - Harwood ending 96 not out, while Ward was 92 not out as Brickhill won by eight wickets.