Great Brickhill face an uphill task if they are to win Cherwell League Division 1 after losing to title contenders Oxford Downs by 17 runs on Saturday.
With just a point separating the sides ahead of Brickhill’s trip to Oxford, both sides knew the winner would be in pole position to claim the crown with two games remaining.
The home side did themselves no harm either, with opener Adam Beck firing 152, including 19 fours, as he helped put on 178 for the second wicket alongside George Sandbach (70).
With wickets hard to come by, Brickhill had to chase down 303-5.
Last week’s hero Mark Nelson scored just 39 this time around though, leaving the bulk of the runs scoring down to Marcus Critchley, who did not disappoint.
Critchley’s 114 from 115 balls put the visitors into a strong position to battle. But too many wickets were thrown away by Brickhill in the lower order and runs were beginning to dry up. Brickhill lost three wickets for just a single run, going from 264-5 to 265-8 in the blink of an eye, handing momentum back to Oxford.
It meant an almost impossible task heading into the final few overs, and Brickhill (286-9) would come away with their wickets in tact, but 17 runs shy of the winning margin, and now find themselves 16 points adrift with two games to play.