Frustrated Westbury remain on title track

Westbury's Ollie Tice hit a half-century against Bicester & North Oxford
Westbury's Ollie Tice hit a half-century against Bicester & North Oxford

Westbury were unable to polish off Bicester & North Oxford in their quest for the Cherwell Cricket League division three title.

But their 18 points keeps them clear at the top with just three games remaining.

Tom Wilson’s decision to bat first looked a good one as talented opener Olly Tice shared 74 with Tom Gurney for the first wicket. Tice struck a patient 56 and Gurney 28 before both were removed by Daniel Clark.

George Markham and Wilson both fell cheaply but Graham Judd 43 and Sam Harper 39no helped Westbury set 212-7. Clark took 3-60 while Lewis Moore took 2-29.

Bicester were quickly on the back foot. Opener Matthew Collins fell for a duck off the third ball and was quickly followed by Nick Moorman, Alister Gibbins and Joe Moorman.

Bicester were never likely to recover from the precarious position of 19-4 and, when skipper Ryan Moore and Rob Humphreys also fell cheaply, they were in deep trouble at 47-6. Dan Savin and Harris Naeem were both out for 16, leaving Bicester reeling on 82-8.

Charlie Purton was the star with the ball as he took 4-37. But Westbury reckoned without a superb unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 88 between Lewis Moore 53no and Clark 30no.

Stokenchurch took over at the top of division four, edging past Brackley by three wickets.

Josh Trigs took 4-35 and Ashley Hunt 3-13 to send Brackley crashing to 83 all out. Stokenchurch lost seven wickets before reaching the target, thanks largely to Zahid Aslam’s 30no.

Cumnor II enjoyed a single wicket win at Cropredy II in division five.

Pierre Du Plessis took 7-16 in Cropredy’s 133 all out. Barney Hodder-Williams 60 then held the Cumnor reply together – just – as they edged in at 135-9.

Andrew Pallett smashed a brilliant century as Banbury IV thumped Twyford II by 135 runs in division six.

Pallett’s 113 helped Banbury to 225 all out at Ermont Way before Steve Hart took 4-14 as Twyford slumped to 90 all out in reply.

In division seven, Horley closed in on the title with a crushing eight wicket win against Bicester & North Oxford II.

Julian Wright took 4-24 in Bicester’s 145 all out before Richard Hart 38no and Simon Cox 34no led Horley to 147-2.