Banbury’s title bid is right back on track

Banbury wicket keeper Tim Paine goes for a catch against Burnham at White Post Road
Banbury wicket keeper Tim Paine goes for a catch against Burnham at White Post Road

Banbury are firmly back in the Home Counties Premier Cricket League title race ahead of this week’s derby fixture at Oxford.

Centuries from openers Tim Paine, his fifth of the campaign, and Hugo Darby saw Banbury beat Burnham while division one leaders Henley and fellow title rivals High Wycombe could only draw.

It’s the first time since I’ve been at Banbury that we’ve still be in contention

Banbury captain Luke Ryan

Those three results saw Banbury jump back up to second place, just three points behind the champions, ahead of Saturday’s trip to basement boys Oxford.

The reverse fixture at White Post Road was washed out so captain Luke Ryan will be hoping the heavens are kinder this time.

But he’s just pleased to see his side back in contention after they looked to have blown their chances in the previous week’s defeat at Henley.

Ryan said: “It’s the first time since I’ve been at Banbury that we’ve still been in contention for the title at this stage.

“We’ve been a positive side throughout the year and only drawn one game.

“To be only three points behind Henley, having effectively played a game less because of the abandoned game with Oxford, is a great effort.

“The last four games are back to the win or lose format and that will suit us in our position.”

Ryan was also delighted to see Darby get his maiden league century for the club, adding: “It was great to see Hugo [Darby] get his first league century for us.

“He has been a bit disappointed with his performances for us but he always works hard and it was a well deserved ton, especially coming at the business end of the season.”