Pallett puts Banbury on way as they close gap on leaders

Banbury's George Tait springs into action against Oxford Downs at White Post Road
Banbury's George Tait springs into action against Oxford Downs at White Post Road

Banbury II closed the gap on Cherwell Cricket League division one leaders Dinton to just one point as they beat visitors Oxford Downs by three wickets.

Downs opted to bat first at White Post Road but were dismissed for 167 runs as Jimmy Phillips took 3-23 and Ross Freeman 3-37.

Banbury’s reply was led by Mark Pallett, who struck an unbeaten 74, while Phillips hit 35no as Banbury reached 171-7 with two overs to spare.

Sam Haselgrove had the perfect day for Witney Mills as he virtually single-handedly led his side to a 52 run victory at home to Brackley in division four.

Haselgrove smashed six sixes and 12 fours as Mills racked up 246-5 in their 53 overs. The youngster then took 4-76 and Steve Kelly 3-28 as Brackley fell to 194 all out.

Abingdon Vale II saw off visitors Cropredy II by four wickets to keep up the pressure at the top of the division.

Paul Butcher took 5-19 and Matt Butcher 4-61 as Cropredy were bowled out for 100 in the 40th over at Hales Meadow. Chris Butcher then scored 37 and Terry Groome 31 to steer Vale home at 101-6.

Rustam Rabani’s six wickets helped Oxford & Bletchingdon Nondescripts II to a five wicket win against visitors Great & Little Tew III in division six.

Rabani took 6-32 to skittle Tew for just 91 and Nondies eased to 94-5 in the 26th over.

The division seven top-of-the-table clash saw Horley II hammer visitors Minster Lovell II by seven wickets.

Minster managed only 173-7 in their 45 overs and Horley made light work of the run chase. Sam Pearce 96no led the way as Horley eased to 174-4 with more than nine overs to spare.