Ryan urges players to stay in title contention

Ashley Blanchard hit a half-century at Henley
Ashley Blanchard hit a half-century at Henley

Despite seeing his side’s Home Counties Premier Cricket League title ambitions dented, Banbury skipper Luke Ryan isn’t throwing the towel in yet.

Champions Henley completed the double over Banbury in Saturday’s division one fixture to end the visitors’ five-match winning run which had put them right back in contention.

The next five games are big one for us and we’ve just got to keep on picking up points

Banbury captain Luke Ryan

Banbury entertain Burnham on Saturday at White Post Road where Ryan will be looking for his side to bounce back and keep the pressure on Henley and High Wycombe, who are now in second place.

Ashley Blanchard’s defiant last-wicket stand with Jimmy Phillips – a club record in the league – went unrewarded and Banbury now trail the champions by 18 points and that will take some pegging back.

Banbury must beat High Wycombe at White Post Road later this month and hope the Buckinghamshire outfit can complete the double over Henley on the final day.

Ryan said: “The next five games are big ones for us. We had to beat Henley and High Wycombe to keep it in our hands, now we’ve got to rely on other teams but we’ve just got to keep picking up points.

“The wicket was better than we thought it would be at Henley but we simply didn’t score enough runs. We lost four early wickets and never really got into it after that.

“We still should have got around 180 but 144 wasn’t a bat score and it looked at one stage as though it might be enough when Henley were 88-4. But James Bazley played very positively, hit some big shots, and swung the game their way.”