2nd XI Promoted

The 2nd XI secured the Cherwell League Division 7 title yesterday with a thrilling 6-run victory over fellow promotion-chasers Minster Lovell.

We got off to a nightmare start batting first, losing Nick Moorman, Steve Handley and Jack Johnson for just one run each as we slumped to 17-3.

But Sam Baker top-scored with a crucial 47, and Matt Collins, Mark Adams and extras scored 35 apiece as we recovered to set Lovell a target of 178.

The hosts got off to a steady start with an opening wicket stand of 58, and kept up with the run rate despite losing wickets regularly, with Sam, Kishan Dave and Justin Colley claiming two wickets each.

Lovell looked well-set at 151-5 and with 27 required from the final 4 overs, but two quick wickets for Kish and Justin took the wind out of their sails, and despite an expensive penultimate over that saw them creep within 15 runs of victory, Matt Clark kept his composure and restricted Lovell to 8 runs to clinch victory and promotion.

To put the icing on the cake, news soon filtered through that East Oxford – the only side who could possibly have overtaken us at the top – had been bowled out for just 103 in pursuit of Witney Mills’s 125, meaning that whatever happens next week, the 2nd XI are Division 7 Champions.

The team photo above, courtesy of Matt Hancock, was taken prior to the team’s victory over Didcot on August 24th.

After defeat to Minster Lovell themselves, the 1st XI will need to beat Division 2 table-toppers Cropredy away on Saturday, and cross their fingers that other results go their way if they’re to make it a double promotion. And the 3rd XI are guaranteed their highest Division 10 finish for many a year regardless of what happens next week, but could finish as high as third if they beat Chearsley.