Changes in personnel as 1s and 2s look to extend winning runs

The 1st and 2nd XIs both enjoyed wins on Saturday, with varying degrees of comfort. They make a single enforced change each this week ahead of tough fixtures vs Tring Park and Thame.

 The hero with the ball for the 1st XI on Saturday, Karl Penhale, must have been motivated to take his four wickets to accrue some good will at the club as he has taken the extremely odd decision to go on holiday during the cricket season and misses Banbury’s trip to Tring Park. He is replaced by Liam Manley, who as a 1st team regular will surely be keen to prove a point. Liam’s space in the 2nd XI will be filled by all-rounder Ben Ford, who is available for a couple of weeks as MCS, where he is cricket master, do not have school fixtures.

 The 1st XI did extremely well to win on Saturday having lost a very big toss. The wicket had got extremely wet in the week, and proved very difficult to bat on. So it told that despite a spirited start by openers Paine and Darby, once a breakthrough came batting was very hard work. Horspath have some very good seamers and Pat Foster, Adam Price and exBanbury man Jamil Farouq exploited the conditions to perfection to have Banbury 48-6.

 Enter debutant Will Briggs and seamer Ash Blanchard, who compiled what turned out to be a match winning partnership of 46. They played with a composure one would not associate with a debutant and a flightless parrot. Both took the game to its basics, defending straight balls, looking to leave where possible and attacking bad deliveries with force – they hit three sixes between them.

 After the partnership, Banbury collapsed again, ending on 121, but they may have been pleased to note that while the pitch ad improved there was still plenty of life for the bowlers. Banbury have successfully defended lower scores, but they’d need a good start.

 The good start came from Karl Penhale and Lloyd Sabin. After an unsuccessful appeal for a catch at short leg and another ball that did balloon off bat and pad only to land safe, opener Robbie Eason nailed a whip which looked to have opened Horspath’s account with a boundary; instead they were 0-1 as Sabin leapt into the air to grab a one handed catch out of the Paul Collingwood envelope.

 Penhale’s tail was up and he looked like taking a wicket most balls, but equally importantly he, and Blanchard, Wright and Ryan barely bowled a bad ball between them. The pressure was never released and Horspath were soon 39-6. A brief partnership followed, but importantly, and perhaps unthinkably run rate was now an issue for Horspath as they needed over 5 runs an over, something neither side had come close to all day.

 They edged to 59-6, but then the pressure told and wickets fell in a heap, with no further score. Ollie Wright made the vital breakthrough as, following two perilously close LBWs shouts which were turned down including one to Price which must have been very hard to resist, he was successful with one which nipped back to Foster.

Will Eason went next ball caught behind, and perhaps of all the contested decisions in the match, he may well have had a case, nonetheless two wickets in two balls for the exemplary Wright. Penhale was promptly asked to return by captain Ryan and he blew away Price and number 11 Belcher to finish with 4-11 from 8 overs. In the end a 62 run win.

  Scorecard here:


The 2s did a far better job of controlling the match, as they won by 5 wickets. Steve Hart and Liam Manley bowled good spells controlling the run rate, but it was debutant Alex Short who was the principle destroyer with 3-26. They restricted Cumnor to a chase-able 198.

 Andrew Sabin was the mainstay of the successful reply making 78 and useful contributions from Justin Lambden (39) and Steve Beck (22) saw Banbury home.

 Scorecard here:

They are at home on Saturday from 1pm – bar open from noon.

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