8:00am Friday 27th June 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
Oxfordshire's highest-ranked sides Banbury and Oxford enter tomorrow’s Home Counties League Division 1 derby in contrasting form.
But both remain hopeful of victory in what should be an intriguing clash at White Post Road.
Banbury won their opening three matches, but poor weather and bad luck, coupled with defeat at Burnham last week saw them lose top spot.
Oxford, however, have won their last two matches to climb to fourth spot.
Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips said: “It was just one of those days against Burnham where every edge found the fielder and every decision went against us.
“We are still in pretty good shape.
“Oxford are in good form, but we are looking to get back on track.”
Oxford skipper Ian Crosby added: “We have had two good wins and are really looking forward to playing Banbury.
“It will be a tough game. Hopefully, we can be on the right end of it.”
Banbury are unchanged, but seamer Liam Manley (thigh strain) will look to prove his fitness in the seconds.
Jamie Perkin, Brad Sutherland and Stuart Hole return to a 13-man squad, but young seamer Freddie Simon is unavailable.
Aston Rowant, who saw off Gerrards Cross last week, have named a much-changed squad for their trip to Henley.
Chris Watling is at fellow player Tom Needham’s stag do, Nick Ferraby is attending a wedding, while Chris Lea-ney drops to the seconds.
Archie Leon, Thad Cooper, Tom Condon, Dom Whatman and Ben Mills come into a squad of 12.
Batsman Watling said: “It would be good to kick on from where we left off last week.”
Luke Finch makes his Home Counties debut for Horspath in their Division 2 match at Amersham.
Finch and Mark Skelton come in for Kit Cutter and Adam Krol, who are away.
Skipper Will Eason said: “Luke has done well in the seconds and deserves his chance.
“He will get the opportunity to bat at the top of the order.”
Captain Simon Hole, Charlie Brain and Sasha Barras replace Jamie Nelson, Jack Davies and Jason Hunt (unavailable) as Shipton-under-Wychwood host Chesham.
Shipton beat Dinton last week, having only lost by one wicket the previous Saturday.
Hole said: “We are starting to show what we are capable of. We have got enough ability in our side to beat anybody on our day.”
Robbie Catling and Robbie Shurmer replace Ashley Hubbert (injured) and Lawrence Brock for bottom side Great & Little Tew’s home clash with Cove.
Harry Smith will keep wicket as Hubbert has stitches in his knee following his injury in the Davidstow Village Cup on Sunday.
Skipper Andy Harris said: “I am not too worried about the table at this stage.
“If results go our way on Saturday, I think we could go up to third.”
Banbury (v Oxford, home): L Sabin, Harris, Haupt, Hawkes, West, E Phillips, Ryan, Blanchard, Bartlett, Wright, J Phillips (capt).
Oxford (v Banbury, away): from Perera, Vainker, Laudat, Bowyer, Mendis, Barrett, Crosby (capt), Perkin, Sutherland, Hole, J Davies, Beer, I Evans.
Aston Rowant (v Henley, away): from Morrick (capt), Morgan, J Smith, Hopwood, Cook, Leon, Penhale, Muttitt, Cooper, T Condon, Whatman, Mills.
Horspath (v Amersham, away): R Eason, Finch, Phillips, Ali, Wynd, Foster, Skelton, W Eason (capt), Faruq, Conradie, Belcher.
Great & Little Tew (v Cove, home): White, Jordan Garrett, Smith, Clark, Slatter, Shurmer, Lloyd Brock, Catling, Harris (capt), Woods, Bryan.
Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Chesham, home): Kirby, Wood, Sanklecha, Cross, Hole (capt), Senior, Lewis, Brain, Seacole, Barras, Miller.
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