CRICKET: Rowant ready for key battle

Nick Ferraby

Nick Ferraby

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

ASTON Rowant face a “massive” game at Gerrards Cross tomorrow as they bid to avoid the drop from Division 1.

That is the view of batsman Chris Watling, who helped Rowant to a crucial three-wicket victory over Banbury last week.

This left Rowant 19 points clear of the relegation zone, but still in the sights of the teams below them.

“We are hoping to build on last week,” said Watling.

“This is obviously a massive game for both teams, but we will take confidence from last week into this weekend.”

Nick Ferraby comes in for Dan Matthews as the only change.

Joe Porter, Harvey Eltham and Vishane Perera replace unavailable trio Brad Sutherland, Freddie Simon and John Barrett for Oxford’s home clash with Harefield.

Youngster Eltham makes his second appearance after impressing against Rowant recently, while Porter comes in for his seasonal debut.

Captain Ian Crosby said: “We are a bit down on seamers, so we may bring Stewart Laudat out of retirement for a few overs on Saturday.

“There will be a lot of spin in our attack as well.”

Ian Tew and Luke Ryan return to the Banbury squad to host Burnham, while Justin Lambden drops out.

The title is now beyond Banbury after two straight defeats.

Skipper Jimmy Phillips said: “We are disappointed.

“We have not really lived up to our potential. It’s hard to put a finger on why.”

TOMORROW’S TEAMS

Banbury (v Burnham, home): from Sabin, Haupt, West, Hawkes, Cater, Tew, Ryan, Blanchard, Bartlett, Manley, Wright, J Phillips (capt).

Aston Rowant (v Gerrards Cross, away): Morgan, Watling, Hammond, Penhale, Cook, Ferraby, J Smith, Morrick (capt), Muttitt, Kazmi, Harris.

Oxford (v Harefield, home): Laudat, Perera, Perkin, Vainker, Crosby (capt), Mendis, Porter, Clough, Beer, I Evans, Eltham.

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