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HCPL D1: Horspath captain looking to improve in 2019 as they head to Tring Park

Horspath captain Will Eason has spoken to Sports Shots as his side head to Tring Park for their 2019 league opener.

Will Eason

The man at the helm at Horspath has Darryl Brown returning as the club’s overseas, while all-rounder Jay Parmar and batsman Kyle Hopper join from West Bromwich Dartmouth and Oxford University,respectively.

Darryl Brown

Eason told Sports Shots:

Our Pre-season has gone very well which will hopefully stand us in good stead for the 2019 season.

We have made some good additions to the squad and there is a healthy competition for places, which can only help us gain positive results, as we would love to improve on where we finished in the table this season.

On Sunday, Horspath go to last year’s runners-up in the Royal London Club Championship, Stanmore after defeating Chesham in the previous round.

Horspath: Will Eason (Captain), Rob Eason, Tom Coleman, James Phillips, Darryl Brown, Tom Cosford, Jay Parmar, Kyle Hopper, Mark Skelton, Asad Rafiq, Lloyd Belcher.

HCPCL D1: Preview of the rest of the Home Counties top division 2019

Reigning Home Counties Premier League, Division 1 Champions Henley have won the league the past two seasons and are the benchmark side.

Saif Zaib, the Northants and Bucks batsman, who bowls left-arm spin, will play the 2019 campaign at Slough.

Aston Rowant, who finished third in 2018, have signed new overseas player in wicket-keeper/batsman Hayden Rossouw.

Skipper Josh Smith has also recruited John Fitzjohn from Horspath and Elliot Matthews, who has been playing Cherwell League cricket for Didcot.

Banbury have been busy strengthening over the winter with Shahid Yousaf joining the White Post Road-outfit as their new overseas. Yousaf scored 777 runs in the league last season at Slough and picked up 19 wickets.

Joe Thomas

Oxfordshire spinner Joe Thomas and Joe White have joined from Great & Little Tew, while Joe Wadham (Taunton St Andrew’s) and Dave Eaton (Horley) have also joined.

Finchampstead have named their side to face Datchet at Finchampstead Park as 1. Dan Lincoln (c), 2. Tom Predgen, 3. Simon Bell (wk), 4. Toby Albert, 5. Ryan Quinn, 6. Darron Augustus, 7. James Woodford, 8. Zac Jones, 9. Greg Smith, 10. Billy Rogers, 11. Josh Lincoln.

Datchet step up along with Buckingham Town, a side they defeated in pre-season, to play at the top level for the first time after being in Division 2 for four years.

Unicorns Minor Counties KO Trophy: Oxon skipper praises T20 display ahead of Bedfordshire Trophy tie

Oxfordshire skipper Jonny Cater praised his side after they won three of their four T20 games to go to the top of the Group 2 table.

Jonny Cater

Cater has led from the front which has seen Oxfordshire do the double over Shropshire on Monday, while picking up a win and also losing against Herefordshire just 24 hours earlier.

The captain told Sports Shots:

I am very happy with the way the side has performed in our first two (T20) matches.

We have jelled as a side, shown an excellent attitude and have a togetherness and spirit.

I felt we bowled well as a unit and the boys up top struck the ball sweetly. To post a very competitive 190 in one of the games was pleasing.

This weekend attention turns to the Unicorns KO Trophy where Cater takes his side to play Bedfordshire at Ampthill Town Cricket Club. The winners of the tie will be rewarded with an away game against Wales at Lisvane.

The 50-overs competition has seen the Oxfordshire Selectors have some choices to make.

It has been a week where we have had to make some tough decisions with selection.

The game against Bedfordshire sees a longer format than we have just played but we go there and we will be looking to progress.

Oxfordshire: Jonny Cater (captain), Shabaaz Alam (Twyford), Gareth Andrew (Ombersley), Harry Smith (Leamington), Tom Condon (Aston Rowant), Tom Cosford (Horspath), Richard Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), Matthew Warner (Chesham), Olly Clarke (Banbury), Joe Thomas (Banbury), Russell White (Buckingham Town), George Sandbach (Oxford Downs).

Umpires: Steve Cobb, Alisdair Shaikh



2nd June
Lincs v Cheshire/Northumberland (a) – Bracebridge Heath
Shropshire v Cumberland (b) – Oswestry
Herefordshire v Hertfordshire/Staffordshire (c) – Eastnor
Cambridgeshire v Norfolk/Suffolk (d) – Exning
Berkshire v Dorset (e) -Oratory School
Cornwall v Buckinghamshire (f) – Truro
Wales MC v Bedfordshire/Oxfordshire (g) – Lisvane
Wiltshire v Devon (h) – Warminster

30th June
Winner Match A v Winner Match B (1)
Winner Match C v Winner Match D (2)
Winner Match E v Winner Match F (3)
Winner Match G v Winner Match H (4)

KO Semi Finals
Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2
Winner Match 3 v Winner Match 4

25th (26th) August – T20 Finals Day – Wormsley

28th (29th) August – KO Final – Wormsley

15-18th September – Championship Final -Banbury

Unicorns T20 Group 2: Bucks share the spoils with T20 holders in group opener

Bucks shared the spoils when they opened their Unicorns T20 competition with a double-header against reigning champions Berkshire at Wargrave on Sunday.

Bucks Shirt

Conrad Louth was the champagne moment winner in the second game, also for an outstanding piece of fielding

In two closely-fought low-scoring matches, Berkshire won the first encounter by seven runs, before Bucks hit back to take the second by four runs.

In the first match, Bucks chose to bat first and seemed set for victory after restricting the hosts to 131-8 from their 20 overs.
This was largely due to two early wickets from left-arm spinner Masoor Khan, who also held on to a spectacular one-handed catch in the deep to dismiss Berkshire’s top scorer James Morris for 46.

Masoor Khan

But Bucks also struggled on a slow surface against a predominantly spin attack and managed only 124-6 in reply, Garry Park top-scoring with 42.

Garry Park

In the second game, Bucks this time chose to bat first, with leg-spinner Stephen Croft replacing skipper Tom Hampton, who had recovered from a knee injury to be fit for the day.

The visitors seemed set for a big total, when reaching 77-3 after ten overs, thanks to newcomer Conrad Louth (31) and Park (37). But they did not score a single boundary in the last ten overs of their innings and finished on a disappointing 127-8.

Conrad Louth

Berkshire also struggled against tight fielding and bowling and came to the last over bowled by Michael Payne, needing 14 for victory.

Michael Payne

But two catches in the deep off successive balls saw them fall short on 123-6.

Bucks’s next group games in the group stage of this competition are against Oxfordshire at High Wycombe on Sunday May 26th.

Unicorns MCCA T20 Group 2: Hampton talks of ‘progressing’ Bucks after level encounter with T20 Champions

Bucks skipper Tom Hampton believes his side are making progress after a share of the points in their Unicorns T20 Group 2 opener at current champions, Berkshire on Monday.

Tom Hampton

Bucks narrowly lost their opening match before bouncing back to hold their nerve and pick a win in the second game.

With Berkshire being the competition holders, the Bucks captain was quick to praise his side.

Hampton told Sports Shots:

On the whole I was really pleased with Monday’s performance. We put ourselves in a position to win both games, and played some really good cricket.

The wicket had been used over the weekend and even in the first game was very slow and did assist the slower bowlers from the start.

I thought we bowled and fielded brilliantly in both games, with Mas (Khan) and Conrad (Louth) taking game changing catches in either innings. The intensity that we brought to the field was really pleasing.

We probably didn’t put our foot down early enough in the first game, and left a little too much to do. I think we underestimated  how hard it was to hit boundaries at the end of the innings, but you learn from these things.

The wicket was tricky for batters to go and play freely, which ultimately led to two tight games. For games of T20 to be so heavily dominated by spin is a slight shame but made it exciting to watch.

To win one game against a very good Berkshire team and to be in a position to have competed all the way in the game we lost was great to see and I think shows how we are progressing.

Looking forward, we have a couple of weeks off, but the lads will go and play club cricket and have the opportunity to build  some form,  before we come together again at home versus Oxfordshire, which will be another really big double header.

HCPL D1: Town skipper previews first-ever top division fixture at Slough

Buckingham Town skipper Jack Parish knows his side are “relishing the new challenge” as the club plays their first-ever Home Counties Premier League, Division 1 fixture at Slough on Saturday (11th May).

Buckingham Town 2018 Home Counties Premier Cricket League Division 2 Champions

Town cantered to the title and promotion, but a big step up will provide a tough test in the forthcoming campaign.

Town have added Ranitha Liyanarachchi, a Sri Lankan all-round seamer, who played at Cove in the Thames Valley League in 2018. To read more about the new man at Bourton Road – CLICK HERE

Rob Large makes the Town team after injury, while young spinner Albert Johnson is also included.

Speaking to Sports Shots on Thursday evening, Parish said:

As we embark on our first season in the Home Counties premier league, I think I speak for all the lads when I say we are relishing the challenge of playing against some of the best league cricketers in the country.

With this we certainly need to improve across the board to remain successful. We have dropped way too many catches in pre-season, whilst only batting and bowling well in short spells.

The good news is that we pretty much have a full squad to pick from this weekend with Ranitha (Liyanarachchi) arriving earlier today, so we hope to see immediate improvements and get off to the best possible start away at Slough.

Town: Jack Parish (Captain), Leigh Tomlinson, Ash Pearson, Andrew Hall, Jonny Cater, Rob Large, Ranitha Liyanarachchi, Jack Deal, George Humphries, Russell White, Albert Johnson.

HCPCL T20 Regional Finals Day: Banbury defeat Town to progress to T20 last four

After Banbury completed a comfortable 10 wicket win over Dinton to start the day Buckingham took on Horspath in the second semi-final, and after losing the toss were invited to bat first.

Ash Pearson got the Buckingham innings off to a quick start with 26 off 17 balls in an opening stand of 34 with Steve Brunning. The introduction of Mark Skelton broke the partnership as Pearson was caught behind, followed by Jay Parmar picking up the wicket of Brunning. Andrew Hall and Jonny Cater came together and put on 47 in 6 overs before Darryl Brown came into the attack and removed Hall for 24 (24 balls). Cater picked up the rate as the innings came towards a close, bringing up his half century from 32 balls before hitting 37 from the final two overs to guide Buckingham to 169-4 in their 20 overs. Cater finished 82 not out from 41 balls.

Russell White struck in his first over in reply, bringing Brown to the wicket with Tom Cosford. The pair quickly got themselves in and scored quickly against the Buckingham bowlers, putting themselves comfortably ahead of the run rate. First Cosford (28 balls) and then Brown (39 balls) brought up half centuries as they put on 125 for the second wicket and reduced the run chase to 37 from 37 balls. Skipper Jack Parish returned to the attack and broke the partnership as he trapped Cosford lbw for 59. Although Brown was still there runs dried up at the other end as the new batsman struggled to score against Buckingham’s death bowlers. Jay Parmar fell to Albert Johnson for 6 before Hall removed Brown for 70 (56 balls). Greg Liebenberg bowled the final over and picked up a wicket as well as only conceding 4 runs as Buckingham restricted Horspath to just 26 in the final 6 overs to claim a 10 run victory.

A. Pearson c Wilkinson b Skelton 26 (17)
S. Brunning b Parmar 13 (21)
A. Hall c Wilkinson b Brown 24 (24)
J. Cater+ Not Out 82 (41)
L. Tomlinson b Belcher 8 (12)
J. Parish* Not Out 4 (6)
Extras (3lb, 8w, 1nb) 12
Total 169-4
20 overs

FoW: 34-1 (Pearson, 4.6); 52-2 (Brunning, 7.5); 99-3 (Hall, 13.3); 124-4 (Tomlinson, 16.5)

L. Manley 2-0-11-0
T. Cosford 4-0-39-0
M. Skelton 1-0-12-1 (2w)
J. Parmar 3-0-18-1 (1w)
A. Rafiq 4-0-26-0 (3w, 1nb)
K. Hopper 1-0-16-0
D. Brown 2-0-7-1
L. Belcher 3-0-37-1 (2w)

T. Coleman b White 7 (7)
T. Cosford lbw b Parish 59 (37)
D. Brown c Pearson b Hall 70 (56)
J. Parmar c White b Johnson 6 (13)
K. Hopper Not Out 4 (6)
M. Skelton c Cater b Liebenberg 0 (2)
W. Eason Not Out 1 (2)
Extras (1b, 4lb, 4w, 3nb) 12
Total 159-5
20 overs

FoW: 8-1 (Coleman, 1.1); 133-2 (Cosford, 13.6); 149-3 (Parmar, 17.3); 154-4 (Brown, 18.4); 156-5 (Skelton, 19.3)

J. Parish 4-0-32-1 (1w)
R. White 4-0-18-1 (1w)
J. Deal 1-0-18-0 (1nb)
G. Liebenberg 3-0-24-1 (2nb, 1w)
A. Hall 4-0-21-1 (1w)
M. Hulbert 2-0-26-0
A. Johnson 2-0-15-1

Buckingham won by 10 runs.

Banbury won the toss and elected to bat first in the regional final, and skipper Lloyd Sabin made a solid start alongside Tom Bartlett. The pair put on a strong opening partnership, although with the exception of one over conceding 20 runs Buckingham kept the run rate under control. The pair put on 89 when Hall picked up the wicket of Bartlett for 37 (37 balls) in the 13th over. Parish came back to remove Yousaf while Sabin brought up his half century from 43 balls before being stumped off Mark Hulbert in the next over. Olly Clarke scored a quickfire 30 (19 balls) at the end with Joe White (11 not out) as Banbury pushed on up to 146 for 3 in their 20 overs.

Buckingham’s reply got off to a slow start as the Banbury bowlers started well. Olly Clarke took an early wicket as he had Brunning stumped for 13 which brought Hall to the wicket. Alongside Pearson he put on 41, and began to accelerate the run rate with 6’s in consecutive overs as the chase was reduced to 76 from 51 balls. When both Pearson (25) and Hall (32) along with Cater fell in the space of 7 balls though Buckingham slipped to 75 for 4. After that regular wickets fell as the run rate climbed with only Hulbert (14 off 10 Balls) making double figures after the top 3. The Banbury bowlers shared the wickets around with Sabin (2 for 5) and Olly Wright (2 for 14) the pick of the bowlers as Buckingham were bowled out in the final over for 123 to lose by 23 runs.

L. Sabin* st Cater b Hulbert 53 (48)
T. Bartlett c Cater b Hall 37 (37)
S. Yousaf c White b Parish 5 (6)
O. Clarke Not Out 30 (19)
J. White Not Out 11 (13)
Extras (1b, 2lb, 4w, 3nb) 10
Total 146-3
20 overs

FoW: 89-1 (Bartlett, 12.2); 101-2 (Yousaf, 14.3); 106-3 (Sabin, 15.1)

J. Parish 4-0-23-1
R. White 4-0-25-0 (1nb, 2w)
A. Johnson 1-0-11-0
A. Hall 4-0-21-1
G. Liebenberg 3-0-38-0 (2nb, 2w)
M. Hulbert 4-0-25-1

A. Pearson st Rana b Yousaf 25 (33)
S. Brunning st Rana b Clarke 13 (16)
A. Hall c Thomas b Wright 32 (24)
J. Cater+ c Tait b Wright 3 (5)
L. Tomlinson b Sabin 8 (8)
M. Hulbert b Yousaf 14 (10)
J. Deal Run Out (Clarke) 4 (8)
J. Parish* c Beer b Sabin 2 (3)
R. White c Yousaf b Clarke 7 (4)
G. Liebenberg Run Out (White) 5 (4)
A. Johnson Not Out 6 (5)
Extras (1lb, 2w, 1nb) 4
Total 123 all out
19.5 overs

FoW: 30-1 (Brunning, 6.2); 71-2 (Pearson, 11.4); 73-3 (Hall, 12.1); 75-4 (Cater, 12.5); 97-5 (Hulbert, 15.4); 99-6 (Tomlinson, 16.3); 101-7 (Parish, 16.6); 111-8 (White, 17.6); 112-9 (Deal, 18.2); 123-10 (Liebenberg, 19.5)

L. Sabin 2-0-5-2
O. Wright 3-0-14-2 (1w)
J. Thomas 4-0-24-0
G. Beer 3-0-23-0 (1nb)
O. Clarke 4-0-26-2 (1w)
S. Yousaf 3-0-23-2
G. Tait 0.5-0-7-0

Banbury won by 23 runs

B&B Vets Cup Final: Buckingham United Vets manager previews county cup final

Buckingham United Veterans manager Larry Woodward has looked ahead to the Berks & Bucks Veterans Cup Final against MK Irish Veterans at Buckingham Athletic Football Club, kick-off 7.30pm, on Tuesday (7th May 2019).

Larry Woodward

Woodward’s side are new to this category of football but have a final to prepare for already.

The United Veterans boss told Sports Shots:

We were only formed in November last year so it’s quite an achievement to have actually reached a prestigious Cup Final like this. Every round on our run has been more difficult than the last and they don’t come any harder than our opponents.

I think they’ve lost just three League games in six years and steamrollered the MK Vets League consistently so that speaks for itself. However, we’ll give it our best shot as always and look to upset the odds.

We will be missing Tony Gibbard and Andrew Jenner with injuries, which is a shame for them, but everyone else is available.

If everyone turns up and puts a shift in on the night I’m confident we can cause MK Irish problems.

Buckingham United Veterans squad for Tuesday:
James Cox, Neil Walker, Matthew Thatcher, Ollie Prentice, Chris Doherty, Robert Henry, Matt Alcock, Paul Hull, Adam Williams, Neil O’Connell, Mike Oliver, Marc Bassinder, Richie Barnes, Adam Cooper, Gavin Hansell, Paul Gibbs.

BSCC Final: Alleyne looks forward to a big day as he bows out as Winslow boss

Paul Alleyne has spoken with Sports Shots as he prepares to take charge of Winslow United for the final time on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Paul Alleyne

The United manager, who has enjoyed two successful years at Elmfields Gate, told Sports Shots:

I am expecting the final to be a good game and a great day.

Alleyne has just seen his side finish third for the second season in succession and will be hoping a Charity Cup victory can bring down the curtain on his stint at United with silverware.

BSCC Final: Aylesbury boss previews Charity Cup final with Winslow United

Aylesbury FC manager Paul Bonham has spoken to Sports Shots as his side prepare for Winslow United in the Buckingham Senior Charity Cup final on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon at Buckingham Athletic Football Club.

Paul Bonham

The Moles boss told Sports Shots:

We are really looking forward to the cup final on Monday 6th May. Playing Winslow United will be a very tough test and we will have to be at our best to get anything from the fixture.

Paul (Alleyne) has built a fantastic side, which is full of players who, in my opinion, have the ability to play Step 4 football. Players like Aaron King, Alex Kedzierski, Simon King and Daniel Parsons could easily play at the level FC have been competing at this season, so it shows us the level of the opposition. With it being Paul’s last game for the club it will be an emotional fixture for all connected with Winslow, which will only spur them on to try and win the Cup. I have nothing but praise and respect for Paul and the quality of squad he has built over the last couple of years.

The season has taken its toll and we have some serious injury concerns to 4-5 key players who at this moment in time will not be fit enough to play, so it might be a good chance to look at some of the under 18’s who are coming through, and looking to compete for places in the first team next season.

After such a tough season, which ultimately finished with us getting relegated, the morale hit an all time low last Saturday so it will be nice for the squad to play the game without any pressure, enjoy the moment, and hopefully finish the season with some silverware.

Reflecting on the 2018-19 campaign, Bonham spoke honestly.

The season on the whole has been very difficult for everyone involved with the club , from the committee to the playing staff – We have faced a lot of adversity with players leaving and having to rebuild twice during the year and then the decision to take automatic relegation early on in the season, but the players who have stayed with us since that decision was made have really impressed me. Their attitude to roll their sleeves up week in and week out against some very good teams will stay with me for many years to come. We have had some memorable games this season, some positive results against top teams, but the problem was being consistent, and this cost us in the end with regards league position. The goal, regardless of the relegation, was to finish out of the bottom two but as a squad we fell short, and we are all bitterly disappointed.

Bonham wants to focus on the cup final before he thinks about next season.

We are still very focussed on this season, so thoughts from a squad and management point of view we are only fixed on this last game. Once it is finished, I think we will all take some time to reflect, enjoy the summer before we start thinking about the 2019/20 season.

I would like to personally thank Paul Toms, Pete Forssling and Phil Duffy who have all worked tirelessly this year, the committee and all connected behind the scenes who’s work sometimes goes unnoticed, but is always very much appreciated. Lastly a massive thank you to the fans who have supported us home and away – If we win this cup it will be for you guys!