Buckingham Town are crowned Cherwell League champions

Callum Price. Picture by Jake McNulty
Callum Price. Picture by Jake McNulty
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Buckingham Town have been crowned Cherwell Cricket League Division One champions thanks to a winning draw with Oxford IIs on Saturday.

The result saw Buckingham claim their third Division One title almost a year to the day since the same opposition condemned them to relegation from the league, only to later receive a reprieve following the restructuring of the Home Counties League.

The club will compete in Home Counties Division Two in the 2015 for the third time, aiming to improve on their previous attempts which have both seen them relegated at the first time of asking.

After stand-in skipper Jack Parish won the toss and chose to bat, Callum Price powered the innings off to a quick start with 36 from 30 balls in a 48-run stand for the first wicket with Ash Pearson.

Oxford skipper Phillip Evans brought himself into the attack and picked up the wicket of Price with his second ball, which sparked a collapse as Buckingham, having looked relatively comfortable at the crease, lost three wickets for eight runs with Laycock (run out without facing a ball) and Myatt both recording ducks.

Steve Brunning joined Pearson and together they added 43 before he fell to a sharp catch for 19, but Pearson went past 50 and started to increase the run-rate with new partner Justin Frew (38).

Despite a brief rain delay that saw both sides lose two overs, the pair shared a partnership of 102 from only 110 balls to take Town past 200 before both were dismissed as Buckingham lost late wickets.

Pearson fell just short of his century for 93 as the innings closed on 228-8, giving the home side the full five batting bonus points on offer.

Oxford lost two early wicket in their reply as Jason Ell removed opener James Ladd Gibbon followed by Vetrivel being run out by a direct hit from Ben Stafford. Evans came in at number four and set about repairing the innings, although two more wickets fell at the other end as the score moved onto 65-4.

Joe Claassen, batting at six, gave the skipper some support as they added 60 in 20 overs without ever looking as though they would chase down the target.

As the game drifted towards a draw, Wayne Platts came back into the attack and removed Claassen (26), but there were no further wickets, with Evans finishing 64 not out as his side ended 156-5.

Buckingham claimed all six points that were on offer for the draw which, combined with their bonus points, was enough to clinch the title and kick-off the celebrations.