Great Horwood 1st XI continued their bid for promotion in OCA Division Two with a thumping eight-wicket victory over fourth-placed Chipping Norton.
On an afternoon of searing heat, Horwood lost the toss and were seemingly condemned to a tiring day in the field, however a fabulous spell of bowling from Neil Wilkins tore through the visitors’ batting order.
At one point, Wilkins had figures of eight overs, four maidens, 7-8 with the talismanic veteran proving almost impossible to play as Chipping collapsed to 53-9.
It took a gallant last wicket partnership between Kevin Duester (67 not out) and a more patient Matthew Molyneux to take the visitors up to 101 all out.
Wilkins finished with 7-24 while his son, Jack, took 2-24.
Wary that small run chases can often be tricky, Horwood opener and skipper Stuart Parker played a patient knock of 56 not out to anchor the home side’s innings over the line.
Parker was well supported in a crucial opening wicket stand by Gaz Lee (17) and later by Dale Armitage (22 not out) as Horwood cruised to the easiest of victories and maximum points to keep them in the driving seat for an immediate return to Division One.
This Saturday, Horwood make the short trip to local rivals Winslow Town.
Meanwhile, a much-weakened Great Horwood IIs side slumped to a 141-run defeat at the weekend.
Up against Marcham, Horwood bowled first and despite some tidy bowling from Peter McHenry (2-36) and Simon Ridgway (1-38), runs were scored freely as the hosts amassed 219-4 from 45 overs.
Horwood never threatened the total in reply as they were bowled out for 78, McHenry top scored with 28.
The IIs, who remain bottom of Division Five, entertain Cassington/Rescue this weekend.