ANDY Buckingham’s unbeaten 54 helped Oxford Downs to a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Buckingham Town 1st XI last Saturday.
After being put into bat, Steve Brunning (27) and Rob Lightfoot (17) got Town off to a solid start - putting on 49 - before the spin of Simon Watkins enticed Brunning down the wicket for a simple stumping.
Lightfoot didn’t last much longer as he fell to a low diving catch off the bowling of Daryl Johnson.
Jack Parish temporarily lifted the run-rate with a run-a-ball 17 but his innings was brought to an abrupt halt when he hit Watkins straight to midwicket.
Ben Laycock (27) and Graham Judd (32 not out) batted sensibly until a badly judged single sent Laycock back to the pavilion.
Simon Myatt joined Judd and the pair added a much-needed 41 in nine overs to help his into a strong position but a late innings collapse cost Town.
Myatt was bowled by Watkins for 30 before the spinner picked up two further wickets to complete his five-wicket haul.
The final couple of wickets fell in quick succession to leave Oxford to chase a paltry 174 for victory.
Wasim Mehmood and Mark Wingfield-Digby got the hosts off to a flyer with an opening stand of 38 scored at a run-a-ball before Jason Ell had Wingfield-Digby caught behind for 15.
However, the Oxford Downs batsmen continued to attack the quicker bowlers and gradually took control.
But the introduction of spin brought the breakthrough as first James Gear removed Mehmood for 31 and then Jack Parish had Wes Bartlett lbw for 22.
At 84-3 Town had a sniff of an opportunity, but Buckingham (54 not out) and Watkins (44 not out) saw the hosts home.
They added 91 from 107 balls to win by seven wickets with nearly 14 overs to spare.
The result means Buckingham slip to sixth in Cherwell League Division One after four matches.