AN exciting encounter saw Bicester & North Oxford 1sts lose narrowly to Cropredy.
The team, in their first season in Cherwell League Division Three, lost by three wickets with only three overs remaining in a tight, low scoring match.
Heavy morning rain affected the pitch and outfield and Cropredy took advantage of the conditions by electing to bowl first on winning the toss.
Bicester’s new signing Matt Cook, a member of the current Oxford University squad and a former Lancashire Under-19s player, looked assured in making 25 on a testing wicket.
But his resistance was not backed up by anyone else in the top order and the visitors lost wickets regularly against accurate bowling from Cropredy reaching 117-8 with 10 overs remaining.
Ian Hunter batted effectively with the lower order on his 1st XI debut as Bicester rallied to 152 all out in the final over of the innings.
Cropredy captain James Coleman was the pick of the bowlers finishing with 3-27.
Bicester required early wickets once the Cropredy reply commenced.
These were provided by captain Steve Conway who picked up two LBW decisions to give his side a chance.
But Peter Cooling (49) and Mike Amos-Simpson (22) led a recovery for Cropredy to put them within touching distance of victory.
Bicester rallied again with Richard Simpson (3-51) and Duncan England (2-24) getting among the wickets to leave Cropredy on 109-6 and Bicester firmly in the box seat.
However, Coleman batted sensibly in making a crucial 26 not out to see the home side home.
> Bicester will go in search of their first win of the season when they entertain Kingston Bagpuize 1st XI at Akeman Street on Saturday.