Rain helps Bicester secure safety

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Bicester & North Oxford 1st XV secured their place in Division Three for another season after avoiding defeat to Shipton-under-Wychwood in their final match of 2013.

Having gone into the game knowing relegation was a possiblity, Bicester picked up the 12 points needed to make certain of safety. They finished seventh in Cherwell League Division Seven.

Batting first, Bicester laid a solid foundation, reaching 82-3 with opener Dan Murphy hitting 38.

Wickets fell at regular intervals but a vital innings from Rob Humphreys helped Bicester post a competitive score.

Humphreys hit 71 from 95 balls and was well supported down the order by Mike Simpson (34) as Bicester finished on 229-9 from 53 overs.

In reply, Shipton made positive progress and looked to set up a close finish as Tom King (50) helped them to 101-1.

However, three wickets for four runs fell to settle the Bicester nerves before rain ended any chance of a result as the visitors finished on 133-4 from 24 overs.