ABINGDON Vale are still looking for their first victory in Division 1 of the Cherwell League after losing by five wickets at home to Oxford Downs on Saturday.

The visitors had little hesitation in inserting the newly-promoted top-flight side.

And the decision was soon rewarded as opening pair Johnny Law and Matt Woods removed Luke Maslen for a duck and the stylish Rob Hood for one.

Vale were struggling at 55-7, before Paul Butcher, promoted from the 2nd XI, did his best to stake a regular first-team place with an unbeaten 60, sharing a half-century stand with David Murphy.

However, they were bowled out for 128, Law finishing with 4-53 and Woods 3-33.

In reply, the hosts removed Was Mehmood and George Sandbach cheaply.

With Will Watts being dismissed with the score on 48, Vale sensed an opening, particularly when James Ellwood followed for nine.

But Frankie Crouch steadied the ship for Downs, allowing Amin Rafiq (29no) and James Lauder to steer them home in the 41st over.

Joe Harris returned figures of 5-26 to help Challow & Childrey to a seven-wicket win against visitors Oxford 2nd in Division 2.

Harris and George Trewby (3-32) combined as Oxford were bowled out in the 38th over for 122.

Challow took just 24.3 overs to reach the target as Ryan Gordon hit 52 and Luke Jones 45.

Didcot narrowly avoided defeat at Buckingham Town 2nd as their last pair batted out for a draw.

Buckingham set 210-9, Jordan Morrison taking 4-77.

Richard Cook (53) and Daniel Hall (43) shone in Didcot’s reply.

But they lost regular wickets, leaving last pair Robert Keat and Andy Griffiths to shut up shop for the draw.

Abingdon Vale 2nd denied hosts Bledlow Ridge victory with a deserved draw in Division 5.

Ridge racked up 265-9 dec in 42 overs, with Abingdon skipper Matt Darley taking 6-70.

Led by Tom Allen (78) and Chris Butcher (63), the visitors made a valiant chase, before opting to bat out for the draw at 232-8, lasting 58 overs to avoid defeat.

Didcot 2nd lost by four wickets against Cumnor 2nd.

After being set just 151-9, Cumnor got home in the 45th over.

George Hook’s outstanding haul of 8-36 was all in vain as Challow & Childrey 2nd lost by 29 runs at Banbury 4th in Division 6.

Hook helped to dismiss Banbury for 190 in the 53rd over, but Chris Phillips then took 5-33 as Challow & Childrey were all out for 161 in their reply.