A LATE collapse left Abingdon Vale clinging on for a draw against Banbury 2nd – but by denying their rival maximum points, they all-but ended their visitors dwindling title hopes.

With Vale chasing Banbury’s total of 175, the home side appeared to be cruising at 152-4 in the Cherwell League Division 1 clash.

But a cluster of five wickets for 13 runs meant they had to battle to hold out for a draw at 166-9.

Banbury opted to bat first and slipped to 80-4.

Although captain Justin Lambden steadied the ship with 53, he regularly lost partners.

Left-arm spinner Paul White was the pick of the Abingdon attack – his figures of 4-35 from 15.3 overs took him to 700 career wickets in the Cherwell League.

Chasing 176 for victory, Vale appeared in complete control as they reached 117-2, Amith Premkumar opening up with a fine 49.

But the introduction of young spin duo Jamie Curtis and George Tait turned the tide in Banbury’s favour.

Leg-spinner Curtis took 3-34, while Oxfordshire Under 17 skipper Tait claimed 3-43.

This saw Vale slip to 165-9 – still 11 runs from victory – but White and Graham Charlesworth remained resolute to deny Banbury the win.

Ryan Gordon plundered a brilliant 131 not out as Challow & Childrey thrashed fellow Division 2 high-fliers Leighton Buzzard by 104 runs to maintain their title bid.

Buzzard would have regretted putting Challow in to bat as Gordon steered his side to 259-6 dec in 52 overs.

Buzzard were never in the hunt in their reply.

Although Greg Proudfoot struck 58 for the visitors, spells of 3-37 by Joe Harris and 3-38 for Conor Jones ensured Buzzard were shot out for 155.

Challow are second, 12 points behind Buckingham Town 2nd.

Didcot lost by seven wickets away to in-form Oxford 2nd.

The visitors were bowled out for 110, before Oxford eased home at 111-3 to move up to fourth.

Abingdon 2nd are now joined at the top of Division 5 by Cumnor 2nd after losing by six wickets to their title rivals.

Vale posted 166-9, Mike Howe-Davies scoring a season’s best 54 and Tom Allen chipping in with 34.

But the total was never enough as Cumnor reached 167-4 in the 35th over as Joel Washbourn-Calcutt (79no) and Michael Race (62) made light work of Vale’s attack.

Kingston Bagpuize beat basement boys Oxford 3rd by three wickets.

James Boon (64) and Jordan Smith (59) helped Kingston to 182-7 as they successfully chased down Oxford’s total of 181-7.

Didcot 2nd fell to a six-wicket defeat at home to Long Marston 2nd.

They were shot out for 111, Karl Johnston top-scoring with 30 not out and Huw Robinson and Edward Robinson taking four wickets apiece.

Paul Young then struck 43 not out in Marston’s reply, leading them to 112-4.