Monday, 02 August 2021

Tough test awaits at high-flying Banbury

TOMORROW (Saturday, 11am start) Henley travel to While Post Road in Bodicote to take on the

TOMORROW (Saturday, 11am start) Henley travel to While Post Road in Bodicote to take on the current Home Counties Premier League Division 1 leaders Banbury who are currently on 110 points, ahead of Henley by just seven.

Having won their first five games like Henley, last weekend, Banbury were held to a draw by local rivals Great and Little Tew in a game which they were fortunate not to lose, finishing their overs nine wickets down.

Pick of the Banbury batsmen was their Australian overseas player Kurtis Patterson who saved the day with an unbeaten 92, and already has 389 league runs in the book to date including 142 the previous weekend against Tring Park.

Patterson is currently averaging 77.80. At 23 he has a big future ahead of him, having played for Australia U19s, New South Wales and in the Big Bash for both the Sydney franchises. He was the youngest batsman to score a century in the Sheffield Shield when he struck 157 on debut for NSW against West Australia at Sydney in 2011 and the 2015/16 season has been something of a breakthrough year for him when he was the leading Shield scorer for NSW with 737 including two centuries.

Patterson apart, Banbury are an experienced side with plenty of well-established quality players many of whom have Minor County experience.

Winners of the inaugural HCPCL championship in 2000, Banbury have come close on a few occasions but have a propensity for falling away later in the season. Last season, boosted by former Australian test wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Paine, the north Oxfordshire side leapfrogged Henley to finish second on the last day of the campaign.

With High Wycombe returning to winning ways at Tring and back in third spot on 86 points, one point ahead of Finchampstead, this is a big game for both sides and one in which neither side can afford to falter.

Henley are likely to be unchanged from the side that lost to Finchampstead who, now armed with Coetzee, might now fancy themselves for a say in the Championship.

Elsewhere tomorrow Thames Valley Division 2B leaders Henley 2nds entertain Royal Ascot at the Brakspear Ground. Henley 3rds travel to Cookham Dean while Henley 4ths entertain Yateley 3rds at Nettlebed. All these matches get underway at 1pm.

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