ASTON Rowant pipped Horspath by one run in a Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire Cup semi-final thriller.

The hosts needed ten runs from the last over to reach the final of the T20 competition, but were restricted to eight as Rowant progressed to face holders Banbury at Wormsley on September 18.

Chasing their opponents’ 161/5 after the visitors had elected to bat, Horspath were soon in trouble at 35-4.

But then Anupam Sanklecha and Tyrone Eyles got the home side back in the game with a brilliant stand of 57 for the fifth wicket.

Sanklecha smashed 38 off just 20 balls with three sixes, before he was bowled by leg-spinner Tristan Rossouw.

Eyles and Will Hawtin kept up the attack only for the former to be run out for 28 off 21 deliveries by Hayden Rossouw's rocket throw from the cover boundary to leave Horspath 119/6 with five overs left.

Hawtin and Jehan Mohammed fell, only for Horspath to take 11 runs off the penultimate over to move within ten of victory.

Alfie Turner and skipper Lloyd Belcher picked up three singles off the first four balls, before the fifth delivery went for four byes, leaving Horspath requiring three off the last ball.

However, it resulted in just a further bye to the wicket-keeper, leaving Rowant winners by the narrowest of margins as the hosts finished on 160/8.

Earlier, opener Tom Condon had top-scored for Rowant with 50 off 55 balls with three fours and two sixes.

The visitors had looked in trouble at 112/5, but then George Reid – who smashed 36 from 18 balls - and Tristan Rossouw added an unbroken 49 for the sixth wicket.

In the other semi-final, Banbury beat Oxford Downs by 50 runs to give themselves a shot at retaining the trophy.

Captain Lloyd Sabin led the charge with 51 not out, having arrived at the crease when opener Richard Simpson was dismissed with the 11th ball of the innings.

He put on 88 for the third wicket with No 4 Charles Hill (48), who was caught and bowled by Tom Costley at the start of the 18th over to leave Banbury 130/3.

The Downs man picked up two further scalps in his next five balls, dismissing Edward Phillips and removing Alistair Short for another caught and bowled.

It broke Banbury’s momentum and they ended their innings on 144/6.

The visitors would have thought the target was achievable, but when Hill removed James Ellwood and Curtly Slatter in the second over it was a sign of things to come.

Costley’s 23 helped Downs recover somewhat, but they were always behind the run rate thanks to some economical bowling.

Two wickets for Simpson in the 16th over all-but sealed victory for Banbury, with their opponents stuck on 72/8.

Sabin and Hill combined again to secure the win in the 19th over, the latter catching Andy Russell off his captain’s bowling to leave Downs stranded on 94.

OXFORDSHIRE visit Wiltshire for their second game of the NCCA Championship season on Sunday.

The visitors are bottom of NCCA Western Division 1 after losing to Cheshire earlier this week, but a victory over three days at South Wilts CC would put them right back in the mix.