OXFORDSHIRE’S men are on the brink of promotion from Group 5 after a thrilling 5-4 success over Durham & Cleveland at West Worthing yesterday.

Needing a win to maintain hopes of climbing the ladder for a third successive year, everything hinged on the final rubber between Oxon’s No 2 pair of Benedict Calnan and Sebastian Rey and their opposite number.

With the match tied at 4-4, and the Oxfordshire pair a set down, things did not look good.

But Calnan and Rey produced a great comeback to win 7-5 in the third set and give Oxon a superb result.

A win over Buckinghamshire, today, a side who have only won once this week, will ensure promotion.

Joe Cartledge and Jon Maskens won twice at first pair, with Tom Greenland and Harry Brown picking up one rubber in a match that saw Oxon trail 2-1 after the opening round, but then lead 4-2 after the second.

Oxfordshire’s women fell to a fourth straight defeat, losing 5-4 to Shropshire in Group 6 at Ilkley, Yorkshire.

With captain Emma Tolson still sidelined with an elbow injury, Oxon’s top two pairs – Ariadne Katsoulis & Patricia Vallima and Sophie Marriott & Alice Atkins – each won twice, but it was not enough to prevent another frustrating defeat.