Oxfordshire Under 17s agonisingly missed out on the ECB Championship by a solitary point after a disappointing defeat by Herefordshire at Eastnor.
Going into the game unbeaten, Oxon needed only six points to secure the title, but after a poor first innings batting display, they were always up against it, and finished with just five bonus points in a first innings loss.
Captain James Fitzjohn lost a crucial toss and Oxfordshire were inserted on a wet and slow pitch, and were quickly in trouble at 6-2.
Rain then forced the players off, and when they resumed at 5pm, they managed to reach 99-4 by the close.
However, day two saw Oxon collapse, losing their final six wickets for just 45 runs as they were shot out for 144, only Alex Davies (63) looking in any form.
When the home side put on 69 for the first wicket, Oxon were always going to be up against it.
But Jonny Meardon rem-oved Jack Taylor for 33 and Adam Spears bowled Rob Protheroe for 40, and that saw Oxon claw their way back into the game.
But Herefordshire got to the target with six wickets down, before going on to be dismissed for 180, giving Oxon the maximum four bowling points.
Davies returned 3-21 from 9.4 overs.
This left Oxfordshire just 16 overs in the match, in which time they needed to score 150 to secure the two batting points needed for the championship.
But it was not to be as they threw the bat at everything to be bowled out for 118 in 14.2 overs, Fitzjohn top-scoring with 33.
It all meant that Bedfordshire, who Oxon narrowly missed beating by an innings earlier in the season, secured the title by a point.
Oxon now will re-focus their attention on the ECB National Cup semi-final, where they will host Leicestershire at Wormsley on Thursday, August 28.
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Latest Sport news
3:03pm Sunday 26th April 2015
WATCH the best moments as Oxford United signed off at the Kassam Stadium with a comfortable 2-0 win against Cambridge United.
5:53pm Saturday 25th April 2015
5:02pm Saturday 25th April 2015
GOALS from Kemar Roofe and Danny Hylton saw Oxford United win their final home game of the season at a canter against Cambridge United.
1:57pm Saturday 25th April 2015
All the latest news from Oxford United's final home game of the season, against Cambridge United.
9:30am Saturday 25th April 2015
Michael Collins expects a reminder of Oxford United’s heavy defeat at Cambridge United earlier in the season will be pinned up in the changing room to act as motivation ahead of their rematch today.
9:00am Saturday 25th April 2015
A minute's silence will be held at Oxford United before kick-off this afternoon to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bradford City fire.
8:00am Saturday 25th April 2015
IT is never a good time to play Leicester Tigers, according to assistant coach Ollie Smith as London Welsh travel to Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership today (3).
7:30am Saturday 25th April 2015
OLLY Barkley believes London Welsh head to Leicester Tigers today off the back of the best week of training this season.
7:00am Saturday 25th April 2015
CHRIS Elder says London Welsh cannot take promotion back to the Aviva Premiership for granted next season.
6:30am Saturday 25th April 2015
CITY of Oxford won seven gold medals at the Ealing Short Course Open in London.