Oxfordshire were taught a lesson as they crashed to a 25-11 defeat against Essex in their third Premier Division clash of the season at Chelmsford.

By virtue of that victory, powerful Essex jumped to the top of the table.

After other results went in their favour, Oxon stayed in fourth position.

Three of the visiting teams suffered defeats, while the Ladies A outfit secured a 3-3 draw.

In the first match, Oxon Ladies B slumped 5-1, with their only winner being Shirley Castle, who averaged 18.21 to become their player-of- -the-match.

In the Men’s B encounter, Oxfordshire’s man-of-the-match Damien Kidd took the second game.

But the visitors had to wait for the seventh game before Dean Lockyer gained their second point.

Paddy Kearns won the very last match as Oxon were crushed 9-3, giving Essex a commanding 14-4 lead after the first day.

This soon became 16-4 on Sunday, when the hosts took the first two Ladies A games.

But Fiona Carmichael (20.56) Clare Bywaters (22.77) and lady-of-the-match Deta Hedman (29.47) netted victories to secure Oxon a 3-3 draw.

Essex were virtually home and dry as they led 17-7 going into the Men’s A match.

Oxon lost the first game before man-of-the-match Michael Burgoine (27.23) and Preben Krabben gained victories.

Essex then took the next four legs before Stuart Dutton and Terry Davis salvaged some pride with wins.

The home side won the remainder of the games to see out a 25-11 success.

Oxon team manager Graham Manning said: “Essex men’s A team averaged 27.29 against our 26.25.

“So it was a match of the highest quality.

“We were literally outplayed by a very good team.”

With their draw, Oxfordshire ladies A remain top of their section.

Oxon’s next match is at home to basement boys Surrey on January 19-20.