Oxfordshire slumped to a 139-107 defeat against Gloucestershire in their second Middleton Cup trial match at Barnwood BC, Gloucester.
Oxon started brightly enough, but from the fifth end onwards the home players scored more heavily to secure a convincing victory.
Several previously untried combinations took to the green for Oxfordshire, and this showed in part as the players tried to blend together as well as master their opponents.
Oxon won on two of the six rinks, with Paul Sharman’s four of Adrian Kemish, Shane Cooper and Barry Lambourne leading the way with a 24-13 success.
Baden Sparkes’s side of Sam Watts, Remy Clanfield and Colin Whitehead provided Oxon’s other rink win with an 18-17 victory.
Mark Sykes skipped his side of Rob Pink, George Schwab and Richard Redford to a 19-19 draw, but skips Calvin Carpenter, Alan Prew and Mark Charlett met with defeat.
Despite the loss there were still some good performances which bodes well once the competition proper starts against Middlesex at Oxford City & County on Saturday week.
Some of the Middleton Cup squad players will play in this Saturday’s opening Home Counties League game against Berkshire at South Oxford.
Gloucestershire 139, Oxfordshire 107 (Oxon rink scores): D Taylor, L Young, N Lewis, C Carpenter lost to M Woodbridge 28-11; R Pink, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes drew with S Hodges 19-19; A Kemish, S Cooper, B Lambourne, P Sharman bt R Griffiths 24-13; K Holloway, P Skidmore, P Comley, A Prew lost to P Bryant 36-15; D May, C Weller, K Alder, M Charlett lost to M Cuthbert 26-20; S Watts, Re Clanfield, C Whitehead, B Sparkes bt C Dawes 18-17.
OXFORDSHIRE'S hopes of progressing in the Balcomb Trophy were dashed as they crashed out 39-28 to Berkshire in the men’s National County Top Two Fours Competition prelimimary round at Reading.
Robert Newman, a late addition to the Berkshire team having been away in preparation for the Commonwealth Games, end on end turned Oxon heads over to eventually run out a 20-11 winner over Howard Watts’s rink.
Oxon’s other rink, skipped by Alan Prew, got off to a good start, but were pegged back in the middle of the game to eventually lose out 19-17 to Jon Stradling.
Berkshire 39, Oxfordshire 28
(Berkshire rinks first)
Rink 1: BJ Byles, J Heapy, S Jones, J Stradling 19, K Holloway, G May, M Charlett, A Prew 17.
Rink 2: D W-Emberson, D Hall, A Collins, R Newman 20, D May, P Sharman, M Sykes, H Watts 11.
OXFORDSHIRE Under 25s take on Middlesex in the White Rose Trophy National Two Fours competition first round at Kidlington on Sunday (10.30am).
Oxfordshire Under 25s: S Watts, C Gilkes, D May, G May; D Wakeman, R Full, S Cooper, G Schwab. Res: D Swanson, J Woodward.
OXFORDSHIRE BA went down 123-98 to Northamptonshire in their opening friendly of the season at Brackley.
Northamptonshire 123, Oxfordshire 98 (Oxon rinks scores): C Lewis, L Eltringham, M Jones, A Ley lost 18-17; P Demczack, P Brittin, J McGeough, B Gilkes lost 21-20; V Webb, J Timms, B Bloomfield, M Andrew lost 20-15; A Fleming, J Stephens, R Slater, M Petersen won 19-15; R Jackson, B Flitter, G Weedon, I Whelpton lost 28-12; M Cameron, M Oliver, A Hall, M Brain lost 21-15.
OXFORDSHIRE Ladies beat Gloucestershire 133-101 in the Middle England League at Banbury Borough.
Oxfordshire 149 (11pts), Gloucestershire 79 (6) (Oxon skips first): W Cross 17, J Ind 21; S Rogers 28, S Osborne 10; B Havard 27, S Blackwell 17; C Campion 17, L Hamer 21; K Hawes 30, J Howes 11; C Penson 14, G Fry 21.
Oxfordshire crashed to a 149-79 defeat against Hertfordshire in a friendly at Tring.
Hertfordshire 149, Oxfordshire 79 (Herts skips first): S Page 13, W Cross 17; E Spence 19, C Penson 17; R Avery 29, P Ostler 9; D Pratt 39, J Berry 6; M Snell 21, S Rogers 16; S Maynard 28, D Jacob 14.
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