Oxfordshire face an uphill task to progress in the Middleton Cup after losing their opening match 115-109 against Middlesex at Oxford City & County.
Too many of the Oxon team failed to show anywhere near their best form as they lost out on points 18-4 in the South Group Section B clash.
Captain Alan Prew and Carterton clubmate Paul Sharman guided their rinks to victory by 22 and four shots respectively over Phil Sutcliffe and Norman Worley.
However, Oxon’s four other rinks all lost. Despite being below par, Oxfordshire led 58-44 at ten ends with Prew, Sharman and the third Carterton skip, Baden Sparkes, all opening up leads.
But it was the third quarter of the game that made the difference with Middlesex picking up 41 shots to Oxon’s 18.
They dominated the home team in terms of general play, and with conversion shots all seemingly getting premium results, they went into the final ends with a lead that they held on to despite an Oxfordshire rally.
Sam Watts made a solid debut, but was unable to stop Oxon sliding to defeat
Sparkes was unlucky to lose 19-18 to Perry Cook, but the rinks of Mark Charlett, Ian Snowdon and Mark Sykes could not make an impression and all lost out by greater margins.
Sam Watts, of Watlington, making his debut at this level, had a good game at lead in Charlett’s four, who were beaten 24-12 by Ron Leleux.
And West Witney’s Kevin Alder, picking up his third game flash, also played well at No 2 in Snowdon’s side, who lost 19-12 to Paul Fuller.
Nevertheless, massive all-round improvement is needed if Oxfordshire are to match the last two years and qualify for the quarter-finals.
They now have away games to come at Isle of Wight and Kent, and just one at home against Hampshire.
Oxfordshire 109 (4pts), Middlesex 115 (18)
(Oxon rinks first)
Rink 1: K Holloway, I Henwood, C Carpenter, A Prew 32, P Reynolds, A Frankland, B Elbourn, P Sutcliffe 10.
Rink 2: S Watts, G May, J King, M Charlett 12, R Watkinson, M Larmon, P Cater, R Leleux 24.
Rink 3: L Young, S Cooper, B Lambourne, P Sharman 23, G Adams, J Carey, J Sweeney, N Worley 19.
Rink 4: R Pink, Re Clanfield, C Whitehead, B Sparkes 18, R Fortune, T Brooks, R Hackwell, P Cook 19.
Rink 5: D May, K Alder, N Lewis, I Snowdon 12, J Little, A Tanner, T Bracallello, P Fuller 19.
Rink 6: AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Red-ford, M Sykes 12, C Cleaver, D Pitt, I Rudston, T Aller 24.
OXFORDSHIRE BA were pipped 128-126 by Somerset in a friendly at West Backwell BC, Bristol.
Oxon shared the rink wins, but Somerset edged home.
Somerset 128, Oxon 126 (Oxon rink scores): P Demczack, M Oliver, R Bull, A Ley won 22-19; M Jones, T Beaumont, D Wedge, I Whelpton won 27-16; S Tolhurst, P Brittin, H Franklin, J Lucas lost 18-13; B Jarvie, A Fleming, B Bloomfield, D Allin lost 27-22; M Cameron, A Melville, R Slater, J O’Shea lost 28-17; C Haley, P Monahan, B Willoughby, A Hall won 25-20.
10:40am Wednesday 29th July 2015
Eddie Pepperell hosted some of the region’s top young golfers at Frilford Heath in what the European Tour player intends to be just the start of helping to encourage the next generation.
10:33am Wednesday 29th July 2015
CHRIS Allen believes there will be Oxford United players who will be unfortunate to miss out in the first XI when the season starts next month after overseeing a 4-0 win at Thame United last night.
9:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
PATRICK Hoban scored twice as Oxford United eased past Thame United 4-0 in a pre-season friendly at the ASM Stadium.
8:10am Wednesday 29th July 2015
Triple jumper Nathan Douglas says his omission from the Great Britain team for next month’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing did not come as a surprise.
8:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
ASHLEY Rump’s brilliant century for struggling Charlbury proved in vain as they lost by 82 runs at Westbury in Division 1.
8:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
Thame Town marched on at the top to maintain their Division 1 title charge with a crushing nine-wicket victory at home to Twyford on Saturday.
6:20am Wednesday 29th July 2015
CRAIG Greenough’s 15-doll haul was not enough for Garsington Sports A as they lost 3-0 at home to New Club A, writes ANDY BEAL.
6:10am Wednesday 29th July 2015
ROSE Hill Club A crashed to a 2-1 defeat against Kennington Social Club to lose top spot in Section 2.
6:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
FORMER Witney captain Jez Hicks admits he will miss playing for his hometown club, but says it is the right time to hang up his boots, writes Jack Johnson.
9:30am Tuesday 28th July 2015
Michael Appleton believes it is highly unlikely Oxford United will add to their squad before the start of the season.