Oxfordshire kept their Middleton Cup hopes alive with a 121-110 win over the Isle of Wight at Shanklin.
The 15-7 points victory means that Oxon are still in with an outside chance of qualifying from South Group Section B.
But, with Hampshire, who Oxfordshire entertain at Oxford City & County on Saturday, running riot with a 60-shot win over Kent, the south coast are hot favourites for top spot.
At five ends, Oxon led by 20 shots, with four rinks opening up leads.
By ten ends the Islanders had closed to 12, but with Ian Snowdon’s rink dominating play and the fours of Mark Sykes and Alan Prew also leading, Oxfordshire still looked in a comfortable position.
However, a mixture of good play and good fortune saw the Isle of Wight push Oxon all the way with five of the six rinks settled by two shots or less.
Oxon’s Paul Sharman led early on, but his opposite number, John Crews, came back to win by 17-16.
Mark Charlett and Baden Sparkes’s rinks rallied well to draw 17-17 and lose 18-17 respectively, having held ‘game’ before the final bowls.
A seven and four picked up on consecutive ends saw Darren Griffith overtake Prew, who went down 22-20.
On the end rink, Snowdon’s four were pegged back and went into the last end a shot behind, but a great opening bowl from Dean May and a drawn second shot from the Oxon skip with the game’s final bowl secured a 24-23 victory.
Sykes’s rink of AJ Docherty, George Schwab and Richard Redford stayed in front throughout to win 27-13. Captain Alan Prew is unavailable for Saturday’s clash with Hampshire, so vice-captain Keith Holloway leads the team.
Calvin Carpenter skips in place of Prew, and Carterton’s Stuart Richens plays at No 3 in his first Middleton Cup game since 2011.
Witney Mills’s Chris Weller makes his debut at No 2 on Sparkes’s rink, replacing Remy Clanfield.
Isle of Wight 110 (7pts), Oxon 121 (15)
(Isle of Wight rinks first)
Rink 1: B Davies, R Smith, M Butchers, J Crews 17, L Young, S Cooper, B Lambourne, P Sharman 16.
Rink 2: J Wilkins, B Price, P Furmidge, D Griffith 22, K Holloway, I Henwood, C Carpenter, A Prew 20.
Rink 3: S New, P Knight, J Pearce, A Cawdell 18, R Pink, Re Clanfield, C Whitehead, B Sparkes 17.
Rink 4: R Hayes, J Marsh, T Lloyd, T Meller 17, S Watts, G May, J King, M Charlett 17.
Rink 5: M Cox, C New, S Hamblin, K Beckett 13, AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes 27.
Rink 6: B Bridgeman, G Day, D Gustar, A Best 23, D May, K Alder, N Lewis, I Snowdon 24.
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.
6:20am Saturday 25th April 2015
FORUM I turned league standings on their head by beating Oxford & District Association Division 2 champions Vikings B to lift the Aubrey Hughes Handicap Shield at the Gladiators Club.