OXFORDSHIRE plunged to 54 all out in their second innings to slump to a 166-run defeat on the final day of their Unicorns Counties Championship Western Division clash against Shropshire at Bridgnorth.
Oxon had looked to hold the upper hand at the start of play as Shropshire led by 145 runs with just three wickets remaining.
The hosts’ tailenders frustrated them in adding a further 75 runs.
But, even then, Oxon were left with an eminently achievable target of 221 for victory.
However, they collapsed in spectacular fashion to suffer their third successive Championship defeat of the season.
Their 54 all out off 29.2 overs matched the same total they were dismissed for by Cheshire at Great & Little Tew last year.
However, it isn’t their lowest Championship score as it surpasses the 33 that Oxon were shot out for by Bucks at High Wycombe in 1925.
Oxon actually reached 23 without loss in their run chase before losing their first wicket when Richard Kaufman edged a Ross Aucott delivery to Ben Sanderson in the slips.
Vishane Perera was the only batsman to make double figures with 21.
But when he provided Sanderson with a second catch in the slip cordon, this time off left-arm spinner Gurman Randhawa, it was the first of four wickets to fall for one run.
Lloyd Sabin was trapped lbw by Sanderson’s pace, and Jonny Cater and Hugo Darby were unable to repeat their run-scoring heroics of the first innings as they were bowled by Randhawa and Sanderson respectively.
Francois Vainker was lbw to Randhawa, and Jamie Perkin then had the misfortune of being run out at the bowler’s end as Sanderson directed Chad Keegan’s straight drive on to the stumps.
Lloyd Belcher was stumped by Simon Gregory going down the pitch to Randhawa (4-15), who then caught Keegan in the slips off Aucott.
The procession was complete when Liam Manley was caught behind off Aucott, who finished with 3-15.
Earlier, Shropshire, resuming on 184-7, had been indebted to Tom Weston and Gregory (46), who put on 58 for the eighth wicket off an Oxon attack minus Keegan, who had twisted an ankle.
Left-arm spinners Vainker and Belcher did the majority of the bowling to finish with three wickets apiece.
But then Oxon’s batting demons returned to haunt them.
Latest Sport news
2:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
While Gary Waddock’s time in charge at Oxford United was brief, it produced one clear benefit which has helped the side this season.
1:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
NO further contract talks are expected at Oxford United until the club’s Football League status is secured.
12:04pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxfordshire trainers Charlie Longsdon and Lawney Hill are among the panel at a Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Middleton Cheney Sports & Social Club next Thursday (7pm).
12:00pm Friday 27th February 2015
Oxford United travel to Portsmouth today - catch up on all our preview stories and video of the first league meeting between the sides
11:00am Friday 27th February 2015
GARY Waddock says he feels no bitterness towards Oxford United as he prepares to face the club for the first time since being sacked last summer.
10:52am Friday 27th February 2015
Lonodon Welsh's New Zealand World Cup winning scrum half Piri Weepu has quit London Welsh to join Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps until the end of the season.
9:20am Friday 27th February 2015
MICHAEL Appleton says there is no better place for Oxford United to win this season than Fratton Park – and it has nothing to do with his links to Portsmouth.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
Director of rugby Matt Williams is regretting an oversight that has cost Chinnor a place in the Oxfordshire Cup final.
9:00am Friday 27th February 2015
THERE have been plenty of changes at Oxford United since they visited Fratton Park last season, but few players have undergone a more dramatic change of status in the 18-month gap than Callum O’Dowda.
8:10am Friday 27th February 2015
DANNY Hylton says he has found a system this season which is helping him take penalties with confidence.