Caroline Jones has ended a remarkable era as Oxfordshire's women's captain by announcing her resignation after 12 years in the job.

Jones could not save her side from relegation back into Group 2 at County Week last week, but had already told her teammates that she was stepping down before the outcome was known.

She will be replaced by Abingdon's Lucy Collinson.

"I have had a brilliant time, but it's just time to move on and let somebody else have a go," Jones said.

"I'm not retiring though - just resigning as captain."

The highlight of Jones's era in charge was leading Oxon into Group 1 at Eastbourne for the first time in the county's history in 2001.

They have been relegated and promoted every year since then, and Jones has made no secret of the fact Oxon need more youth in their side.

"Lucy is going to take over as captain, and she will be excellent," she said.

"She is young, lives in the county and is a very good player.

"She has had a brilliant week and deserves the job."

Her role as captain, however, should not be under- estimated.

Year after year she has managed to get a superb team spirit among the Oxfordshire camp, while still producing high-quality tennis of her own.

After taking over from her mother, Angela Billingham, Jones has been the driving force behind the county's success.

Between them, the duo have captained Oxfordshire for the past 25 years.

"I have loved every minute of the time in Group 1," she said.

"I told the team I was stepping down before this week, so it wasn't a reaction because we went down.

"It's just time to move on."

Jones paid tribute to her team who battled so bravely last week, but in particular to one rising star.

"Amanda Carreras was brilliant," she said.

"For someone who is just 15, she has this natural instinct and her volleying was sensational.

"She is going to be a star, and if we can keep her in the team that will stand us in very good stead for the future."