Oxfordshire crushed much-fancied Kent 131-97 at Oxford City & County to storm into the Middleton Cup quarter-finals for the second successive season.

Oxon went into the Group 2 Section B (South) game as underdogs and probably third favourites to qualify behind Kent and Middlesex, who played the Isle of Wight.

But the players rose to the occasion to lead their illustrious visitors all the way and rack up a 20-2 points win, which secures a last-eight tie against neighbours Berkshire at Chesham on Saturday, July 20. It wasn’t all plain sailing though.

Mark Sykes’s four of AJ Docherty, George Schwab and Richard Redford together with captain Alan Prew’s side of Keith Holloway, Ian Henwood and Nathan Lewis went behind early on.

But they showed great fortitude to fight back, with Sykes beating skip Pat Briscoe 22-14 and Prew edging past Paul Barnicott 25-22 after being 17-10 down.

Calvin Carpenter’s side of Jon Philpott and brothers David and Robbie Clanfield were nip and tuck throughout against Ken Weyand, but lost out 21-17.

Mark Charlett’s four of Mick Nash, Gary May and Jason King won their last four ends to see off Shaun McCaughan 24-17.

Ian Snowdon’s young team of Dean May, Remy Clanfield and Shaun Claridge came through a stern test to triumph 18-15 against Duncan Hanmore.

Paul Sharman’s four of Lee Young, Andy Martin and Barry Lambourne led Jamie Dunn from the outset.

They opened up a lead which gave their teammates some breathing space and ended up Oxon’s biggest winners with a 25-8 success.

Manager Steve Gilkes said: “The team was superb in its approach and application, and came away with a great victory.”

Oxfordshire 131 (20pts), Kent 97 (2)

(Oxon rinks first)

Rink 1: AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes 22, A Boatwright, C Goldsmith, J Vane, P Briscoe 14.

Rink 2: J Philpott, D Clanfield, Ro Clanfield, C Carpenter 17, P Farthing, T Monk, M Arnold, K Weyand 21.

Rink 3: M Nash, G May, J King, M Charlett 24, P Foster, M Goord, M Cheesman, S McCaughan 17.

Rink 4: L Young, A Martin, B Lambourne, P Sharman 25, D King, A Morton, C Smith, J Dunn 8.

Rink 5: D May, Re Clanfield, S Claridge, I Snowdon 18, M Goldacre, S Whiting, S Savage, D Hanmore 15.

Rink 6: K Holloway, I Henwood, N Lewis, A Prew 25, D Mason, L King, R Kendrick, P Barnicott 22.