Manager Steve Gilkes believes Oxfordshire’s team spirit can help them claim victory against Berkshire in their Middleton Cup quarter-final at Chesham on Saturday.

Gilkes says Oxon are again underdogs, as he did in their final Group 2 Section B (South) game against Kent, which they won in terrific fashion 131-97 to reach the last eight.

But he feels that his unchanged team has what it takes to rise to the occasion and reach the last four at Worthing next month.

Berkshire include current internationals Andrew Knapper and BJ Byles, and although Rob Newman is unavailable, they also have players who have won the Balcomb Trophy (national fours double rink) in recent times.

And Gilkes said: “Again, as with Kent, we go into the game as underdogs, but with great belief and team spirit which will hopefully see us through.

“We lost out to Devon by two shots at the same stage last year and now have to put the experience picked up in that game to good use.

“If we put everything together then it is possible that we can cause another upset and qualify for Worthing.”

Oxfordshire: AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes; J Philpott, D Clanfield, Ro Clanfield, C Carpenter; M Nash, G May, J King, M Charlett; L Young, A Martin, B Lambourne, P Sharman; D May, Re Clanfield, S Claridge, I Snowdon; K Holloway, I Henwood, N Lewis, A Prew.

OXFORDSHIRE were unable to match Cambridgeshire’s stronger finish as they went down 129-122 in a friendly at City of Ely.

Cambridgeshire 129, Oxfordshire 122 (Oxon rinks scores): S Tolhurst, D Steel, A Hall, M Brain lost 33-14; M Clarke, M Jones, H Payne, M Andrew lost 22-17; J Stephens, T Gripe, J McGeough, A Lay lost 27-15; P Demczak, B Jarvie, C Weller, I Whelpton won 29-8; B Bloomfield, B Allin, J Lucas, J O’Shea won 25-20; B Willoughby, P Christmas, R Slater, M Petersen won 22-19.