Oxfordshire booked their place in the last eight of the Middleton Cup – but did not have things all their own way against the Isle of Wight.

Needing to beat a side propping up the South Section A table with two successive defeats, Oxfordshire looked set for a smooth passage when they led on all six rinks after five ends.

But their rivals refused to go down without a real battle.

Despite seeing Oxon, who boasted a 100 per cent record going into the match at Kidlington BC, lead by ten shots after 11 ends, the visitors gradually started to reduce the deficit.

Although Oxfordshire ended up winning 130-114

(4½-1½), three of their four victories were by no more than four shots.

Only the rink skipped by Baden Sparkes were able to relax, running out 29-15 victors.

Ray Gaskins’s four triumphed 23-19, Paul Sharman’s team won 23-20, while just one point separated David Leighfield’s side in a 23-22 thriller.

Chris Gilkes drew 17-17, with Oxon’s sole defeat coming when AJ Docherty’s side went down 21-15.

Oxfordshire now go through to play Kent on Saturday, July 20 at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Oxon 130 (19pts), Isle of Wight 102 (3)

Rink 1: S Watts, J Gaskins, R Clanfield & C Gilkes drew 17-17.

Rink 2: A Kemish, O Bennett, W Campion & D Leighfield won 23-22.

Rink 3: B Squires, A McIntyre, S Cooper & P Sharman won 23-20.

Rink 4: J Abercrombie, K Holloway, M Sykes & AJ Docherty lost 21-15.

Rink 5: J Bland, L Young, P Comley & R Gaskins won 23-19.

Rink 6: J Justin, P Skidmore, K Alder & B Sparkes won 29-15.

Oxfordshire continued their fine form in friendly matches when beating Warwickshire 120-114 at Lillington BC.

Six-game badges were awarded to Witney Town’s Phil Warner and Watlington’s David Byers.

Warwickshire 114, Oxfordshire 120

Rink 1: C Lewis, R Oliver, A Fleming & I Whelpton won 20-16.

Rink 2: D Byers, R Radband, J Lucas & R Barnett won 22-19.

Rink 3: C Haley, J Timms, K Williams & M Andrew won 24-21.

Rink 4: P Demczak, J Hurren, P Warner & M Morris lost 18-14.

Rink 5: A Hunt, B Ealey, K Buckle & A Ley lost 26-16

Rink 6: P Hickman, D Lafford, B Clarke & B Bloomfield won 24-14.

Oxfordshire Under 25s saw both their teams in the White Rose competition bow out after their first matches.

The ‘yellow’ side of Sam Watts, Joe Justin, Bradley Squires and Orren Bennett went down 14-8 against Surrey Sharks.

And the ‘blue’ team made up of Jonathan Dadson, Dan Swanson, Harvey Alder and skip Jamie Wilkinson lost

17-12 to Kent Hop Pickers.

Women's action

Carole Galletly, Pam Shepherd and Caroline Campion had double reason to celebrate after qualifying for the national finals on two fronts.

The Banbury Central members progressed in the triples, with Sue Mayo, Jacky Gray and Jeanette Berry (Oxford City & County) also booking their place at Leamington Spa.

The trio then joined forces with Helen Young to reach the fours finals, where they will be joining Karen Galloway, Carol Gaskins, Donna Knight and Katherine Hawes (Oxford City & County).

Gray, Mayo and Gaskins, skipped by Berry, will also represent the county in the senior fours final, after a tense one-shot win over the Long Hanborough team of Margaret Haley, Anne Hale, Val Wakefield and Pauline Williams.

Oxfordshre’s women recorded back-to-back wins in their matches against Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

They saw off Bedfordshire 119-75 at Oxford City and County, before beating Bucks 112-102 at Thame.

Oxfordshire 119, Bedfordshire 75

Rink 1: J Lynch, S Reid, P Williams & P Ray won 17-12.

Rink 2: J Gore, M Hale, L Kemish, W Cross lost 15-21.

Rink 3: C Walker, S Grindrod, C Thornhill & C Bloomfield drew 16-16.

Rink 4: K Bland, P Willoughby, H Kingsley & J Berry won 30-5.

Rink 5: J Gray, P Hunt, M Osborne & C Penson won 22-9.

Rink 6: S Mayo, R Phelps, S Blackmore & B Havard won 19-12.

Oxfordshire 112, Bucks 102

Rink 1: M Morris, S Wase, J Banton & W Cross won 23-16.

Rink 2: K Bland, J Williams, P Shepherd & B Havard won 24-11.

Rink 3: C Purnell, B Singh, M Osborne & C Thornhill lost 11-32.

Rink 4: M Stacey, H Kingsley, D Penn & J Berry won 21-12.

Rink 5: J Stafford, E Brown, M Cox & C Bloomfield lost 15-16.

Rink 6: V Bindon, V Bennett, P Faulkner & C Penson won 18-15.