OXFORDSHIRE’S Middleton Cup dream is over.

A 128-98 defeat against Kent in their quarter-final clash at Egham BC denied them a place in the last four at Leamington Spa next month.

Naming the same 24 players who featured in the previous three wins, and with success over their rivals in the Home Counties League seven days earlier, Oxfordshire’s hopes were high.

However, the writing was on the wall after just five ends, with Kent racing into a 27-shot lead – two Oxfordshire rinks failing to have mustered a point.

Try as they might, Oxon were unable to reduce the deficit, and were 28 behind after 15 ends.

They eventually conceded defeat with five ends unplayed.

David Leighfield led his team to Oxfordshire’s only win of the day.

The rinks of Ray Gaskins and Chris Gilkes finished without completing the 21st end and both shared the spoils.

A 50-game badge was awarded to Shiplake’s Jim Bland.

Oxfordshire 98, Kent 128

Rink 1: J Bland, L Young, P Comley & R Gaskins drew 15-15.

Rink 2: J Justin, P Skidmore, K Alder & B Sparkes lost 25-10.

Rink 3: J Abercrombie, K Holloway, M Sykes & A J Docherty lost 24-12.

Rink 4: A Kemish, O Bennett, W Campion & D Leighfield won 25-18.

Rink 5: B Squires, A McIntyre, S Cooper & P Sharman lost 21-15.

Rink 6: S Watts, J Gaskins, R Clanfield & C Gilkes drew 21-21.

  • NIGEL Siford and Paul Skidmore booked their place in the national finals at Leamington for the first time after an exciting victory in the county men’s pairs at Carterton BC.

The West Witney duo led Watlington’s Will Soden and Chris Gilkes 14-5 after eight ends, a lead that was reduced to 15-13 after 13.

However, a tense finish saw Siford and Skidmore hold their nerve to record a 23-19 success.

They will be joined by clubmates Andy McIntyre and David Leighfield, who saw off Headington’s Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett 20-19 in a thrilling clash.

Headington’s Nick Rae-Welsh booked his place in the singles finals with a 21-14 win over Banbury Central’s Lee Young.

Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway is also through after a tense 21-19 success over Banbury Central’s Will Campion.

Sam Watts, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett beat Headington clubmates Jon Philpott, Ray Gaskins, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts 24-9 to seal their place at Leamington.

They will be joined by the Banbury Borough side of Keith Holloway, Alan Prew, Mark Sykes and A.J. Docherty, who saw off West Witney’s Bradley Squires, Harvey Alder, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder 24-10.

  • DONNA Knight and Katherine Hawes (Oxford City & County) as well as Carole Galletly and Caroline Campion (Banbury Central) have qualified for the national ladies pairs.

They will be joined by Claire Soden (Watlington) and Jazz Alder (West Witney) who have won through in the under 25 pairs competition.

The duo defeated Emma Dixon and Zoe Pratley by three shots in the final at Thame BC.

  • OXFORDSHIRE’S ladies lost 108-90 against Surrey in a friendly match at Witney Town.

Oxfordshire 90, Surrey 108

Rink 1: S Grindrod, P Willoughby, D Lynch & B Havard lost 19-12.

Rink 2: C Walker, B Singh, H Oliver & J Berry won 14-11.

Rink 3: M Stacey, M Hale, P Faulkner & C Penson lost 23-11.

Rink 4: M Morris, J Banton, S Blackmore & C Thornhill won 21-20.

Rink 5: A Hale, J Williams, M Cox & W Sandy lost 20-15.

Rink 6: J Stafford, L Cooper, P Shepherd & C Bloomfield won 17-15.