OXFORDSHIRE slipped to fifth in Division 1 of the BDO Inter-Counties Championship as they lost 24-15 at home to Cheshire.

The visitors, looking for an instant return to the top flight following relegation, were on the back foot early on.

Oxon’s Ladies’ B side were too strong, coming out with a 4-2 win thanks to Denise Pape, lady of the match Caroline Caldicott, Gina Freshwater and Cath Birch.

That advantage was quickly wiped out, with Cheshire taking the first four matches in the Men’s B contest.

Andrew Quinn stopped the rot, with Stephen Wright and man of the match Pete Smith also on target.

But debutant Graham Earwicker claimed the only other home point in an 8-4 defeat which left Oxon trailing 10-8 overnight.

The home side needed a fast start on Sunday, but instead Cheshire took a decisive grip on proceedings.

Only Kim Ledbury tasted victory in the Ladies’ A battle, where the 5-1 defeat left a mountain to climb.

Needing a miracle in the Men’s A match, Stuart White came out on top 4-3 in the opener.

Kev Lowe, Ade Larner and Terry Wood also chipped in with points, but Cheshire always stayed out of reach.

The highlight in the 6-6 draw came from Sean Holley, who blew his opponent away with five 180s for a fantastic

man-of-the-match display.

Glenn West gained the final point of the weekend, but the visitors had already wrapped up the victory.

Oxfordshire are next back in action on November 30, when they visit Cambridgeshire.