HOLDERS Oracle are safely through to the next round of the Oxford & District Threes Competition after a 4-1 win over Democrats Club 4-1, writes PETE EWINS.

Mark Trafford, who has just reached the semi-final of the world championships, got them off to a flier at Gladiators Club, playing out the table with 24,550.

Pauline Withey (4,460) then made it 2-0, before Billy Hill reduced the deficit with a narrow 5,810-5,630 success over Ian Gordon.

But Oracle’s smooth passage was then assured by Trafford (12,250) and Withey (5,470).

Donnington Club are also through after a 6-0 win against Berinsfield at Vikings Club.

Dennis Atkins (5,600 & 5,360), Ian Moquet (10,120 & 6,980) and Jenny Florey were all on song with double wins.