OXFORDSHIRE’S fast start made the difference as they began 2020 with victory over Staffordshire.

The 20-16 home win in Division 1 of the BDO Inter-Counties Championship owed much to the 5-1 triumph from the ladies’ B team.

Staffordshire took the first game, but Oxfordshire hit back to win through Cath Birch, lady of the match Nicola Curzon, Caroline Caldicott, Babs Manning and Cali Birch.

The momentum carried on into the men’s B encounter, where Mark Laverack produced a man-of-the-match display in the opener.

But overall it was a disappointing clash, as Staffordshire clawed back the deficit.

Darren Hammond, Pete Smith and Rob Adnams were the only other Oxon winners in an 8-4 defeat which left the teams level at 9-9 overnight.

The teams still could not be separated after the ladies’ A match, which finished 3-3.

Lady of the match Kim Ledbury, Gina Freshwater and Jaine Telling were on target for the hosts.

The match was on a knife-edge, but Oxfordshire seized control of the decisive men’s A match-up.

They took the first three points via Kevin Lowe, man of the match Simon Tricker and Pete Hall.

Simon Key got another point on the board, while Sean Holley had a great display winning 4-0.

Ade Larner, Preben Krabben and Lennon Cradock finished the job to secure a victory which eased the side away from the relegation zone.

Oxfordshire’s next fixture is away to West Midlands on February 8/9.