Oxfordshire slipped to a 116-109 defeat against Northamptonshire in their first Middleton Cup trial game at Roade BC.

Oxon won on three of the six rinks and lost narrowly on two of the others.

But a 22-12 reverse for Mark Charlett’s four of Lee Young, Gary May and Jason King tilted the match in Northants’ favour.

Mark Sykes’s side of Robert Turley, Will Campion and Paul Sharman finished strongly to win 22-19, while Baden Sparkes’s rink of Chris Miles, Mike Petersen and Robert Clanfield triumphed 19-16.

Craig Nicoll’s quartet of Dean May, Ian Henwood and Shaun Claridge provided Oxon’s other success with a 20-18 victory.

Northamptonshire 116, Oxfordshire 109 (Northants skips first): P Reeve 18, C Nicoll 20; R Tansley 24, R Redford 22; D Childs 16, B Sparkes 19; A Manton 17, N Rae-Welsh 14; J Haines 22, M Charlett 12; V Geary 19, M Sykes 22.

Oxon face Gloucestershire in their second trial game at Banbury Central on Saturday (2pm).

Oxfordshire (v Gloucestershire): S Muir, R Clanfield, B Sparkes, M Charlett; J Philpott, R Redford, N Rae-Welsh, Gr Moon; A Wise, P Sharman, S Richens, A Prew; D May, N Lewis, C Nicoll, H Watts; K Holloway, I Henwood, S Claridge, I Snowdon; AJ Docherty, Ge Moon, B Lambourne, M Sykes.

BICESTER’S Allan Hall was awarded his 50-game badge as Oxon beat London and Southern Counties 142-95 in a friendly at South Oxford.

Oxfordshire 142, London & Southern Counties 95 (Oxon rink scores): M Clarke, H West, S Gilkes, M Workman won 27-12; P Brittin, H Payne, J Eatwell, I Whelpton won 33-18; R Jackson, L Eltringham, A Hunt, D Allin won 19-16; B Bloomfield, A Perona, M Pitman, J O’Shea won 23-13; C Lewis, M Collison, D Bullock, A Ley won 22-12; S Tolhurst, O Sharif, A Hall, H Winstone lost 24-18.

OXFORDSHIRE Under 25s went down 72-70 in their opening Home Counties Junior League game against Berkshire at Kidlington.

Oxon Under 25s 70 (6pts), Berkshire 72 (8) (Oxon rink scores): W Soden, R Full, L Wilkinson, G Schwab won 20-12; S Watts, J Woodward, C Gilkes, S Cooper won 19-15; D Wakeman, H Alder, C Skidmore, Re Clanfield lost 26-6; J Hopkins, J Wilkinson, D May, G May won 25-19.