Oxfordshire's Middleton Cup fate is back in their own hands after a hard-fought 123-114 victory against group leaders Hampshire at Atherley BC, Southampton.

Needing to win the Group 2 Section B (South) clash to stay in contention for a quarter-final place, Oxon took the points 16-6.

Now 15 points from their Saturday, July 6 shoot-out with Kent – who eclipsed Middlesex 20-2 – at Oxford City & County will see Oxfordshire through to the last eight.

The match at Atherley got under way 20 minutes late after Oxon players were held up by an accident en route.

But Mark Sykes’s side of AJ Docherty, George Schwab and Richard Redford quickly opened up a 10-1 lead over skip Leo May at five ends.

The second quarter saw Oxon 18 shots ahead with Alan Prew’s four of Keith Holloway, Ian Henwood and Nathan Lewis taking a commanding lead over Jim Marsland.

But Hampshire hit back to lie within two shots at 15 ends as Chris Daniels extended his lead to 11 shots over Mark Charlett’s rink of Mick Nash, Gary May and Jason King.

During the final six ends, Hampshire edged in front. Calvin Carpenter’s four of Jon Philpott, Mike Petersen and Robbie Clanfield lost 22-18.

A five on the 20th end saw Ian Snowdon’s side of Dean May, Remy Clanfield and Shaun Claridge reduce their deficit in a 23-19 defeat.

But Sykes and Prew posted 23-17 and 25-17 wins respectively.

Charlett’s four picked up two threes on the last two ends as they went down 23-16 to leave Oxon four in front with just Paul Sharman’s side of Lee Young, Andy Martin and Barry Lambourne to finish.

And they signed off in style with a five for a 22-12 win to clinch Oxon’s victory.

Hampshire 114 (6pts), Oxfordshire 123 (16)

(Hampshire rinks first)

Rink 1: D Taylor, B Starks, J Biggs, R Morgan 22, J Philpott, M Petersen, Ro Clanfield, C Carpenter 22.

Rink 2: J Leggett, A Nixon, C Thresher, R Shelley 12, L Young, A Martin, B Lambourne, P Sharman 22.

Rink 3: M Aldrew, P Cook, G Starks, M Marchant 23, D May, Re Clanfield, S Claridge, I Snowdon 19.

Rink 4: S Rowney, N Durman, C Rawley, L May 17, AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes 23.

Rink 5: K Downs, D Payne, M Hutley, C Daniels 23, M Nash, G May, J King, M Charlett 16.

Rink 6: K Phillips, C Taylor, C Cranham, J Marsland 17, K Holloway, I Henwood, N Lewis, A Prew 25.

OXON suffered their second successive defeat in the Home Counties League when they lost by 11 shots to Sussex at Popesmead BC, Brighton.

Banbury Borough's Richard Redford and Oxford City & County's veteran campaigner, Alan Ley were Oxon’s winning skips in the 18-4 points defeat.