OXFORDSHIRE suffered a second successive Middleton Cup Trial defeat when they were beaten 136-105 by Gloucestershire at Barnwood BC, Gloucester.

Having lost 117-105 at home to Northants, Oxon were looking for a confidence-booster ahead of their opening cup game against Hampshire at Oxford City & County on Saturday, June 2.

But Baden Sparkes’s side of Robbie Clanfield, Will Campion and Rob Pink provided Oxon’s only win with a 21-18 success against skip David Hollis.

Gloucestershire 136, Oxfordshire 105 (Gloucs skips first): P Bryant 22, M Sykes 20; D Hollis 18, B Sparkes 21; J Roach 22, M Charlett 17; L Williamson 27, P Sharman 16; K Hidder 20, A Prew 17; R Griffiths 27, C Nicoll 14.

  • OXFORDSHIRE pipped Surrey 38-36 in the Balcomb Trophy first round at Egham BC.

Mark Sykes’s side beat skip Graham Vigor 18-15 on one rink in the national county two fours competition.

And although Howard Watts’s four were pipped 21-20 by Ian Honnor, it was enough for Oxon to edge through to the regional finals on June 24.

  • COUNTY secretary Steve Tolhurst was awarded his 100-game badge as Oxfordshire were pipped 98-97 by Northamptonshire in a friendly reduced to 18 ends by bad weather at Kislingbury BC.

Oxford City and County president Paul Demczak was handed a colts badge.

Northamptonshire 98, Oxfordshire 97 (Oxon rink scores): A Hunt, L Eltringham, A Hall, A Ley won 18-8; B Bloomfield, D Piper, H Franklin, R Claridge lost 22-9; M Clarke, M Collison, R Bull, D Allin won 15-11; A Melville, P Demczak, J Lucas, I Whelpton won 23-15; S Tolhurst, L Lewis, M Brain, M Andrew lost 24-14; G Hooker, B Allin, J McGeough, B Gilkes drew 18-18.

  • TEAMS from Oxford City & County and Banbury Central will represent Oxfordshire in the women’s National Fours Championship at Leamington Spa in August.

City & County’s Katherine Hawes, Myra Lewis, Donna Knight and Gail Gilkes booked their place with a 24-7 victory over clubmates Sue Mayo, Hazel Woodward, Jeanette Berry and Sue Lacey in the semi-finals at Thame.

And Central’s Caroline Campion, Carole Galletly, Helen Young and Stella Amos qualified by beating clubmates Pam Shepherd, Pauline Wilson, Gill Sharpe and Brenda Havard 21-11 in the last four.

Quarter-finals: B Havard (Banbury Central) bt J Lovegrove (Oxford City & County) 23-8, C Campion (Banbury Central) bt P Clarke (Woodstock) 24-16, K Hawes (Oxford City & County) bt A Ives (Banbury Borough) 21-12, S Lacey (Oxford City & County) bt S Crocker (Oxford Sports) 20-11.

Meanwhile, Hawes, Knight and Galletly take part in England trials at Norgren BC, Shipston-on-Stour, on Sunday.

  • OXFORDSHIRE Ladies lost 131-91 to Hertfordshire in a friendly at Tring BC.

Pat Ostler skipped Oxon’s only winning rink.

Hertfordshire 131, Oxfordshire 91 (Herts skips first): D Barrett 19, S Lacey 18; S Brackley 25, J Berry 12; S Page 17, P Ostler 23; B Albrecht 17, C Penson 16; M Hendry 31, D Penn 14; M Pearce 22, D Jacob 8.