Oxfordshire need a miracle to avoid the drop from the BDO Inter-Counties Championship Premier Division after they went down 27-12 to second-placed Lancashire in Wigan over the weeklend.
Bottom-of-the-table Oxon must now defeat relegation rivals Glamorgan at home in their final fixture at the end of May and hope other results go their way.
Four counties are still in danger – Cheshire, Glamorgan and Gwent are the others – but Oxon need a big victory to avoid being one of the two to drop down to Division 1.
It would end a two-year stay in the top flight.
Ironically, they could be relegated despite their ladies A team finishing top of their section, strengthening their position with a 5-1 victory on Sunday.
The B teams took centre stage the previous day, with Oxon ladies B losing 4-2. Their wins came from Cali Birch and Shirley Castle.
The men’s B were outplayed by a strong Lancashire squad, who have more than 500 super league players to pick from.
Geordie Grant and Antony Barrett were the only Oxon players to win as the home county triumphed 10-2 to lead 14-4 after day one.
Oxon’s table-topping ladies A side gave their county some hope with a stunning 5-1 success thanks to victories from Sandra Cox, Casey Gallagher, Rebecca Rose, Kim Ledbury and Deta Hedman.
Tasha Borton put up a great fight before losing out to reigning world champion Lisa Aston.
The team are equal top of their section with Glamorgan and the champions will be decided in the clash of the teams in the final fixture.
With the score now a more respectable 15-9, all hope rested on the men’s A team, but they were outgunned 9-3.
Many of the games were closer than the scoreline suggests, with five of them going to seven legs, but all in Lancashire’s favour.
Preben Krabben, Brendan Kearns and Dennis Smith were Oxon’s victors.