OXFORDSHIRE saved their best to last as they defeated previously unbeaten Berkshire in their final Middleton Cup match of the season at Reading.

The visitors’ 131-123 success scuppered Berkshire’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, with Kent pipping them for top spot in South B by a single point.

The rink wins were shared 3-3, but big victories for Oxon skips Nick Rae-Welsh and Jason King – by 11 and nine shots respectively – ensured they took 16 points to Berkshire’s six.

That put them third in the final table.

The mid-morning start time, due to the World Cup football, did not seem to suit the visitors, who trailed by 13 shots after five ends and 27 after ten.

But with Mark Charlett’s rink finding form, Oxon stormed back to reduce the gap to seven by the 15th end and three rinks later they were ahead.

The Watlington pair of Sam Watts and Shane Cooper were awarded their 20-game badges, while Middleton Cup flashes were awarded to Adi Kemish and Alan Carter.

Berkshire 123 (6pts),

Oxfordshire 131 (16)

(Oxon rink scores)

Rink 1: A Kemish, P Comley, D Leighfield & I Snowdon won 20-18.

Rink 2: A Carter, P Mabbutt, K Alder & B Sparkes lost 22-21.

Rink 3: M Nash, P Robbins, I Henwood & N Rae-Welsh won 27-16.

Rink 4: B Squires, S Aldren, N Lewis & P Sharman lost 27-18.

Rink 5: S Witcombe, W Campion, S Cooper & J King won 25-16.

Rink 6: S Watts, C Weller, P Skidmore & M Charlett lost 24-20.

Oxfordshire triumphed on five rinks as they beat Warwickshire 124-106 in a friendly at Banbury Chestnuts.

All the contests were close affairs, with Oxon’ skip Alan Ley’s securing the biggest win by seven shots.

Oxfordshire 124,

Warwickshire 106

(Oxon rink scores)

Rink 1: B Jarvie, C Haley, J Lucas & I Whelpton won 15-13.

Rink 2: N Hambridge, J Stephens, J Hurren & K Williams won 18-17.

Rink 3: M Jones, E Dorling, K Buckle & P Robbins won 27-22.

Rink 4: S Tolhurst, J Timms, B Ray & B Bloomfield won 22-17.

Rink 5: R Radband, A Fleming, D Wedge & A Ley won 23-16.

Rink 6: P Demczak, N Satchell, J Benfield & M Andrew lost 21-19.