OXFORDSHIRE recovered from a slow start to beat Gloucestershire 121-113 in their second Middleton Cup trial.

Playing at Kidlington, the home side trailed by ten shots after five ends.

They failed to improve the situation by the tenth end, before fighting back.

Baden Sparkes’s rink enjoyed the biggest margin of victory, while Chris Gilkes’s men won by five shots.

A final flurry proved key, as Shane Cooper won the last end to pinch a one-shot success, while the rinks of David Leighfield and Ray Gaskins took the final two ends to finish level.

Paul Sharman’s quartet suffered the only defeat, but they limited their losses to ensure Oxfordshire came out on top.

Oxfordshire 121, Gloucestershire 113

Rink 1: J Justin, P Skidmore, K Alder & B Sparkes won 26-14.

Rink 2: J Bland, O Bennett, A McIntyre & D Leighfield drew 18-18.

Rink 3: J Abercrombie, B Bloomfield, L Young & P Sharman lost 16-26.

Rink 4: S Watts, J Gaskins, R Clanfield, C Gilkes won 25-20.

Rink 5: B May, C Weller, A J Docherty & R Gaskins drew 18-18.

Rink 6: M Jeffs, K Holloway, W Campion & S Cooper won 18-17.

Oxon warmed up for the Gloucestershire match with a thumping 146-87 friendly victory at home to Northamptonshire.

County president Michael Morris hosted the fixture at Banbury Borough and they quickly took charge.

After establishing an early lead, they never looked troubled on the way to a 59-shot triumph.

Brian Clarke’s quartet were 14 shots up after ten ends and went on to record the biggest margin of victory.

Oxfordshire 146, Northamptonshire 87

Rink 1: B Willoughby, J Timms, B Ray & P Robbins won 26-12.

Rink 2: M Oliver, J Hurren, K Williams & B Bloomfield won 25-11.

Rink 3: C Lewis, J Stephens, K Buckle & C Cox won 30-17.

Rink 4: P Demczak, J McGeough, J Benfield & M Morris lost 14-19.

Rink 5: P Hickman, N Hambridge, J Lucas & A Ley won 21-17.

Rink 6: R Radband, P Warner, R Barnett & B Clarke won 30-11.

Meanwhile, Oxfordshire Ladies lost out to Wiltshire in a friendly at Highworth BC.

Oxfordshire 101, Wiltshire 123

(Oxon skips first)

Rink 1: C Gaskins 19, S Bird 17.

Rink 2: W Cross 17, M Annetts 25.

Rink 3: C Galletly 28, C Coombs 5.

Rink 4: J Berry 9, B Lilley 25.

Rink 5: C Penson 16, B Land 18.

Rink 6: B Havard 10, J Rowe 35.