OXFORDSHIRE settled for a draw with Herefordshire despite a late flurry of activity at the end of their rain-blighted clash at Eastnor.

The hosts looked comfortable when Connor Smith (78) and Oliver Rogoff (59) each made their best scores in the Durant Cricket National Counties Championship, and added 83 for the second wicket.

However, the innings quickly unravelled against Oxon off-spinners George Tait and Max Mannering, as the last eight wickets tumbled for 36 in 12 overs. 

Tait finished with five for 38, his maiden five-wicket haul, and Mannering three for 59, which allowed Oxon to earn a first innings lead of 55. 

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Oxon then thrashed 126 inside 18 overs, with Jamie Harrison clobbering five sixes in his 28-ball 43 and Tait three sixes in his 39 from 29 balls, before they declared. 

Tait and Mannering opened the bowling but there was neither time at the end of another interrupted day, for Oxon to take 10 wickets or for Herefordshire to attempt to chase down a target of 182.

The hosts were 58 for two in the 11th over when the sides shook hands.

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Oxon had reached 269 for nine after 69.3 overs before rain halted play on Sunday.

That encounter saw opener Harrison make 52 against his former county, while former Sussex batter Tom Hinley followed up with a maiden Championship half-century.

Herefordshire seamer Roshan Venkataraman then continued his excellent start to the season by taking four for 92 before the rain arrived in the Western Division One match.

On Monday, play was only possible before lunch at Eastnor as Herefordshire wrapped up Oxon’s first innings for 271, then reached 84 for one when rain arrived again, this time during the interval and prevented further play. 

Jujhar Johal was bowled by Tommy Rex for six but his opening partner, Smith, was unbeaten on 49.

In June, Oxon rounded off a dismal NCCA Trophy campaign with a fourth defeat from four against Herefordshire.

After losses against Cumbria, Northumberland and Lincolnshire, the county’s Group One schedule came to an end with a six-wickets defeat.

Oxon opener Zach Lion-Cachet followed a century in a National Counties T20 clash against Bedfordshire earlier in the season with 112, but he finished on the losing side as Herefordshire won by six wickets at Great & Little Tew.

Oxon won the National Counties Championship in 2021, beating Suffolk by 178 runs, for their first Championship title in 32 years.