Oxfordshire gained the upper hand over Suffolk on the second day of the National Counties Championship final at Tring.
Oxfordshire earned a valuable first innings lead of 35 after a disciplined team bowling performance dismissed Suffolk for 213 in their first innings and they extended it to 150 by the close for the loss of two wickets.
Ollie Currill, a tall seamer who plays his club cricket for Leamington, gave Oxfordshire the perfect start to the day when he had opener Darren Ironside LBW to the second ball of the morning and his second of the match and Suffolk were soon in deeper trouble.
Alex Oxley fell to a diving catch by Marcus Campopiano at second slip off Gareth Andrew and Ben Shepperson edged Currill to wicketkeeper Jonny Cater to leave Suffolk 65 for five.
Joe Gatting (22) and Josh Cantrell effected a partial recovery in a sixth wicket stand of 58 but Gatting was caught behind fanning down legside off an innocuous delivery from Robbie Shurmer and Jacob Marston perished pulling at Ollie Clarke’s left-arm spin.
When Cantrell was bowled driving at Ollie Clarke for 49, Suffolk were 154 for eight and Oxfordshire’s first innings lead looked like being even more substantial.
But Tom Rash (30) and Adam Mansfield (34) shared a ninth wicket partnership of 47 and Mansfield and Matt Wareing added 22 more valuable runs for the last wicket.
Andrew, the former Somerset, Worcestershire and Hampshire all-rounder, finished with figures of three for 56 from 26 overs with Shurmer, Currill and off-spinner Mannering taking two wickets apiece.
Oxfordshire, seeking their first Championship title since 1989, made a confident start to their second innings with openers Harry Smith (33) and Ollie Ebsworth-Burland (38) putting on 74 in 28 overs.
They departed in the space of five overs with Smith falling LBW playing defensively to Jack Beaumont’s left-arm spin and edging off-spinner Cantrell low to Kyran Young at second slip.
Oxfordshire could have been forgiven for spending the rest of the day regrouping, instead Campopiano finished with a flurry of boundaries including three sixes in the last four overs.
National Counties Championship final(second day of four)
Tring Park: Oxfordshire 248 (Jonny Cater 56) and 115-2, Suffolk 215.