DORSET are on the back foot after fluctuating fortunes left them trailing Oxfordshire by 91 runs on day one of their Unicorns Championship battle, writes Neil Walton.

A superb start saw the visitors bowl out the hosts for 171 at Banbury after being asked to field first in hot conditions.

However, on a first day in which 17 wickets fell, the hosts mounted a fightback as former Hampshire, Somerset and Worcestershire all-rounder Gareth Andrew took five wickets in tearing through Dorset’s top order.

Tom Price (1-12) and Alex Chapman (1-9) dismissed Ed Ellis (7) and Josh McCoy (2) respectively, as Dorset closed on 80 for seven.

Alex Eckland (20*) and skipper Chris Park (3*) remained unbeaten overnight.

Earlier on, two wickets in quick succession for paceman James Hayman (4-42) set Dorset on their way with McCoy (1-44) snaring Harry Smith (28) to reduce Oxfordshire to 56 for three.

Price (38) and Callum Russell (33) mounted a recovery until the latter became Hayman’s third victim, and Scott Currie (2-21) removed Owyn Tong-Jones (2).

It was the key scalp of home skipper Andrew (18) which produced a collapse of four wickets for six runs as Oxfordshire were eventually bowled out after 76.1 overs.

In reply, Andrew then dismissed Tom Arnold (1), Luke Webb (0), Currie (0) and Josh Digby (2) to leave Dorset in a vulnerable overnight position.