HEREFORDSHIRE have given themselves a great chance of qualifying from the group stages of the Unicorns Trophy after completing two wins out of two with a crushing 146-run win over Buckinghamshire.
"We entertain Oxfordshire at Eastnor in our next game on Sunday, May 18 and that is likely to be the crucial game," said chairman of selectors Ernie Morgan.
"They have also won their first two games but, with the top two in the group qualifying, three wins out of four should be enough to qualify."
Herefordshire lost the toss and were put into bat on a damp wicket but got off to a good start through Liam Gwynne (60).
"Gwynne is a risk-taker but if he is there for an hour then you will have runs on the board," said Morgan.
Top-scorer was Brad Wadlan who announced his return from a winter playing in Zimbabwe with a typically hard-hit 73 while Charlie Walker (26) and David Ball (24) also contributed well to Herefordshire's 159.
Ball picked up an early wicket in the Buckinghamshire reply but the crucial wicket, that of Rob White, went to Dan Conway (2-18) who had the former Northamptonshire batsman caught behind by Luke Padgett for just four.
Late replacement Jamie McIlroy then made the most of his call-up with an impressive return of 3-24 from his seven-over spell.
"He bowled the Buckinghamshire skipper with one which pitched on middle-and-leg and hit the off-bail," said Morgan.
"The skipper said that he couldn't have played it if he had been bowled it 100 times."
Spinners Wadlan, who took 1-14 from seven overs, O'Shea (1-18) and Neil Pinner (2-19) kept things tight and Buckinghamshire were all out for just 113.