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Oxon beat Hants in Middleton Cup

Oxfordshire played Hampshire in the second round of this year’s Middleton Cup campaign. With both sides coming to the game with convincing wins in the first round pressure was on for a good performance. The weather suited Oxfordshire for the first ten ends and they established a lead of 47 shots with only one rink trailing. With the rain disappearing the next 5 ends were more even but the lead was still 38 shots. With the lead disappearing quickly by the 18th end the lead was down to 16 and Hampshire were winning most of the ends. With the final end of the match being played by ray Gaskins rink the sides were difference was down to a single shot with Hampshire needing to win the end to take the tie. All members of Ray’s rink bowled with confidence and despite the jack frequently changing position Oxfordshire detained control to win the end by 4 shots and the match by 5 shots. With 3 rinks each Oxfordshire won by 16-6 points.

With the last match of the campaign against Isle of Wight on t6th July at Kidlington Oxfordshire need to gain 14 points to guarantee going forward to the regional final.

Oxfordshire 125 shots Hampshire 120.
Oxfordshire 16 points Hampshire 6.

Rink scores

Joe Abercrombie Keith Holloway Mark Sykes A J Docherty won 21-18.
Sam Watts James Gaskins Remy Clanfield Chris Gilkes won 36-14.
Jim Bland Lee Young Paul Comley Ray Gaskins lost 18-27.
Bradley Squires Andy McIntyre Shane Cooper Paul Sharman lost 14-19.
Ade Kemish Orren Bennett Will Campion David Leighfield lost 13-29.
Joe Justin Paul Skidmore Kevin Alder Baden Sparkes won 23-13.

League week 6

Driving back from Birmingham at 16.00 on Thursday, as the wall of water continued to fall, I doubted that any matches would be played to a finish that evening. As it transpired, only the match between Carterton and Headington fell foul to the water, with Carterton’s green being deemed unfit for play.

Kevin Alder’s rink has obviously paid the correct homage to the goddess of bowls as, for the first nine ends of their Division 1 match they both bowled well and took advantage of all the wicks! At sixteen zero up, with two other rinks being close, it looked like a good win for West Witney over close rivals Banbury Central. However, the Central rinks came good, especially Keith McNeil’s which scored seven unanswered shots over the last four ends to give Central a five point win.

With Watlington on a bye week, the other two clubs vying to climb out of the relegation zone met at Witney Town. At fifteen ends, the match seeming to be going to Witney Mills, as a six point victory was on the cards. However, the Witney Town rinks skipped by Alan Scholan and Brian Bloomfield both fought back to snatch victories on the last end, indeed, Brian moved the jack back to get the shots he needed on that end.

Division 2 saw the first two move further clear of the pack.  City and County won a close encounter with South Oxford thanks to the six and five score by Omar Sharif’s rink on ends sixteen and eighteen.

Adderbury had a much more comfortable win at home to Kidlington. The highlight of which was David Sharp’s rink which came from six shots down at ten ends to score twenty-three unanswered shots over the last seven ends.

The third match in the division saw Chipping Norton dramatically improve the chances for the season with a whitewash of visitors Charlbury. The best performance came from Alex Fleming’s rink that came from seven shots down at thirteen ends to snatch victory with three shots on the last end.

Division 3 has new leaders as Shiplake continued their impressive home form, this time at Chadlington’s expense. Indeed, the visitor’s only win came from the triple of Peter Madeley which outscored the opponents by enough to be able to lose twenty-five percent of the total and still win.

Thame travelled to Bloxham and returned with four points thank, in large, to Bill Giles rink which never allowed their opponents a toe hold in the game. Tony Gardner’s rink scored six on the last end to cement their victory in what was a generally low scoring match.

Banbury Central’s heavy defeat of Hanborough moves them into the promotion race, in a close division, whilst leaving their opponents staring relegation in the face before the season reaches the halfway point. Eric Trinder’s rink were the outstanding four, losing only one end in the second half of their game.

Woodstock still top Division 4 despite not playing. Burford, who had the chance to catch them, were beaten by West Oxford whose two winning rinks were won by surprisingly large margins. Tim Stacey’s rink dominated the second half of their game to run out fourteen shot winners and Mick Bostock’s men were equally dominant in their thirteen shot victory.

Oxford University Press would have come away from Blackbird Leys with a share of the points but Dave Barlow’s ‘rink’ was a triple and forfeited shots, and the game point, whilst James Baldwin was ruthless skipping his four to a twenty shot win, allowing his opponents four ends in total in the match.

City and County returned from the deep south of the City having comprehensively defeated South Oxford. Their three winning rinks dominated from the start whilst Keith Clarke’s men were almost as dominant for South’s single win.

Oxon beat Berks in the double rink

Oxfordshire entertained Berkshire in the first round of this year’s Balcomb Trophy on Sunday 9th June at Headington BC.

Representing the county were the highest scoring rink from the Middleton Cup victory at Worthing the previous weekend and a Four skipped by Paul Sharman containing three graduates of the Under 25 squad.

After a slow start end 9 proved the turning point as both rinks picked up 5s to gain a 3 shot lead. With Paul’s rink progressing steadily Oxfordshire established an 8 shot lead by the completion of end 18. With the Banbury Borough rink limiting their deficit to five shots and Paul and co  hanging on to a 3 shot lead for Oxfordshire playing the last end Paul Sharman drew second shot with his first wood and The Berkshire Skip unable to change thing Oxfordshire won by 2 shots.

Rink 1

Sam Watts Shane Cooper Chris Gilkes Paul Sharman 28, Scott Winskill Kyle Mallandain Patrick Hulbert Andrew Knapper 22

Rink 2

Joe Abercrombie Keith Holloway Mark Sykes A J Docherty 15, Craig Shaw B J Byles Darren Holder Robert Newman 19

Oxfordshire 43, Berkshire 41

Oxfordshire qualify for the regional finals to be played at Old Coulsdon BC, Surrey on Sunday 23rd June. Also qualifying for the day are Kent Buckinghamshire and Kent.

Oxon men lose to Leics in friendly

Oxfordshire men travelled to Leicestershire and Narborough BC on Wednesday 5th June .

Oxfordshire were always struggling to stay in touch and by the end were 13 shots behind, having won on 2 rinks and only losing 2 rinks by a single shot.

A colts badge was awarded to Carterton’s Roger Oliver and a full badge to John Hurren (Burford BC) and OBA treasurer.

Oxfordshire 102 Leicestershire 115

B Willoughby J Stephens J Benfield M Andrew won 19-16.
N Hambridge J McGeough J Hurren B Bloomfield won 23-20.
R Radband T Gripe D Wedge M Morris lost 19-20.
K Washngton A Smith K Buckle I Whelpton lost 10-23.
B Jrvie B Ealey D Bullock A Ley lost 14-18.
P Demczak R Oliver a Fleming C Lewis lost 17-18.

Oxon ladies lose to Kent in Johns trophy

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies played against Kent on a neutral green at Woking Park Bowls Club on Saturday 8th June 2019 in the Johns trophy.  

Unsettled weather with rather windy conditions to contend with we started with a five shot deficit after the first five ends. After ten ends the deficit was 27 shots, but we clawed back to 18 shots down after 15 ends and 16 shots down after 18 ends. Unfortunately, the last three ends proved too much and we lost the match by 25 shots.  

BOL 100 (4 points), Kent 125 (18 points)  

Margaret Morris, Erica Brown, Pat Ray, Brenda Havard 21, Kent 24
Jackie Stafford, Gill Muir, Carole Thornhill, Wendy Cross 14, Kent 25
Jody Flitter, Pat Taylor, Helen Kingsley, Carol Penson 11, Kent 23
Margaret Bullock, Elaine Robinson, Pam Faulkner, Carol Gaskins 21, Kent 19
Jenny Lynch, Maggie Alderson, Liz Kemish, Donna Knight 14, Jane Cogle 19 Sue Mayo, Jenny Banton, Caroline Bloomfield, Jeanette Berry 19, Kent 15

Jackie Stafford received her Johns Flash for her 6th match play.  

Oxon U25’s beat Bucks in JHCL

Oxfordshire under 25s achieved their first JHCL win in 3 seasons with a 6-4 victory over neighbours Buckinghamshire at Waddesdon on Sunday 9th June.

Captain of the day Orren Bennett’s rink of Luke Gilbert, Ben Dickson and Bradley Squires started evenly against a strong rink skipped by Michael Gomme, being 5-6 down at 5 ends. By 10 ends, this had increased to a 6-11 deficit. The Oxon boys started to play their way back into the match and were level at 13-13 at 15 ends. Then in a burst of high scoring, 2 ends later this became 13-19 down, before Orren’s men picked up a 5 and a 4 to be 22-19 up at 19. However, it wasn’t to be, as a couple of dropped 2’s meant they were edged out 22-23.

Jamie Wilkinson’s rink of Joe Justin, Brandon King and Dan Swanson were slow out the blocks against Bucks skip George Reid, 2-9 down at 5 ends. This gap maintained til 10 ends and they were 6-13 down but had increased by 15 ends to 9-18 down. Then the comeback started, and at 18-20 down playing the last end, Jamie played 2 excellent bowls to be holding the 3 shots required to win the rink. Unfortunately for them, George’s last bowl did enough to get second and the final score was a 19-20 loss.

Harvey Alder’s rink of Jonathan Dadson, Lucas King and Joe Glenn found the pace of the picturesque Waddesdon green quicker than their opponents and were leading Andrew Litchfield’s rink 11-1 at 5 ends. They continued to steadily increase this lead to 17-5 at 10 ends and, with a 7 on the 15th end, they had a strong lead of 26-11. Harvey’s front end peppered the jack relentlessly and Harvey played big bowls when required as they continued to race away, finishing as 35-12 winners and bringing home the points for the overall score as well.

The final score was 76-55 to Oxfordshire.

This was an excellent performance on all 3 rinks against a strong Bucks side and has finally broken the “curse” of the blue trousers, being the first win in the Oxon juniors kit.

Next game is Sunday 16th June, which is the White Rose regional finals at Cranleigh, Surrey. We have 2 teams in the new format single-rink competition and go into it with fresh confidence after this win.

Oxon U25’s lose to Berks in JHCL

Oxfordshire Under 25’s began their JHCL with a disappointing 10-0 defeat to Berkshire at Kidlington on Sunday 2nd June.

Captain Sam Watts and his rink of Joe Justin, Sam Kibblewhite and Ben Dickson started well against Berkshire skip Kyle Mallandian and turned a 5-4 lead at 5 ends into a 13-7 lead at 10 ends. Unfortunately, it really was a game of two halves, and the Berkshire rink pulled this back to 14-14 at 15 ends before racing away at the end, and Sam’s men finished with a 16-29 loss.

Harvey Alder’s rink of Luke Gilbert, Giles Francis and Joe Glenn also began well against Junior international BJ Byles’ rink, leading 7-4 at 5 ends. By 10 ends, Berkshire had come back into the game and were 8-11 ahead. This gap remained constant til 15 ends at 11-14, before BJ and his men pulled away and it finished 13-19 to Berkshire.

Orren Bennett’s four included two debutants, Chadlington’s Jack Kendall and Andrew Docherty from Banbury Borough, along with Bradley Squires playing against England u25s international skip Lloyd Sabatini. The Oxon boys struggled to start with, being 2-4 down at 5 ends and 5-13 down at 10 ends. This gap maintained til 15 ends at 9-16 before Lloyd’s men extended their lead to give the royal county a 14-25 win on the rink and a 10-0 win overall, 43 shots to 73.

While the result may not have gone our way, the Oxon boys gave a good account of themselves and I was impressed with the debuts of Jack and Andrew. I hope they will continue to be part of the squad and will be ones to watch over the coming years.

Triples quarter finals

Banbury Chestnuts BC was the host for this year’s quarter finals of the men’s Triples.

A very wet and thundery evening threatened play but fortunately stayed away just enough to allow all of the games complete.

The first game was between Watlington’s Rob Parkes, Gordon Hooker and Chris Gilkes against a Burford triple of Alan Tuckwell, Roger Hopkins and Bob Parker. A good start from the Burford trio see them take an early 7-0 lead before the Watlington boys hit back with a 6 shot pick up on the 5th end. Scores over the next 7 ends see Burford increase their lead to 17-9 after 12. The next 5 ends see the Watlington comeback, scoring 7 shots, including a 4 on the 17th end, to see them requiring only 2 shots going into the last end to force an extra end. They could not convert the head however and left Burford holding one shot and booking their place in the semi-finals.

The next game was between another Watlington triple, this time, Vic Webb, Adie Twinn and Adi Kemish against Banbury Central’s Alan Carter, Lee Young and Will Campion. A good start from the Central three see their lead at 11-3 after 7 ends. The next ends were won 6 to 1 to the Watlington trio, seeing the board at 14-12 in their favour after 14 ends. Ends 15 and 16 see the Central side regain the lead by 1 shot before dropping a 5 shot count on the 17th end. 4 shots were required going into the last and with great head building from the central trio see them holding 5 with the skips left to bowl. Watlington were unable to reduce this deficit and see a 5 shot pick up go the other way, enabling the Central team to progress to the semi-finals, 20-19 victors.

The third game of the evening was between yet another Watlington side, Mick Evins, John Rawson and Les Westcott against West Witney’s Andy McIntyre, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder. West had a strong start being 12-3 shots up at 7 ends. They continued on their start to increase their lead to 17-3 at 9 ends before Watlington hit back with a 3 shot pickup on the 10th. Another 5 shots for the Witney boys see their lead extend further to 22-6 before Watlington picked up their final shot of the match. Final score 22-7 to West Witney.

The final game of the evening was an all Headington match up between Sam Watts, Ray Gaskins and Nick Rae-Welsh against Steve Hainge, Kelvin Woodward and Ian Henwood. Henwood’s triple started well, taking an early 8-2 lead after 7 ends. Rae-Welsh’s triple then hit back winning the next three ends to reduce the deficit to 8-7 before Henwood’s trio scored a single on the 11th. 6 shots over the next 3 ends see Rae-Welsh’s team take the lead for the first time, 13-9 up before another single was picked up on the 15th for Henwood’s side. 4 more shots in the 16th and 17th ends for Rae-Welsh see Henwood’s team needing 7 to force an extra end but were unable to do so, only managing to pick up a single, thus seeing their club mates through to the semi-finals.

The county semi-finals day will be held at Carterton BC on Sunday 14th July.

League week 5

Strange to think that we are already past the first third of the season! However, this week gave us a first of the season to cheer about with Adderbury’s Tom Clark’s rink scoring a maximum eight shots on end six of their match at Chadlington.

Elsewhere, the two leaders in Division 1 both came away with maximum points, which should leave little to write about but the absolute superiority of two of Headington’s rink, skipped by Mark Charley and Nick Rae-Welsh, deserves mention. Marks 28 shot winning margin is biggest anywhere in the league this season whilst between them they ‘allowed’ the opposition, from Witney Town, to win on nine of the thirty-six ends!

Carterton’s defeat of West Witney was less spectacular but probably more surprising given the potential strength of the opposition.

Banbury Central looked to be on track for a five – one win at home to Watlington but poor shot choice on Keith McNeil’s rink allowed Gordon Hooker’s men to grab six shots on the final end snatch a win. This involved a measure – to see if the Jack was on the rink or not. String out and it was judged in by millimetres with the rest to the competitors from the other finished rinks watching and making their own judgements! Unfortunately for Sam Watts he came up against an inspired Mike Andrew who snatched victory for his rink on a number of ends.

For Chipping Norton, John Benfield’s rink lead Alan Ley’s by three shots at fifteen ends but dropped 12 shots on the last three ends to lose the game and ensure that Division 2 leaders City and County came away with five points from their match. The other three rinks were as one-sided as the scores suggest.

Dropping five shots on the 17th end cost South Oxford’s Vic de Paauw the game against Russell Edwards men but elsewhere in this game South Oxford proved too strong for Headington who now look to be struggling to stay in division two.

Tom Clark’s hot shot end was one of many good ends for Adderbury in their game at Charlbury, a result that makes them favourites for promotion to division 1, along with City and County.

Had Kevin Taylor’s ring not dropped four shots in the last two ends the match between Thame and Bicester would have finished with only a single shot separating the two teams. In the end, Bicester’s defeat drops them second place behind Chadlington in Division 3.

Peter Madeley and Phil Radbone’s rinks both had winning second halves of their games to give home side Chadlington match points in their game against Banbury Central.

Shiplake’s strong home team defeated Bloxham, whose Tony Gardner managed to beat Jim Bland for their only point. If Shiplake could take the same team away they would surely return to division 2 at the end of the season.

If you look at the Division 4 results for the week you might think that it was a division of two halves given that all matches were won five – one! How wrong you would be! City and County had taken but a single point from their last three matches before they defeated erstwhile leaders Burford five – one; Oxford University Press has not won this season, indeed had taken only three points, before their five – one defeat of high fliers West Oxford!

Woodstock, however, continue their impressive form. Indeed, though David Bye’s rink did win for visitors South Oxford they did so after blowing an impressive eleven shot lead at fourteen ends by dropping seven shots on end fifteen to opponents Dave Francis.

Oxon ladies beat Northants in MEL

BOL played Northamptonshire on Thursday 6th June 2019 at Banbury Borough BC who provided excellent hospitality and a delicious meal after the match.  

Result:  BOL 135 shots, 14 points, Northants 100 shots, 3 points  

An excellent win for Oxfordshire Ladies with a win on four rinks, 1 draw and 1 loss by just 4 shots.  

Margaret Morris, Carole Thornhill, Sylvia Blackmore, Wendy Cross drew 21-21
Jan Gore, Erica Brown, Caroline Bloomfield, Jeanette Berry won 28 – 17 Jackie Stafford, Jenny Banton, Helen Young, Carol Gaskins won 17-14
Pam Shepherd, Chris Purnell, Angela Ives, Carol Penson lost 14-18
Liz Kemish, Jenny Williams, Pam Faulkner, Brenda Havard won 25-17
Katie Bland, Pat Taylor, Maggie Alderson, Caroline Campion won 30-13