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League Week 11

With three sets of matches left, league positions and promotion and relegation are becoming clearer.

In Division 1, Headington’s maximum score at City and County moves them clear of chasers Carterton with no other team now able to challenge them for first place. Indeed, the title could be all but won when the top two clash next Thursday.

Banbury Central almost ensured their safety with a defeat of Witney Mills in a very close match. Nigel Galletly and Will Campion skipped rinks that won by small margins which were, however, bigger than those on Witney Mills winning rinks. The result leaves Mills in danger of returning to Division 2 after one season.

Closest match of the week was, surprisingly, at Carterton where the home side only won on a single rink but still took match points from Shiplake as David Clanfield’s team won their rink by thirteen shots. Given their season, Shiplake can consider themselves very unlucky with the final outcome. They could still avoid relegation but will need to beat Witney Mills 6 – 0 next week to do so.

In Division 2, Bicester’s defeat, at home to Charlbury, means they will play in Division 3 next season whist pushing Charlbury closer to safety. A good win for Kevin Taylor’s rink was insufficient with Eric Pitts men winning by twenty-eight shots for the visitors, whose shot count was over one hundred.

Banbury Chestnuts topsy-turvy season continues! This week they had a big win away at West Witney. Lee Wilkinson lead the way for Chestnuts with only Kevin Alder’s rink winning for the home side. Their defeat means that promotion back to Division 1 for West Witney rests on next week’s local derby against Witney Town.

Leaders Watlington were pushed hard by Adderbury for whom Chris Skidmore and Ted Ely’s rinks started well building nine shot leads after five ends and were never caught, indeed Adderbury lead in the match after thirteen ends only for Shane Cooper’s rink to score five and to take the lead on his rink and overall in the match on the fourteenth.

Promotion for Watlington is in their own hands as they meet one of their two remaining rivals in the last week of the season. Adderbury and Banbury Chestnuts also meet in the final week in a fixture that will probably decide the second relegation place.

The position in Division 3 remains as clouded as ever! With the exception of long term leaders Kidlington, all the other teams could still, technically, be promoted or relegated.

In an extremely close match, Kidlington maintained their unbeaten record by a whisker and guaranteed their promotion at the same time. Headington won on two rinks and drew on a third. Indeed, the draw was achieved for Kidlington by Chris Cox’s rink with a four shot win on the last end of the match. Joe Woodward’s six shot winning margin proved sufficient to get the match points for the leaders.

As good as Headington’s match was they actually lost ground to close rivals Chipping Norton who cruised away from bottom club Hanborough thanks to big wins for Tim Sealey and David Leighfield. As Chipping Norton’s next match is against Headington the second promotion place could be decided next week.

Thame’s defeat of City and County moves them above Banbury Central and out of the bottom two. Good wins for John Timms and Graham Stones’ rinks proved enough for Thame.

Chadlington need three points from their last two matches to get promoted from Division 4 as Bloxham still have a bye week to come. Their six points in the fixture against Oxford University Press saw them score the second century of the week in the league with big wins for Ron Arthur and Carl Smart’s rinks.

Bloxham almost got a ton as well, thanks to Tony Gardner’s thirty-seven shots, as they were comfortable winners against Woodstock.

Blackbird Leys took match points against West Oxford with Roy Brain’s eighteen shot win just outdoing Gary Richardson’s fifteen for the visitors.
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Men’s county finals: Join the RAF and have Sunday’s off

Men's county fours winners 2016

Contestants in Sunday’s OBA final’s at Carterton BC played their games in virtual silence as very few aircraft appeared to take off or land during the day, contrary to the normal activities at nearby Brize Norton.
Even the Headington rink of John Nicholls, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett seemed unusually quiet in their game against fellow club mates Dean and Gary May, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts, but they were playing at 10.00a.m. Their Fours final produced a tight scoring game of one’s and two’s which saw Watt’s rink start the better leading 5-2 after four ends and then Charlett’s foursome take five of the next six ends to lead 9-6 after 10. Seven singles followed and with four ends remaining Charlett’s rink led by two, 12-10. They added a three on the eighteenth only to concede a five and a two to go into the last end 15-17 down and the prospect of Watt’s and his team mates snatching the title from under their noses. There was however still one end to play and it went the way of the Charlett four picking up a three to collect the title with an 18-17, having won eleven of the twenty-one ends.

Men's county singles winner 2016At the same time as the fours was being played, the spectators were also entertained by Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway and Watlngton’s Chris Gilkes battling for the Singles title. Both players were to also feature in other finals later in the day. A win for Holloway and he would join the small band of Oxfordshire bowlers who have won each of the the four senior titles. A win by Gilkes would put him in with the chance of being the first to take both the Junior and Senior singles in the same year. After dropping a brace of three’s on the first two ends, Gilkes settled down to take the next four before a single from Holloway levelled matters at 7 all. Singles shots predominated on a tricky rink before Holloway collected a three on the thirteenth and a pair three ends later to lead by four shots, 15-11 after sixteen. Two shots each over the next three ends still had Gilkes trailing but then a combination of excellent woods, and some good fortune, went the Watlington’s way as he put an end to Holloway’s title hopes, picking up eight shots over the next six ends to take the title with a 21-17 win and halfway to the double.

Men's county under 25's singles winner 2016Both bowlers featured in the next games to be played, Gilkes in the Under 25 Junior singles against Chipping Norton’s David Leighfield, and Holloway chasing the Two-wood singles championship against Carterton’s Stuart Timms.
In a very tight game played on a demanding rink, neither of the Under 25 lads managed more than a two on an end apart from one four in Gilkes’ favour. Seven ends – 4 all, eleven ends – 7 all, fifteen ends – 10 all, they could to be separated. Then came the four to Gilkes on the seventeenth end opening up a five shot lead for him 15-12. An immediate response from Leighfield of eight shots over the next six ends turned the game in his favour as he now held three shot lead. Not to be outdone, Gilkes replied with a 2 and a single to level the scores yet again leaving both bowlers three shots short of victory at 18 all. The tide turned yet again as Leighfield’s made the title his, picking up a two and a single to take the game 21-18 in his second season at Chipping Norton, having previously trod the hallowed turf in Wiltshire. Men's county 2 wood singles winner 2016

In the Two-wood singles, (Bowls equivalent of cricket’s 20-Twenty) Holloway started the quicker of the two in and lead by four shots, 9-5 after 12 ends. Timms responded by taking three of the next four ends to level the game at 10-10. With a maximum of five ends left to play, the Borough man then collected a pair of singles and a two with Timms’ managing a lone single and running out of ends leaving Holloway the winner at 14-11 after 20 ends.

men's county triples winners 2016The all Banbury Borough Triples final concluded after only fourteen of the eighteen ends having been played. Keith Holloway, Darren Sharpe and AJ Docherty overwhelmed their club mates Jamie Wilkinson, George Schwab and skip Mark Sykes right from the start, going into a 9-1 lead after five ends then collecting a 6 two ends later on their way to a 17-2 lead after nine ends. A flurry of seven shots over the next three ends brought the Sykes trio to within eight shots and seven ends still remaining. Any thoughts they had of a making a comeback were stifled on the next two ends when they dropped a five, followed by a pair, leaving them 9-24 down and the decision was made that enough was enough. Victory to Docherty’s threesome and a second title of the day for Holloway.

Men's county pairs winners 2016The day was brought to a close with the host club pairing of Tim Jupp and Stuart Richens up against the Headington duo of Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett who were looking to add the Pairs to their already won Fours title. A five on the second end gave the Headington boys a 7-1 lead but the Carterton lads quickly picked up a couple of singles and a four to level the scores after six ends. Tight ends and low scoring saw the teams level at 12 all after fourteen ends, then a triple and single saw Henwood and his partner open up a four shot lead with five ends to play. Three of the ends went the way of Jupp and Richens but they were still two shots adrift 16-18 with one end to go. What an end! Jupp dropped two perfect woods right behind the jack. Whilst opposition woods went near, the two shots remained, leaving Richens to concentrate on not making the head any wider and leaving woods in receiving positions should the jack be moved. Charlett had one wood left with an extra end looking likely. The bowls was delivered, the line and weight looked good and this time the shot was perfect, connecting with the jack and giving him shot. Now it was up to Richens to conjure up at least two shots to stay in the game, but alas it was not to be, as the target was missed and the Henwood, Charlett partnership held on to the single, winning 19-16 and joining Holloway as double title-ists on the day.

Opponents retired to the bar, laughter rang out from winners, runners-up more slightly subdued, but both will be equal when they walk out onto the Leamington greens in August.
The skies were still hushed, rain was in the air and the RAF were still enjoying their Sunday off.
As usual, the Carterton club’s hospitality was first class.

Oxon U25s & U31s v Bucks

The Oxfordshire U25’s will play Buckinghamshire U25’s in the Junior Home Counties League on Sunday 31st July at 10:30am at Kidlington Bowls Club. The Oxfordshire ladies U31’s will play an Amy Rose trial against Buckinghamshire at the same time.

The teams have been selected: Oxon U25s & U31s v Bucks 310716

Ladies lose to Surrey in a friendly

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies lost to Surrey in a county game played Egham Bowls Club.

Pat Ostler 16, J Clarke 19
Daphne Jacob 16, B Astill 27
Carol Gaskins 17, D Double 25
Wendy Cross 20, K Deans 18
Jeanette Berry 11, J Tytherleigh 28
Marion Darton 24, U Reid 16

Men’s County Finals

The men’s county finals will be held at Carterton BC on Sunday 24th July. A full programme is available: Men’s county finals 2016

Oxon lose to Kent in HCL

Oxfordshire travelled to Halls BC, Dartford to play Kent on 16th July to play Kent in a Home Counties League match. Both sides started slowly and after 5 ends Kent lead by one. The scoreboards then started to move in Kent’s favour and by the end Oxfordshire trailled by 42 shots having won on only one rink.

Shots Oxfordshire 86 Kent 128.
Points Oxfordshire 2 Kent 20.

Rink scores

S Tolhurst R Slater P Latter P Comley lost 18-21.
D Latter J Timms H Williams R Barnett lost 15-24.
A Wase J McGeough C Cox M Andrew lost 12-23.
J Wells A Hall P Skidmore K Alder lost 14-19.
O Bennett R Radband B Bloomfield W Parker lost 11-27.
H Beall M Jones P Demczak I Whelpton won 16-14.

Oxon men beat Cambs in friendly

On Wednesday 11th July Oxfordshire hosted Cambridge at West Witney BC.

For the second week running Oxfordshire eased their way into an early lead and were never headed. Chris Weller and his team on rink 6 lead the way with a comfortable win by 19 shots, which inspired the 4 adjacent rinks to comfortable wins. Only rink 1 failed to follow the lead and despite being 4 ahead after 11 ends did not win another end and lost by 12.

A 200 game badge was awarded to County Treasurer Allan Hunt and a 100 game badge to Kidlington’s Melvin Brain.

Oxfordshire 145 Cambridgeshire 91.

Rink scores:

A Hunt J Wells H Williams I Whelpton lost 14-26.
M Cameron N Satchell A Wase M Brain won 21-10.
B Ray M Jones R Barnett P Latter won 30-15.
P Demczak R Bull T Gripe L Days won 25-13.
S Tolhurst B Jarvie P Strange A Ley won 24-15.
C Lewis J Timms B Bloomfield C Weller won 31-12.

Men’s semi finals

Banbury Chestnuts, bathed in glorious sunshine, was the setting for Sunday’s OBA semi’s with a large crowd of support for the bowlers who returned home with varying degree’s of sunburnt bodies.
The day kicked off at 10.30 with the singles games of Keith Holloway (Banbury Borough) who was to feature in three games during the day, against Jim Bland (Shiplake Village), and Colin Whitehead (Headington) against Chris Gilkes (Watlington). Holloway took early control in his game and a triple of three’s over five ends from the tenth end moved the game his was as he went on to win 21-9. The second game same an exciting close game which swayed to and fro with Gilkes having the upper hand over the first fourteen ends to lead 14-6 before he shortened the jack length (perhaps inadvertently) and let in Whitehead who with a two and a brace of three’s levelled the score. The Watlington man then took control again taking six of the next eight ends to move into the final on the back of a 21-17 win, having also qualified for the Under 25 singles final earlier in the season.

Headington’s Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett, 4-9 down after eight ends against Adderbury’s brothers Nigel and Ted Eley, collected 13 shots over four ends to open up an eight shot lead then taking four of the next six ends before their opponents conceded after 18 ends with the Headington duo 24-11 in front.
The Kidlington pairing of Jim Feeley and Chris Cox, 1-5 down after three ends moved into the lead against Carterton’s Tim Jupp and Stuart Richens two ends later and were still in pole position 20-17 after 19, then disaster. Jupp and Richens collected a four on the 20th to go into a one shot lead and then a single in their favour on the last saw them squeeze through 22-20.

Banbury Borough prevailed in the Triples, with Jamie Wilkinson, George Schwab and Mark Sykes taking no prisoners as they swept aside the Headington trio of May brothers Dean and Gary and Nick Rae-Welsh who pulled down the shutters after twelve ends, losing 3-19 to the Banbury boys.
The Borough’s other triple, Keith Holloway, Darren Sharpe and skip AJ Docherty were 5-13 adrift after seven ends to their Carterton opponents, Peter Maisey, Dan Wakeman and Chris Weedon, then turned the game on its head with a pair of 5’s and a 2 to take a 17-13 lead. Two singles brought Weedon’s men to within two but that was the end of their scoring, as the lad’s from the north of the county took the next five ends for a 24-15 win.

Keith Holloway, now in his third semi-final of the day, was joined by Jamie Wilkinson, George Schwab and Mark Sykes who were in the second, in their Fours game against Headington’s Dean May, Nathan Lewis, Gary May and Howard Watts. From honours even after 15 ends at 11-11, a single to Sykes’ rink on the 16th saw the finish of their scoring, as Watts pulled off damaging shots over the last five ends to assure his rink of a 18-12 success.
The last game to finish, at 7.51pm was the rinks match between the two Headington fours of John Nichols, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlet and Jon Philpott, Colin Whitehead, Ian Snowdon and Ray Gaskins.
Having taken 11 of the 16 ends played, Gaskins rink led 15-8 and looked favourites to move into the finals, but the never say die attitude of Charlett’s rink payed dividends on the next three ends, 1,2,4 to level the game 15 all.
A two for each side saw the scores level 17-17 after 21 ends, necessitating and extra end. Gaskins with one wood left was shot down and saw his final wood pull up short to give Charlett and his three partners the game 18-17

The exciting finish was the perfect ending to a superb day. The weather only got better as the day progressed, the spectators were treated to nine and a half hours of great and exciting bowling plus going home with a suntan, and finally, the Banbury Chestnuts bowls club who had been the perfect host’s, providing a superb green to bowl on, all day catering for players and spectators, who reciprocated by drinking the barrels dry. Summer had finally arrived!

This was a fantastic advert for the game and what it should be all about.

Men’s selection for HCL and county games

The selection for Sussex HCL on Saturday 30th July & Middlesex HCL on the 6th Aug is now available: HCL Selection

The selection for Hertfordshire, C&C Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, between 2nd – 31st August is now available: Herts, C&C Bristol, Bucks, Glos

League Week 10

How the season flies, It was already getting gloomy as matches finished this Thursday.

For the second time recently, Division 1 leaders Headington just saw off the opposition, again by a single shot! This time South Oxford pushed them to the limit losing by a single shot with the result even closer than it looks as the sides were tied in the match when Ray Gaskins played his final bowl for Headington and managed to remove one, of five, South Oxford bowls to snatch the win.

Carterton took the chance to close the gap at the top to two points by comfortable beating neighbours Witney Mills on the own patch, in a match notable for Tim Jupp’s winning score.

Shiplake kept their match against City and County close but it could have been very different as both Jim Bland and Barrie Evans’ rinks were pulled back by the outstanding bowling of their opposite skips – Paul Comley and Colin Pollard.

Division 2 leaders, Watlington were on a bye week and their Witney rivals both took the chance to close the gap between themselves and the leaders.

Witney Town were comfortable winners away at Banbury Chestnuts in a match that include big wins for Paul Demczak and Will Parker’s rinks. While West Witney also won away, at Charlbury, in a match where all rinks were quite close though all went to the visiting side.

The third match in the division saw potential relegation rival Adderbury and Bicester meet with the former able to outplay the visitors on three rinks winning well on all and only Richard Herbert’s rink able to grab a tie with Phil Gladdens men for Bicester’s only score.

Division 3 leaders Kidlington defeat of Hanborough included a thirty shot winning margin for Melvin Brain’s men who were so well supported by the club’s other rinks that the clubs shot total of 119 was the highest in the league this week whilst their winning margin of 61 shots won the equivalent accolade.

Could Headington be promoted this year? Their defeat of City and County moves them into second place, though they meet the league leaders next week! With only Neville Wharton’s rink to stem the tide, Headington swept their close rivals away with a big win for Russell Edwards and Martin Kershaw’s men who provided Terry Gripe’s rink with its first defeat of the season.

Chipping Norton moved into third place to lead a pack trying to avoid relegation. Their whitewash of Banbury Central included a twenty-two shot margin for Tim Sealey’s rink.

Chadlington stretched their lead in Division 4 to over eight points with a comfortable win at West Oxford. Carl Smart’s rink lead the way with a twenty-three shot win.

Behind them, Bloxham avenged an earlier defeat at the hands of Blackbird Leys, winning on three rinks with Dave Morse’s thirteen shot victory more than cancelling James Baldwin’s eleven for the visitors.

Close behind these two are South Oxford whose defeat of Oxford University Press was aided by the latter’s inability to field a full team. Good wins for John Guest and Keith Clark’s rink in the match never-the-less.

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