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League final week

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.) 

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title. 

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford. 

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Woodstock were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Woodstock short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Woodstock or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.)

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title.

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford.

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Thame were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Thame short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Thame or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

Alan Ley 900 game celebration

Alan LeyOxfordshire Bowling Association celebrated Alan Ley playing his 900th game for the County in last Tuesday’s friendly fixture against Hertfordshire at his home club, Oxford City and County BC.

71 year-old Alan began his career with Oxfordshire in 1966 playing for the old Blue Circle club at Bunkers Hill near Kidlington. He was awarded a full county badge 12 months later. Success in the County Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours championships has put him in the small group of Oxfordshire bowlers to achieve such a record. For many decades Alan skipped a rink for Oxfordshire in the Middleton Cup.

He was an England Trialist is 1980 & 1981

Since his start at Blue Circle, Alan moved between Oxford City & County and Summertown clubs, finally returning to City & County after the closure of the Summertown club.

His most recent appearance at the National Championships was at Leamington in 2014, partnering Mike Petersen in the Senior Pairs where they were somewhat unfortunate to lose on the last end in the final.

Alan’s 35 years working for Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford enabled him to take time off for midweek friendly games, a practice which continued as a porter at the Bodleian library. Retirement allows him to play for the various Associations that he his also a member of.

Oxfordshire Bowling Association and Bowls Oxfordshire wish Alan future success with them and look forward to his 1000 game celebration which could be in as little as 5-6 years time.

Oxon juniors start strong

Oxfordshire Under 25s men began their season with a strong performance against an experienced Wiltshire side at Kidlington BC on Sunday 12th May. The Oxon boys picked up the weight of the pushy green quicker than their opponents, and took an early lead on all 3 rinks. Wiltshire started to play their way back into the game, and at 10 ends Oxon led by 8 shots. Oxon got back on the front foot, and had stretched this lead to 14 shots at 13/14 ends.

Sam Watts, team captain, and his rink dropped 4 shots over their last 2 ends which gave them a 18-17 victory.

Harvey Alder’s rink, playing against England trialist Mike Titcombe, had been leading by 6 shots early on, but were clawed back by their experienced opponents and eventually went down by 3 shots, 16-19.

Orren Bennett, skipping for the U25s for the first time, and his rink were leading by 4 at 19 ends when the other rinks were finished, knowing they led the match by 2 shots. A dropped 1 of the 20th end left them 1 shot up overall playing the last end and being 1 down on the head, Orren’s final bowl pulled up mere inches short of the shot bowl. However, a 2 shot win for the rink (23-21) meant a draw was the overall result, 57-57.

All 12 Oxon players were giving an excellent account of themselves and with a couple of senior players still to come in, have given the manager a major selection headache for both White Rose and Junior Home Counties League!

Rink 2: Joe Justin, Sam Kibblewhite, Brandon King, Sam Watts bt. James Vincent 18-17
Rink 3: Luke Gilbert, Ben Dickson, Bradley Squires, Orren Bennett bt. Adam Bolwell 23-21
Rink 4: Jonathan Dadson, Lucas King, Joe Glenn, Harvey Alder lost to Mike Titcombe 16-19

The available members of the Amy Rose squad also attended for a practice triples game (joined by boys’ reserve Giles Francis). Excellent bowls were played by all involved and give a very promising outlook for the season. I hope to arrange a couple of fixtures against other counties for them before travelling to the Amy Rose competition at Leamington.

My thanks go firstly to Kidlington for hosting us for the game – they rearranged a club friendly for us to use the rink after Wiltshire had requested a change of start time. I would also like to thank the players, parents and supporters for attending the game. Commitment from the players is key, and with 5 players “graduating” from the side at the end of this season, we really have a chance of succeeding this year with the squad we have.

If there are any U25 boys or U31 girls playing for any club in Oxfordshire not currently known to the team manager who would like to get involved, please contact me on the details below. And as always, recruitment of bowlers of all ages, especially juniors, is paramount for the future of the sport.

David Leighfield
Oxfordshire Junior Team manager
David.leighfield@outlook.com
07595509236

League Week 2

Another cold but dry evening saw a number of matches with very different second halves to their first – the colder it became to better/worse some rinks played!

Division 1 saw the most extreme case in the game between Banbury Central and Witney Town. Central’s Mick Andrew saw his rink go 21 – 0 up at ten ends only for them to lose the last eight ends 11 – 5, though they still won the games. Elsewhere in the match, what looked like a close rink with both teams level at 7 – 7 after ten ends became a route as Keith McNeil’s men ran out 25 – 9 winners for Central! Central also appeared to be heading for very big win as Will Campion led by eight shots at fifteen ends only for Paul Demczak’s rink to score ten shots on the last three ends to snatch an unlikely win.

Headington played their first match of the season and came away with a comfortable win. Nick Ray-Welsh led by eleven shots after twelve ends only to go behind after the seventeenth finally snatching the shot he needed for the draw on the last! Likewise, Mark Charlett needed to win the last two ends to beat Chris Gilkes.

Two easy wins saw West Witney defeat Witney Mills in what is the most local there can be! Paul Robbins had to win the last end for his victory for Mills to add a second point for his team.

City and County continued their impressive form in Division 2 though they were pushed harder than the result shows. Indeed, James Feely led Colin Pollard’s rink until end fourteen. However, Omar Sharif’s rink took an unanswered 13 shot lead after five ends and were never troubled.

Headington B recorded their first win, at home to Charlbury, but it was close as David Copper snatched victory with his last bowl and Eric Pitts only scored two of the three shots his rink needed on the final end to draw their match.

Meanwhile, Adderbury recorded a very comfortable, if unspectacular, win away at South Oxford.

The form team in Division 3 is newly promoted Bloxham. This week result was a six – zero win against Hanborough, who came down from Division 2. Bloxham performed well on all four rinks without anything out the ordinary happening.

Banbury Central bounced back from last week’s defeat with an easy win at Thame, indeed, had Dave Holland, playing at two to John Timms, not had shot wood on the final end this match would have been a whitewash.

Anthony Hobbs’ rink had the biggest winning margin for Chadlington, in the fixture against Bicester, but the single shot they dropped on the last end swung the shot count, and the match points, to Bicester.

Blackbird Leys’ James Baldwin scored seventeen unanswered shots over the first eight ends of his match, then gave his opponent some hope, allowing them to win the next three ends before scoring a further fifteen unanswered shots over the last seven ends. This Division 4 match was almost a whitewash but the six shots Ken Buckingham’s rink scored on eighth end proved sufficient as they hung on for City and County’s only Point.

Two ends of five shots proved more than sufficient for Oxford University Press’ David Barlow’s rink to defeat their opponents despite only winning eight ends in the match. However, this proved to be OUP’s only success of the night!

Paul Shipton’s six shot win proved enough for Woodstock to scrape past West Oxford.

William Hawes

It is great sadness that we report the passing of William Hawes. William was a member of both Headington and Thame.

The funeral will be held Oxford Crematorium on 8th April at 2pm.

Thoughts are with Katherine and Sheila at this difficult time.

Ladies County Finals

Singles Qualifiers 2015This year’s ladies county finals were held at Oxford City & County on the 25th & 26th July. The weekend kicked off with the ladies singles, under 25 singles and unbadged pairs. The ladies singles saw Caroline Campion (Banbury Central) beat Katherine Hawes comfortably denying Hawes of a 14th title. The under 25 singles game was a nail biting affair with Jazzmin Alder from West Witney beating Katie Glenn from the hosting club by just one shot. Under 25's Singles Winner 2015In the Unbadged pairs Maureen De Paauw and Sue Stewart from South Oxford beat Wendy Rossiter and Linda Price from Headington. The morning’s games was followed by the ladies pairs in which Campion teamed up with Carole Galletly and Hawes with Donna Knight. The game was extremely close with nothing separating the two teams. Unbadged Pairs Winners 2015Campion and Galletly managed to edge away to a 4 shot lead going into the final end with Hawes & Knight only managed to pick up 3 on the last end to lose by 1 shot.

County Pairs Champions 2015

Officers Cup Winners 2013The second day saw a change in the weather, which made conditions very tricky for the finalists of the 2 wood singles, triples and fours. The 2 wood singles saw club mates Carol Gaskins and Jeanette Berry (Oxford City & County) play each other in another close final. Early on, it looked as though Gaskins would race to an early victory but Berry fought back to claim a 3 shot win. County Triples Winners 2015The triples also saw two teams from the host club play each other. Knight, Gail Gilkes and Hawes beat Vicky Harrison, Margaret Stacey and Jacky Gray by a sizable margin. A hot shot on the first end set the scene for the game. County Fours Winners 2015The Fours final involved 2 teams from Banbury Central. June Bone, Gill Sharpe, Galletly and Campion pressed on to an early lead but as conditions changed rapidly during the morning, Mo Cox, Sue Waring, Annie Gilkes and Anne Norton claimed the title with a 4 shot victory.

Results:
Singles: C Campion (Banbury Central) 21, K Hawes (Oxford City & County) 6.
2 Wood Singles: J Berry 13 (Oxford City & County), C Gaskins (Oxford City & County) 10.
Pairs: C Galletly, C Campion (Banbury Central) 18, D Knight, K Hawes (Oxford City & County) 17.
Triples: D Knight, G Gilkes, K Hawes (Oxford City & County) 35, V Harrison, M Stacey, J Gray (Oxford City & County) 10.
Fours: M Cox, S Waring, A Gilkes, A Norton (Banbury Central) 20, J Bones, G Sharpe, C Galletly, C Campion (Banbury Central) 16.
Under 25 Singles: J Alder (West Witney) 21, K Glenn (Oxford City & County) 20.
Unbadged Pairs: M D Paauw, S Stewart (South Oxford BC) 21, W Rossiter, L Price (Headington) 10.

Ladies Triples: Oxford City and County trios qualify

Ladies Triples Qualifiers 2015

Two triples from Oxford City & County have qualified for the national triples championships held at Leamington spa in August. The triples qualifying rounds were held at Banbury Borough on Sunday 28th June.

Vicky Harrison, Margaret Stacey and Jacky Gray qualified comfortably beating Pauline Illott’s triple by 14 shots in the quarter final before claiming victory from Gill Lambourne’s trio by 9 shots in the semi final.

Donna Knight, Gail Gilkes and Katherine Hawes had a close fought battle with Caroline Campion’s team in the quarter final sneaking a 3 shot victory before beating the hosting club’s triple skipped by Angie Ives by 11 shots.

Results:

Quarter finals: P Illott 15, J Gray 32; Gill Lambourne 18, C Bloomfield 16; A Norton 15, A Ives 18; C Campion 13, K Hawes 16.
Semi Finals: J Gray 20, G Lambourne 11; A Ives 9, K Hawes 20.

Hawes and Penson qualify in ladies singles

Katherine Hawes and Carol Penson (both Oxford City & County) have qualified for the National Singles Championships held at Leamington Spa in August.

In the semi finals played at Banbury Chestnuts, Hawes beat Carole Walker of Banbury Borough 21 – 3 after beating Jeanette Berry, also from Oxford City & County, 21 – 17.

In the other half, Carol Penson beat Pat Ostler from Bloxham 21 – 10 to qualify after beating Jackie Stafford from Shiplake.

Quarter final results:

Pauline Williams (Long Hanborough) 15, Carole Walker (Banbury Borough) 23
Katherine Hawes (Oxford City & County) 21, Jeanette Berry (Oxford C & C)17
Stella Amos (Banbury Central) 16, Pat Ostler (Bloxham) 21
Carol Penson (Ox City & County) 21, Jackie Stafford (Shiplake) 9

Semi final results:

Carole Walker 3, Katherine Hawes 21
Pat Ostler 10, Carol Penson 21

Oxon beat Northants in Middleton Cup trial

Oxfordshire came from behind to win by two shots in the Middleton Cup trial against Northamptonshire on Saturday.

In testing conditions with wind playing a big part at Oxford City & County BC the visitors settled quicker overall and led by sixteen shots at five ends. The gap had closed by two at ten ends with some of the Oxon combinations, playing together for the first time, now starting to gel and find their form. During the next five ends our players continued to apply pressure and at fifteen ends the score stood level. The lead then fluctuated by no more than three shots either way until the end when some good containing play resulted in a narrow Oxfordshire win by 131 shots to 129.

The Oxon players are all now very much geared up to winning a place in the starting twenty-four against Middlesex in the first Middleton Cup game on 31st May and next up in the trial process is the trip to Barnwood BC on Saturday 17th May to play Gloucestershire.

Oxon Skips first:

Mark Charlett 27, Ian Walker 17
Alan Prew 31, Neil McKee 13
Baden Sparkes 23, Alan Ashby 20
Ian Snowdon 12, Vernon Gearey 30
Paul Sharman 22, Andrew Manton 25
Mark Sykes 16, Roger Tansley 24

Full report: MC Report v Northants

League Week 9

The Oxford and District Bowls League, sponsored by Yarnton Nurseries, was, finally, blessed by fine weather.

In Division 1 the race for the title really opened up. Headington A remain top despite being held to a draw at Banbury Central.

Only two matches were played in Division 2 as Witney Town were touring. Bicester remain top, having beaten Kidlington by four shots.

In Division 3, Watlington remain top despite a heavy defeat at Chipping Norton. The home side winning on all four rinks.

Bloxham beat City and County B by a single shot, helped by Tony Gardener’s rink’s ‘hot shot’ eight.

Banbury Central B maintained their current good from in Division 4, winning away at leaders Adderbury. However, Chadlington beat Hanborough by an even bigger margin and go back to the top. Central meet Chadlington next week in a match that could determine the top two in the division.

Full Report: Oxford and District Bowls league report 4 July 2013
Rink Scores: Rink Scores
League Tables: League Tables