Rotating Header Image


Oxon men beaten by Essex in final friendly

Oxfordshire played Essex at Thame BC on Tuesday 19th September to play their final friendly of the 2017 season against Essex. The match was always close and at the end four rinks were within two shots. With 2 ending in ties the overall match swung on the last 2 ends on rink 4.Trailing by 1 Mike Andrew’s four picked up a 5 on end 20 to raise hopes of a narrow Oxfordshire win. However a dropped 5 on the final end crushed such hopes. It was left to Paul Robbins’ four on the show rink to pick up 6 shots to produce a match draw but that proved too much and they produced a single shot.Jim Lucas played his 200th game for Oxfordshire and was presented with the appropriate badge by Deputy President Eddie Dorling.

Oxfordshire 104 Essex 109

Paul Demczak Les Days Glynn Middleton Paul Robbins won 19-12
Ron Slater Alex Fleming David Bullock Alan Ley drew 21-21
David Byers John McGeough Jim Lucas Ian Whelpton lost 13-22
Mel Cameron John Timms John Benfield Mike Andrew lost 19-20
Terry Gripe Alan Wase Allan Hall Brian Bloomfield lost 12-14.
Mike Jones John Stephens David Wedge Melvin Brain drew 20-20

Headington B win Summertown Trophy

Summertown Trophy winners 2017

In the last domestic competition of the season, the 10 qualifying teams from across the County descended on Banbury Chestnuts for the Summertown Trophy final, sponsored by Oxford Auto Care. All teams playing each other over 7 ends in a round-robin format, to compete for over £1,000 in prize money.

Watlington A and Banbury Borough B were the early pace setters, picking up some good wins in their first 4 games to lead the competition at lunch. After 7 matches hosts Banbury Chestnuts along with Headington B had climbed into contention on +19 shots, but still trailed both Banbury Borough and Watlington who were comfortably ahead.

With just 2 games remaining, the heavens opened and the bowlers found themselves adjusting to the rainy conditions and a heavier green. Previous winners Banbury Borough and Headington then came face-to-face, with the Oxford side needing a good result to mount a late challenge. Headington adapted quickly to the wet weather and their 7 shot victory over Borough, now put them 2 shots ahead of their rivals. With both Watlington and Chestnuts suffering costly defeats, the competition had suddenly swung in favour of defending champions Headington B, with just 1 game remaining.

By pure coincidence the final round saw Chris Gilkes’ Watlington rink come up against Mark Sykes’ four from the Borough, whilst Headington B faced Chestnuts. After 3 ends Watlington had edged back into pole position as they led the Borough, whilst there was little to choose between Headington v Chestnuts. On the penultimate end though, and with the scores still tight, Mark Charlett trailed the jack with his final wood to pick up a massive 7 shots for Headington. This late surge saw Headington B beat Chestnuts by 10 shots and recapture their title on +36 shots overall.

Watlington A defeated Banbury Borough by 4 shots in their last game to claim the runners-up prizes and the Astall Ley Trophy, also capping a fine season for the south Oxfordshire club.

Final Result
1st Headington B +36
2nd Watlington A +26
3rd Banbury Borough B +20

Past presidents lose to Herts in final game

The good thing about losing is……

Whether you win use or draw, at least we all have the same after match meal.

Unfortunately for the Past Presidents, playing their last game of the season, at Thame BC against Hertfordshire, the after match meal was the highlight of the afternoon and it was a meal well worth waiting for. One again the Thame club proved to be excellent hosts.

The game itself went to Hertfordshire 116-83 as Oxfordshire took the hospitality bit a little too far losing on four of the five rinks.
Out on the famed rink 6 with the swinging ditch hand, Alan Ley’s rink trailed 3-15 after twelve ends but then collected ten shots over the next three ends to bring themselves back into the game and although the last six ends were shared, they just missed out by one shot.

Chairman Mike Andrew and his merry men were even more generous, waiting until the twelfth end before recording a score to leave them only seventeen shots beind their opponents. A flurry of shots between the sixteenth and nineteenth ends made the scoreline look a little more respectable but they have given the Herts lads too good a start.
Melvin Brain’s foursome were only three shots adrift at fourteen but only managed to score on one more end as they ran out 14-29 losers. Whoever kept the scorecard on this rink had a very creative scoring technique.

John McGeough’s card keeper also tried a new method of staying close to their opponents by actually detracting shots scored by the opposition on the last two ends of their game.
Sorry boy’s, it was noticed and you lost by 9.

Oxfordshire’s only ray of sunshine was provided by Ian Whelpton’s four in their seesaw match. Having dropped seven shots on the first two ends they took the next five to lead by 5, only to then lose the next four to go 3 down. The following four ends put them back in the lead by four shots only for the Herts rink to collect the next two. Thankfully the last three ends went in Oxfordshire favour resulting in a 24-18 win.

Rink results:
David Varney, Martin Oliver, Ken williams & Ian Whelpton 24-18.
Francis Benham, John Timms, Alex Fleming & John McGeough 17-26.
Steve Tolhurst, David Bullock, Allan Hall & Mike Andrew 11-25
Mel Cameron, Tony Backer-Holst, Michael Morris & Melvin Brain 14-29
Ron Slater, Larry Eltringham, Gordon Hooker & Alan Ley 17-18

HCBA Finals Day

Will Parker & Alistair Heyes HCBA pairs runners up Bexhill BC was the choice venue for this year’s HCBA finals day, which provided excellent services throughout the day. After a very cold and early start, the Oxon pairing of Alistair Heyes and Will Parker were up against John and Jason Lyttle of Middlesex on the show rink of the four greens. The Oxon pair started well gaining a 5 shot to 2 lead after 4 ends before a 3 shot comeback from the Middlesex pair saw the score level at 5 ends. Good battling saw the Oxon pair 10-6 up at ten ends before a fantastic end saw a 5 shot pickup and a comfortable 15-6 lead. After 14 ends the Oxon boys were 20-8 up and looking promising before a late surge from the Lyttle pair see them gain 8 shots over the next three ends and reduce the deficit to 20-16 before the Oxon pair regained command in the game taking the score to 23-18 playing the last. A fantastic head was built by Heyes which left Parker smiling playing covering bowls to take the game 26-18 victors and progress to the pairs final.

Shane Cooper HCBA u25 singles runner upThe other representative from Oxfordshire was Shane Cooper competing in the Under 25 Singles. He was up against Buckinghamshire’s representative, Jamie Seymour. A strong start from Bucks saw Seymour take an early 8-0 lead before Cooper battled back well to only be 1 shot down with the score at 10-9. Another surge from Seymour saw him in another comfortable position at 17-11. Good bowling from Cooper kept him in contention all the way through the game, battling once more to get the deficit back to 2 shots at 18-16. 2 Singles from Seymour saw him just needing 1 shot to progress to the final before 4 huge ends from Cooper leveling the game at 20 shots apiece. Nip and tuck bowling from both competitors saw Cooper take the game 21-20 victor, only being in front at the end of the game to win it!

The HCBA under 25 singles final was between Oxfordshire’s Shane Cooper and Kent junior international Andy Rodger. Rodger took an early 10-3 lead and looked strong from the off. Confident bowling from Cooper was deserving of more shots than what actually prevailed seeing him 17 shots to 6 down after 15 ends. Unfortunately the difference proved too great for Cooper to recover from and he lost 21-8 to Rodger who was brilliant throughout. A tremendous effort from Shane Cooper has to be noted and credit must be given for his fantastic achievements this year, his final one as an Oxfordshire under 25 player.

The HCBA pair’s final was between Oxfordshire’s Alistair Heyes and Will Parker against Buckinghamshire’s Malcolm Pratt and David Clay. A very even tussle from start to finish saw neither pair take a lead of more than 5 shots throughout the game. After 6 ends the Oxfordshire lads were 8-3 up and looking strong. A weak end on the 8th saw them drop a 6 shot count to see them 10-8 down. The next 7 ends saw fantastic bowling from both Heyes and Parker seeing them pick up 6 shots to Bucks’ 2. With the score at 14-12 in Oxfordshire’s favour, the Bucks skip played some world class bowls to pick up 6 shots over the next 5 ends to Oxfordshire’s 3 seeing the final end being played with Oxfordshire 18-17 down. Pratt’s fantastic last end put Parker under pressure and with his last bowl narrowly missing the target, saw Bucks win the Pairs title 21-17. Once again a fantastic achievement from Alistair Heyes and Will Parker who were unlucky not to have claimed the title.

The Oxfordshire Bowling Association wishes to thank Shane Cooper, Alistair Heyes, Will Parker and Bradley Squires for attending the day and driving the 300 mile round trip to represent the county.

Headington B win Hawker Cup

Hawker cup - Headington B

Oxford City and County provided once again a fabulous venue for the Hawker Cup semi-finals and final with four teams competing for the Hawker Cup title. Banbury Central A against Carterton A, and Headington B against West Witney were the two semi-finals. Central’s Alan Carter, Tom McKenna, Lee Young and Will Campion were up against Carterton’s Andy Wise, Steve Aldren, Robbie Clanfield and Paul Sharman. A close affair for the first half of the game before saw the score all tied at 9 shots after 10 ends. Carterton took a 17-9 lead after 13 ends before Central battled well to end the game only losing to Carterton 20-16. In Contrast the other Carterton rink, of Pete Latter, Phil Monahan, Dave Clanfield and Remy Clanfield took an early 11-1 lead after 7 ends against Central’s Graham Morbey, Malcolm Leather, Keith McNeil and Nigel Galletly. A great fight back from Central saw them only 2 shots adrift at the end of the game, losing out 20-18 to Carterton. Carterton progressed to the final winning 40-34.

The other semi-final was between Headington B and West Witney. Harvey Alder, Gerald Coombs, Paul Skidmore and Kevin Alder were up against Bernie May, Alan Manger, Gary May and Howard Watts. A very tight tussle from start to finish saw neither side able to break away after 16 ends. 5 shots over the next from West Witney saw them 17-11 up before Watts’ men picked up 3 on the last losing to Alder’s men 17-14. The other Headington rink was Jon Philpott, Kalvin Woodward, Nathan Lewis and Mark Charlett up against West Witney’s Bradley Squires, David Leighfield, Will Parker and Andy McIntyre. A strong start from Charlett’s rink saw them 11-1 up after just 4 ends before West Witney kicked into gear 8 shots in the next 6 ends to see the score 12-9 after 10 ends in Headington’s favour. A strong second half saw the Headington boys command a 22 shot to 15 win over the Witney rink which compensated for their other rinks’ loss. Headington progressed to the final 36-32 winners.

The third place playoff saw Banbury Central A face West Witney in the glorious afternoon sunshine. Nigel Galletly’s rink up against Kevin Alder’s rink saw a close affair with neither side able to gain a sizeable lead. The Witney rink came over the line 18 shots to 17 victors. Will Campion’s rink were up against a rearranged rink, this time skipped by David Leighfield. The Witney rink had a good first half game which saw them 20 shots to 8 up after 13 ends. 9 shots over 4 following ends saw the Witney rink take an uncatchable lead which saw them with a 30 shot to 15 win. West Witney taking third place, 48-32.

The Hawker Cup final between Carterton A and Headington B saw Howards Watt’s rink up against Remy Clanfield’s side. Good quality bowling from both teams saw a tense final which saw Headington 12 shots to 10 up at 16 ends. A 4 shot pick up from Watt’s men on the 17th end gave them a 16-10 lead before Carterton battled well winning all remaining 4 ends to pip victory 17-16. The other rink saw Paul Sharman’s team against Mark Charlett’s rink. Again a high quality battle which saw the scores tied at 10 shots apiece after 12 ends before Carterton picked up 7 shots over 2 ends to go 17-10 in front. 3 strong ends from Headington saw them take 12 shots and a 24-17 lead after 18 ends. Although winning the final 3 ends, Carterton only picked up 5 shots to leave a deficit of 2 shots on their rink. Combining the rink scores saw Headington B claim the Hawker Cup title 40-39 victors.

A big thank you to everyone at Oxford City and County and to all competitors who arrived so promptly and provided an excellent day for competitive bowls in the blissful sunshine. Also a huge thank you to Duncan Muir for umpiring the day.

Oxon men beaten by Worcs in final away friendly

Oxfordshire travelled to Hewell BC on Tuesday 11th September to play their final away friendly of the 2017 season against Worcestershire Once more losing 4 rinks, this time the winning margins on the 2 winning rinks were insufficient to cover the losses on the other 4. Struggling to score shots throughout the afternoon, Alan Ley’s rink picked up a single on the last end to not only win their rink by a single shot but to raise the counties total to 100. With Worcestershire scoring 121 the overall result was clear cut, thoughts turn to the last game of the season next week at Thame and the 2018 season.

Oxfordshire 100 Worcestershire 121

Allan Smith John Timms Allan Hall Ken Williams lost 15-25.
Barry Willoughby Colin Haley Paul Demczak Richard Barnett lost 11-14
Chris Lewis Bill Jarvie Terry Gripe Ian Whelpton lost 17-27
Steve Tolhurst John Stephens Mike Jones Alan Ley won 16-15
Mel Cameron Eddie Dorling Alan Wase Melvin Brain lost 17-21.
Ron Slater Douglas Wright Alex Fleming John McGeough won 24-19.

Oxfordshire bowls league cup final

League Cup Winners 2017

Headington A were looking to crown a record breaking season, by becoming the Oxfordshire Bowls League Cup champions for the fourth year in a row.
Having celebrated reaching the final for the first time, their opponents Witney Town brought plenty of support to cheer their team on. With the floodlights warming up ready to brighten up the Kidlington green, the stage was all set.

Unfortunately for the Witney challengers it was already looking ominous after the first 3 ends, as the League Champions got quickly into their stride. By the half way point Headington A had already amassed an unassailable lead, with only Witney Town’s President, Alan Scholan, ahead on his rink.

By 15 ends all four Headington rinks were comfortably in front and the defending Champions continued their good form and marched on to victory – remaining unbeaten in the League and Cup for the whole season. Ray Gaskins skipped the highest winning rink for Headington, with Mick Nash, Norman Rae, and Colin Whitehead completing the four.

Winning captain Mark Charlett commented, ‘It’s been a great year for our Club, winning the League by a record number of points and claiming the Hawker Cup and League Cup in the last 2 weeks. But I’d also like to offer congratulations to Witney Town, for reaching their first ever League Cup final, and to the many bowlers from across Oxfordshire who have done so well at this year’s National competitions – the best the County has done for many years!’

Headington A 94; Witney Town 45: H Watts 18, A Scholan 15; R gaskins 31, B Bloomfield 7; J King 26, P Demczak; M Charlett 19, T Ludlow 9.

13. Lucky for some – Oxon men beat Berks

13 was a lucky number for OBA President Bill Jarvie when he led his team to a 122-109 victory against local neighbours, The Royal County of Berkshire, in today’s friendly fixture at the Caversham Bowls Club.
At the half way mark the rinks were shared three apiece with the OBA fourteen shots ahead at 59-45. The mark had been set and the winning and losing rinks stayed the same through to the end of the match. At fifteen ends the gap had closed to nine, 84-75 in Oxfordshire’s favour, but three ends later it looked as if the hosts had got their act together as they moved into a three shot lead, 101-98. A strong finish over the remaining ends produced a 24 –8 scoreline for the visitors which was enhanced by a six on the last end played on Alan Ley’s rink.
Mike Jones, Deputy President Eddie Dorling, Allan Hall and skip Richard Barnett will claim no doubt claim the victory was down to their fifteen shot win.

An added sweetener for OBA President Bill Jarvie was the fact that this was the first Friendly County fixture of the season that the Royal County had lost.

Rink results:
Colin Haley, Tery Gripe, Mick Morris, Paul Robbins won 24-18.
Mel Cameron, Allen Smith, John Benfield, Alan Ley won 23-14.
Chris Lewis, Bill Jarvie, Alan Wase, Brian Bloomfield lost 20-22.
John McGeough, John Timms, Ken Williams, Ian Whelpton lost 12-22.
Mike Jones, Eddie Dorling, Allan Hall, Richard Barnett won 29-14.
Ron Slater, David Bullock, David Wedge, Mike Andrew lost 14-19.

The Caversham club and it’s members had been perfect hosts as they brought the day to a close with one of the best aftermatch meals of the season.

Men’s league cup

This year’s League Cup semi-finals at South Oxford saw a clash between Kidlington and Witney Town from Division 2 on one of the green, and Headington A and Watlington from Division 1 on the other. With both greens running exceptionally well, the shorter nights meant that the last of the 18 ends finished in the dark, but the heads still remained competitive throughout.

Nearest the clubhouse it was League 2 champions Kidlington facing third place Witney Town, with honours even in the League this season. Kidlington started the brighter, but after the first few ends were only slightly ahead. Although the advantage swayed back to Witney Town half way through, there was never more than a handful of shots across the game. Despite 2 winning rinks for Kidlington, a strong finish from Tim Ludlow’s men, and a 4 shot victory for Paul Demczak’s four, saw Town win the match by 6 shots overall – and clinch their first ever Cup final place.

In the other semi-final, Division 1 runners-up Watlington were looking to cap a great first season in the top flight and were buoyed on by having the new National Two Wood champion Sam Watts in their side. However the challenge was never going to be easy, as they faced League champions Headington A, who had also won the League Cup in 6 of the last 7 years. After just a first few ends Headington had already established a good lead in the game, with captain Mark Charlett and Nick Rae-Welsh quickest out of the blocks for the Champions. Watlington’s rink, skipped by Chris Gilkes, were also quickly into their stride, but by the half way point Headington were in control of the game. Despite a late rally from Gordon Hooker’s rink, it proved to be just a consolation for Watlington, with Headington marching through by 13 shots.

The final of the League Cup takes place this Thursday, 7th September, under the floodlights at Kidlington Bowls Club.

Semi-final results:
Kidlington 59; Witney Town 65: C Cox 18, T Ludlow 25; M Petersen 11, P Demczak 15; J Hardie 17, A Scholan 13; P McGrath 13, B Bloomfield 12
Headington A 72; Watlington 59: H Watts 21, C Gilkes 18; M Charlett 19, A Kemish 11; J King 14, G Hooker 18; N Rae-Welsh 18, S Cooper 12

More Leamington achievements

In addition to the men’s achievements at Leamington this year, there are two more groups that should be added to the 2017 success story for Oxfordshire bowlers.

Firstly, congratulations go to Mo Cox, Mary Tee, Carole Galletly and Caroline Campion from the Banbury Central club who reached the semi-finals in the National Women’s Senior Fours Championship and secondly, the kaleidoscopic rink of Carole Galletly (Banbury Central), Kathy Hawes (Oxford City & County), Mark Sykes (Banbury Borough) and Howard Watts (Headington) who were finalists in the National Mixed Fours Competition.

Oxfordshire’s achievement’s at the 2017 ‘Nationals’ is going to take some beating in the future.