Rotating Header Image


Oxon lose to Kent in the Middleton Cup

Oxfordshire played Kent in the southern regional final of the Middleton Cup, looking for a place in the semi-finals at Leamington. After discussions with Kent a neutral green of Egham BC was agreed and a start time of 11 am.

With the same 24 players as in all 3 qualifying matches and a convincing win against Kent in the Home Counties league seven days earlier Oxfordshire’s hopes were high but they were aware of the strength of their opponents.

After 5 ends Oxfordshire trailed by 27 shots with 2 of the rinks unable to make any showing on the score card. Kent maintained their led and after 15 ends their lead was still 28 shots. With ends running out Oxfordshire conceded defeat with 5 ends unplayed. David Leighfield led his rink to the only win of the day. The rinks of Ray Gaskins and Chris Gilkes both finished without completing the 21st end and both shared the spoils.

A 50 game badge was awarded to Shiplake’s Jim Bland.

Oxfordshire 98, Kent 128

Rink scores

Jim Bland Lee Young Paul Comley Ray Gaskins drew 15-15.
Joe Justin Paul Skidmore Kevin Alder Baden Sparkes lost 10-25
Joe Abercrombie Keith Holloway Mark Sykes A J Docherty lost 12-24                       
Ade Kemish Orren Bennett Will Campion David Leighfield won 25-18 
Bradley Squires Andy McIntyre Shane Cooper Paul Sharman lost 15-21
Sam Watts James Gaskins Remy Clanfield Chris Gilkes drew 21-21.

Men’s Semi-Finals Day

Carterton Bowls Club was the venue for this year’s men’s semi-finals.

The morning see three games played, the first of which was the first singles game of the day. This was between Banbury Central’s Lee Young and Headington’s Nick Rae-Welsh. A very good start from both the players see the score at a close 9-7 in Lee’s favour after 11 ends before Nick played the perfect 12th end, picking up 4. This then aided him in stretching his lead to 17-12 over the following 6 ends. The next 4 ends see only single shots being scored, with two apiece which left it at 19-14 after 22 ends. Nick then picked up the 2 shots he required on the 23rd end to book his place in the final and a place at Leamington next month, 21-14 victor.

The next game was an all Headington bout between Jon Philpott, Ray Gaskins, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts against Sam Watts, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett. Mark’s rink got off to a solid start, being 14-1 up after only 6 ends. 5 shots over the following 2 ends see Howard’s men reduce the deficit to only 8 shots by 8 ends. The next three ends see 3 shots scored to both teams leaving the score at 17-9 after 11. Mark’s rink then won the next 5 ends which gave them the win, 24-9 winners and booking their place at Leamington.

The final game of the morning was between West Witney’s Bradley Squires, Harvey Alder, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder against a Banbury Borough rink consisting of Keith Holloway, Alan Prew, Mark Sykes and A.J. Docherty. A very strong start from the Borough rink see them 13-3 up after 8 ends. Kevin’s rink then won the next 2 ends to take the score to 13-6 before 5 shots picked up from AJ’s men see their lead increase once more. 6 shots to Borough to only 4 from Witney see the Borough rink take their place in next Sunday’s final and the last spot at Leamington up for grabs in the morning, final score 24-10.  

After an excellent lunch and a timely performance from the RAF’s Red Arrows, the afternoon session got underway. Again, three games were played in this session.

The first game was the triples between Headington’s Sam Watts, Ray Gaskins and Nick Rae-Welsh against Banbury Central’s Alan Carter, Lee young and Will Campion. The first end see Nick play a fantastic running bowl to make 7 shots. After 5 ends it was 12-4 in Headington’s favour. 5 shots over the next three ends for the Headington trio see their lead extend to 17-4. The next 5 ends see 6 shots to 3 shots in Headington’s favour, once again which see the board at 23-7. A double on their last end see the Headington triple book the first spot of the afternoon to next week’s final. 

The next game was a pairs battle between West Witney’s Nigel Siford and Paul Skidmore against a Watlington pairing of Will Soden and Chris Gilkes. A good start from the Witney pair see their lead at 14-5 after 8 ends. The following 5 ends see the Watlington duo reduce the deficit and bring themselves right back into the game, only 2 shots off the pace at 15-13. 5 shots to each pair over the next 4 ends see the gap of 2 shots remain, 20-18 at 17. The next 3 ends see 3 singles scored leaving the Watlington pair to require 3 shots to force an extra end. Will set the head up well for Chris to roll the jack into a packet of his bowls but unfortunately for them he narrowly missed it with his last bowl, giving Nigel and Paul the game, 23-19. A big congratulations for Nigel Siford and Paul Skidmore for qualifying for the first time in their bowling careers to the National Finals at Leamington. 

The third game of the afternoon was another West Witney pairing, this time Andy McIntyre and David Leighfield against Headington’s Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett. A good start from both pairs see the score at 11-8 in Witney’s favour at 8 ends. The next 6 ends see Andy and David increase their lead to 17-11 before 3 good ends from Ian and Mark see them scoring 6 shots to make the board level at 17 ends, 17-17. 3 shots to 1 in Witney’s favour left Ian and Mark requiring 2 for an extra end, however they were unsuccessful and could only pick up a single shot, this see the Witney boys through 20-19 winners. Next Sunday will see a West Witney pairs final as they face Nigel and Paul.

After a short break the evening sessions began, this time two games were played.

The second singles game of the day see Banbury Central’s Will Campion up against Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway. After 8 ends the score was level at 4 shots apiece. Will then won the next 4 ends scoring 8 shots to take the lead, 12-4. Keith then fought back over the next 5 ends, scoring 4 shots to Will’s 1. 8 shots then followed for Keith which see him take the lead 16-14 after 21 ends. Will then reclaimed the lead scoring 5 shots over the following 2 ends, score sitting at 19-16. The next 5 ends see Keith pick up 5 single shots which gave him the win, 21-19 victor in a fantastic battle right the way through. 

The last game of the day was the second triples match between West Witney’s Andy McIntyre, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder against Burford Town’s Alan Tuckwell, Roger Hopkins and Bob Parker. Kevin’s trio started impressively, scoring 13 shots to Burford’s 2 after 6 ends. The next 4 ends see the Witney triple increase their lead by picking up singles to go 17-2 up. Burford then scored a single on the 11th end to take the score to 17-3. The Witney triple then scored 7 shots over the following 3 ends to secure their victory, 24-3 winners.

That concluded the day and a big thank you to all of the spectators, Carterton Bowls Club and the markers / umpires for the day, Mick Morris and Paul Demczak. The County Finals day is at Banbury borough Bowling Club on Sunday 21st July. 

U25’s lose to Surrey in JHCL

On Sunday 23rd June, Oxfordshire under 25s travelled to Malden Manor to play Surrey in the Junior Home Counties league. Despite a close battle throughout the game, Surrey were victorious by a score of 8-2, and by 11 shots. 

Jamie Wilkinson’s rink of Luke Gilbert, Sam Kibblewhite and Brandon King were always up against it playing Junior International skip Charlie Souter. The Oxon boys applied themselves well but Charlie continued to play big running bowls to great effect, and Jamie fell to a 12-26 defeat.

Captain Orren Bennett’s rink of Joe Justin, debutant Brandon Appleton, and Ben Dickson started well and led throughout the game. Unfortunately, Surrey skip Eoghan Harding’s rink never let Orren get away, and with a count of 4 on the final end, Surrey took the rink 18-19.

Harvey Alder came into the game confident after winning their rink well in the previous game and his rink of Jonathan Dadson, Jack Kendall and Joe Glenn continued in the same vein. They led from start to finish, and while they did drop a few shots late on while chasing the overall score, they still recorded a 22-18 win. 

A good performance from the boys despite the result. Big thanks to Brandon Appleton of Chadlington for stepping in at short notice for his debut and he gave an excellent account of himself. Lots of positives going forward to the final JHCL game vs Kent.  

League Week 10

A shorter than normal report this week as the weekend was taken up by playing, and watching, too much sport!

Division 1 saw the closest match of the week, with the best, or worst, finish you could hope for depending on who you support. Carterton travelled to Banbury Central and lost on two early finishing rinks. Last end on the other two saw Tim Jupp’s rink a shot behind but Paul Sharman’s lead by ten shots; that meant they needed Tim to win and a swing of six shots over the two rinks for the match points. Tim’s men not only obliged but took a five leaving Paul needing a single shot! As Will Campion played his last bowl, Central were losing by one on the end and the match and he needed to rest on the shot bowl to win the end. Agonisingly, for Central, he missed by half a bowl and Carterton snatched points that they did not expect to get.

Witney Mills continue to fight for their lives, this week taking on Headington and coming away with two winning rinks, as good a result as anyone this year. All four rinks were one sided though Mark Charlett’s rink scored six shots over the last two end’s it was still not enough to catch Alan Wiggins’ men.

Comfortably wins on two rinks and ties on the other two meant that Watlington defeated West Witney easily. Chris Gilkes’ rink took the last three ends in their game to snatch their draw.

Division 2 leaders City and County went down to their first defeat of the season at Headington. Two exciting finishes in the match as Steve Gould’s rink, who were never behind until they dropped a three on end fifteen, won the last two ends but just failed to catch Omar Sharif, while Russel Edwards snatched the last end to tie his game. Alan Ley’s twelve shot win should have given the match to City and County, but Colin Whitehead’s rink won their game by nineteen shots!

South Oxford took full advantage of Adderbury’s bye week to move clear into second place with a big win at home to struggling Chipping Norton, while Kidlington’s defeat of Charlbury moved themselves further away from the relegation zone whilst putting almost the final nail into the visitor’s relegation coffin!

Bicester continue their move out of Division 3 with a good win at home to Bloxham. Highlight was the tie between Kevin Taylor and Alan Miles’ rink where the lead changed hand four times before Kevin scored the two his rink required to grab a hard earned draw.

Thame benefitted both from Banbury Central’s bye week and a weak Shiplake team with their comfortable win moving them into second place. Only the ever reliable Jim Bland’s rink was able to provide some comfort for the visitors.

A massive win for Ken William’s rink guaranteed match points for Hanborough as they hosted struggling Chadlington. In fact, their opponents failed to win a single end in the second half of the match, a feat almost matched by Phil Radbone for Chadlington but his opponents did win one end!

Woodstock’s lead at the top of Division 4 was reduced, despite their win at City and County, with West Oxford continuing their progress, winning at home to struggling Blackbird Leys.  Only John Parker’s rink come close to losing but their six shot lead after thirteen ends proved enough despite Paul Smith’s fight back.

Woodstock themselves have Brian Clark’s rink to thank for their win as their fifteen shot winning margin just swung the game to the away side.

South Oxford and Burford drew their match only because James Clack’s rink, for South, took eight shots on the final two ends to come from six down to win! This proved just enough to offset the shots lost by South as they could only field fifteen men and therefore lost shots on the three men rink they played!

Oxon men beat Kent in HCL

After an 18-4 win in the Home Counties League against Surrey at the end of June and last week’s victory over Isle of Wight in the Middleton Cup, Oxfordshire returned to Kidlington to play Kent, their opponents in the regional final of the Middleton Cup, in the Home Counties League on Saturday 13th July.

After a level start with only 3 shots between the sides after 10 ends, Oxfordshire applied pressure and had gained a lead of 34 shots at the conclusion of end 15. Solid play saw Oxfordshire home by 54 shots and by 5 rinks to 1. With 5 of the rinks skipped by Middleton Cup players it was the other rink skipped by Les Days  playing with the vastly experience Alan ley and 2 belated recipients of their full county badges Percy Hickman (Chipping Norton) and Paul Robbins (Witney Mills), who recorded the biggest win by 24 shots.

Oxfordshire 142 and 20 points Kent 88 and 2 points.

Rink scores

Joe Abercrombie Gordon hooker Ted Eley Paul Skidmore won 28-17.
Percy Hickman Alan ley Paul Robbins Les Days won 32-8.
Paul Demczak Chris Cox Orren Bennett Shane Cooper won 26-14.
Joe Justin Jamie MacDonough Stuart (Sammy) Timms Paul Sharman lost 12-21
Chris Lewis Henry Beall Chris Weller Chris Gilkes won 20-16
Richard Green Trevor Prew Brian Clarke Kevin Alder won 24-12

With 2 other matches played at the same time Oxfordshire’s position in the table is improved despite big wins for leaders Berkshire and second-placed Buckinghamshire.

Unofficial standings after the games are

Berkshire played 5 54 points
Buckinghamshire 4 50 points
Sussex 4 46points
Middlesex 4 44points
Oxfordshire 3 42points
Kent 4 40points
Surrey 4 32 points

Oxfordshires outstanding games are:

Sussex away at Eastbourne 27th July
Middlesex at South Oxford 3rd August
Buckinghamshire away at Olney 31st August

Oxon men beat Oxon ladies in friendly

The President Of Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies Carole Thornhill, brought a team of her choice to play the OBA selected team at Banbury chestnuts on Tuesday 9th July.

With 3 winning rinks each the overall result depended on the last end of the final rink to finish.

Needing 3 to tie the match, the ladies achieved a 3 but unfortunately for them it was a 3 to the OBA to give them an overall win by 6 shots.

OBA 117, BOL 111

P Christmas T Gripe D Bullock I Whelpton lost to K Galloway P Taylor P Faulkner C Penson 18-28.
R Slater R Oliver J Lucas C Cox beat M Morris P Willoughby S Blackmore W Cross 24-13.
B Willoughby J Stephens D Lafford M Andrew lost to K Bland C Purnell G Muir C Gaskins 11-17.
D Wright J McGeough J Benfield M Morris beat M Bullock E Brown C Thornhill P Ostler 22-18.
P Killackey J Timms A Fleming A Wase lost to J fountain S Wase M Osborne A Ives 17-20.
S Tolhurst J Hurren K Buckle P Demczak beat J Gray J Banton H Kingsley J Berry 25-15.

Headington Claim senior fours title

Senior fours winners 2019

Headington’s Bernie May, Paul Comley, Ray Gaskins and Howard Watts were crowned senior fours champions at Banbury Chestnuts Bowls Club on Sunday.

They began their day in the semi-final against Bicester’s Martin Workman, Alan Wagner, Paul Hooley and Kevin Taylor. The game started fairly evenly with Bicester developing a slight lead after 10 ends at 10-6. Headington then battled well to win the next 4 ends to take the lead, 13-10. 2 shots apiece over the next 2 ends see the score at 15-12 to Headington after 16 ends. Bicester were requiring 3 shots over the last 2 ends to force an extra end; however, this was not achieved, only securing 2 singles shots. Headington Progressed to the final as winners, 15-14. 

The other semi-final see Kidlington’s Jim Feeley, Bob Foster, Chris Cox and Paul McGrath against a Watlington rink comprising of David Byers, David Auger, Adie Twinn and Gordon Hooker. The Watlington rink got off to a strong start, finding themselves 11-5 up at 10 ends. They then further increased their lead to 15-5 after 12 ends before Kidlington then fought back well, scoring 7 shots over the next 2 ends, including a 5 shot pick up on the 14th end. 3 shots to 1 in Watlington’s favour see Kidlington requiring 5 for an extra end on the last. They could not achieve this, by Kidlington only picking up a single shot, this see Watlington progress to the final 18-14 victors. 

After lunch, the final stage was set, Headington’s Bernie May, Paul Comley, Ray Gaskins and Howard Watts against Watlington’s David Byers, David Auger, Adie Twinn and Gordon Hooker. A strong start from the Headington rink see them take a 10-1 lead after 4 ends. Watlington then pegged them back over the next 5 ends, picking 8 shots up unanswered. After 12 ends the score was back level at 11 shots apiece. The next four ends see a nip and tuck game with the score level again at 16 ends, 13-13. The 17th end became a pivotal moment in the game, a wonderful just over weighted bowl by Howard Watts see him take out the Watlington’s closest to pick up 5 shots. The last end meant the Watlington needed to 5 to stay alive but this was unachievable, another beautiful bowl, this time a drawn side toucher from Watts was enough to secure them shot and be crowned champions, 19-13 winners. 

The Senior Fours is one of only two national championship disciplines where only one team from each County qualify for the national finals. This will be played at Leamington Spa from Tuesday 6th August to Thursday 8th August. 

Men’s Singles Quarter Finals

Headington Bowls Club was the venue for this year’s men’s singles quarter finals. 

The first game was between Banbury Central’s Lee Young and West Witney’s Andy McIntyre. The score was close after 7 ends, with Lee narrowly taking the lead, 8-7. Lee then continued to increase his lead by winning 5 of the next 6 ends, taking the score to 18-8. Andy then scored 3 shots to take him to 7 shots behind before the last end, where Lee collected the 3 shots that he required to progress him to the semi-final. 

The next game was an all Headington battle between Mark Charlett and Nick Rae-Welsh. Nick started strongly seeing him take an 11-1 lead after 6 ends. Mark then fought back to within 7 shots after 13 ends, seeing the score at 15-8. The next 2 ends see Mark score 2 to Nick’s 1 seeing the score at 16-10 in Nick’s favour. 2 good ends for Nick then see him progress to the semi-final, 21-10 victor. Nick will face Lee in Sunday’s Semi-Finals. 

The third game of the evening saw Carterton’s Remy Clanfield against Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway. Keith started well, taking an early 5-2 lead after 4 ends. Keith than increased his lead by winning the next 6 ends, scoring 10 unanswered shots. Remy then tried to fight back picking up a 3 on the 11th end before Keith scored a maximum 4 on the 12th end, seeing him only needing one shot to progress. Remy fought hard to score 4 shots over the next 2 ends. Remy was then holding 3 on what turned out to be the last end, as Keith drew a fantastic bowl, under pressure to win 21-9. 

The final game of the evening saw Banbury Central’s Will Campion against Headington’s Colin Whitehead. A very close start to the game see no more than a 3 shot gap between the two. After 13 ends the score was level at 10 shots apiece. 3 shots to each of them over the next 4 ends see the score level again at 13-13. 3 strong ends from Will then see him score 8 shots, that what was required of him to secure the last place in Sunday’s semi-finals, 21-13 winner. He will face Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway. 

Thank you to Headington Bowls Club for hosting the county and providing excellent facilities all evening.

Carterton’s Young Guns shine at the Under 25 Singles day

Chipping Norton Bowls Club was the venue for the under 25 singles day for the first time.

The first round of games see firstly Headington’s Brandon King against Banbury Central’s Luke Gilbert. An even start see the score at 11-9 in Brandon’s favour before his lead increased by scoring a further 4 shots unanswered, 15-9. Luke then reduced the score by winning the next two ends, 15-12. The next three ends see an even affair which left the board showing only 1 shot in the game, to Brandon’s favour. 3 won ends, including back to back 3’s see Brandon progress to the quarter final, 21-15 victor.

The other morning game saw club mates, and lifelong friends, do battle in both their last year in the junior campaign, West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Harvey Alder. The first 15 ends could see no clear favorite, but with the score at 15-11 in Bradley’s favour. Harvey then bowled 6 ends of class to score 9 shots unanswered to see him only requiring him needing 1 shot to progress, but Bradley had other ideas. 2 great ends from him see him pick up back to back 3’s to narrowly win 21-20. 

After a splendid lunch, the quarter finals began. The first game saw another pair of “old” juniors fighting for their last chance at Leamington in the competition, Headington’s Sam Watts up against Banbury Borough’s Jamie Wilkinson. The first half of the game see Jamie take a comfortable 14-7 shot lead, after 11. After 17 ends the score was heavily in Jamie’s favour, at 18-11 however 5 winning ends for Sam see him secure the 10 shots he required to progress to the semi-final, 21-18 winner. 

The next game saw Carterton’s Joe Justin up against the 5th “old” competitor of the day, Kidlington’s Joe Glenn. After 11 ends the score was all square at 11 apiece. 3 good ends from JJ see the score at 18-13 after 15 ends. Joe G (Hashtag) then could only manage a single shot pickup before JJ picked up a 3 that sent him through to the semi-final, 21-14 victor.

The next quarter final See West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Headington’s Brandon King. A good start from Brandon see him 6-0 up after 3 before Bradley scored 10 unanswered shots, including back to back 4’s, see the score at 10-6 after 6 ends. Brandon then fought back well to see the score at 14-13 after 16. Bradley then won the next 6 ends to see him 20-13 up and holding game before Brandon played a “worldie” game saving bowl to keep him in the game. Brandon then went on to win the next 2 ends. 20-18. Bradley then won the game with his last bowl in another tense, but high-quality battle. 

The first semi-final line up was Headington’s Sam Watts and Carterton’s Orren Bennett. An even first half again see the score at 11-9 in Orren’s favour. Orren then went 16-10 up and then 17-13 up after 19 ends. Sam then bowled a game saving bowl to see the score go to 17-14. Orren then went on to win 2 of the last 3 ends to secure the win 21-15 victor. 

The other semi-final saw West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Carterton’s Joe Justin. A good start for Joe saw him take the lead, 12-7 after 8 before Bradley fought back well to win the next 5 ends, unanswered, scoring 7 shots see him take the lead 14-12. After 16 ends the game was totally level 16 apiece before 3 lush ends from Joe see him pick up 5 shots to secure the last place at Leamington for the junior campaign this year. 

A huge thank you to all those competitors who attended the day and made it such a spectacle. Also, a big thanks to all the parents and family that continually support the junior game within Oxfordshire, without you we would not be building such a strong demographic for the future! 

Finally, a big thanks to Chipping Norton Bowls Club for hosting the county twice in a week and providing excellent facilities, the lunch was superb!!

Men’s county semi finals

The men’s county semi finals willbe held at Carterton Bowls Club on Sunday 14th July.

Programme: Semi finals