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Oxon U25’s lose to Berks in JHCL

The 2018 JHCL campaign did not get off to the start Oxfordshire would have liked on Sunday at Thatcham. Despite fielding a relatively inexperienced team by comparison to our hosts the Oxon players were confident of picking up some points in front of President, Eddie Dorling. Sadly, this wasn’t to be as the Berkshire team managed to largely control the game and came away with a 67-46 and 10 points to 0 victory.

Oxon’s vice-captain Harvey Alder, skipping for the first time came closest to getting anything out of the game as he with Jon Dadson, Luke Gilbert and Orren Bennett battled for absolutely every shot against England player Lloyd Sabatini and his rink. A four on end nineteen for the Oxford boys put them one up but two singles for Berks meant the narrowest of defeats.

Another debutant Oxon skip, Jamie Wilkinson and his rink of Brandon King, Joe Glenn and Bradley Squires put up a brave fight against Kyle Mallandain and threatened to sneak an improbable win from a 3-16 position at twelve ends. Eight shots in the next four ends got them to within five however a strong finish by Berks took them away again for a win by twelve shots.

Captain Sam Watts skipped Joe Justin, Rob Parkes and Will Soden against the rink of BJ Byles. On what looked to be a difficult rink to get out of trouble on, weight of bowls in the head gave Berks the advantage as they lead from start to finish eventually winning by eight.

Despite this loss, Oxfordshire players can be proud of their performance in that every single one of them gave their all, played some excellent bowls and fought for everything.
Two Oxon players had to withdraw on the morning of the game and so a re-shuffle and assistance gratefully received from Emma Gilkes and Katie Glenn at extremely short notice meant that a friendly could also be played as arranged. The girls joined Tom Tisbury and Sam Kibble-White and enjoyed a 30-14 win over the Berkshire rink. Barry Dillon, the Berks manager thanked Emma and Katie for the help and advice they gave to the more inexperienced players on both teams. This was echoed by the Oxon manager Steve Gilkes.

JHCL Rink Scores (Oxon first):
J Dadson, L Gilbert, O Bennett, H Alder 17, B Mallandain, T Price, S Winskill, L Sabatini 18
B King, J Glenn, B Squires, J Wilkinson 14, J Jones, R Lali, C Lali, K Mallandain 26
J Justin, R Parkes, W Soden, S Watts 15, D Hutchinson, E Stacey, T Moore, B Byles 23

Viv Comley

It is with deep sadness that I have to advise you of the death of Viv Comley on Friday 1st June.
Viv was central to the competitive scene at Witney Town over many years having represented the County at Worthing in 1997 in the “Fours”.
His character was large in every way, his cheerful approach to life meant he did not have a bad word to say against anyone.
He is a great loss to the club and to his many friends.

Men’s selection

Men’s selection for Hertfordshire, Surrey and Warwickshire has been selected: Selection 3

The Middleton Cup against Sussex will be played on Saturday 9th June 2pm at Popes Mead BC. The team has been selected: Sussex MC

The Balcomb Trophy against Isle of Wight will be played on Sunday 10th June 12pm at Headington BC. The team has been selected: Balcomb

League week 4

For the first time in two seasons rain stopped play. Three matches were a complete washout, all at Witney or west of it, and others ended at fifteen ends, but many were played to completion before the rains arrived!

Division 1 lost the derby at Witney with the shared ground of West and Mills being flooded at 18.00.

Watlington travelled to Banbury Central and eventually won the match having tied two rinks apiece. Central’s downfall, and Watlington’s match winners was the rink between Les Campion and Steve Gilkes. Fortunately, for Watlington, Les’s men played poorly whilst Steve’s all had blinders with the final score 24 – 7 to Watlington and with it the match points. Keith McNeil’s rink can feel hard done by as they inflicted Shane Cooper’s first fours defeat of the season winning with a respectable twelve shot margin.

Though John Hardie’s men fought hard over the last four ends to overturn a five shot lead a snatch victory from defeat, this was Kidlington’s only win in their match with close neighbours City and County. Two easy wins for City and County and an honourable tie in the topsy-turvy encounter between Alan Ley and Paul McGrath’s men, with the lead changing four times, gave the home side their first victory of the season.

Division 2 suffered worst of all with the weather, the only fixture surviving being that at Shiplake. The sides played out one of the closest matches of the week, with the home team eventually running out winners by six shots, with grateful thanks to Graham Kennedy and his men who came from seven shots behind at thirteen ends to lose out by two shots but swung the match totals to Shiplake. Two close, but comfortable, wins for Shiplake on the other rinks and a second, also very close affair, in the final rink for the visitors, where Tony Reid and Jeff Martin played the last end only a single shot apart, with the single shot going to Chippy thanks to a running last wood from Jeff that move the jack to a Chippy bowl.

Division 3 escaped the weather, almost!

Whist Thame escaped entirely, the other games were shortened by the storm, Blackbird Leys at sixteen ends and Headington at fifteen.

Headington comfortably beat City and County. Routine wins on two rinks but the other two could have gone either way right until the last wood. Mark Plested’s rink hung on grimly for their, and City and County’s only, point needing to win the last end to do so. Colin Whitehead and Terry Gripe tied their last end for a Headington win!

With a comfortable win apiece, the match at Blackbird Leys could have gone either way. Indeed, had it ended at fifteen ends Banbury Central would have taken one and tied the other, as it was fortune, and the weather, smiled on Leys, with Roy Brain scoring a three on the last end to tie his match and Alex Fleming scoring the one he needed to win his.

Comfortable wins on two rinks for Adderbury at Thame but the other two were close with John Timms hanging on for his win, winning the final end by a single shot, despite a great comeback by Chris Skidmore’s men who found themselves twelve – four down after eleven ends. A four by Richard Jenner’s men on the seventeenth end guaranteed their victory in an otherwise tight game against Dave Sharpe’s rink.

Had Bloxham fielded a team for their first match of the season, they would probably have been top of Division 4 this week! However, all that a good win for them, against a previously unbeaten Chadlington, does is put them into positive points total for the season.

New Division 4 leaders are Bicester who scored the first century by anyone his season in their defeat of Oxford University Press. Kevin Taylor’s win included two sixes and a seven, whilst M Grave’s men were thirty-five shots ahead at fourteen ends and then relaxed! OUP’s shining light were Geoff Jordan’s men who contrived to make a comfortable win seem very close by dropping a five on the last end when six ahead!

West Oxford have Gary Richardson’s rink to thank for all their points as they tied the fixture with Woodstock, their nine shot winning margin was, just, enough to overcome the eight shot total margin for the opposition on their three winning rinks. The fixture was curtailed to fifteen ends and the match points could have gone either way, with both sides winning the fifteenth ends on two rinks.

Oxon lose to Kent in Middleton Cup

Oxfordshire began their 2018 Middleton Cup campaign with a home match against Kent on Saturday 2nd June at Oxford City and County BC. After 5 ends Oxfordshire were trailing on all 5 rinks with a deficit of 22 shots. 5 Ends later things had not improved and Oxfordshire were now 56 shots behind.

Hopes of a comeback were rising on rinks 1 and 2 after 15 ends but there was little improvement on the other 4 and Oxfordshire trailed by 53 shots. At the end Mark Charlett and his team took the last 3 ends to stage a draw. Next door Nic Rae-Welsh having taken the lead on end 17 then lost the next two ends before winning the last 2 to win by 1. There was no improvement on the other 4 winks and Kent won by 64 shots.

Next Saturday Oxfordshire travel to Popes Mead to play Sussex with a 2pm start hoping fo an improvement in their fortunes.

Oxfordshire 77 shots 3 points Kent 141 shots 19 points

Sam Watts Paul Skidmore Jason King Mark Charlett drew 17-17
Mick Nash Paul Comley Ian Henwood Nick Rae-Welsh won 23-22
Jim Bland Paul Mabbutt Nathan Lewis Paul Sharman lost 10-26
Lee Young Kevin Alder Ray Gaskins Baden Sparkes lost 12 -31
Ade Kemish David Leighfield A J Docherty Ian Snowdon lost 7-18
Keith Holloway Will Campion Shane Cooper Mark Sykes lost 8-27

Oxon men beat Somerset in friendly

Oxfordshire travelled to Bath BC on Tuesday 29th May to play Somerset. With rain threatening the game throughout and reports from Oxford of heavy rain there Oxfordshire concentrated on finishing the game as quickly as possible. Once again restricting their opponents to less than 100 shots Oxfordshire Had a comfortable win by 34 shots.

Oxfordshire 128 Somerset 94.

Vic Webb Colin Haley Philip Warner Mick Morris won 28-14
.Steve Tolhurst Bill Jarvie John McGeough Ken Williams drew 19-19.
Mike jones Eddie Dorling Martin Oliver Jim Lucas lost 14-23.
Andrew French Terry Gripe John Hurren Brian Bloomfield won 24-14.
Chris Lewis Alex Fleming David Wedge Ian Whelpton won 25-9.
Allan Hunt Brian Ealey John Benfield Alan Ley won 18-15

Under 25 Pairs Report

Under 25 pairsSouth Oxford was the venue for this years under 25 pairs competition with 9 pairs competing for the title.

The sun shined all day and was blissful for all involved. The first round games and results were as follows:

O Bennett & S Watts 18 B King & D Swanson 19 after extra end
O John & B Dickson 11 vs R Parkes & W Soden 20
L King & T Tisbury 20 vs S. Kibblewhite & L Gilbert 18
J Justin & J Wilkinson 24 vs B Squires & H Alder 12

A cracking lunch that was provided by Beryl and her helpers was enjoyed by players and spectators alike before the afternoon hotted up for the semi finals and final.

An all Watlington affair in the first semi final between Brandon King and Dan Swanson, Rob Parkes and Will Soden. A strong performance from the younger partnership of King and Swanson see them hold the lead all the way through to progress them to the final, 18 shots to 9 victors.

The second semi final was between Bicester’s Lucas King and Thame’s Tom Tisbury, with their opponents lining up as Carterton’s Joe Justin and Banbury Borough’s Jamie Wilkinson. The Toon & Borough pair played an extremely strong game throughout with a convincing 30 shot to 7 win to see them into the final.

The final between Joe and Jamie against Brandon and Dan can only be described as a spectacle. A close start with only a couple of shots being picked up to either side and after 7 ends it was 5-4 to Joe and Jamie, before a 5 shot pickup to them on the 8th. The following end saw a 5 picked straight back up after a quality bowl from Dan. At 12 ends Joe and Jamie had pegged up to a 15-9 lead before the Watlington duo fought back well to take it to 15-15 at 15 ends. A 2 shot count from Brandon and Dan on the 17th end see them nudge in front for the first time in the game. A single shot in favour of Joe and Jamie on the last end to us to an extra end which was phenomenal. After the leads had bowled Joe was holding but Brandon had good positional woods just behind the jack. Dan played a cracking bowl with his third wood of the end to drag the jack to where his partner’s woods were happy collectors. But not for long. With Jamie’s last bowl and the pressure on him being game down, he delivers a weighted bowl, to pick the jack up from Brandon’s bowls and carry the jack straight into the ditch. Dan had a couple of feet of available space close to the edge of the rink to draw the shot but fell short on his final delivery of the day. Elation for Joe and Jamie as they picked up the David Allin cup and booked their places at Leamington.

A big thank you to the members of South Oxford Bowling Club for again hosting such a successful event with excellent weather and support provided all day.

The next under 25 competition is on Sunday 10th June at Kidlington Bowls Club commencing at 10am. It would be fantastic to see as many of you there to support the juniors in the professionalism and class that they bring to the sport.

League week 3

Week three of the season and Division 3 clubs had their first fixtures.

Headington started their campaign looking as though they mean to move up a division! However, their match at Banbury Central was closer on three rinks than the final scores would imply. Whilst Colin Whitehead’s rink won at a canter, the others were close until the halfway mark after which Russell Edwards and Martin Kershaw’s men dominated, whilst Steve Gould needed five shots on the final two ends to snatch a draw.

Alex Fleming’s men snatched five shots on the last end to grab a point for Blackbird Leys in their match at Adderbury. With two close rinks going one apiece, it was left to Darren Sharpe’s rink to ensure the match points for the home team with the performance of the night, a comprehensive thirty point winning margin.

Terry Gripe’s men deserved the accolades at Thame. Their City and County rink started well, going five shots clear after seven ends only to lose the next five ends to trail by seven shots and then snatch victory on the final end having dragged themselves back into the match. Elsewhere, the outcomes were more clear cut, other than Mark Plested’s rink where they required four shots over the last two ends to pull clear. However, their efforts were to no avail as Thame had won the other two rinks comfortably and with them the match points.

Division 1 Headington gained their ‘expected’ win at home to struggling City and County. Easy wins on three rinks for them though Graham Kerr’s rink did tie with Mark Charley’s only to lose twenty-five percent of their score as they only fielded three men.

Kidlington now realise, if they did not already, that Division 1 sides play to the final end. One comfortable win for each club but the match against West Witney hinged on the other two rinks. Steve Gibson’s rink took a seven shot lead for the home side after seven ends but only scored two more shots over the rest of the game as Paul Skidmore’s rink won comfortably. It was a similar tale for John Hardie’s men who were seven shots ahead at ten ends, but Andy McIntyre’s rink only allowed them two more shots.

Witney Mills surprised Banbury Central winning comfortably on two rinks and Allan Wiggin’s rink inching out Keith McNeil’s over the last two ends. Only Les Campion was able to apply any pressure for Central, winning the last two ends to sneak past Chris Weller, having been behind after sixteen ends.

Division 2 leaders South Oxford continued their progress with a comfortable win at Chipping Norton. Two rinks were won as easily as the score suggests but Keith Field’s rink for Chippy was held by the triple of Keith Mobley until the last end, John Benfield held Mike Keen’s men until the fourteenth end but lost the last four.

Carterton had three comfortable wins but Paul Sharman’s rink was never in their game against Dave Cooper’s men, only making the score seem a little more respectable with a five on the last end.
Shiplake travelled to Hanborough with fifteen bowlers, so one rink was going to struggle. In the event, Tony Reid’s triple struggled throughout their game finally dropping a six on the last end. With one easy rink win each, and David Webb’s men just holding on for the win Shiplake would have expected to take the match points but that six was their downfall!

Bloxham still prop up Division 4 but may not do so for much longer if they continue the impressive form they showed at Oxford University Press. Tony Gardner’s rink were only one in any sort of trouble but they scored five on the last end to snatch victory.

With leaders Chadlington not playing, South Oxford took the chance to catch them with a good win at home to West Oxford. Easy wins on two rinks and an impressive last five ends from David Lyne’s men, winning all five and scoring eight shots in the process to come from six shots down and take victory.

Odd result of the evening was at Woodstock where visitors Bicester had Tony King’s rink to thank as their fifteen shot winning margin proved enough to outscore the other three rinks, all of which went to the home team.

League report

JCHL v Berkshire

The Junior Home Counties League game v Berkshire on Sunday 3rd June 10:30am at Thatcham Bowls Club has been selected. JCHL v Berks.

Middleton Cup team v Kent selected

Oxon men will play Kent in the Middleton Cup on Saturday 2nd June 2pm at Oxford City & County. The team has been selected: Middleton Cup v Kent