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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.

Oxon beat Glous in friendly by 8 shots

Oxfordshire Travelled to Cheltenham on Wednesday 30th August for the annual friendly against neighbours Gloucestershire. Losing 4 rinks the results on the rinks skipped by Alan Ley and Mick Morris were sufficient to give Oxfordshire victory by 8 shots.

Oxfordshire 120 Gloucestershire 112

Paul Demczak Tony Backer-Holst Mike Jones Ian Whelpton lost 13-16
Mel Cameron Percy Strange Alex Fleming Brian Bloomfield lost 18 -24
Alan Carter Eddie Dorling David Wedge Mick Morris won 30-16
Kevin Washington David Byers Phil Warner Paul Robbins lost 16-22
Brian Ealey John Timms Alan Wase Richard Barnett lost 12-21
Steve Tolhurst Roy Radband John Benfield Alan Ley won 31-13

Home counties team snatch a draw from the jaws of victory

A beautiful day for bowling on Saturday saw the OBA playing away to Buckinghamshire at the Stony Stratford bowls Club in the final game of this season’s HCBA Denny league.

At stake was the wooden spoon, with Oxfordshire having had their worst season in the league for a long time and having this last chance of notching up a victory to lift them from the bottom of the league.

In a close game on the scoreboard a six shot lead across the rinks after ten ends turned into a five shot deficit after fifteen ends and worse still a sixteen shot shortfall after eighteen. With one end left to play the OBA had fought back and had moved into a three shot lead on the game but were unable to hold on to the third wood which would have produced a one shot victory and lifted them off the bottom. The three dropped shots on the last end played, left the game all square at 126 shots each, three winning rinks each and 11 points each.

Ron Slater, Steve Jones, Mike Andrew, Baden Sparkes won 25-19
Paul Demczak, Bill Jarvie, Paul Robbins, David Leighfield lost 17-18
Harvey Alder, Kevin Washington, Paul Skidmore, Paul Comley lost 11-28
Adrian Kemish, Bradley Squires, Steve Aldren, Alan Ley won 21-19
Henry Beall, Terry Gripe, Ian Whelpton, Kevin Alder won 32-14
Alan Carter, Alex Fleming, Andy McIntyre, Shane Cooper lost 20-28

Congratulatons to Sam Watts, National 2 Wood Champion

Sam Watts. National 2 wood champion 2017Watlington’s Sam Watts has won this years National Two Wood Singles at the National Championships at Royal Leamington Spa.

His success rounded off one of the best years for the Oxfordshire men in many years, 2006 being the last time the County had a National Championship, thanks to Greg Moon and Gary Lucas from the Banbury Borough club.

It also shows credit to the improvement shown by the Under 25’s over the last nine years.

In addition to Sam’s achievement, the County also had no fewer the 3 semi-finalists in the Junior Singles , Pairs & Triples and each lost out to the eventual winner.

How did they fare?

Junior Singles
David Leighfield (West Witney), Semi-finalist.
Shane Cooper (Watlington,) 2nd round.

Junior Pairs
Orren Bennett (Carterton), David Leighfield, 1st round.

2 wood Singles
Sam Watts (Watlington), NATIONAL CHAMPION.
Stuart Richens (Carterton) won prelim, lost in 1st round.

4 wood Singles
Mark Sykes (Banbury Borough) won prelim, lost in 1st round.
Ray Gaskins (Headington), last 16.

Pairs
Will Parker, Kevin Alder (West Witney), Semi-Finalists.
Darren Sharpe, AJ Docherty (Banbury Borough), 1st round.

Triples
Jon Philpott, Nathan Lewis, Howard Watts (Headington) won prelim, lost 1st round.
Colin Whitehead, Ray Gaskins, Nick Rae-Welsh, Semi-finalists.

Fours
Jon Philpott, Nathan Lewis, Gary May, Howard Watts, 2nd round.
Tim Jupp, Steve Aldren, Stuart Richens, Paul Sharman (Carterton) last 16.

Senior Fours
Tim Jupp, Gordon Walker, Steve Aldren, Paul Sharman (Carterton), 2nd round.

Oxfordshire under 25 day

Watlington will host the 10th Annual Oxfordshire Under 25s Day on Sunday 27th August 2017 at 10.00am.

All junior (Men’s Under 25s and Ladies Under 31s) players in Oxfordshire are invited to come and take part in this popular competition which is now in its tenth year. If you are young enough and play bowls (or would like to start) you are eligible to play. All you need is flat shoes and enthusiasm. Bowls provided if needed.

There is no cost to any player and a free lunch and drink are provided.

Spectators are equally welcome so please come along. It’s always a good day! There will be a barbecue, bar, raffle and refreshments.

For further details please contact Steve Gilkes on 07868 435052 or at srgilkes64@gmail.com.

Watlington Bowls Club (carparking), Shirburn Street, Watlington, Oxon OX49 5BU

Oxon men lose to Bucks in friendly

Oxfordshire hosted Buckinghamshire at Banbury Chestnuts on Tuesday 15th August.

Following on from a convincing win at Bristol the previous week hopes were high of a repeat performance. Steady progress on most rinks maintained the hopes with a lead of ten shot after 18 ends Then a by now fight back by the opposition saw the lead disappear by the end of the match and a defeat by 2 shots.

The award ceremony was shorter this week on the Oxfordshire side with a 50 game badge awarded to Carterton’s George Weedon and an honourable mention to John Timms on reaching 150 games.

Oxfordshire 126, Buckinghamshire 128.

Mel Cameron George Weedon Nick Morris Alan Ley won 20-18.
Mike Jones John Timms David Wedge Allan Hall lost 21-22.
Steve Tolhurst Bill Jarvie John McGeough Jim Lucas lost 24-31.
Bradley Squires Eddie Dorling Richard Barnett Mike Andrew won 25-18.
Brian Ealey Kevin Washington Percy Strange Ian Whelpton won 20-16.
Chris Lewis Alex Fleming Glynn Middleton Brian Bloomfield lost 16-23.

Brandon King reaches final of Sutton Winson Plate

Congratulations to Bicester BC and Watlington BC bowler Brandon King on reaching the final of the Sutton Winson Plate at Leamington on Sunday, when he joined forces with Liam Harris of Suffolk, last years winner of the Sutton Winson Trophy.

The Plate competition is a drawn pairs competition of the best of three sets, for first round losers in the Trophy competition. Steady progress by the OBA Under 25 team member and his partner of two 2-0 and a 2-1 win saw them into the final against a pairing from Gloucestershire and Kent. After sharing the first two of the three sets, the pairings could still not be separated, with the scores level at the end of the third set. Unfortunately for Brandon and Liam the extra end proved to be an end too far.

The Trophy competition, which is for Under 18 year olds, saw first round wins for Banbury Central’s Luke Gilbert and Carterton’s Joseph Justin. In a memorable week for him, Joseph played his first senior county game earlier in the week in Bristol.

Thame bowler Jonathan Dadson had two good wins to reach the third round.

League final week

To paraphrase Dickens ‘It was the best of seasons, it was the worst of seasons’ depending on your club!

Starting with the best: Headington A have set numerous records over the last fourteen weeks; Champions of Division 1 by the widest margin, undefeated all season (Only Watlington and Banbury Central able to take more than a single point in any match), and, to cap it all, the biggest point score from twelve matches (65.5 from a possible 72) in the leagues history.

Also undefeated were Thame, winning Division 4 by nineteen shots; is this also a league record?

The weather! We may have complained about the cold, the heat and, occasionally, the rain this summer but we lost no matches to the latter this season, another first in my time compiling the results.

Now the worst: Travel. Oxfordshire is a long, and, in its centre, wide county. Clubs are finding it increasingly difficult to get members to travel on a Thursday evening – at any time some would say. We need to think hard about what we are asking a generally ageing cohort of bowlers to commit to or there will be more matches where teams only field triples and not rinks and, eventually, a club will be unable to field twelve men for an away match! Some suggestions will be made at the AGM that would reduce total match time, including travel time, and we need be prepared to act on them.

To return to this week:

In Division 1, the only outstanding issue was who would join South Oxford in Division 2 next season. Carterton travelled to Headington knowing that they needed two points more than Banbury Central gained from their match at City and County. In the end, what could have been an interesting evening was a bit of a damp squib as Graham Morbey’s rink went twenty- three shots ahead after fourteen ends for Central. With Will Campion’s men fifteen shots ahead at the same time, Central were always going to take four points from the match so Carterton needed all six from theirs! Headington’s Nick Rae-Welsh’s six shots on end eleven, giving his rink a seventeen shot cushion, ensured that this was not going to happen and Carterton will play in division 2 next year. (Is Carterton’s relegation yet another unique occurrence this year as they were the reigning champions?)

Kidlington have looked Division 2 champions elect for some weeks. However, a poor result in their final match meant that, mathematically, Witney Mills could pip them. That Mills were playing Adderbury, a club fighting to stay in the division, only made the fixture more intriguing. In the event, Mills won comfortably on three rinks and, Richard Barnett’s rink completed the whitewash with a six shot win on the twenty-first end. Whilst the victory clinched promotion for them, Mills needed another forty-two shots to deny Kidlington a deserved title.

Witney Town’s chance of promotion depended on the Mills result but they did their bit with a good win against a weak, travel weary, Shiplake side. Ultimately, the results meant little as promotion and relegation issues were settled elsewhere.

We already knew that Charlbury were champions of Division 3, but they still had a major role to play in deciding who were promoted with them. Hanborough or Headington B were still promotion candidates. However, the latter travelled to the champions for their final fixture and were unable to compete on any rink, Charlbury‘s Mike Smith leaving the best ‘til last with a seventeen shot win for the home team.

This meant that Hanborough were promoted regardless of their result against already relegated Bicester. The latter scrapped well to lose a close match by three shots.

Blackbird Leys and Chadlington fought out a draw to ensure the former’s survival and the letters relegation. (I only have this information about this match!)

In Division 4, we already knew that Thame were the champions but, with City and County having already played their last match, both South Oxford and Bloxham had the chance to overtake them and move into the second promotion spot. In the event, Thame showed South Oxford why they are champions, defeating them on all four rinks. Bloxham made a much better attempt, getting close to Woodstock on all four rinks but, ultimately, only Tony Gardner’s rink held on for victory, albeit by twenty shots, but the ensuing three points was not enough so City and County are promoted straight back to division 2.

Printable report
Match results
League tables

Men’s Domestic Cup Finals Day

The Men’s Domestic Finals day was hosted at Witney Town Bowling Club on Sunday with 3 competitions played, the Allison Cup, Longford Cup and the Officers Cup.

Allison cup 2017 - B Smith

The first semi-final of the day saw 2014 Allison Cup winner, Phil Gladden of Adderbury, back to try and regain the title, playing against Buford’s John Hurren. The game was very evenly matched throughout with no player able to gain more than a 4 shot advantage before Gladden picked up two back to back 3 shot pick-ups to take him 18-12 in front. Hurren fought back well to get it to 18-16 before Gladden ended the game picking up 3 singles. Gladden through the final 21-16 victor.

The second Allison Cup semi-final was between Banbury Central’s Ian Gilbert and Witney Town’s Brian Smith. The game started very evenly matched and after 10 ends it was 7-6 to Smith. However a big push from Smith enabled him to pick up 9 shots in 4 ends without reply taking him 16-6 in front. The next 7 ends only single shots were picked up by both competitors taking the score to 19-10 in Smith’s favour before a 4 shot pickup gave Gilbert a glimmer of hope, although this was short lived as Smith picked up the 2 shots required to book his place in the afternoon’s final, 21-14 victor.
The next game of the morning saw the Officers Cup semi-final between South Oxford’s Keith Mobley and Carterton’s Tim Jupp. With Banbury Central’s Nigel Galletly already booking his place in the final by beating Witney Town’s Tim Ludlow 21 shots to 15 earlier on in the week, it was down to the other two to fight for the other final spot. A strong start from Mobley saw him take a 13 shot to 5 advantage before Jupp battled to bring the score to 13-11 down. The next couple of ends saw Mobley pick up 4 shots taking him 17-11 in front before Jupp regained the mat for the last time picking up 1 shot. The final two ends saw 2 doubles from Mobley taking him over the line 21-12 winner.

The first Longford Cup semi-final was the longest game of the morning taking the competitors 2 and a half hours and 28 ends played before a winner was decided. Witney Town’s Tim Ludlow was up against Headington’s Bernie May. May got off to a good start taking 6 shots without reply before Ludlow stepped into gear and picked up 8 shots back in succession. From then on there was never more than 3 shots separating the competitors with the lead changing several times during the tussle. The last 8 ends saw only single shot pick-ups but it was Ludlow who took 5 of them to take him to the final as 21-18 winner.

The final game of the morning was the second Longford Cup semi-final between Headington’s Dennis Crook and last year’s winner, Witney Town’s Brian Bloomfield. A strong performance from the start saw Bloomfield take an early 14 shot to 1 lead after 7 ends before Crook fought back to pick up 6 shots in 7 ends taking the score to 18-7. Bloomfield then picked up the three he needed the following end to secure his space in the Longford final, 21-7 victor.

A Fish and Chip lunch was enjoyed by competitors, spectators and officials before the finals got underway in the afternoon sunshine.

Officers cup 2017 - N Galletly

The Officers Cup was played on the show rink between Keith Mobley and Nigel Galletly, with excellent bowling throughout from both competitors. The tight final saw neither competitor able to gain more than 2 shot gap throughout the whole duration. 8 shots apiece at 9 ends went up to 12-11 in Mobley’s favour. After 21 ends both players had scored 18 and it could have gone either way when 2 singles gave Galletly a 20-18 shot lead and he was holding game when Mobley managed to win the end taking it to a tense 20-19. A fantastic bowl from Galletly left him an unmovable shot and ran out 21-19 in what was a fantastic battle.

Longford cup 2017 - T Ludlow

The Longford Cup was an all Witney Town affair between Tim Ludlow and Brian Bloomfield. A very strong start from Ludlow saw him go 10-3 in front after 6 ends and then battled to keep his lead which gave him 15 shots to 6 at 10. Bloomfield managed to win three ends on the bounce before Ludlow quickly replied picking up 5 shots in 2 ends. Bloomfield picked up a double on the 16th end to take the score to 20-11 down. Ludlow had a fantastic last end which saw him take the trophy from last year’s winner, 21-11 victor.
The last final played was the Allison Cup between Phil Gladden and Brian Smith. Once again another close and tense game to begin with which saw the score at 7-5 in Smith’s favour at 10 ends. Gladden then scored on 5 ends without reply taking him into the lead, 11-7 before another 6 shots scored over the next 5 ends taking Gladden to a comfortable 17-9 lead. 5 excellent ends by Smith followed which brought him right back into contention taking him into the lead 18-17. Gladden managed to score another 2 shots before Smith ran out the winner 21-19 after some fantastic bowls by both.

Presentation of the trophies for the afternoon’s winners were presented by Bill Jarvie and saw the day come to a close.

A huge thanks to Witney Town Bowling Club for hosting the domestic cup finals day and providing superb facilities and catering throughout the day.

Another big thank you goes to the markers for the day, Allan Hall, Steve Tolhurst, Mike Jones, Paul Demczak and Alan Scholan; also thanks are due to the umpire for the multiple calls he tended to all day.