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Under 25

Men’s Junior International Trials

Congratulations to Sam Watts on his invitation to attend the Bowls England, Men’s Junior International Trials on Monday May 28th to be held at Victoria Park, Royal Leamington Spa.
Games start at 10.30 am.

It’s Spring Holiday Monday, have a ride up there and support him.

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

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

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.

U25s lose to Sussex by 2 shots

Oxfordshire Under 25s lost narrowly for the second successive game, this time at the hands of Sussex on Sunday. Only two shots separated the teams at the end but by virtue of Sussex claiming two out of three rinks they won by 8 points to 2 effectively ending Oxon’s hopes of the title.

Right up until the final ends the game could have gone either way but finally proved an impossible task despite the heroics of captain Shane Cooper who’s rink of Darren Wakeman, Ben Dickson and Orren Bennett dropped a six and a one to go 7-16 down on the eleventh end but who then picked up a remarkable 21 shots without reply to beat Adam Fairhall 28-16 for Oxon’s only points.

Dan Swanson, skipping for the first time also played mature, telling bowls, well supported by Bradley Squires, Rob Parkes and Harvey Alder, to stay in contention all game but eventually lost out to Jack Fairhall 14-18.

Oxon’s final rink of Jon Dadson, Joe Glenn, Jamie Wilkinson and Sam Watts worked hard all game against Callum Phillimore but a five dropped on the nineteenth end meant that they could not win. They went down 15-25 making the overall score 57-59.

Oxon recruited it’s newest member on Sunday. Twelve year old Giles Francis from City & County played in a friendly game with the reserves and now becomes part of the Under 25s Squad for the future. He was introduced by Zoe Pratley as part of the manager’s ‘Introduce a friend’ initiative. If anyone else knows of a youngster who would like to try bowls then please get in touch with Steve Gilkes on 07868 435052.

The team is in action against Kent at Kidlington BC this coming Sunday (9th): U25s v Kent

Glenn and Alder qualify in U25’s singles

Katie Glenn (Watlington) and Jazzmin Alder (West Witney) have qualified for the Bowls England national finals held at Leamington Spa in August.

The semi finals of the U25 singles was held today at Banbury Borough. Glenn beat Katie Bland (Shiplake) 21 – 15 and Alder beat Emma Gilkes (Watlington) 21 – 8.

U25’s face Sussex in JHCL on Sunday

The Under 25s lost by eleven shots (47-58) and by 8 points to 2 against Surrey last weekend. Now, to stand any chance of winning the elusive JHCL title they must beat Sussex at South Oxford BC this coming Sunday (2nd).

Oxon U25s v Sussex – JHCL 020717

U25’s v Surrey (JHCL) selection

Oxfordshire Under 25’s will face Surrey in the Junior Home Counties League on Sunday 25th June 10:30am at Malden Manor Park Bowls Club. Team selection is now available: U25 v Surrey

OBA Under 25s Singles

After a full day of high quality bowling at Kidlington Bowls Club last Sunday, Shane Cooper of Watlington and West Witney’s David Leighfield qualified for the National Championships in the Under 25s singles.

A total of seventeen players entered the competition meaning a preliminary round played prior to the day. This game resulted in a three shot win for Thame’s Jonathan Dadson over Watlington man Will Soden, making a welcome return to bowls after a couple of years away from the sport.

This set up a first round clash between Dadson and his Thame team mate, Matt Canfield resulting in a comfortable victory for Dadson. Harvey Alder (West Witney) got off to a good start against Woodstock’s Ben Dickson, just returned from his first year at Reading University, eventually winning 21-14. Leighfield started the defence of his title with a 21-12 win over Darren Wakeman who, it’s great to see, is also back bowling again after a few years out. Two same club affairs followed with Shane Cooper, in his last year in the juniors, overcoming Watlington clubmate Rob Parkes 21-13, and Orren Bennett, Carterton, beating newcomer and team mate Joe Justin, who with Parkes, Canfield and Dadson was making his first appearance in the event. Joe Glenn of City & County overcame Watlington’s Brandon King 21-11 and in the closest game of the round Bradley Squires squeezed past Dan Swanson, another Watlington player, 21-20.

The Quarter Finals saw Dadson v Alder; Sam Watts, Watington, who received a walkover in the first round due to transport problems for Thame’s Tom Tisbury, v Leighfield; Cooper v Bennett; and, Glenn v Squires.

All four games provided the spectators present with some fantastic play and no shortage of drama. In the end Alder’s experience served him well, as fifteen year old Dadson pushed him all the way, to see out a 21-16 victory. Leighfield beat Watts 21-13 in a game where the score could quite easily been much closer while it took all of Cooper’s experience to get past Bennett 21-19. The final game of the round again could have gone either way but saw a third West Witney semi finalist as Squires edged through by two shots 21-19.

The first semi final pitched West Witney v West Witney as Alder took on current champion Leighfield, another player in his final year as Squires took on his captain in the other.

Both games were again great adverts for the sport with brilliant play, a slice of fortune here and there, exemplary sportsmanship and emotion at the end. The champ showed his class, and had to, to withstand the challenge from Alder finally qualifying for the final and for Leamington with a 21-14 win. The final ends of the other game are difficult to describe as so many head changes and great, and sometimes not so great, bowls were involved. Save to say that it was 20-20 going into what proved to be the final end which was fitting for this battle. The shot changed hands a coupe of times but then Cooper played a little trail and finished up with a front toucher. Squires, with the final bowl of the game attempted to kill the end, narrowly missed meaning a final chance at the title for the Watlington man on 23rd July.

Apart from the high standard of play during this day the overriding feeling as a supporter was of the huge team spirit, camaraderie and support for each other within this group of players. That there was a little emotion at the end of some games just shows how much the sport and the competition means to all. The future remains very bright!

Our thanks to all at Kidlington BC for hosting the event. Nothing, as usual, was too much trouble and helped make the day what it was. Thanks also to deputy president Eddie Dorling and all officials for giving up the day to support and mark and to the umpire, another Eddie. Finally, a big thankyou to Bradley Squires for his organisation of the day. Not easy when playing but he did it well.

Ladies and Gents we have a 22 year old Competition Secretary…as said…the future is bright!

Steve Gilkes
Under 25s Manager (and for once just an interested spectator!)

U25s & U31s show off their new kit

U25s new kit

Following the cancellation of the JHCL game on Sunday the Oxfordshire Under 25s had a team building morning at Kidlington BC where they showed off their new kit.

More photos on our Facebook page.

Oxfordshire U25s v Berks U25s CANCELLED

The Junior Home Counties League game between Oxfordshire and Berkshire scheduled for 10.30am on Sunday 4th June 2017 at Kidlington BC is cancelled. Berkshire are unable to raise the eleven players required to form a team.

The Oxfordshire team will now have a teambuilding morning along with the BOL Under 31s.

Steve Gilkes
Oxfordshire Junior Teams Manager
Email: Mobile: 07868 435052