Rotating Header Image

Under 25

Ladies U25 singles and pairs

The U25s Emma Gilkes and Jazzmin Alder played their re-arranged semi final at Oxford City and County BC on Friday 20th July.

Emma raced into the lead only for Jazzmin to settle down and pull back to level the scores at seven ends. Then it was a closely fought game with both girls trying to get a grip of the pace on the green until Emma pulled away leaving Jazzmin on 11 shots for five ends and only able to score one more shot with the result Emma 21, Jazzmin 12.

With the final being played at Oxford City and County the following weekend Emma will face Zoe Pratley who both represent Oxfordshire at Leamington on Sunday 5th August at 9.30am and 11.30am respectively.

The U25’s pairs final was played at Oxford City and County on Sunday morning 22nd July, Claire Soden (Watlington) and Jazzmin Alder (West Witney) are through to the nationals at Leamington in the U25 Pairs after playing a very convincing game against Zoe Pratley (Oxford City and County) and Emma Dickson (Watlington). Final score over 18 ends 29– 13.

Their match will be at 1pm on Saturday 18th August on E green (unless rescheduled).

U25’s lose to Kent in JHCL

The results still aren’t going the way of the Oxfordshire Under 25s this season as they suffered a third successive defeat in the Junior Home Counties League at Halls BC on the 8th July, this time at the hands of Kent at Halls BC. As always with this group of youngsters spirits were good going into the game but hot conditions and a challenging green made life difficult and in the end they came away empty handed on all rinks. It is fair to say that Kent deserved the overall win however it is equally fair to add that the score of 74-45 and ten points to nil flattered them a little.

On the bright side Lucas King of Bicester and Headington’s Sam Kibble-White made their debuts and both played excellent games. Well done boys!

This period is a steep learning curve with new players coming into the team and other players moving up from front end positions to skip and three. Senior players have work, family and other commitments which again places extra strain on the small squad that we now have. That said though, whilst the results being endured this year are at this moment disappointing, the experience gained will stand the lads in good stead for the future and there is no reason why this group cannot emulate the teams of recent years and progress to the finals of the White Rose again.

The final JHCL game of the season is against Bucks at Kidlington on Sunday 29th July. Start time 10.30am.

The 2018 Under 25s Day at Watlington is on BH Monday 27th August commencing at 10.00am. This is the tenth anniversary of the event and all Under 25s players from 2008 to 2018 are invited to attend (whether still playing or not)

JHCL Rink Scores (Oxon first):
J Dadson, S Kibble-White, O Bennett, H Alder 15, J Powell, A Fullard, T Attaway, M Rich 21
R Parkes, T Tisbury, J Justin, D Swanson 10, J Levett, J Wimble-Roberts, J Sanford, L Ereira 25
L King, L Gilbert, J Glenn, J Wilkinson 20, J Rowe, H Wimble-Roberts, J Austin, I Jenner 28

Under 25s roundup

Results still aren’t quite going right for the Under 25s this season.

On Sunday 17th June the team missed out by one shot against Surrey in the regional semi-final of the White Rose national 2x4s at Sutton BC. Four Oxon players, Harvey Alder, Jon Dadson, Brandon King and Will Soden made their debuts at this level and of the players remaining from the national final appearance of 2016 only Bradley Squires played in the same position as previously. That said, the team spirit and camaraderie within our small squad cannot be rivalled and the players took the green with confidence. Orren Bennett and Dan Swanson both moving from lead to three had excellent games always giving their skips a chance. The game which featured some great bowling on a tricky surface went down to the wire. Harvey Alder at skip bowled a great last end to lie shot but then Surrey’s Charlie Souter somehow managed to wriggle through short bowls with his last to give Surrey a four shot win on that rink. With a large degree of fortune in Surrey’s favour playing its part on the final end of the game between the fours of Sam Watts and Jon Wilson, Surrey sneaked a four to win overall by the narrowest of margins!

Rink scores (Oxon first):
B King, B Squires, D Swanson & S Watts bt H Cushen, E Harding, C Sharp & J Wilson 23-20;
J Dadson, W Soden, O Bennett & H Alder lost to S Tindall, L Griffin, J Tindall & C Souter 27-23

Surrey were again the opponents on Sunday 24th June, this time in the Junior Home Counties League at Kidlington BC. In blistering hot conditions on a green as quick as Usain Bolt all players young people struggled for consistency. These Under 25s were all born after, or at least certainly hadn’t started bowling before, the dawn of automatic watering systems and so the sight of a flat brown square area came as a surprise to most. Like the week before the result went in Surrey’s favour mainly due to one rink settling to the conditions quicker and having greater weight of bowls closer to the jack. Surrey won 32 ends to Oxfordhire’s 31 but scored sixteen more shots overall for a clean sweep and 71-55 (10 points to 0) win. This was a test for all and the players will have gained great experience from the game.

Eight further Oxfordshire junior bowlers received coaching from Gail Gilkes followed by a practice game.

Aside of the green and facilities, Kidlington, ever the fantastic hosts, came up trumps with an excellent buffet, catering beforehand, a big tv and coverage of England v Panama which helped take the edge off another narrow defeat for the Oxfordshire lads.

Rink scores (Oxon first):
B King, J Glenn, B Squires & J Wilkinson lost to H Manuel, A Bearer, E Harding & A Orme 19-21; J Dadson, L Gilbert, O Bennett & H Alder lost to S Tindall, T Goucher, J Tindall & C Souter 19-31; J Justin, B Dickson, W Soden, D Swanson lost to G Hopper, J McCarthy,R Bickley,J Wilson 17-19

The Under 25s next game is the JHCL game v Kent at Halls BC on Sunday 8th July 2018.

Watts and Swanson qualify for the under 25 singles

Watlington’s Sam Watts and Dan Swanson have both qualified for the under 25 singles, which was held on Sunday at Kidlington Bowls Club.

Both Watlington boys had tough opponents all the way through their respective runs in the competition and a massive congratulations is ordered both, in particular to Dan for his first qualification to leamington in a national championship.

Watts beat Carterton’s Orren Bennett, Watlington’s Ben Dickson and then West Witney’s Harvey Alder in the semi final to gain his place at finals day.

Swanson’s route to the final included beating Banbury Borough’s Jamie Wilkinson, Carterton’s Joe Justin and then West Witney’s Bradley Squires in the other semi final of the day.

A fantastic day was had by all and a big thank you to Kidlington Bowls Club for providing excellent BBQ and bar facilities all day to spectators, competitors and markers alike. Many thanks to Jim and Sue Feeley, Chris Cox, Alan Rowe and everybody else who kindly gave help throughout the day.

The biggest thank you for the day is for the following gentlemen who gave up their day to come and act as markers / umpires throughout proceedings:

Kevin Alder (West Witney)
Andy McIntyre (West Witney)
David Leighfield (West Witney)
Chris Weller (Witney Mills)
Paul Demczak (Witney Town)
Steve Tolhurst (Carterton)
Mick Morris (Banbury Borough)

The full result card of the day is as follows:

Last 16:

D Swanson 21 – J Wilkinson 8
J Justin 21 – G Francis 1
R Parkes 21 – B King 9
B Squires Walkover win – W Soden
B Dickson 21 – T Tisbury 9
S Watts 21 – O Bennett 11
J Glenn 21 – J Dadson 15
H Alder 21 – S Kibblewhite 2

Quarter Finals:

D Swanson 21 – J Justin 12
B Squires 21 – R Parkes 9
S Watts 21 – B Dickson 7
H Alder 21 – J Glenn 13

Semi Finals:

D Swanson 21 – B Squires 19
S Watts 21 – H Alder 9

White Rose 2x4s Regional Semi Final

The White Rose 2x4s Regional Semi Final will be played on Sunday 17th June 10.00am at Sutton BC. The team has been selected: U25’s v Surrey

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

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.

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.

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