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Under 25

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: srgilkes64@gmail.com Mobile: 07868 435052

U25’s face Berks in JHCL

Oxfordshire U25’s will face Berkshire on Sunday 4th June 10:30am in the Junior Home Counties League at Kidlington Bowls Club.

Team has been selected: JHCL v Berks

Orren Bennett and David Leighfield win OBA under 25 pairs competition

This years under 25 pairs was played with great success in the sunshine at South Oxford Bowls Club. This year sees the first time the boys able to progress to Leamington due to a Bowls England introduction of a male junior pairs competition.

The pairing of Orren Bennett and David Leighfield had to play three games of 18 ends to qualify, as only the winners overall progress to the national finals at Leamington Spa in August this year.
The pairing’s first game was against Woodstock duo Ollie John and Ben Dickson, the game was fairly evenly matched for the first half but a six on the 11th end made it very difficult for the Woodstock boys to comeback and they ended up losing 24-9 to Bennett and Leighfield.
The other three first round games were all taken to extra ends, after fantastic bowling by all players involved. A special mention is noted to Joe Justin and Darren Wakeman, from Carterton Bowls Club, who were 17-1 down after 8 ends, who went into the last end 20-17 up! A 3 from the pairing of Bradley Squires and Harvey Alder on the final end forced an extra end which ended up with the Carterton lads progressing to the semi-final winning 21-20.

Watlington’s Rob Parkes and Banbury Borough’s Jamie Wilkinson were in a tight tussle on rink 1 early on, against Thame’s Johnathon Dadson and Oxford City & County’s Joe Glenn, again a 3 shot pick up by Parkes and Wilkinson on the last end forcing an extra end. Dadson and Glenn won the extra end progressing to the semi-finals 15-14 victors.
The final first round game saw an all Watlington affair with the pairings of Sam Watts and Shane Cooper against Brandon King and Dan Swanson. Once more a 3 pick up on the final end forcing an extra end from King and Swanson. With one bowl left for Cooper and neither side quite sure who had shot, he played a very successful running bowl to remove both of his opponents bowls leaving his partners bowl for shot. Watts and Cooper progressed to the semi-final 21-20.

After a fantastic buffet lunch provided to the competitors and spectators from South Oxford Bowls Club, the semi-finals commenced with Dadson and Glenn against Bennett and Leighfield and Justin and Wakeman against Watts and Cooper. Watts and Cooper both played very strong games which got them a 26-5 victory and a place in the final. The other semi-final saw Bennett and Leighfield fight back from 15-4 down at 8 ends to win 25-20.

The final commenced in the glorious sunshine and both pairs keen to book their place at Leamington. There was a lot of emotion and big bowls played which saw the lead changing from pair to pair, but a 4 shot pick up on the 16th end for Bennett and Leighfield gave them a 16-12 lead with 2 ends to play. The penultimate end saw the Watlington pairing picking up a 2 which meant a very tense final end for the competitors, which saw Bennett and Leighfield pick up a single shot and win 17-14.
A very special thank you to Angie and Beryl from South Oxford for the excellent hospitality that was provided throughout the day and thank you to South Oxford Bowls Club for letting us use their facilities to host the event.

Watching the junior pairs played with so much talent and ability from all of the lads that were involved, shows just how bright the future is for bowls in Oxfordshire, for both the junior and senior game.

The Junior Pairs national finals will be held at Leamington Spa on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th August.

U25 & U31 update

Oxfordshire Under 25s men kicked off the season at South Oxford BC on 6th May with a trial game against Wiltshire. This resulted in an overall win for Oxfordshire however the primary objective was for the team to get together on the green and start gelling again following the winter. This was achieved and followed up with a mixed get together and White Rose trial at Kidlington BC on 14th May.

We presently have 34 junior players, male and female, in the county which is good, however that number will reduce by five at the end of the season and by at least two more in 2018. It is therefore imperative that we recruit further players to swell the ranks and build upon the successes of the past few seasons.

As is my annual plea to all clubs, players and interested parties, please do all you can to recruit new bowlers of any age and in particular junior players, passing details to me regardless of age, experience or perceived ability. As I said in my end of season report, if we all introduce one new person to the sport this year we will be in a far healthier position as a county and as a sport!

This is scheduled to be my last season as manager and so I seek support from anyone interested in taking over or at least assisting in the role. Please call or email me for a chat.

Anyway, here’s to a great season for all in Oxfordshire. Look forward to seeing some of you at our junior games and many of you on the circuit.

Oxon U25s v Bucks 28/05/17

Steve Gilkes
Oxfordshire Junior Teams Manager
Email: srgilkes64@gmail.com
Mobile: 07868 435052