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June, 2012:

Press Releases

Oxford Mail:


Champs chalk up third ton running

Hawes to the fore in England victories


Oxon cup hopes hang by thread

Ton-up Witney take over at the summit

Ladies MEL Game v Bedfordshire

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies beat Bedfordshire in an Middle England League game on Thursday 28th June at Dunstable Town.

Oxfordshire 124 – Bedfordshire 98.
14 points to 3.

Oxon skips first:
Sylvia Rogers 27, P Bright 13
Angela Ives 8, J Hirst 32
Carol Penson 20, J Osborn 20
Diana Faulkner 17, J Mitchell 16
Jeanette Berry 20, A Brooks 12
Daphne Jacob 32, J Dowers 5

U25 Double Rink Selection (White Rose)

The U25 National Double rink (White Rose) team to face Sussex on Sunday 1st July has been selected.

Sam Watts
Chris Gilkes
Shane Cooper
George Schwab

Darren Wakeman
Lee Wilkinson
Dan Wakeman
Gary May

Reserves(Alphabetically): Ryan Full, Will Soden

Team Sheet:
White Rose Teamsheet 01/07/12

Ladies Unbadged Singles, Officers Cup and John’s Trophy

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies County have sent entry sheets to all delegates and officers for the Unbadged Singles and the Officers Cup and entry sheets should be available on your club notice boards shortly. The Unbadged singles is to be played at Oxford City & County on Thursday 26th July and Officers Cup is to be played at Headington on Friday 24th August.

The John’s Trophy match due to be played on Saturday against Sussex has been cancelled by mutual agreement. The fixture does not need to be played as Surrey have won Group 2B outright.

HCL Report v Sussex

The HCL Report v Sussex played on 24/06/12 can be found here: HCL Report v Sussex.

League Week 7

The Oxford & District Bowls League sponsored by Yarnton Nurseries report for week 7 can be found here: Week 7 – 21/06/12.

League tables can be viewed here: League Tables

Balcomb Trophy Regional Finals

Oxfordshire’s double rink side took the green at Winchmore Hill BC, Middlesex on Sunday in the Balcomb Trophy regional finals.

Qualification was by virtue of a hard fought win against Surrey at Egham back in May and now, two games away from the national finals in August, the ‘top eights’ from Berks, Bucks and Kent joined Oxon at a damp and overcast venue to battle it out to the last four in the country.

Oxon was drawn against the might of Berkshire in the opening game. Featuring commonwealth and international stars as well as national title winners Berks were far and away the favourites however the fours of Howard Watts and Mark Sykes were quicker to settle to the extremely heavy and tricky conditions and opened up commanding early leads against Alan Price and Robert Newman respectively.

The quality of the opposition could not be underestimated and it is to the credit of the Oxon eight that they never let them back on level terms throughout. Some big bowls from Watts in particular kept the scoreboard ticking over consistently and despite a comeback from Newman’s four the result was never in doubt from fifteen ends. Eventually Berks conceded with five ends to play with the score at 55-30 in Oxon’s favour.

Mark Sykes 24, Robert Newman 20
Howard Watts 31, Alan Price 10

Kent triumphed over Bucks in the other opening game which meant that familiar faces met in the afternoon. Kent had narrowly beaten Oxon in the Middleton Cup the previous day and so players were well acquainted with one another.

Mark Sykes with Banbury Borough team mates Keith Holloway, Richard Redford and Calvin Carpenter was drawn against the four of Shaun McCaughan with Ken Weyand, Roger Kendrick and Chris Fox. Howard Watts with AJ Docherty, Nathan Lewis and Paul Sharman played Gordon Charlton, apparently fully recovered after his withdrawal with injury halfway through the Middleton game the day before.

Charlton had David King, Chris Hall and Paul Barnicott with him. A five and a three on the opening end for Watts and Sykes respectively promised much; however, quick to get into their stride, Kent hit back with successive ends and got their noses in front. They remained there for the rest of the game with five shots separating the teams at five ends and six at ten.

On a heavy green that didn’t allow you to get out of trouble easily Fox set McClaughan up end after end meaning that Sykes had little choice but to try and force on seemingly impossible lines to stay in the game.

Docherty played consistently well through the day for Watts and overall you always thought that the four were capable of picking up a decent score and winning their game however Barnicott was excellent particularly in the early stages and it’s fair to say fortune favoured the Kent players on the day meaning that Oxon were always playing catch up. Kent’s advantage opened up to ten at fifteen ends and, as a busy and tiring weekend schedule took it’s toll with Oxon both tiring and chasing shots, to eighteen at close of play.

In all however this was a great Balcomb campaign by a team which attracted some criticism when selected but whom to a man, gave their all for the cause and played some extremely good bowls along the way.

Oxon 28, Kent 46

Full Report: Balcomb Report 24/06/12

Middleton Cup v Kent

Oxfordshire’s Middleton Cup winning run came to an end at the hands of Kent at Maidstone on Saturday. On the back of three wins this season the team went into what could be the deciding game in the section in good form and good spirits although never underestimating the strength and quality of the opposition who have around five times the number of clubs than Oxon possesses.

The game turned out to be a battle throughout with every shot hard won. Oxon started solidly and at five ends headed Kent by three shots however the home side moved to a five shot advantage at the halfway point.

The rinks of Paul Sharman, Baden Sparkes, Mark Sykes and Ian Snowdon were all close during the opening stages while Alan Prew’s four struggled to gain shots early on and slipped behind by a few. This was however balanced by Mark Charlett being well in control against Kent talisman Gordon Charlton. The Kent man however was substituted at ten ends due to apparently suffering double vision as the result of a head injury. His replacement was the excellent Taylor Monk with Mick Arnold moving up to skip.

The whole perspective of that game then changed and Charlett and his team did well to hang on for their win by a single shot. After leaving the green, Charlton appeared to make a miraculous recovery cheering his team mates on with fully charged glasses of cider.

Kent controlled the middle part of the game and threatened to run away to a big victory however the Oxford players dug deep and clawed their way back until, with ten ends to play, all was square on the game. Briefly, too briefly, the men in blue took the lead with about eight to go but successive ends then won by Kent again restored their advantage. Prew battled throughout to finish only three behind Jeff Vane while Sharman and Sykes went down by two and six respectively.

Sparkes, so often nearly the last bowl hero in the previous games finally got the win he and his four richly deserved, beating Mark Johnson by three. Level into the final end Headington four Ian Snowdon, Craig Nicoll, Shaun Claridge and Dean May were the last to finish and needed a pretty much impossible seven to draw the game with Snowdon’s last bowl to come. In the end a two was dropped against the excellent Shaun McCaughan meaning a nine shot loss overall, 110-119.

The 4-18 points loss didn’t truly reflect the closeness of the game and now means that to qualify Oxon must rely on Sussex beating Kent by at least 16-6 on Saturday 30th at Popes Mead BC. Whatever the outcome of that game, Oxfordshire’s players can be justly proud of themselves.

Oxfordshire 110, Kent 119
4 pts – 18 pts

Oxon Skips First:
Mark Charlett 21, Charlton/Arnold 20
Paul Sharman 20, Duncan Hanmore 22
Baden Sparkes 17, Mark Johnson 14
Alan Prew 19, Jeff Vane 22
Mark Sykes 18, Ken Weyand 24
Ian Snowdon 15, Shaun McCaughan 17

Full report: MC Report 23/06/12

Men’s County Selection

The county team sheet for the Men’s county games between July 8th – July 24th 2012 is now available online: Selection No 4

Double rink victory for Oxon Ladies

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies defeated Berkshire in the Walker Cup at Banbury Chestnuts today to qualify for the regional finals on the 15th July.

Both rinks won comfortably with Gail Gilkes, Katherine Hawes, Jeanette Berry and Carole Galletly picking up a 16 shot victory and Caroline Campion, Donna Knight, Pat Ostler and Sue Mayo wining by 14 shots.

Oxfordshire 46, Berkshire 16

Oxon Skips first:
Caroline Campion 23, Bev Wall 9
Gail Gilkes 23, Lillian Holliday 7