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June 3rd, 2013:

Balcomb Trophy Selection

The Balcomb Trophy team to face the Isle of Wight at Plessey Bowls Club, Cowes on Sunday 9th June has been selected: Balcomb Trophy 090613

Team Selected:

Jon Philpott
Paul Sharman
Mark Sykes
Howard Watts

Keith Holloway
Nathan Lewis
Ian Snowdon
Alan Prew (Captain)

Reserves (alphabetically) to attend please:
Mark Charlett, AJ Docherty, Richard Redford

Oxon’s Middleton Cup campaign hopes dashed by Middlesex

Oxfordshire’s hopes of a winning start to this year’s Middleton Cup campaign were dashed at Bush Hill Park against Middlesex on Saturday coming away with only six from the twenty-two points available in a twelve shot defeat.

Under the captaincy of Alan Prew the Oxon players went into the game confident of repeating the 2012 win over their opponents at the same venue however a strong start by Middlesex, led by the outstanding Ron Leleux, put them on the back foot somewhat.

Despite the slow start however, the Oxford players dug in and clawed their way back to actually lead by two shots at ten ends. It remained close across the board for the next five ends with Middlesex just wresting the advantage back by four at fifteen.

Prew’s four of himself, Nathan Lewis, Ian Henwood and Keith Holloway always controlled their game against Brian Elbourn eventually running out winners by eleven shots, Oxon’s best, while next door Mark Charlett was involved in the tightest of the games with opposing skip Perry Cook turning over the head with his last bowl of the game for a two shot win.

Everything Oxford did to get ahead towards the end was countered by some excellent play from the Middx back ends particularly, as well as a degree of poor fortune also playing its part.

Paul Sharman was level at twelve all at twelve ends but then a run of six ends, during which he and his rink played well enough but with no result for their efforts, saw a gap of fifteen open up which remained until the end.

Ian Snowdon’s Headington four were eclipsed by the excellent play of Leleux who had 2012 skip Paul Cater at three, but the remaining Oxon fours under Calvin Carpenter and Mark Sykes respectively both picked up what could be invaluable points. Carpenter started slowly but his experienced team gradually took control against Barry Jenkins whose early running bowls achieved maximum results but which became less effective the longer the game went on.

Sykes was involved in a high scoring but tight game against Norman Worley with a two on the last end making the difference in Oxon’s favour however it wasn’t enough as, across the green, Middlesex, credit to them, scored more heavily in the final ends to win by twelve.

The Oxon players, as always, gave their all but on the day it wasn’t quite enough. We must now win the three remaining group games to stand any chance of qualifying. The players are aware of this and will be well prepared for the battles ahead starting with Bowls Isle of Wight on 15th June at Oxford City & County BC. This game will start an hour earlier than normal, at 1.00pm. Before then, on Sunday 9th June, we travel to Cowes to again take on BIOW in the opening Balcomb Trophy game of the year.

Printable report: MC Report v Middx 010613

Rink Scores (Oxon Skips first):

Paul Sharman 14, Darren Gosnall 29
Calvin Carpenter 23, Barry Jenkins 14
Mark Sykes 26, Norman Worley 24
Ian Snowdon 12, Ron Leleux 29
Mark Charlett 12, Perry Cook 14
Alan Prew 23, Brian Elbourn 12