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August 3rd, 2015:

JHCL v Kent

Oxfordshire Under 25s rounded off their Junior Home Counties campaign with a convincing win over Kent to secure second place in the league. Both teams started the day in a position to take the runners-up spot behind Surrey with Oxon on 31 points and Kent just two behind on 29 (Middx have withdrawn guaranteeing six points for all other teams) however the home team played consistent bowls throughout the game to win by 21 shots and 8 points to 2 to end up just four points from the title. With just two Kent bowls to play the score stood at 10-0 to Oxon which still wouldn’t have been quite enough catch Surrey who are assured of top spot on 43 points.

Captain, George Schwab, managed to overcome work commitments to play his last ever JHCL game and, with Dean May, also making his final appearance, Brandon King and Jonathan Dadson, led from start to finish against Matt Rich to run out 22-13 winners.
Dan Wakeman, another taking his final bow, skipped his rink of Orren Bennett, Tom Tisbury and Dan Swanson to the biggest win of the day over a triple skipped by Lee Harris. After being level at five ends the Oxford rink took twelve of the remaining sixteen ends to win by eleven (19-8) although once the 25% was deducted for being a player short the winning margin increased by two.
Shane Cooper, playing his first competitive game since badly cutting his hand, struggled for form early on against Taylor Monk but he and his rink of Sam Watts, Joe Woodward, the fourth player ‘retiring’ through age, and Ben Dickson rallied well to win eight of the last eleven ends to hold game with Monk’s final bowls to play. The Kent skip played a forehand runner to take out the two Oxon shots with his first, Cooper narrowly failed to draw with his final bowl leaving Monk to draw for two with his last which he duly did for two consolation points.

This match saw the end of Oxfordshire’s best and most consistent performance in the JHCL for some years, if not ever. That the team finishes second, having lost only one game, and that by just one shot to the eventual winners and with a plus shot difference of over 90 speaks volumes for the massive strides the players have taken in recent seasons. It is inevitable that players move on through age but it is hugely unfortunate that this squad now loses the four players mentioned above along with Gary May who made his last appearance against Bucks and Ryan Full who hasn’t been able to play at all through work, at the same time. The Under 25s remain in a healthy state however and the younger players will now step up to take the senior positions within the team and obviously still to come this season is the national semi-final appearance against Devon in the White Rose double rink at Leamington on Sunday 30th August.

Oxon 59, Kent 38
8 pts, 2 pts

Schwab 22, Rich 13;
Cooper 18, Monk 19;
Wakeman 19, Harris 6*.

*25% (2) of rink score deducted from original total of 8 for playing one short.

Full report: JHCL report Oxon v Kent 020815

HCL v Middlesex

Oxfordshire returned to South Oxford BC on Saturday 1st August to play Middlesex . The match started slowly with Oxfordshire building a 5 shot lead by the 10th end. By the 15th end the game had swung in favour of Middlesex, a lead which they maintained to the end, but which Oxfordshire had reduced the deficit to 12 shots. Oxfordshire won on 4 rinks.

Will Campion’s rink struggled to stay in touch and they lost by 18.
Paul Sharman’s rink dominated the afternoon and finished 17 shots ahead.
Barry Lamboune’s rink struggle to stay in touch and were 7 down with 5 end left. They clawed their way back and went into the last end 3 shots down A four on the last end gave them victory by a single shot.
Next door Jason King’s side had a close match throughout but went into the last end 1 down. A two on the last end gave them victory again by a single shot.
On rink 5 Mike Petersen’s four were always struggling thanks mainly to accurate firing by Middlesex’ Paul Fuller and they lost by 19.
On rink 6 Alan Ley’s rink made steady progress and won by 6 shots.

Oxfordshire 110 shots 8 points Middlesex 122 shots 14 points.

Rink scores
S Tolhurst B Jarvie Geo Moon W Campion 9, C Cleaver G Salter R Green A Brocallello 27;
S Watts H Payne K Alder P Sharman 29, J Hooper D Todd F Halverton A Knott 12;
B Bloomfield J Timms S Jones B Lambourne 19, T Guilder M Kopp N Rushton T Waller 18;
P Demczak D Wedge A Martin J King 16, K Hill P Attridge A Harman J Carey 15;
R Green T Jupp P Comley M Petersen 14, P Picknell B Hearn R Smith P Fuller 33;
M Nash T Prew I Whelpton A Ley 23, R Edgar P Shepherd J Bird D Pitt 17.

Ladies selection: Hants & Cambs

The final two ladies county matches against Hampshire and Cambridgeshire have now been selected: Match Sheet (Hants, Cambs)

Ladies Officers Cup and Plate

The first rounds of the Officers Cup and Plate, with 19 club officers from across the County, were played on Friday 24th July in heavy rain at Hanborough BC.
Unfortunately the finals had to be postponed because of the weather and were played on Saturday 1st August at City and County BC.

Officers Cup:

Final: Jeanette Berry 14, Wendy Cross 10.
Semi finals: Sylvia Blackmore (Shiplake BC) 4, Jeanette Berry (Oxford City and County) 14; Wendy Cross (Shiplake BC) 15, Carol Gaskins (Oxford City and County) 9.

Officers Plate:
Final: Pauline Williams 14, Jackie Stafford 11.
Semi finals: Jackie Stafford (Shiplake BC) 15, Cathie Brittin (Hanborough) 7; Letty Batten (South Oxford BC) 0, Pauline Williams (Hanborough BC) 18.