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June 8th, 2016:

League Week 4

The movement of players, including those available from the demise of The Oxford Bowls Club and Florence Park, appears to have swung the balance towards some clubs whilst others appear less strong than last year.

In Division 1, one of the improvers, City and County, gave Headington a scare with wins on two rinks and with Nick Rae-Welsh’s winning margin for the home side match by Alan Ley’s for City and County it was the scores on the other rinks that determined the match result. Both were close with Headington winning one by four shots while City and County won the final rink by a single shot, giving match points to the home side.

In what is usually a one-sided match, because the away side often has a weakened team because they have to leave so early to get to the opposition, Carterton winning 5 – 1 at Shiplake must be one of the more unexpected results of the season. The outcome leaves Shiplake fighting off relegation.

However, the club in most trouble appears to be Banbury Central who look in danger of being relegated for the first time in memory. Another 5 – 1 defeat, this time at the hands of Witney Mills, leaves them six points adrift of fifth place South Oxford and needing an injection of something if they are to survive in the top division.

In Division 2, Charlbury’s defeat of Bicester moves them to the top of the table and leaves the losers staring a second successive relegation in the face. In what was a close game, Dave Cooper’s winning score was enough for the match points.

In another close encounter, Watlington travelled to Adderbury and came away with five points. However, the result could have been very different as Adderbury lead 84-55 after ten ends with Steve Gilkes’ trailing by 17 shots. The second half of the game was a very different story, Dan Watson, at lead for the visitors, was outstanding, enabling his rink to come back and win, indeed, only a calliper measure on the final end of the game saw Tom Clark’s rink gain a point for the home side.

Lee Wilkinson could do no more for Banbury Chestnut, winning by nineteen shots, but his effort was more than matched by Kevin Alder’s men who ran out the biggest winners in the league so far this season by thirty-five shots an ensure that West Witney took the match points.

Despite playing a triple, Chipping Norton won again in Division 3. This week it was Keith Field who swung the match point in their favour.

Kidlington continued their run of 5 – 1 wins, this time at Headington’s expense. Good win on three rinks, especially Melvin Brains’, giving them the points. Only a late rally by Martin Kershaw’s rink, coming from 15-9 down with four ends to play to snatch victory gave the visitors a single point.

Thame suffered another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of City and County. A big win for Neville Wharton’s rink, able backed up by the rest of the team ensured match points for the home side.

The only century of the week was in Division 4 at West Oxford, not for the home side but for the visitors, Blackbird Leys. Big wins on all rinks move Leys up to second in the league with a game in hand over leaders Chadlington. The latter’s match against OUP was always destined to be one-sided when the opposition could only muster a thirteen man side.

Early high flyer’s, Bloxham, continued their slump losing on all rinks at Woodstock. Star rink for the home side was Ben Dickson’s with a fifteen shot win.

League Match report 2 June
League Tables
Match results