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June 14th, 2016:

League Week 5

A week with a mixture of close finishes and, apparently, one-sided matches.

In Division1, Banbury Central finally won a match and indeed won it handsomely, leapfrogging their opponents to move off bottom position in the division in the process. The losers, Shiplake, as is often the case, travelled with a weakened team and their 6-0 defeat came as no surprise to them. However, good wins for the, until now, unsuccessful rinks skipped by Nigel Galletly and Les Campion will give them heart for the matches still to come.

South Oxford maintained their good run of results, this week away at City and County. Good wins for Dick Claridge and Mick Keen’s rinks providing the shots necessary to come away with match points.

The closest match in the division, if not quite in the league, was, perhaps surprisingly, at Carterton who were hosting leaders Headington. With only the final rink playing, and that down the last end and a very close measure, the match situation was that Carterton had won on two rinks for a six shot margin but Mark Charlett’s rink had already won by fourteen shots for Headington. On the final rink, Paul Sharman’s men were holding a seven shot lead so the situation was, if they won the measure Carterton won the match and took five points but if Howard Watts won Headington finished with a higher total shot count and took match points for a 3-3- tie! After a number of measures, the final outcome was a shot to Headington and end of the closest match in the league this year.

Division 2 was more clear-cut with a very good win for Watlington, at home to closest rivals Charlbury. A defeat for West Witney in a tight encounter with close neighbours Witney Town with Will Parker’s rink swinging the match Towns way with a 21 shot victory.

The final match in the division saw Banbury Chestnuts bounce back from a disappointing previous loss to beat Bicester comfortably. Big wins for Chestnuts on three rinks, especially Keith Buckle’s which won by 29 shots, also gave them their first century total of the year.

The closest match this week was in Division 3 and it also involved Headington. In a tight, high scoring encounter, Chipping Norton were good enough to hold the home side to a tie at eighty shots each.

Kidlington’s run of 5 – 1 victories was brought to a halt at Thame, with Graham Penn’s rink winning by fourteen shots and Paul Heafey’s by three for the home team. However, Kidlington won well on the other two rinks and the match points saw them open up a clear lead in the division.

Perhaps surprisingly, Banbury Central won away at Hanborough having lost to them earlier in the season in the league cup. A close encounter was swung Central way by Ron Cox’s rinks good win.

Two unexpected wins in Division 4 have opened up the promotion battle. Although well in the promotion race, Chadlington would not have expected to go to South Oxford and win on three rinks soring a century in the process. A big win for Ron Arthur’s men was the backbone of the result.

Oxford University Press would not have expected to come away from Blackbird Leys with the spoils given their respective results so far this season. However, Tim Cox’s fifteen shot victory was enough to give them the match points.

Pride of place comes last in the report. Ben Dickson, of Woodstock, with a 40 – 11 victory pushed his team shot count to one short of one hundred an ensured his team took match points in an otherwise close match against West Oxford.

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