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July 9th, 2016:

Oxon beat Berks in Johns Trophy

Bowls Oxfordshire ladies beat Berkshire in the Johns Trophy but unfortunately didn’t do enough to top the group. Going into the game, Berkshire were top of the group with Oxfordshire second with 12 points behind and Sussex third with 14 points behind. Oxon needed to win their game against Berkshire on at least 2 rinks. Oxon managed to win on 4 rinks and a win overall but unfortunately Sussex won on all rinks against Isle of Wight and topped the group to go through.

Oxfordshire 118, Berkshire 106
18pts, 4pts

B Havard 13, J Porter 16.
A Ives 21, L Halliday 13.
J Berry 24, N Holder 32.
W Cross 17, J Harris 15.
C Penson 16, B Wall 14.
D Knight 27, H Simpson 16.

Men’s singles quarter finals

GO WEST YOUNG MAN.

Good advice for Watlington’s Chris Gilkes, who travelled west to the West Witney green for Fridays OBA Singles Quarter Finals and returned home with a place in the semi-finals after a comfortable win, 21-8 against South Oxford’s Jon Guest. Gilkes, who is already through to the final of the Under 25 singles, showed his expertise in this discipline getting off to a rapid start, putting 14 shots on the board in the first five ends. Guest started to settle into the game, but the Watlington man was into a steady rhythm, sharing the next eight ends to finally close the game after 13 ends.

On rink 1 and travelling from the depths of Shiplake in the south east of the county, Jim Bland was up against last years Two-Wood Singles winner Stuart Richens from the Carterton club. Richens took command early and opened up a five shot lead after five ends and still lead by the same distance after ten ends at 11-6. The fourteenth end turned the game on it’s head when Bland, 9-13 down and three shots down and in trouble, played a perfect wood to pick up the jack, which was hardle visible, and run it back to his three over weighted earlier bowls to collect a four and level the scores 13 all. Richens picked a pair on the next ends but that was the last score he made as Bland won the next six ends, moving into the semi’s with a 21-15 win.

The Banbury Borough duo of Keith Holloway and Mark Sykes, both of whom are already into the Triples semi’s, though in different teams, and together in the Fours, had a game full of twists and turns. Holloway took the first two ends to lead 3-0, then Sykes collected 8 shots over the next four ends. Holloway retaliated with seven shots from the following four ends to lead 10-8. After 12 ends, scores were level 10-10 and four ends later it was 13-13, before Sykes picked a pair of three’s to open up a six shot lead and needing only two more for the game. Holloway replied with a four, but was still 17-19 down and although he was in reach of victory, Sykes only needed two and picked one of them up on the next ends to lead 20-17 and the odds in is favour but then disaster struck as Holloway, playing in the same direction as he had just collected a four, repeated the exercise and the game was his 21-17.

One game remained and you would have got very short odds on it being the last to finish as the two combatants were Headington’s Colin Whiteside and Carterton’s Paul Sharman, both of whom are renowned for being analytical about their game. Eight equally shared shots over the first seven ends hinted at what was to come, but a four to Whiteside opened up a gap and it was the thirteenth end before Sharman levelled the scores at 10 all. The following seven ends saw three singles in the Carterton man’s favour, a pair of two’s and a single to his Headington opponent and one tied end but a three on the twenty first end gave Whiteside an 18-13 lead and Sharman was under pressure, which proved too much as his opponent played great woods to collect a single and a pair to take the game 21-13 in a game that was far tighter than the scoreline indicated.

As the sun started to slowly sink in the west, more Burgers and Hotdogs followed. It has definitely not been a quarter finals week for vegetarians, though there was some lettuce and beautifully sweet tomato’s at Shiplake.
Perhaps for next year we can consider an Oxfordshire Bowls Club Master Hot dog and Burger Chef competition.