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July 19th, 2016:

Men’s semi finals

Banbury Chestnuts, bathed in glorious sunshine, was the setting for Sunday’s OBA semi’s with a large crowd of support for the bowlers who returned home with varying degree’s of sunburnt bodies.
The day kicked off at 10.30 with the singles games of Keith Holloway (Banbury Borough) who was to feature in three games during the day, against Jim Bland (Shiplake Village), and Colin Whitehead (Headington) against Chris Gilkes (Watlington). Holloway took early control in his game and a triple of three’s over five ends from the tenth end moved the game his was as he went on to win 21-9. The second game same an exciting close game which swayed to and fro with Gilkes having the upper hand over the first fourteen ends to lead 14-6 before he shortened the jack length (perhaps inadvertently) and let in Whitehead who with a two and a brace of three’s levelled the score. The Watlington man then took control again taking six of the next eight ends to move into the final on the back of a 21-17 win, having also qualified for the Under 25 singles final earlier in the season.

Headington’s Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett, 4-9 down after eight ends against Adderbury’s brothers Nigel and Ted Eley, collected 13 shots over four ends to open up an eight shot lead then taking four of the next six ends before their opponents conceded after 18 ends with the Headington duo 24-11 in front.
The Kidlington pairing of Jim Feeley and Chris Cox, 1-5 down after three ends moved into the lead against Carterton’s Tim Jupp and Stuart Richens two ends later and were still in pole position 20-17 after 19, then disaster. Jupp and Richens collected a four on the 20th to go into a one shot lead and then a single in their favour on the last saw them squeeze through 22-20.

Banbury Borough prevailed in the Triples, with Jamie Wilkinson, George Schwab and Mark Sykes taking no prisoners as they swept aside the Headington trio of May brothers Dean and Gary and Nick Rae-Welsh who pulled down the shutters after twelve ends, losing 3-19 to the Banbury boys.
The Borough’s other triple, Keith Holloway, Darren Sharpe and skip AJ Docherty were 5-13 adrift after seven ends to their Carterton opponents, Peter Maisey, Dan Wakeman and Chris Weedon, then turned the game on its head with a pair of 5’s and a 2 to take a 17-13 lead. Two singles brought Weedon’s men to within two but that was the end of their scoring, as the lad’s from the north of the county took the next five ends for a 24-15 win.

Keith Holloway, now in his third semi-final of the day, was joined by Jamie Wilkinson, George Schwab and Mark Sykes who were in the second, in their Fours game against Headington’s Dean May, Nathan Lewis, Gary May and Howard Watts. From honours even after 15 ends at 11-11, a single to Sykes’ rink on the 16th saw the finish of their scoring, as Watts pulled off damaging shots over the last five ends to assure his rink of a 18-12 success.
The last game to finish, at 7.51pm was the rinks match between the two Headington fours of John Nichols, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlet and Jon Philpott, Colin Whitehead, Ian Snowdon and Ray Gaskins.
Having taken 11 of the 16 ends played, Gaskins rink led 15-8 and looked favourites to move into the finals, but the never say die attitude of Charlett’s rink payed dividends on the next three ends, 1,2,4 to level the game 15 all.
A two for each side saw the scores level 17-17 after 21 ends, necessitating and extra end. Gaskins with one wood left was shot down and saw his final wood pull up short to give Charlett and his three partners the game 18-17

The exciting finish was the perfect ending to a superb day. The weather only got better as the day progressed, the spectators were treated to nine and a half hours of great and exciting bowling plus going home with a suntan, and finally, the Banbury Chestnuts bowls club who had been the perfect host’s, providing a superb green to bowl on, all day catering for players and spectators, who reciprocated by drinking the barrels dry. Summer had finally arrived!

This was a fantastic advert for the game and what it should be all about.

Men’s selection for HCL and county games

The selection for Sussex HCL on Saturday 30th July & Middlesex HCL on the 6th Aug is now available: HCL Selection

The selection for Hertfordshire, C&C Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, between 2nd – 31st August is now available: Herts, C&C Bristol, Bucks, Glos

League Week 10

How the season flies, It was already getting gloomy as matches finished this Thursday.

For the second time recently, Division 1 leaders Headington just saw off the opposition, again by a single shot! This time South Oxford pushed them to the limit losing by a single shot with the result even closer than it looks as the sides were tied in the match when Ray Gaskins played his final bowl for Headington and managed to remove one, of five, South Oxford bowls to snatch the win.

Carterton took the chance to close the gap at the top to two points by comfortable beating neighbours Witney Mills on the own patch, in a match notable for Tim Jupp’s winning score.

Shiplake kept their match against City and County close but it could have been very different as both Jim Bland and Barrie Evans’ rinks were pulled back by the outstanding bowling of their opposite skips – Paul Comley and Colin Pollard.

Division 2 leaders, Watlington were on a bye week and their Witney rivals both took the chance to close the gap between themselves and the leaders.

Witney Town were comfortable winners away at Banbury Chestnuts in a match that include big wins for Paul Demczak and Will Parker’s rinks. While West Witney also won away, at Charlbury, in a match where all rinks were quite close though all went to the visiting side.

The third match in the division saw potential relegation rival Adderbury and Bicester meet with the former able to outplay the visitors on three rinks winning well on all and only Richard Herbert’s rink able to grab a tie with Phil Gladdens men for Bicester’s only score.

Division 3 leaders Kidlington defeat of Hanborough included a thirty shot winning margin for Melvin Brain’s men who were so well supported by the club’s other rinks that the clubs shot total of 119 was the highest in the league this week whilst their winning margin of 61 shots won the equivalent accolade.

Could Headington be promoted this year? Their defeat of City and County moves them into second place, though they meet the league leaders next week! With only Neville Wharton’s rink to stem the tide, Headington swept their close rivals away with a big win for Russell Edwards and Martin Kershaw’s men who provided Terry Gripe’s rink with its first defeat of the season.

Chipping Norton moved into third place to lead a pack trying to avoid relegation. Their whitewash of Banbury Central included a twenty-two shot margin for Tim Sealey’s rink.

Chadlington stretched their lead in Division 4 to over eight points with a comfortable win at West Oxford. Carl Smart’s rink lead the way with a twenty-three shot win.

Behind them, Bloxham avenged an earlier defeat at the hands of Blackbird Leys, winning on three rinks with Dave Morse’s thirteen shot victory more than cancelling James Baldwin’s eleven for the visitors.

Close behind these two are South Oxford whose defeat of Oxford University Press was aided by the latter’s inability to field a full team. Good wins for John Guest and Keith Clark’s rink in the match never-the-less.

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