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August 2nd, 2016:

JHCL U25 v Kent

Oxofordshire U25’s will face Kent in the Junior Home Counties League on Sunday 7th August 11am at Maidstone Bowls Club.

The team has been selected: Oxon U25s v Kent

Oxon U25’s update

Oxon Under 25s beat the JHCL champions elect Buckinghamshire in a tight and exciting contest decided with the final bowl at Kidlington yesterday. With two rinks finished and Oxfordshire two shots to the good the game looked to have gone the way of the visitors when, with just Shane Cooper’s last bowl of the game to play, Bucks held four shots with an offset jack. The Watlington man duly stepped up to the mark however, and played a fantastic shot under the circumstances to trail the jack for four to Oxon and a six shot and 8-2 points win overall.

In front of enthusiastic support for both teams Bucks had the better of the first half, with the Oxon rink of Cooper tied, Sam Watts’ four trailing by three and the luckless rink of Chris Gilkes eighteen adrift, and their confidence was high. The Oxford team though has gained massive experience from these type of games over the past few seasons and that showed as Gilkes and his men kept their heads and scored 11 shots to 5 in the second stage while Cooper and Watts steadily opened up what proved to be winning margins to set up the final end drama and the 60-54 victory.

Rink Scores (Oxon first):
Shane Cooper 24, Matt Gomme 16;
Chris Gilkes 12, Nathan Harvey 24;
Sam Watts 24, David West 14

As we understand it, despite this setback, Bucks still secured the title by virtue of a Sussex win over Berkshire at Popes Mead. Our congratulations go to them.

Previously, on 3rd July, Oxon travelled to Sussex and beat their hosts by 71 shots to 65 and 8 points to 2.
Rink Scores (Oxon first):
Shane Cooper 19, Andrew Fairhall 27;
Chris Gilkes 22, Callum Philliore 17;
Sam Watts 30, Jonathan Fenn-Tye 21.

Oxon travel to Maidstone next Sunday, minus several key players, but still in a position to secure the runners up spot with a good win.

At the same time yesterday there was a mixed friendly practice game between Oxon and Bucks involving seven of our Ladies Amy Rose team and three of the U25s reserves. It is hoped that this too, will become an annual fixture alongside the JHCL game.

The next date for your diaries is the annual Under 25s Day at Watlington on Sunday 28th August. If, at any of your clubs, you have youngsters interested in playing regardless of experience or ability, please please get in touch with Steve Gilkes on 07868 435052 or stevegilkes@btinternet.com It is a day designed, not just for established players, but newcomers to have a fun introduction to the sport too. We need new players to start now, boys and girls, so please do all you can to get them along. Lunch, drink and a gift for all players is provided.

HCL: Oxon lose to Sussex

Oxfordshire welcomed Sussex to Thame BC on Saturday 31 st July. The start went in Oxfordshire’s favour and they led by 4 shots after 10 ends The next 5 ends saw the advantage change and Sussex led by 6 after 15 ends . The trend continued and Sussex won the match by 12 shots. With the rinks shared the spoils went to Sussex.

A run of 8 losing ends sealed the fate of Joe Abercrombie’s 4 on the show rink and a 5 on end 17 only limited the size of the loss. Next door Barry Lambourne were going well for the first 17 ends establishing a lead of 21 shots,
thanks in part to a couple of 5s and despite dropping a six on end 18 were comfortable winners by 12 shots.

Although they only won 6 ends Will Parker and his team secured 14 shots to limit the size of their defeat. Rink 4 was a close battle throughout with again the 17 th end proving decisive for Kevin Alder and they went on to secure a win by 3. The pattern of the odd numbered rinks was repeated on rink 5 with Melvin Brain struggling to contain the Sussex four and a 5 on end 19 only helped to limit the defeat. Jason King battled well on rink 6 to complete the symmetry of the rink scores and won by 5.

Oxfordshire 122 Sussex 134.
Points Oxfordshire 6 Sussex 16.

Rink scores:

D Leighfield R Slater P Latter J Abercrombie lost 18-24.
C Lewis H Payne S Jones B Lambourne won 30-18.
O Bennett B Squires B Bloomfield W Parker lost 14-27.
R Green N Galletly G Hooker K Alder won 22-19.
B Ray T Gripe P Demczak M Brain lost 17-30.
T Prew H Alder A Wase J King won 21-16.

League Week 12

As the season draws to a close, the number of teams either promoted or relegated by the matches played grows each week.

In Division 1, Shiplake’s home defeat, by Banbury Central, proved the final straw in their battle against relegation. Big defeats for Barrie Evans and Barrie Lambourne’s rinks, to father and son Les and Will Campion’s men, and a loss to Central captain Nigel Galletly on a third rink mean that they are now unable to catch the fifth place team as they have a bye in the last week.

Fifth place South Oxford gave themselves every chance of staving off relegation with an important, to them, defeat of City and County. However, the match was close on three rinks and only Keith Mobley’s sixteen shot winning margin skewed the final result to the size it was.

When Carterton tied with Headington earlier in the season, one might have thought that the latter would get their revenge this week at home. Far from it! Two rinks apiece but Gordon Walker’s defeat of a Headington’s triple swung the match to Carterton. The title may now be decided by Witney Mills who have to play both these teams and win twice themselves in order to avoid relegation!

Watlington clinched promotion from Division 2 with a win at Charlbury. Steve Gilkes and Shane Cooper’s rinks were as dependable as ever for Watlington ensuing match points with sizeable victories whilst Gordon Hooker’s three shots on the final end, for a draw, provided the extra half point they needed to guarantee promotion.

West Witney’s defeat, of local rivals Witney Town, moves them clear in second place but they have a bye next week and need to hope that Town are not helped by Watlington in their last match as both Witney teams have yet to play Bicester. This week’s match was close on three rinks but Paul Skidmore’s seven shot winning margin separated the teams.

The final match in the division saw Banbury Chestnuts beat Bicester comfortable with Alan Wase’s rink providing the highlight for them. Only Kevin Taylor’s rink were able to reply for Bicester. The result sees Chestnuts open up a five-and-a-half-point lead over close neighbours Adderbury, who had a bye. One of the two will join Bicester in Division 3 next season but which may well be decided when they meet in the final match of the season!

Congratulations must go to Kidlington as they not only clinched promotion but also the Division 3 title with an emphatic win at home over Thame. Comfortable, if not excessive, wins on three rinks ensured the points they needed. The result leaves Thame bottom and opens up a four team race in the battle to stave off relegation – more of which later.

Chipping Norton put themselves in pole position in the race for the second promotion place with their defeat of close rivals Headington. A big win for Jeff Martin’s rink ensured the match points and only Russell Edwards was able to reply for the visitors.

Finally, in this division, Banbury Central were, somewhat surprisingly, soundly beaten at home by erstwhile bottom side Hanborough with the visitors putting up an outstanding display in the second half of a fixture in which Central lead at eleven ends. Big wins for Geoff Thompson and Ken Williams were the highlights but Martin Oliver’s men deserve mention coming back from 18-2 down only to lose 22- 19 on the final end.

However, this results plus Thames loss and City and County’s bye mean that four teams are still in danger of relegation. Hanborough may still be favourites, with only one match to play and that against Kidlington but, intriguingly, Central host Thame in their final match!

Both promotion spots are still available in Division 4 as leaders Chadlington have only one fixture left and the two chasers could still overtake them. They have themselves to blame as they could have clinched the title this week at South Oxford but lost on three of four closely fought rinks and now must beat promotion rivals Blackbird Leys in their one remaining fixture.

Blackbird Leys defeated Oxford University Press comfortably on three rinks, scoring almost twice as many shots as their rivals on each rink. The fourth rink was different and a real rollercoaster for both side. Ken Brown’s rink went 11-3 up for OUP only to fail to score in the next seven ends and go 13-11 down. They then moved back in front and lead by five shots going into the last end. However, Alex Fleming’s men were going to go down fighting for Leys and lead the end by six shots with only Ken’s final wood to come … which drew shot and won the point for OUP.

The last match in the division saw West Oxford comfortably defeat Woodstock in a match that had no bearing on the promotion race.

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