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August 9th, 2016:

Allison – Longford – Officers finals

The Banbury Borough green, bathed in glorious sunshine and surrounded by beautiful floral arrangements, hosted this years Domestic finals today.

Some of the rinks demanded total concentration on the lines whilst at the same time the players had to contend with a strong diagonal wind gusting across the green.

Longford Cup winner 2016The morning session saw the final of the Longford Cup played out between Witney Town’s Brian Bloomfield and Brian Ray from the nearby Banbury Chestnut’s club.

Bloomfield went off on a flier, leading 13-2 after only six ends and was only five shots from victory after thirteen at 16-8. Ray then kicked into gear taking seven of the next nine ends to level the scoreline at 18-all. A double to each of them saw them go into the twenty-fifth end all square, 20-20 and a final end shoot out. After delivering his four woods, Ray held three shots with the title in his grasp. Bloomfield played his last wood into Ray’s two woods which were short of the jack, playing one through the head, with his wood following to within fifteen inches of the jack to collect the final single to take the title.

Due to the Witney Town man being involved in two semi-finals, both finalists played their semi-final on Wednesday evening, when Bloomfield beat South Oxford’s Garry Watts 21-18 and Ray beat West Witney’s Roger Thomas 21-11

Watts himself qualified for two semi’s, the second being the Allison Cup, when on Friday evening he overcame Dennis Crook from the Headington club 21-20 in a 25 end thriller, picking up three singles to come back from 18-20 down.

Allison Cup winner 2016In today’s final he came up against Banbury Borough’s own Paul McLeod, who comfortable won his semi final in the morning against Witney Town’s Brian Smith 21-4.

After four ends each in the final, McLeod led 7-5 before picking up three triples over the next four ends to move into a ten shot lead, before Watts took the next three ends to trail by only three shots at 13-16. A pair of two’s in McLeod’s favour against the South Oxford man’s two singles left the Borough man requiring a single for the title, which he collected on the next end.

The last of the three competitions saw a final between Banbury Central’s Ian Whelpton and Nigel Galletly, both previous winners of the cup, Whelpton in 2008 and Galletly in 2011.

Galletly moved into the final with a semi-final win on Friday evening against Witney Town’s Brian Bloomfield, having collected a pair of two’s and a three on the last three ends for a 21-14 win.

Officers Cup winner 2016Whelpton played his semi-final this morning against another Witney Town player and fellow selector and Triples section secretary , Mike Jones. From 10 all at thirteen ends, the Central player took the next seven ends to move to within one shot of a final place then having to wait another four ends before it feel his way.

From 5-3 at five ends, Whelpton opened up a ten shot lead picking up eight shots over the following five ends. After sixteen ends had been played, he held a thirteen shot lead at 20-7, needing one more for the title. A pair of singles to Galletly delayed matters before Whelpton took the game 21-9

Once again the Borough club proved perfect host’s with their hospitality towards Officials, players and following spectators. A special thank’s is also given to the green-keeper for the beautifully paced surface that was prepared for the final’s day bowlers

Oxon men lose to Middlesex in HCL

Oxfordshire travelled to Ealing to play Middlesex in their fifth and final Home Counties League match of the season. Struggling with form all season and with only one win from the previous games Oxfordshire failed to improve their league position and finished in fifth place.

With a single shot lead after 5 ends and Oxfordshire already struggling on Will Parker’s rink, only Ian Whelpton and his rink gave hope for a favourable outcome.

In a tight game on rink 1 the result was always in doubt and at the end a draw was not a great surprise.

Will Parker could do little to improve his rinks chances and they lost by 26 shots. Next door a balance of experience and youth prove decisive and the 4 West Ealing bowlers were well beaten

Ray Gaskin’ hopes were diminished when they lost six consecutive ends in the middle of their battle, losing 17 shots to go 13 shots behind. From then on the scores were even with Ray going down by 14.

Rink 5 was close throughout despite Melvin brain and co losing 6 end in a row and they lost by 5.

Kevin Alder and a team of Witney bowlers had hopes for most of the afternoon but dropping 8 shots on ends 18 and 19 proved too much and they lost by 6.

Shots Oxfordshire 108 Middlesex 144.

Points Oxfordshire 3 Middlesex 19.

Rink scores

S Tolhurst C Cox S Jones B Bloomfield drew 16-16
B Squires R Redband C Lewis W Parker lost 8-34
M Petersen J Woodward D Leighfield I Whelpton won 27-12
D Latter H Alder C Weller R Gaskins lost 19-33
P Lopez T Gripe P Latter M Brain lost 18-23
H Beall T Prew P Demczak K Alder lost 20-26

League Week 13

This was a week when I expected to be congratulating a number of clubs on their promotion and commiserating with others on their relegation – how wrong could I be?

I can, however, start by congratulating Watlington on becoming division 2 champions but otherwise all this week’s matches did was further muddy the waters!

Last week I thought that Headington A might carry out their usual demolition of Banbury Central and confirm that they were Division 1 champions once again! However, the reverse was true and Central defeated them 5-1 to force the title into a final week battle between Headington and Carterton, who beat South Oxford in a close encounter this week.

Central, with a side bereft of some regulars, won on the rinks skipped by Nigel Galletly and the two Campions whilst the rink of Ian Whelpton came from fifteen shots down to lose by four and secure the match points as well. Central will now finish third as they cannot catch the front two nor be caught by the chasers.

New leaders Carterton can thank skips Paul Sharman and Sammy Timms for the four points that moves them to that position, as their rinks won by larger margins than those of George Young and Malcolm Bracewell for South Oxford,

Elsewhere, Witney Mills kept their hopes of avoiding relegation alive with a win against Shiplake.

This means that Carterton only have to match Headington’s performance next week to be crowned champions. However, they both face teams that are in danger of relegation and who will therefore be fighting for all they can get, Carterton at City and County, Headington at home to Witney Mills.

Banbury Chestnuts 5-1 defeat at Watlington not only confirms the latter’s Division 2 title but also drags Chestnuts into a winner takes all match against Adderbury next week. Big wins for the two younger Gilkes and another good score from Gordon Hooker’s rink meant that Watlington scored over one hundred shots in total for the second time this season.

Charlbury’s defeat at Adderbury gives the winners a possibility of survival in the division whilst dragging the losers into the relegation picture. Charlbury are two points clear of Adderbury and only half a point above Chestnuts but they have completed their twelve fixtures and can only wait for the results as the other two clash next Thursday. Adderbury need just two points to survive given their superior shot difference.

Witney Town defeated Bicester 5-1, a result that included a big win for Will Parker’s rink, to move three points clear of West Witney in the seesaw promotion battle between the two. Next week see West Witney host Bicester whist Town host Watlington so anything can happen!

Oddball match of the week was at Headington in Division 3! Visitor’s Banbury Central really needed to win to stave off relegation whilst their hosts are locked in a real dogfight with Chipping Norton for the second promotion place. Unfortunately for Central, Tom McKenna’s rink got off to a poor start going 9-2 down after three ends to Steve Gould’s men and never recovered giving the match points to Headington. Two other rinks were close throughout and both looked to be going to Central until Paul Arundel’s men picked up a hot-shot on end twenty! (the first in the league for some time to my knowledge.) Not to be outdone, Russell Edwards’ men joined in the fun – leading Bob Joiner’s rink 19-11 after 18 ends they contrived to drop seven shots in the final three ends to allow Central to gain what may be a very important half point at both ends of the table.

Thame, one of four teams that can still be relegated, hosted promotion contenders Chipping Norton. Both teams had two winning rinks whose shot totals actually tied, thanks to the two shots picked up on the final end of the match by David Leighfield.

With City and County losing to new Champions Kidlington, the relegation battle could not be tighter. Next week City and County are away at promotion contender’s Chipping Norton whilst Hanborough host the other promotion candidates, Headington. However, match of the week is at Central who host Thame with the loser almost guaranteed a place in division 4 next year!

Blackbird Leys thought, correctly, that their six nil demolition of South Oxford meant that they could be crowned champions of Division 4 next week – if they beat leaders Charlbury who are now only two and a half points above them. However, Bloxham also won six nil and are themselves only two points further back. Bloxham are at Oxford University Press next week and, whilst they cannot be crowned champions, they can make the losers of the Charlbury/Blackbird Leys match remain in division 4 next season!

The highlight for Blackbird Leys was Alex Fleming’s big win whist Ron Higgins’ rink starred for Bloxham.

Good wins for Tim Cox and Geoff Jordan’s rinks allowed Oxford University Press to come close to recording their second win of the season in their match at Woodstock but were to no avail as Ben Dixon’s rink had a big win for the home side.

I guarantee that there will be many anxious bowlers phoning contacts at other clubs throughout the evening next Thursday! It promises to be a great final set of fixtures.

Printable Report
Match Results
League Tables

Oxon men lose to Herts in friendly

Oxfordshire were on the road again this week to play Hertfordshire at Potten End BC on Tuesday August 2nd. With 3 rinks struggling to cope with both the opposition and the green Oxfordshire were always in trouble and lost the match heavily with only one rink coming out on top. The illness of the President caused several late changes to the selected rinks and several players took time to adjust to their new positions and team mates.

Oxfordshire 90 Hertfordshire 123.

Rink scores:

C Haley E Dorling J Timms D Bullock lost 15-22
H Franklin B Squires K Williams B Bloomfield won 26-9
M Cameron B Jarvie J O’Shea I Whelpton lost 10-32
S Tolhurst D Wright T Gripe J Lucas lost 14-17
A Fleming J Stephens P Demczak A Ley lost 17-18
B Willoughby J Hurley J McGeough M Morris lost 8-25