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September 6th, 2017:

Men’s league cup

This year’s League Cup semi-finals at South Oxford saw a clash between Kidlington and Witney Town from Division 2 on one of the green, and Headington A and Watlington from Division 1 on the other. With both greens running exceptionally well, the shorter nights meant that the last of the 18 ends finished in the dark, but the heads still remained competitive throughout.

Nearest the clubhouse it was League 2 champions Kidlington facing third place Witney Town, with honours even in the League this season. Kidlington started the brighter, but after the first few ends were only slightly ahead. Although the advantage swayed back to Witney Town half way through, there was never more than a handful of shots across the game. Despite 2 winning rinks for Kidlington, a strong finish from Tim Ludlow’s men, and a 4 shot victory for Paul Demczak’s four, saw Town win the match by 6 shots overall – and clinch their first ever Cup final place.

In the other semi-final, Division 1 runners-up Watlington were looking to cap a great first season in the top flight and were buoyed on by having the new National Two Wood champion Sam Watts in their side. However the challenge was never going to be easy, as they faced League champions Headington A, who had also won the League Cup in 6 of the last 7 years. After just a first few ends Headington had already established a good lead in the game, with captain Mark Charlett and Nick Rae-Welsh quickest out of the blocks for the Champions. Watlington’s rink, skipped by Chris Gilkes, were also quickly into their stride, but by the half way point Headington were in control of the game. Despite a late rally from Gordon Hooker’s rink, it proved to be just a consolation for Watlington, with Headington marching through by 13 shots.

The final of the League Cup takes place this Thursday, 7th September, under the floodlights at Kidlington Bowls Club.

Semi-final results:
Kidlington 59; Witney Town 65: C Cox 18, T Ludlow 25; M Petersen 11, P Demczak 15; J Hardie 17, A Scholan 13; P McGrath 13, B Bloomfield 12
Headington A 72; Watlington 59: H Watts 21, C Gilkes 18; M Charlett 19, A Kemish 11; J King 14, G Hooker 18; N Rae-Welsh 18, S Cooper 12