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May 29th, 2018:

League week 3

Week three of the season and Division 3 clubs had their first fixtures.

Headington started their campaign looking as though they mean to move up a division! However, their match at Banbury Central was closer on three rinks than the final scores would imply. Whilst Colin Whitehead’s rink won at a canter, the others were close until the halfway mark after which Russell Edwards and Martin Kershaw’s men dominated, whilst Steve Gould needed five shots on the final two ends to snatch a draw.

Alex Fleming’s men snatched five shots on the last end to grab a point for Blackbird Leys in their match at Adderbury. With two close rinks going one apiece, it was left to Darren Sharpe’s rink to ensure the match points for the home team with the performance of the night, a comprehensive thirty point winning margin.

Terry Gripe’s men deserved the accolades at Thame. Their City and County rink started well, going five shots clear after seven ends only to lose the next five ends to trail by seven shots and then snatch victory on the final end having dragged themselves back into the match. Elsewhere, the outcomes were more clear cut, other than Mark Plested’s rink where they required four shots over the last two ends to pull clear. However, their efforts were to no avail as Thame had won the other two rinks comfortably and with them the match points.

Division 1 Headington gained their ‘expected’ win at home to struggling City and County. Easy wins on three rinks for them though Graham Kerr’s rink did tie with Mark Charley’s only to lose twenty-five percent of their score as they only fielded three men.

Kidlington now realise, if they did not already, that Division 1 sides play to the final end. One comfortable win for each club but the match against West Witney hinged on the other two rinks. Steve Gibson’s rink took a seven shot lead for the home side after seven ends but only scored two more shots over the rest of the game as Paul Skidmore’s rink won comfortably. It was a similar tale for John Hardie’s men who were seven shots ahead at ten ends, but Andy McIntyre’s rink only allowed them two more shots.

Witney Mills surprised Banbury Central winning comfortably on two rinks and Allan Wiggin’s rink inching out Keith McNeil’s over the last two ends. Only Les Campion was able to apply any pressure for Central, winning the last two ends to sneak past Chris Weller, having been behind after sixteen ends.

Division 2 leaders South Oxford continued their progress with a comfortable win at Chipping Norton. Two rinks were won as easily as the score suggests but Keith Field’s rink for Chippy was held by the triple of Keith Mobley until the last end, John Benfield held Mike Keen’s men until the fourteenth end but lost the last four.

Carterton had three comfortable wins but Paul Sharman’s rink was never in their game against Dave Cooper’s men, only making the score seem a little more respectable with a five on the last end.
Shiplake travelled to Hanborough with fifteen bowlers, so one rink was going to struggle. In the event, Tony Reid’s triple struggled throughout their game finally dropping a six on the last end. With one easy rink win each, and David Webb’s men just holding on for the win Shiplake would have expected to take the match points but that six was their downfall!

Bloxham still prop up Division 4 but may not do so for much longer if they continue the impressive form they showed at Oxford University Press. Tony Gardner’s rink were only one in any sort of trouble but they scored five on the last end to snatch victory.

With leaders Chadlington not playing, South Oxford took the chance to catch them with a good win at home to West Oxford. Easy wins on two rinks and an impressive last five ends from David Lyne’s men, winning all five and scoring eight shots in the process to come from six shots down and take victory.

Odd result of the evening was at Woodstock where visitors Bicester had Tony King’s rink to thank as their fifteen shot winning margin proved enough to outscore the other three rinks, all of which went to the home team.

League report

JCHL v Berkshire

The Junior Home Counties League game v Berkshire on Sunday 3rd June 10:30am at Thatcham Bowls Club has been selected. JCHL v Berks.