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July 27th, 2018:

OBA Finals Day

This year’s OBA finals day was hosted at county president Eddie Dorling’s club, West Witney, in yet another beautiful summer day!

Stuart RichensThe first game of the day was the county singles between West Witney’s David Leighfield and Carterton’s Stuart Richens. Leighfield got off to a great start scoring 11 shots to Richens’ 2 in the first 8 ends. Richens then began to find his way and fought back well over the next 7 ends to tie the game at 13 shots apiece. Leighfield then scored a double on the 17th end to make him only require 6 shots to claim the title, although Richens had other ideas as his won the next four ends picking up the 8 shots he needed to see over the line 21-15 victor and to reclaim the title, something he last held in 2000! Congratulations Stuart, what a fantastic game of singles to win the title.

Colin WhiteheadThe next game played was the 2 wood singles between Shiplake’s Jim Bland and Headington’s Colin Whitehead. The game got off to a good start with Bland taking the lead 9-4 at the halfway stage. 6 shots to Whitehead against 2 from Bland saw the score line tighten right up at 11-9 after 17 ends. Whitehead then had 3 fantastic ends to pick up 4 shots to take him into the lead for the first time, at 20 ends with the score at 13-11. The last end was played and Bland required a double to take it to an extra end but unfortunately for him he could only manage a single. Colin Whitehead became the 5th person to get his name on the trophy since the competition’s inception, in 2012. Well done Colin another high-quality game.

Sam WattsThe last game of the morning session was the junior singles which saw an all Watlington battle between Dan Swanson and Sam Watts. The first 6 ends saw a close start for both, with the score at 6-5 in Swanson’s favour before Watts kicked into gear, winning the next 6 ends without reply, scoring 10 shots. After 16 ends it was 18-8 in Watts’ favour before Swanson picked up 5 shots over the next 4 ends to try and stay in the game. Watts then, on the 21st end picked up the single shot he required to be crowned the winner of the junior singles for the fourth time, more than any other bowler in the county ever! Congratulations Sam, a record that will stand for a long time I’m sure!

A BBQ lunch was then put on for spectators, officers and competitors before the afternoon session began.

Men's triples winners 2018The first game of the afternoon was the triples final which was an all Headington affair between Jon Philpott, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts against Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett. Charlett’s men got off to a great start scoring 15 shots to 2 after 8 ends. Watts’ trio then fought back well, scoring 7 shots over the following 3 ends to bring the score to 16-9. Charlett’s three then scored 5 shots over the following 5 ends to Watts’ 1 which see Henwood King and Charlett win the game 21-11. Well done to them, although all three have previously won the title, it is the first time they have won the triples together.

Men's fours winners 2018The other game of the afternoon session was the fours between Banbury Central’s Alan Carter, Les Campion, Keith McNeil and Will Campion against West Witney’s Bradley Squires, Harvey Alder, David Leighfield. A shaky start from the Witney boys see them nearly drop a hotshot on the first end! Although a measure deemed it was only 5 shots. After 8 ends the scoreboard was level at 8 apiece before Witney then picked up 5 shots over the next 2 ends. At 15 ends the board showed 16-11 in Alder’s favour before his team pick up a 3 on the 16th to strengthen their lead 19-11. Playing the 20th end, the score was 20-14 and the shots went in favour once more of Alder’s men to pick up 3 shots and make them winners 23-14. Well done chaps.

Men's pairs winners 2018The final game of the day was the pairs final between Headington’s Ian Henwood and Mark Charlett up against West Witney’s Andy McIntyre and David Leighfield. The game started close with the score at 5-4 to the West Witney Pair. The Headington pair conceded the match which saw Andy McIntyre and David Leighfield pairs champions and West Witney to retain the pairs trophy for another year.

A big thank you to Mel and Andy Cable, Sue Wilson, Maggie Miller and Sheila Oldham for providing excellent catering all day. Also thanks to Barry Hall and Jerry Appleton for helping generally throughout the day and a massive thank you to Helen and Paul Skidmore for keeping everyone watered behind the bar.

Thanks also to the three markers who gave up their time for the finals, these were Ian Whelpton, Mike Jones and Mick Morris. Thank you once again to Ed Poole for umpiring.

Eddie Dorling was most pleased with the day and to have the privilege of presenting the winners of the day.

My closing note from this year’s finals would be to all the players representing the county at Leamington next month, good luck and go do the business!!