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May, 2019:

Oxon juniors start strong

Oxfordshire Under 25s men began their season with a strong performance against an experienced Wiltshire side at Kidlington BC on Sunday 12th May. The Oxon boys picked up the weight of the pushy green quicker than their opponents, and took an early lead on all 3 rinks. Wiltshire started to play their way back into the game, and at 10 ends Oxon led by 8 shots. Oxon got back on the front foot, and had stretched this lead to 14 shots at 13/14 ends.

Sam Watts, team captain, and his rink dropped 4 shots over their last 2 ends which gave them a 18-17 victory.

Harvey Alder’s rink, playing against England trialist Mike Titcombe, had been leading by 6 shots early on, but were clawed back by their experienced opponents and eventually went down by 3 shots, 16-19.

Orren Bennett, skipping for the U25s for the first time, and his rink were leading by 4 at 19 ends when the other rinks were finished, knowing they led the match by 2 shots. A dropped 1 of the 20th end left them 1 shot up overall playing the last end and being 1 down on the head, Orren’s final bowl pulled up mere inches short of the shot bowl. However, a 2 shot win for the rink (23-21) meant a draw was the overall result, 57-57.

All 12 Oxon players were giving an excellent account of themselves and with a couple of senior players still to come in, have given the manager a major selection headache for both White Rose and Junior Home Counties League!

Rink 2: Joe Justin, Sam Kibblewhite, Brandon King, Sam Watts bt. James Vincent 18-17
Rink 3: Luke Gilbert, Ben Dickson, Bradley Squires, Orren Bennett bt. Adam Bolwell 23-21
Rink 4: Jonathan Dadson, Lucas King, Joe Glenn, Harvey Alder lost to Mike Titcombe 16-19

The available members of the Amy Rose squad also attended for a practice triples game (joined by boys’ reserve Giles Francis). Excellent bowls were played by all involved and give a very promising outlook for the season. I hope to arrange a couple of fixtures against other counties for them before travelling to the Amy Rose competition at Leamington.

My thanks go firstly to Kidlington for hosting us for the game – they rearranged a club friendly for us to use the rink after Wiltshire had requested a change of start time. I would also like to thank the players, parents and supporters for attending the game. Commitment from the players is key, and with 5 players “graduating” from the side at the end of this season, we really have a chance of succeeding this year with the squad we have.

If there are any U25 boys or U31 girls playing for any club in Oxfordshire not currently known to the team manager who would like to get involved, please contact me on the details below. And as always, recruitment of bowlers of all ages, especially juniors, is paramount for the future of the sport.

David Leighfield
Oxfordshire Junior Team manager

Oxon ladies lose to Wilts in friendly

Bowls Oxfordshire Ladies played Wiltshire at Highworth BC on Tuesday 21st May 2019. A challenging green which went in Wiltshire’s favour.

BOL 101, Wiltshire 123  

Carol Gaskins 19, S Bird 17
Wendy Cross 17, M Annetts 25
Carole Galletly 28, C Coombs 5
Jeanette Berry 9, B Lilley 25
Carol Penson 18, B Land 18
Brenda Havard 10, J Rowe 35

Oxon men beat Glous in Middleton Cup trial

The second Middleton Cup trial was played against Gloucestershire at Kidlington on 15th may. Starting slowly Oxfordshire trailed by 10 shots after 5 ends and failed to improve the situation by end 10.With 4 of the rinks of the two Carterton skip with Baden Powell establishing a healthy lead a and Paul Sharman struggling to stay in touch.  At close of play the rinks of David Leighfield and Ray Gaskins finished by winning the final two ends to finish level, Shane Cooper won the last end to finish 1 up and Chris Gilkes had won by 5. With Baden’s rink maintaining their lead and Paul’s quartet limiting the size of their loss, Oxfordshire won the match by 8 shots

Oxfordshire 121, Gloucestershire 113. 


Joe Justin Paul Skidmore Kevin Alder Baden Sparkes won 26-14
Jim Bland Orren Bennett Andy McIntyre David Leighfield drew 18-18.
Joe Abercrombie Brian Bloomield Lee Young Paul Sharman lost 16-26
Sam watts James Gaskins Remy Clanfield Chris Gilkees won 25-20
Bernie May Chris Weller A J Docherty Ray Gaskins drew 18-18
Mick Jeffs Keith Holloway Will Campion Shane Cooper won 18-17

League Week 2

Another cold but dry evening saw a number of matches with very different second halves to their first – the colder it became to better/worse some rinks played!

Division 1 saw the most extreme case in the game between Banbury Central and Witney Town. Central’s Mick Andrew saw his rink go 21 – 0 up at ten ends only for them to lose the last eight ends 11 – 5, though they still won the games. Elsewhere in the match, what looked like a close rink with both teams level at 7 – 7 after ten ends became a route as Keith McNeil’s men ran out 25 – 9 winners for Central! Central also appeared to be heading for very big win as Will Campion led by eight shots at fifteen ends only for Paul Demczak’s rink to score ten shots on the last three ends to snatch an unlikely win.

Headington played their first match of the season and came away with a comfortable win. Nick Ray-Welsh led by eleven shots after twelve ends only to go behind after the seventeenth finally snatching the shot he needed for the draw on the last! Likewise, Mark Charlett needed to win the last two ends to beat Chris Gilkes.

Two easy wins saw West Witney defeat Witney Mills in what is the most local there can be! Paul Robbins had to win the last end for his victory for Mills to add a second point for his team.

City and County continued their impressive form in Division 2 though they were pushed harder than the result shows. Indeed, James Feely led Colin Pollard’s rink until end fourteen. However, Omar Sharif’s rink took an unanswered 13 shot lead after five ends and were never troubled.

Headington B recorded their first win, at home to Charlbury, but it was close as David Copper snatched victory with his last bowl and Eric Pitts only scored two of the three shots his rink needed on the final end to draw their match.

Meanwhile, Adderbury recorded a very comfortable, if unspectacular, win away at South Oxford.

The form team in Division 3 is newly promoted Bloxham. This week result was a six – zero win against Hanborough, who came down from Division 2. Bloxham performed well on all four rinks without anything out the ordinary happening.

Banbury Central bounced back from last week’s defeat with an easy win at Thame, indeed, had Dave Holland, playing at two to John Timms, not had shot wood on the final end this match would have been a whitewash.

Anthony Hobbs’ rink had the biggest winning margin for Chadlington, in the fixture against Bicester, but the single shot they dropped on the last end swung the shot count, and the match points, to Bicester.

Blackbird Leys’ James Baldwin scored seventeen unanswered shots over the first eight ends of his match, then gave his opponent some hope, allowing them to win the next three ends before scoring a further fifteen unanswered shots over the last seven ends. This Division 4 match was almost a whitewash but the six shots Ken Buckingham’s rink scored on eighth end proved sufficient as they hung on for City and County’s only Point.

Two ends of five shots proved more than sufficient for Oxford University Press’ David Barlow’s rink to defeat their opponents despite only winning eight ends in the match. However, this proved to be OUP’s only success of the night!

Paul Shipton’s six shot win proved enough for Woodstock to scrape past West Oxford.

Men’s fours quarter finals

City and County BC was the host for the quarter finals of the men’s fours.

The first game was between Watlington’s Adi Kemish, Adie Twinn, Will Soden and Chris Gilkes and Headington’s Jon Philpott, Ray Gaskins, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts. Headington took an early lead of 5 shots after 7 ends. Watlington battled back to be drawing at 10 ends, 9-9. Back to back 2’s for the Headington rink see them increase their lead to 18-12 after 17 ends and this aided them in their victory, seeing the Watlington rink only able to pick up 3 shots on the remaining 4 ends, with Headington picking 1 up. Final score 19-15.

The second game was an all Headington affair between Mick Nash, Paul Mabbutt, Ian Snowdon and Nick Rae-Welsh against Sam Watts, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett. Charlett’s rink took a commanding lead after 10 ends, being 16 shots to 2 up. Their lead then continued through the game, with another 10 shots picked up to Rae-Welsh’s 1. Final score 26-3 and sees them play clubmates of Howard Watts in the first semi-final.

The third quarter final see last year’s winners, West Witney’s Bradley Squires, Harvey Alder, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder against Carterton’s Peter Latter, Dan Wakeman, David Clanfield and Remy Clanfield. A game of single shot pick-ups, with one 2, see the game at 8-4 to the Witney rink after 11 ends. Carterton then picked up a 5 on the 12th end to take the lead for the first time, briefly. Witney then picked up shots on 8 ends of the last 9 to secure their place in the second semi-final, 20-11 victors

The last quarter final see Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway, Mark Sykes, Alan Prew and A J Docherty against Burford’s John Hurren, Roger Parker, Tim Stacey and Jack Lafford. The first third of the game see the score level at 7-7. The next six ends see Borough score 8 shots to Burford’s 2. A 3 for Burford gave them a chance before Borough scored 7 shots off the back of this to enhance their lead. Burford scored 3 in the last 2 ends, but this was not enough and see Borough secure the win, 22-16. They will play West Witney in the second semi-final.

The county semi-finals day will be at Carterton BC on Sunday 14th July.

Jim Bland and Darren Sharpe qualify in 2 wood singles

Hawker cup winners 2018Jim Bland and Darren Sharpe secure the first places in the national finals of the Two Wood Singles.

City and County BC was the host for the quarter finals and semi finals of the two wood singles.

The 8 players who reached the quarter finals from the previous weeks rounds were Henry Beall, West Witney, Sam Watts, Headington, Trevor Prew, West Witney, Jim Bland Shiplake, Paul Skidmore, West Witney, Stuart Marsden, Banbury Borough, Darren Sharpe, Adderbury and Simon Hastings, Headington.

The first quarter final see Henry Beall beat Sam watts, a previous national title winner of the competition, 15 shots to 6.

The second quarter final see Jim Bland beat Trevor Prew, with the same score line as the first quarter final, 15 shots to 6.

The third quarter final see Paul Skidmore beat Stuart Marsden in the tightest game of the round, winning 15-12.

The last quarter final see Darren Sharpe beat Simon Hastings 17 shots to 9.

The semi finalists lined up as Henry Beall against Jim Bland. Bland started well, winning by 5 shots at 14 ends. Beall could only score 2 more shots before Bland scored 4 more singles to see him secure the first place in the final, winning 16-9.

The other semi final see Paul Skidmore against Darren Sharpe. Sharpe started well taking a 7-shot lead after 14 ends. Skidmore battled back well scoring 4 shots over the next as many ends, but Sharpe secured the win by picking up 2 shots in the last two ends, to see him take the second place in the final, 14-9 victor.

The county finals will take place at Banbury Borough BC on Sunday 21st July.

Ladies unbadged pairs played down to final

The Eileen Hopkins Unbadged Pairs was played at Chipping Norton on Sunday 19th May 2019 with an entry of 9 pairs from various clubs. We were lucky with the weather, not too hot and the rain held off.   Many thanks for the hospitality at Chipping Norton, the refreshments were non stop and the green bowled well.  

Finalists playing at County Finals in July:  Joy Williams/Veta Bennett (Kidlington) and Marge Ferguson/Wendy Sandy (Carterton)  

Quarter finals: Sheila Oldham/Sheila Lovett (West Witney) lost to Sue Markham/Lucy Watts (Watlington) 14-15 Adrienne Brown/Linda Coles (Banbury Borough) lost to Joy Williams/Veta Bennett (Kidlington) 15-19 Carole Regan/Lyn Dunsby (Witney Mills) lost to Marge Ferguson/Wendy Sandy (Carterton) 11-13 Zoe Pratley/Josie Gilbert (Oxford City and County) lost to Hilary Thomas/Anne Kearvell (Bloxham) 11-19  

Semi finals: Sue/Lucy lost to Joy/Veta 12-19 Hilary/Anne lost to Marge/Wendy 6-13

Oxon ladies top MEL table

Bowls Oxfordshire ladies won their second Middle England League (MEL) game against Glouscestershire on Tuesday 14th May at Barnwood BC. There were wins on 4 rinks and draws on two. The victory means that Oxforshire tops the MEL table being the only team to have won both games.

BOL 127, 15 points.  Gloucestershire 100, 2 points. 

Jeanette Berry 25, J Sheward 19
Carol Penson 25, J Howes 15
Carol Gaskins 25, P MacGregor 17
Caroline Campion 19, R Hughes 19
Brenda Havard 19, L Challener 16
Wendy Cross 14, K Gent 14

Oxon lose to Northants in Middleton Cup trial

Oxfordshire Bowling Association started their 2019 Middleton Cup campaign with a well fought loss to Northamptonshire at Kingsthorpe Bowling Club. In the first of 2 trial games

The Oxfordshire team lost by won by 116 shots to 130.

With both sides winning 3 rinks unfortunately the losses for Oxfordshire outweighed the pluses. With significant changes from the 2018 side Oxfordshire are hoping to look forward to a bright future. 

The second trial is at Kidlington.

Oxfordshire 116, Northants 130   

Mick Jeffs Keith Holloway Will Campion Mark Sykes won 25-17.
Steve Witcombe James Gaskins Kevin Alder Ray Gaskins won 20-19.
Ade Kernish Andy McIntyre Remy Clanfield Chris Gilkes lost 22-24.
Alan Carter Lee Young Paul Comley A J Docherty won 23-20.
Mick Nash Orren Bennett Shane Cooper David lLeighfield lost 8-27.
Bradley Squires Steve Aldren Paul Skidmore Paul Sharman lost 18-23

Oxon men beat Northants in friendly

Oxfordshire President Michael Morris hosted the first friendly of the season against Northamptonshire at his own club of Banbury Borough on Tuesday 14th May.

The green was much to the liking of the Oxfordshire bowlers who established an early lead which they never looked like losing  On rink 6 Brian Clarke led his quartet into a substantial lead aof 14 shots after 10 ends which effectively settled the battle for the highest winning rink. Wins on five rinks gave Oxfordshire a win by 59 shots.

Oxfordshire 146, Northants 87

B Willoughby J Timms B ray P Robbins won 26-12.
M Oliver J Hurren K Williams B Bloomfield won 25-11
C Lewis J Stephens K Buckle C Cox won 30-17
P Demczak J McGeough J Benfield M Morris lost 14-19.
P Hickman N Hambridge J Lucas A Ley won 21-17
R Radband P Warner R Barnett B Clarke won 30-11