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August 3rd, 2019:

Ladies county finals

The ladies county finals were held at Oxford City & County.

The first game if the finals were the triples and the U25 singles. City & County trio Sue Mayo, Jacky Gray and Jeanette Berry claimed victory over Carole Galletly, Helen Young and Caroline Campion 23 – 16. The U25’s saw Katie Glenn lift the trophy with a 21 – 10 victory over Jazz Alder.

In the afternoon saw the final of the fours take place between Karen Galloway, Carol Gaskins, Donna Knight and Katherine Hawes against Carole Galletly, Pam Shepherd, Helen Young and Caroline Campion. Banbury Central had a convincing 23 – 10 over the Oxford City and County side.

The next day, the remainder of the finals took place. Caroline Campion (Banbury Central) played a very thrilling 4 Wood Singles against her team mate Carole Galletly.   Nip and tuck all the way with Caroline finally winning 21 – 20.  

Carole then faced Katherine Hawes (City and County) in the 2 Wood Singles, with Katherine settling very quickly and despite some telling woods from Carole, Katherine was the winner over 21 ends by 17 shots to 6.  

During these games the Unbadged Pairs was taking place between Joy Williams with Veta Bennett of Kidlington BC, and Margie Ferguson with Wendy Sandy of Carterton BC. Margie and Wendy took the lead and seemed on target for a rapid conclusion but Joy and Veta dug in and brought the score to a thrilling finale over 18 ends to a win for Ferguson and Sandy by just one shot, 14 – 13.  

The afternoon was brought to a close with a thrilling pairs match between Campion and Galletly (Banbury Central) versus Hawes and Knight (City and County).   With some amazing shots and wonderful bowling, the victors were the Banbury Cental pair with 20 shots to 11 for the City and County pair.

Men’s Finals Day

Banbury Borough Bowls Club was the host for this year’s men’s county finals day, hosted by this year’s OBA President, Mick Morris.

Three games started the day off, junior singles, 4 wood singles and triples.

Men's singles Champion 2019On his home green, Keith Holloway faced Headington’s Nick Rae-Welsh in the final of the men’s singles. Nick got off to a strong start finding himself 8-2 up after 7 ends. The next 6 ends see Keith win 5 of them to take the score level at 11 shots apiece. Nick then progressed to score 4 more shots in 3 ends to take the lead 15-11. Keith then rallied back and continued on to progress to become the victor, scoring 10 unanswered shots over the last 6 ends. The final was of extreme quality with heads consistently changing, so commendations to both players for that. Keith has now completed the “Quad” by winning all four of the men’s main events, congratulations.

Men's pairs winners 2019The last game of the morning was a West Witney duel between Nigel Siford and Paul Skidmore against Andy McIntyre and David Leighfield. After 8 ends Andy and David found themselves in a comfortable position, being 12-5 up. The game was then battled well with consistent head being built by both leads which enabled no more than doubles to be scored for the remaining of the game. The game finished with Andy and David retaining the pairs title, 21-10 victors.

After a splendid lunch two games were contested in the early afternoon session, the 2 wood singles and the triples. 

Men's 2 wood singles champion 2019Shiplake’s Jim Bland was up against Adderbury’s Darren Sharpe. A game of 21 ends see them level after 7 ends, 4-4. A couple of 2’s over the next 6, see Darren able to extend his lead to 10-7 after 13 ends. Jim then fought back to come within 1 shot at 16 ends before Darren scored 4 shots over the final 4 ends to make it mathematically impossible for Jim to win, Darren was crowned the newest 2 wood singles champion. Congratulations Darren. 

Men's triples winners 2019The other game was the triples between Headington’s Sam Watts, Ray Gaskins and Nick Rae-Welsh against West Witney’s Andy McIntyre, David Leighfield and Kevin Alder. A strong start for the Witney trio see them 7-2 up after 6 ends. Good bowling from the Headington triple see them bring the score back to within 1 shot after 11 ends, 10-9. 5 shots in Witney’s favour to Headington’s single see the board at 15-10 at 15 ends. 1 shot apiece in the next 2 ends see the Headington trip requiring 5 to force an extra end however they were unable to do so, picking up 2 shots. Congratulations to Andy, David and Kevin. 

Men's fours winners 2019After a short break, and yet another timely fly past from the RAF Red Arrows, the last game of the day got underway, the men’s fours. This was contested by Headington’s Sam Watts, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett against a Borough rink on their own turf, comprising of Keith Holloway, Alan Prew, Mark Sykes and A.J Docherty. Another class quality game see tight heads and the score at a close 5-3 in Headington’s favour after 7. The borough rink then battled back strong to bring them level again, this time after 15 ends. Headington then won the next 3 out of 4 ends to stretch their lead once more to 5 shots with 2 to play. A.J’s rink then picked up 2 on the penultimate end to see the score at 19-16. Headington then claimed the last end and won 20-16 victors. Congratulations to Mark, Jason, Ian and Sam. 

All I can say is thank you to Banbury Brough for hosting such an excellent days’ worth of bowling with good weather, good surface and good facilities. Thank you to Mick Morris and Paul Demczak for marking the singles games during the day and my thanks extends to Mick Morris for his support throughout the competitions this season. 

The men’s National Finals at Leamington Spa take place from Tuesday 6th August – Thursday 8th August and Saturday 17th August – Friday 30th August. Please take the opportunity, if you can, to go up and support all of this year’s qualifiers and I hope Oxfordshire can continue on its impressive form of late.