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August 8th, 2019:

Alan Ley 900 game celebration

Alan LeyOxfordshire Bowling Association celebrated Alan Ley playing his 900th game for the County in last Tuesday’s friendly fixture against Hertfordshire at his home club, Oxford City and County BC.

71 year-old Alan began his career with Oxfordshire in 1966 playing for the old Blue Circle club at Bunkers Hill near Kidlington. He was awarded a full county badge 12 months later. Success in the County Singles, Pairs, Triples and Fours championships has put him in the small group of Oxfordshire bowlers to achieve such a record. For many decades Alan skipped a rink for Oxfordshire in the Middleton Cup.

He was an England Trialist is 1980 & 1981

Since his start at Blue Circle, Alan moved between Oxford City & County and Summertown clubs, finally returning to City & County after the closure of the Summertown club.

His most recent appearance at the National Championships was at Leamington in 2014, partnering Mike Petersen in the Senior Pairs where they were somewhat unfortunate to lose on the last end in the final.

Alan’s 35 years working for Blackwell’s bookshop in Oxford enabled him to take time off for midweek friendly games, a practice which continued as a porter at the Bodleian library. Retirement allows him to play for the various Associations that he his also a member of.

Oxfordshire Bowling Association and Bowls Oxfordshire wish Alan future success with them and look forward to his 1000 game celebration which could be in as little as 5-6 years time.

Oxon pipped by Herts in friendly

Oxfordshire hosted Hertfordshire at Oxford City and County on 30th July and for the second week running the game was curtailed to 18 ends by the weather, this time by rain. Starting slowly Oxfordshire trailed by 6 shots after 10 ends and were 9 behind after 15.  By close of play the deficit was down to 3 shots and Oxfordshire had gained the upper hand only for the rain to halt proceedings.

The highlight of the after-game meal was the celebration of Alan Ley’s 900th game for Oxfordshire (see separate tribute) as well as the 100th game for City and Count’s Vice President Chris Lewis and a colts badge for South Oxford’s David Tidball

Oxfordshire 97 Hertfordshire 100.

 B Jarvie A Smith K Buckle B Clarke won 16-14.
P Hickman T Gripe M Oliver I Whelpton lost 11-18.
C Lewis n Satchell D Bullock B Bloomfield won 20-17.
S Tolhurst K Williams D Tidball M Morris lost 17-19.
P Demczak J Hurren G Thompson A Wase lost 16-20.
R Green b Ealey D Wedge A Ley won 17-12.

League Week 13

With a final week of matches still to come, the top two divisions are already over, as far as promotion and relegation are concerned.

Champions elect, Headington, won a very tight match with their only real rivals, Carterton and cannot now be caught, so my first congratulation goes to them for retaining their title.

Behind them, in Division 1, the other issue was who joined Witney Town in division 2 next year. Witney Mills needed to beat Town and hope that Banbury Central slipped up against West Witney. In the event neither happened. Surprisingly, Mills lost at home, Town outperformed them on three rinks, the final scores looking closer as Mills made a late flurry of shots but to no avail.

Banbury Central had a convincing win at home to a weakened West Witney side. Will Campion’s rink bounced back from a heavy defeat last week to inflict one of their own and any hope that West had of getting two points was lost when Shane Cooper’s attempted drive for five shots move the jack off the rink and Lee Young’s rink won the replayed end.

Division 2 is also now settled. Adderbury’s win at Kidlington and, already champions, City and County’s defeat of South Oxford mean that Adderbury will play in the top division for the first time next season.

Relegation was also settled as already relegated Charlbury registered a rare victory and with it ensured that the opposition, Chipping Norton, are relegated as well. 

The best rink of this week’s games came from Dave Tidball, of South Oxford, whose rink had trailed for much of the game before taking six shots in the last two ends to grab the point.

Little has changed in Division 3; Bicester were crowned champions last week, but the second place appears wide open. I say appears as in real terms Bloxham, currently second, have completed their matches, Central, currently third, host champions Bicester, whilst Thame, currently fourth, travel to Chadlington, who will be desperate to avoid relegation! Shiplake are in an even odder position! Currently fifth, they host relegated Hanborough. Were they to take all six available points and the clubs above them lose, they would finish second. However, if they dropped all six and Chadlington won, they would be relegated! 

In this week’s fixtures, mention should be made of Ed Creed’s rink for Central which took twelve unanswered shots between ends eleven and seventeen to go from six behind to six ahead in the fixture against Hanborough. 

Division 4 results mean that West Oxford are promoted. Second place, City and County have completed their fixtures and Burford are unable to overtake them whatever their result. The other promotion place is still up for grabs, with the money going on Woodstock as their last fixture is at Oxford University Press and they need four points from it to guarantee second place. Burford can only win big at Blackbird Leys and hope that Woodstock trip up. 

In this week’s matches, the highlight was John Hurren’s win for Burford as they came from nine behind after twelve ends to win by taking the last six ends of the match.