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August 11th, 2019:

Oxon beat Bristol in friendly

Oxfordshire travelled to Bristol St George BC to play City and County of Bristol on Tuesday 6th August. After a rain-swept start the weather improved and the match was completed in the dry. With the lead set by rink 1 who established a 15 shot lead by the 10th end the other rinks followed their lead and with only rink 4 surrendering their lead on end 20 Oxfordshire ended the match with their biggest win of the season. In the absence of the President Paul Demczak, Deputy President, lead the Oxfordshire men with style.

Oxfordshire 158 City and County of Bristol 90

C Lewis J Hurren J Lucas A Wase won 30-7.
S Tolhurst R Oliver G Thompson R Barnett won 24-20.
P Demczak J Stephens M Oliver I Whelpton won 29-15.
M Jones C Haley P Warner A Ley lost 21-22.
R Slater B Ealey A Fleming B Bloomfield won 27-16.
B Willoughby J McGeough D Wedge B Clarke won 27-10.

Oxon lose to Middlesex in HCL

Oxfordshire returned to South Oxford BC on Saturday 3rd August for the Home Counties League match against Middlesex.

Hopes remained high until the 18thend when 5 of the rinks conceded 16 ends with only Kevin Alder’s 4 picking up a 2. This 14 shot deficit decided the match and Middlesex won by 13.

With only the away game against Buckinghamshire to play Oxfordshire’s hopes for 2019 were brought to a sad end.

Oxfordshire 112 and 4 points, Middlesex 125 and 18 points.

Henry Beall Richard Green Steve Aldren Paul Robbins lost 14-23.
Bernie May Alan Ley Chris Weller Chris Charles lost 12-22.
Bradley Squires Chris Lewis Ade Kemish Paul Sharman lost 17-21.
Paul Demczak David Wedge Sam Watts Shane Cooper lost 16-23.
Brian Bloomfield Mick Morris Orren Bennett Kevin Alder won 29-17.
Trevor Prew Alan Wase Brian Clarke Paul Comley won 24-19.

League final week

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.) 

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title. 

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford. 

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Woodstock were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Woodstock short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Woodstock or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.)

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title.

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford.

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Thame were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Thame short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Thame or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

Domestic Cup Finals Day

Burford Town Bowling Club was the venue of this year’s domestic cup finals day. With the Allison, Longford and Officers cups all contested.

The first semi-final in the Allison cup see South Oxford’s Vic Depaauw against Burford Town’s John Hurren. John got off to a good start on his own turf, going 12-4 up after 10 ends. Vic then battled back well to be within two shots at 16 ends, 14-12. John then went onto to pick up 7 shots over the next 4 ends to take the victory and the first place in the afternoons final.

The other Allison semi-final was between Banbury Central’s Ian Gilbert and Thame’s Paul Costin. A close game see no clear favourite after 9 ends, with the score at 7-6 in Ian’s favour. Again, there was no clear leader after 15 ends, with the score only 1 shot difference, this time in favour of Paul, 12-11. Ian then won the next 5 consecutive ends scoring 6 shots to see the lead stretch for the first time. After 27 ends it was 19-19 before enough was enough and Ian picked up the double he required to see him over the line and face John Hurren in the afternoon final.

The first Longford cup semi-final see Carterton’s Roger Thomas against another Thame player, this time Chris Shannon. A good start for Roger see him take the lead 10-4 after 8 ends. Chris then fought back to be within one shot at 14 ends, 12-11. 5 shots over the next 2 ends to Roger see his lead increase once more to 17-11. Chris then scored a single before Roger scored the 4 he needed to book his place in the final, 21-12 victor.

The other Longford semi-final see another Banbury Central competitor, Nigel Galletly up against Adderbury’s Dave Allington. Dave found himself 9-4 up after 7 ends before Nigel kicked into gear and 10 unanswered shots to see him take the lead 14-9 after 11. Dave then scored a single before Nigel surged once more scoring 6 shots, leaving him just needing one shot to win. Dave then battled hard and pegged the score back to 19-20 and holding game on the 22nd end, with just one bowl left to deliver by Nigel. Nigel, cool as you like drew a front toucher to book his final spot against Roger in the final.

The first officers cup semi-final was between Shiplake’s David Bullock and Carterton’s Tim Jupp. Tim got off to a good start finding himself 10-5 up at 7 ends. 7 shots to 2 in favour of Tim see him extend his lead to 17-7 after 12 ends. Dave then scored 3 shots to get to 10 before Tim finished the game off with 2 double pickups. Tim booked the first place into the officer’s final, 21-10 victor.

The other officer’s semi-final was between another Adderbury player, this time Mick Jelfs, against last year’s winner, West Witney’s David Leighfield. A close start see the score at 7-5 in Dave’s favour after 7 ends. Dave then scored 10 unanswered shots over the next 5 ends to see him take the lead 17-5. Mick then fought back and scored 4 shots to reduce the deficit before Dave scored the remaining shots he required to take him over the line, 21-9 winner and facing Tim in the afternoon’s final.

After an excellent lunch the finals were underway, with Banbury Central’s Ian Gilbert against Burford Town’s John Hurren fighting for the Allison Cup, Banbury Central’s Nigel Galletly and Carterton’s Roger Thomas contesting the Longford Cup and Carterton’s Tim Jupp facing West Witney’s David Leighfield for the Officer’s Cup.

Allison Cup winner 2019In the Allison, a strong start from Ian see him take an early 11-4 lead. John then scored a 3 shot pickup on the 12th end before Ian scored 6 shots in 2 to see him only needing 4 shots. John had other ideas and closed the gap by scoring 8 unanswered shots taking the board to 17-15 after 18 ends. The next three ends see John Hurren take the lead for the first time in the game, 20-19 up, only needing a single to claim the title. A class end from Ian see him pickup the double that he required to claim the game and the title, 21-19 victor. Congratulations Ian and commiserations John, a very good game of bowls.

Longford Cup winner 2019The Longford started well for Nigel, finding the score at 9-2 in his favour after 8 ends. Nigel then continued to increase his lead picking up 2 doubles and a triple against Rogers 2 shot pickup, scoreboard read 16-6 after 14. A single for each competitor left Nigel needing 4 to claim the title. A late surge from Roger see him win 4 ends unanswered, scoring 6 shots in the process. Nigel then scored 3 singles to take him only needing 1 to win after 23 ends, 20-13. Roger picked up one last double before Nigel got over the line, 21-15 victor. Congratulations to Nigel on winning the Longford Cup.  

Officers cup winner 2019The last final of the day was the officers cup, after 7 ends the game was almost even at 6-5 in Dave’s favour. 8 shots to Tim’s 2 see Dave increase his lead to 14-7 after 12 ends. Tim was certainly out leading Dave in the second half of the game, but Dave proved too strong with his third and fourth bowls, converting heads and changing the game in his favour again and again. This enabled him to keep Tim supressed on 7 shots and score the remaining 7 shots that he needed over the 5 ends. Congratulations to Dave for retaining the officers cup title.

A big thank you to the following people who carried out marking duties throughout the day:

Mick Morris (Banbury Borough)
Paul Demczak (Witney Town)
Ian Whelpton (Banbury Central)
Alex Fleming (Chipping Norton)
Harvey Alder (West Witney)
Orren Bennett (Carterton)

A big thank you also to Iain, the umpire from Swindon who was efficient and helpful all day.

That concluded a splendid day of bowling at Burford Town, a big thanks to all the club members for supplying us with a delicious lunch and fantastic facilities all day.