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Men’s County Finals

Summer arrived at last for Sunday’s Championship Final’s programme at Oxford City & County BC.

The Triples and Fours started the day with teams from Bicester and Banbury Borough contesting the Fours whilst Carterton and Headington provided a nail biter in the Triples.

The Borough’s rink of Andrew Buttress, George & Greg Moon and skip Mark Sykes proved to be far too strong a foursome for their Bicester opponents, Robert Pink, John Thompson, Martin Workman and Paul Hooley, winning 15 of the 21 ends. At the half way point only 3 shots separated the teams but Sykes’ rink then won the next 6 ends to take complete control of the game and go on to take the title with a 21-12 success. The mornings other final saw an extra end result in the Triples between Stuart Richens, Robbie Clanfield and Baden Sparkes from Carterton and Headington’s trio of Colin Whitehead, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts.A 5 on the seventh end saw the Carterton boys take a 12-3 lead and appear to be in control of the game only for them to then lose the next four ends to only lead by two. With only two ends left, Headington still trailed by four shots but picked up a 3 and a single to force an extra end which they won. The only other time they had led was after the first end.

The defending Champions Nathan Lewis and Mark Charlett contested the Pairs against fellow Headington bowlers John Philpott and Ian Snowdon. With a 16-7 lead at 12 ends Philpott and Snowdon were looking comfortable then dropped a single and a seven to see their lead cut to only 1 shot.
However, the seasoned campaigners kept their cool, only dropping two more singles on their way to a 23-17 victory.

Having started the Quarter-finals still in each of the Senior Championships, Carterton’s Alan Prew was only left in the Singles Final, and event that he had been a finalist in three times before without taking the title. His opponent this time was Mark Sykes who had already put one title under his belt in the morning session. After losing three shots in the first two ends, Prew put together a run of 13 winning ends without reply to leave himself one short of the title. Three two’s from Sykes held up the proceedings before the Carterton man scored the one needed to collect the Champion’s Rose bowl.

The Under 25 singles saw Watlington’s Sam Watts, in only his second year of competitive bowling, drop only two singles on his way to a 21-2 win against Carterton’s Dan Wakeman. Try as he may, the Carterton man could not match Watts’ steady drawing game in a match that was over after 13 ends.

The new Two Wood singles Championship brought the day to a close with Borough’s Mark Sykes, playing his third Final of the day, up against Carterton’s Stuart Richens who had earlier been on the sling side of the Triples thriller. The game was nip and tuck throughout, and in a game that has a maximum of 21 ends it went down to the final end before Sykes booked his second visit to Worthing with a 16-13 win.

The next event on the County Competition calendar is the Domestic semi-finals and finals day on August 5th at Peppard BC when the Allison, Longford and Officers cups will contested. Semi-finals start at 10.00 and prayers are being made for another day of sunshine.

Report by Ian Whelpton

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