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HCL v Middlesex

Oxfordshire got back to winning ways in the Home Counties League against Middlesex on Saturday running out victors by 136 shots to 105 and taking nineteen points from the available twenty-two as they did so.

Following the defeat to Kent in the last outing, Oxon had to win to keep hopes of taking their second title in five years alive and a strong team, which featured Under 25s champion Sam Watts on his debut, travelled to West Ealing to face a Middx side also looking for a win to make the championship theirs.

On a tricky surface Oxon settled to the task in hand and across the board made it their mission to beat the green as well as their opposition. The early exchanges were close fought and at five ends Oxon led by a mere two shots. At ten the lead had extended to seven and that same margin also separated the teams at fifteen. It was during the last ends then that the Oxon players really dug in and made sure of the result.

Mark Sykes’ four took eight from the last nine ends to win by nine and Mike Petersen’s experienced rink, having dropped a six to go behind at thirteen, picked up twelve shots to one in the final run in to also win by nine.

Alan Ley was always involved in a tight game after being behind early on and narrowly missed out at the end by one shot only. Middx’s Andy Knott rode his luck at times to keep in touch with Mark Charlett who trailed the jack with his last wood for a win but had to settle for shared points when it carried a fraction too far.

The rink of Richard Redford led pretty much all the way to beat Paul Fuller by seven and Calvin Carpenter’s four, involved in a real tussle up to fifteen ends, grabbed the last six to also win by seven.

This was another great team effort by Oxfordshire in a game that could easily have gone the other way should concentration or standard of play have dropped. Oxon now face Bucks at Thame on 1st September in the final game of the campaign where a win will guarantee the title.

Oxon Skips First:

Richard Redford 24, Paul Fuller 17
Alan Ley 23, Ernie Rudston 24
Mike Petersen 26, Phil Sutcliffe 17
Mark Charlett 17, Andy Knott 17
Calvin Carpenter 22, Tony Waller 15
Mark Sykes 24, Bob Bass 15

Full Report: HCL Report – Middx 04/08/12

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