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Allison, Longford and Officers Cups

Peppard Bowls Club hosted this years Domestic Finals last Sunday and as well as a good bowling surface, provided hot sunny weather whilst much of Oxfordshire was yet again suffering with heavy rain showers.
In the mornings semi-finals, the Allison saw Banbury Central club mates Bob Joiner and Lee Wilkinson matched against each other in a tight game that saw them level at 12 all after 13 ends of play. A run of 6 shots over 3 ends gave Joiner a 5 shot cushion which he extended on the 19th end to move into the Final 21-15. In the other Allison semi, Watlington’s Will Soden quickly took control and steadily extended his lead against South Oxford’s Keith Mobley to take the game 21-10.

The Officers Cup brought fellow Bicester bowlers Allan Hall and Eddie Lamb against each other with Hall only conceding 6 shots over the 18 ends that were played. Witney rivals Brian Bloomfield from the Witney Town club and Kevin Alder from West Witney fought a 26 end nail biter. The Town man made a quick start and always had a 3 to 5 shot lead up to the 21st end when from 13-17 down, Alder produced 5 shots over two ends to move into the lead. Bloomfield responded with a 3 needing only one for the game, only for his opponent to tie the game on the next end before losing the final end to the Witney Town man.

Defending Longford Cup champion Sammy Timms from the Carterton club was up against South Oxford’s Richard Claridge in the first of the Longford semi final’s in another closely fought contest. From 6-1 up after 5 ends, the Carterton bowler went behind at the tenth and took another 9 ends before drawing level 13-13. A 4 on the 25 end brought Timms level at 19 all, but a two on the next end put Claridge through to the final. OBA Competition Secretary Ian Whelpton faced Oxford Sport’s Gary Watts in the remaining semi. From 6-8 down at 8 ends, the Banbury Central bowler gradually moved away in a tightly fought 23 end game winning 21-14.

The Allison Final produced a very tight contest with Joiner taking early control then Soden getting into his stride bringing the game level at 10 all after 10 ends. At 15-18 down, Soden won three of the next four ends to lead 20-19 and requiring the infamous 1 shot for victory. His Central opponent brought the scores level and followed it with the one required to pick up the silverware.

At 10-3 in the South Oxford bowlers favour after 8 ends, it looked as if Claridge was bringing Whelpton’s hopes of regaining the Longford Cup, which he won in 2010, to a quick end. However, 8 shots over the next 5 ends saw the Central bowler move into the lead by one shot before going behind again to a couple of Singles. A change of jack length produced a two and a brace of fours to give the Competition Secretary a 21-12 win.

The day was brought to a close with the Officers 28 end final between Hall and Bloomfield. After 13 ends of play it was all square at 8 each, then seven shots to three in Hall’s favour over the next five ends produced a 4 shot cushion which although his Witney Town opponent brought back to only one shot after 25 ends, was enough to keep the Bicester bowler in the lead before he closed the game down with three singles.

Report by Ian Whelpton

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