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HCL: Oxon lifted from bottom of table

Oxfordshire men led from start to finish against Middlesex at West Ealing on Saturday to secure the win required to lift them from the foot of the Home Counties League table.

Needing seven points to avoid finishing in last place the much altered team made sure of fifth place with a 118-102 shot and 16-6 points victory in a game played on a heavy, tricky surface. No less than ten changes had to be made to ensure that Oxon travelled with a full team but all that played will say that it was worth the effort.

Colin Whitehead’s four of Paul Demczak, making his first appearance in an HCL game, George Weedon and Chris Earl took top rink by beating Andy Knott by eleven. The glasses however looked for a long time to be going to Kevin Alder with club mate Paul Skidmore, Nigel Galletly and sixteen year old Orren Bennett but they were pegged back towards the end to finish just ten up on Paul Fuller. No more than four shots separated the other rinks either way.

Shane Cooper, skipping a county rink for the first time was probably unlucky to finish four down to Paul Cater on his home green. Cooper was accompanied by the second sixteen year old in the team, Dan Swanson. Richard Barnett and his men fought well to finish just one behind Matt Larman while John Hardie led from the start in the lowest scoring game to finish four up on Brian Elbourne.

Alan Ley was behind in the early stages but battled well to get their noses in front at fifteen ends and were all square going into the last however a four saw opposing skip Roger Milton take the game.

Watlington’s Mark Plested was awarded his full county badge at the end by County Secretary Steve Tolhurst.

Oxfordshire 118, Middlesex 102

Shane Cooper 15, Paul Cater 19
Colin Whitehead 22, Andy Knott 11
Alan Ley 20, Roger Milton 24
John Hardie 17, Brain Elbourne 13
Richard Barnett 22, Matt Larman 23
Kevin Alder 22, Paul Fuller 12

Full Report: Report HCL v Middx 060914

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