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Men’s league week 3

What a difference a week makes!

Blessed as we were by a warm, dry May evening, fit for bowling for the first time this year, good bowling was seen at most venues and the upshot was some very close matches in all divisions. Indeed, it was the first week for some time that no side had a total shot score of over one hundred.

In Division 1, with Headington not playing, Shiplake took their chance by beating close rivals City and County in a topsy-turvy match and now lead the league. Barry Lambourne and Jim Bland’s rinks took early substantial leads whilst Graham Kennedy’s men appeared to be going well down. However, as the match progressed, Graham’s rink switched to a short mat game to comeback well for a win whilst Alay Ley, for City and County, fought back to beat Jim Bland. However, this was the visitor’s only victory and Shiplake took the match comfortably.

Carterton followed last weeks win with a closer one, this time away at Bicester. The home side won on two rinks, with one being that of Kevin Taylor who beat last week’s big winner, Paul Sharman. However, Gordon Walker’s rink won comfortable to give the away team the match points.

At Banbury, Central got over their shaky start to the season with a good win over West Witney. As at Shiplake, the result does not tell the story of the match. Only Nigel Galletly’s triple lead from an early in the game, but the home team was losing on the other three rinks at the halfway mark. Battling performances from Les Campion and John Tee, who made up for his defeat last week, were capped by an under-the-weather Will Campion skipping a dramatic comeback from ten shots down to snatch victory on the last end.

Division 2 looks to be heading for another very close season as only a half point separates the top three.

Current leaders Watlington went to The Oxford Bowls Club and scooped the majority of the points, thanks to a big win for Steve Gilkes’ rink.

Witney Mills hosted an Adderbury side still reeling from last week’s heavy defeat. In a close match, the sides shared the rink results but the home side took the match points thanks to Chris Weller’s win.

The final match in the division saw South Oxford A host Charlbury. The hosts were winning on overall shot count going into the final end when David Dix, skip for the opposition, who was two shots down in his match after twenty ends, played an outstanding last bowl to move the jack and score four shots for his team, giving them both his rink point and the match points.

Division 3 and Banbury Chestnuts continued their early season form, this time at Bloxham’s expense. Good wins on all four rinks, including one for Derrick Ives over old teammate Dave Morse, gave Chestnuts the spoils and they now top the division.

A big win for Melvin Brain’s rink saw Kidlington take the match points in an otherwise very close match with City and County’s B side.

The other two matches in the division saw the closest results in the league so far this season. Headington B won on three of the four rinks, which were all close affairs, to have three points and lead the match by nine shots with one result to come, a situation that would normally be sufficient to get the match points as well. However, Carl Smart’s men had other ideas winning by ten shots to give Chadlington an equal share of the final points.

When Tim Ludlow won his rink by eleven shots he must have thought that it was enough to give his side, Witney Town, a clear win over thus far struggling Chipping Norton. However, wins on two rinks for the latter actually left Witney behind, by two shots on total score, with one rink result to come. Alan Scholan’s men finally saw Witney home by the narrowest of margin.

Hanborough lead Division 4 thanks as much to having played, and won, last week, as to their other results. As in the final division 3 match, their match away to Woodstock was close on two rinks, including one tied, but Brain Clarke’s eight shot victory for the home side proved insufficient and the visitors scraped home by a single shot.

Blackbird Leys had a comfortable win at home to an obviously struggling South Oxford B, who could only muster 13 players.

Final match of the night was at Florence Park and, fittingly perhaps, it saw the biggest rink victory of the night with Banbury Central’s Mal Leather’s rink scoring twenty-nine shots more than their opponents in an otherwise close affair to give the way team the victory.

Printable report
Rink Scores
League Tables

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