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League: Final Week

The end of another season where this report should start with a list of congratulations and commiserations but I am going to start with the Division 2 report!

On 16 July, South Oxford A were in fourth place in the division and nine points behind leaders Witney Town. To win the league they needed a big win on their match in hand; to defeat Watlington and then hope that other results went their way. Well, miracles do happen, even in the bowl’s world, and today South Oxford finish the season as division champions! In what must be the closest division title race ever, they finished tied on points with Witney Mills, but with a better shot difference, and half a point ahead of third place Watlington, who remain in division two next year.

Good wins for Keith Mobley and Richard Claridge’s rinks that were the basis of South’s six nil defeat of relegated Thame.

Joining South in division 1 are Witney Mills, whose five – one defeat of The Oxford BC proved sufficient to creep above Watlington who, somewhat inexplicably, lost five – one at Charlbury for whom David Cooper ended the season on a high with a fifteen shot win.

There were two remaining situations to resolve in Division 3: who would join Witney Town in division 2 next year and could Chadlington get the miracle they needed both from their result and from Headington’s. The answer to the letter question was no, Headington pulled out all the stops, winning five – one and scoring a century of shots doing so, thus the result of the Chadlington match was of no consequence as they were relegated anyway but they could only tie with Kidlington. Special mention should be made of Steve Gould’s rink for their twenty-eight shot winning margin for Headington in the match against Chipping Norton.

Promotion was a head to head battle between Banbury Chestnuts and City and County B. The home side won comfortably so it is Chestnuts who go into division 2 next year. Derrick Ives and Brian Ray’s rinks provided the necessary points and shots for the winners.

Elsewhere Witney Town beat Bloxham in matches that had little relevance to any final positions.

The Division 4 title was at stake in the match at Hanborough. In a very closely contested match, the result went to Banbury Central on the last end on two rinks and they will play in division 3 next season as this years division 4 champions.

In other matches, Blackbird Leys defeated West Oxford whilst Florence Park lost their last ever league match to South Oxford. At least Peter Booth and his team can go out smiling after their twenty-six shot win for Florence Park.

Finally, to Division 1, where the top three sides all won their final matches. Headington inflicting the first home defeat for Shiplake in two seasons, Carterton winning at City and County and Banbury Central easing past Bicester in a match both notable for the return Mick Andrews after knee surgery and one that was much closer than the final score suggests.

For fun and your information the top three skips in the league were:

Graham Haynes (Hanborough) 10 matches, 10 wins
Mark Charlett (Headington A) 12 matches, 11 wins
Alan Scholan (Witney Town) 14 matches: 11 wins and 1 tie.

Promotion and Relegation

Division 1

Champions: Headington A
Runners up: Carterton

Relegated: West Witney and Bicester

Division 2

Champions: South Oxford A
Runners up: Witney Mills

Relegated: Thame (The Oxford Bowls Club cease to exist after this season.)

Division 3

Champions: Witney Town
Runners up: Banbury Chestnuts

Relegated: Bloxham and Chadlington

Division 4

Champions: Banbury Central B
Runners up: Long Hanborough

Printable report
Match results
League tables

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