Bowlsoxfordshire.co.uk Rotating Header Image

Men’s Semi-Finals

The Men’s Semi-Finals were played at Thame Bowling Club on Sunday 16th July, Monday 17th July and Tuesday 18th July.

In the morning of the Sunday, a pair’s game, a triples game and a fours game were played, all battling for their spaces at Leamington for the national finals.
The First game saw a rink from Headington of Bernie May, Mark Kirby, Shaun Claridge and Paul Mabbutt up against a Carterton rink consisting of Tim Jupp, Steve Aldren, Stuart Richens and skipped by Paul Sharman. This was a hugely tense battle throughout with neither side able to pull away. At 12 ends the score was 10 shots to 6 in Headington’s favour. Only 11 shots were scored over the next 7 ends meaning after 19 ends played it was all square at 13 shots apiece. Headington picked up a single shot to go one in front playing the last end. Carterton had the last bowl of the last end which forced an extra end to be played at 14 shots each. The extra end played and with Sharman’s first bowl to draw shot within inches, Mabbutt couldn’t replace it meaning the Toon rink qualified to Leamington, a second time for three of them in a week!

The Second game saw a pair’s game between Banbury Borough’s Darren Sharpe and A J Docherty and Watlington youngsters Sam Watts and Chris Gilkes. At 10 ends the board was all square at 10 shots each, but the Borough lads pushed on well to pick 14 shots over the next 7 ends with the Watlington pairing only able to reply scoring 3 shots, taking the borough pair into a 22 shots to 12 lead. Watlington were only able to pick up another single shot before the game finished 25 shots to 13 in Banbury Borough’s favour.

The third game saw a triples game between Headington’s Colin Whitehead, Ray Gaskins and Nick Rae-Welsh up against Woodstock’s triple comprising of Brian Clarke, Keith Comley and Paul Shipton. After 8 ends the game was very tight, with the score at 10 shots to 7 in Headington’s favour before a big push over the next four ends to pick up 12 shots to take the score to 22-7. The gap was too great to claw back for the Woodstock triple and they eventually lost out to Headington 25 shots to 13.

Lunch was then greatly received by competitors and spectators alike before the afternoon games got underway.

The first game of the afternoon was the second pair’s semi-final between West Witney’s Will Parker and Kevin Alder up against a Carterton pairing of Tim Jupp and Stuart Richens. The West Witney pair started strongly developing a 17 shots to 3 lead after 10 ends. From then on it was hard for either side to pick up a big shot count due to fantastic bowls played by all 4 players involved, with only 9 shots scored over the next 8 ends, taking the score to 19-10 in the Witney pair’s favour. A big count wasn’t made by the Toon boys which sent the West Witney pair through 24 shots to 10 victors and a maiden trip to Leamington for Kevin Alder to the national Finals.

The Second game of the afternoon was a singles game between Headington club mates Nick Rae-Welsh and Ray Gaskins, who qualified with each other in the triples, no less than an hour before competing against each other. A close start saw the score at 11 shots to 10 in Gaskins’ favour, before he scored 6 shots to Rae-Welsh’s 2 to take him 17-11. 3 shots over the next 3 ends were scored by Rae-Welsh before Gaskins ran out as winner, 21 shots to 14 and two qualifications to Leamington in a single day.

The final game saw the second fours semi-final between a Headington rink of John Philpott, Nathan Lewis, Gary May and Howard Watts up against a Watlington rink of Sam Watts, Adie Twinn, Steve Gilkes and skipped by Chris Gilkes. A solid start from the Watlington men took them 6-1 in front after just 3 ends before the Headington rink won 6 ends without reply taking a 13 shots to 6 lead at 9 ends. 10 shots scored between the rinks made the score 17-12 at 17 ends in Headington’s favour before they picked up 6 shots over the next three ends to take them through 23-12 victors and the final place on offer of the day to play in the national finals.

On Monday night the second triples game was played between Carterton’s Stuart Richens, Robbie Clanfield and Baden Sparks against Headington’s triple of John Philpott, Nathan Lewis and Howard Watts. After a very even first 6 ends with both leads playing some excellent bowls with the shot changing hands bowl after bowl, the Headington triple then took control of the game by winning the next 4 ends scoring 11 shots without reply. Despite winning 4 of the next 6 ends, Carterton could not make inroads into the lead Headington had established and they ran out winners with the overall score 20 shots to 13 to the Headington triple.

On Tuesday night the second singles game was played between Banbury Borough’s Mark Sykes against Carterton’s Stuart Richens. After some first class bowling by Mark Sykes, he took an early 4-1 lead but with some excellent bowls, Stuart Richens fought back well to win the next 4 ends scoring 10 shots without reply. The next few ends were evenly contested until Mark picked up 6 shots in 2 ends to go 1 shot up. Stuart replied with 3 shots to go back in front, but then Mark scored 5 shots in the last 2 ends to run out as winner. The final score was 21-18 and what a first class game of Bowls it was.

A big thank you to Thame Bowling Club for facilitating the semi-finals over the three days and providing excellent hospitality and catering throughout, it was enjoyed by all.
Also a big thanks are in order to Ian Whelpton and Mike Petersen for assisting with marking singles games and officiating across the three days.

The OBA Finals will take place on Sunday 23rd July at Chipping Norton Bowling Club.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *