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HCBA Finals Day

Will Parker & Alistair Heyes HCBA pairs runners up Bexhill BC was the choice venue for this year’s HCBA finals day, which provided excellent services throughout the day. After a very cold and early start, the Oxon pairing of Alistair Heyes and Will Parker were up against John and Jason Lyttle of Middlesex on the show rink of the four greens. The Oxon pair started well gaining a 5 shot to 2 lead after 4 ends before a 3 shot comeback from the Middlesex pair saw the score level at 5 ends. Good battling saw the Oxon pair 10-6 up at ten ends before a fantastic end saw a 5 shot pickup and a comfortable 15-6 lead. After 14 ends the Oxon boys were 20-8 up and looking promising before a late surge from the Lyttle pair see them gain 8 shots over the next three ends and reduce the deficit to 20-16 before the Oxon pair regained command in the game taking the score to 23-18 playing the last. A fantastic head was built by Heyes which left Parker smiling playing covering bowls to take the game 26-18 victors and progress to the pairs final.

Shane Cooper HCBA u25 singles runner upThe other representative from Oxfordshire was Shane Cooper competing in the Under 25 Singles. He was up against Buckinghamshire’s representative, Jamie Seymour. A strong start from Bucks saw Seymour take an early 8-0 lead before Cooper battled back well to only be 1 shot down with the score at 10-9. Another surge from Seymour saw him in another comfortable position at 17-11. Good bowling from Cooper kept him in contention all the way through the game, battling once more to get the deficit back to 2 shots at 18-16. 2 Singles from Seymour saw him just needing 1 shot to progress to the final before 4 huge ends from Cooper leveling the game at 20 shots apiece. Nip and tuck bowling from both competitors saw Cooper take the game 21-20 victor, only being in front at the end of the game to win it!

The HCBA under 25 singles final was between Oxfordshire’s Shane Cooper and Kent junior international Andy Rodger. Rodger took an early 10-3 lead and looked strong from the off. Confident bowling from Cooper was deserving of more shots than what actually prevailed seeing him 17 shots to 6 down after 15 ends. Unfortunately the difference proved too great for Cooper to recover from and he lost 21-8 to Rodger who was brilliant throughout. A tremendous effort from Shane Cooper has to be noted and credit must be given for his fantastic achievements this year, his final one as an Oxfordshire under 25 player.

The HCBA pair’s final was between Oxfordshire’s Alistair Heyes and Will Parker against Buckinghamshire’s Malcolm Pratt and David Clay. A very even tussle from start to finish saw neither pair take a lead of more than 5 shots throughout the game. After 6 ends the Oxfordshire lads were 8-3 up and looking strong. A weak end on the 8th saw them drop a 6 shot count to see them 10-8 down. The next 7 ends saw fantastic bowling from both Heyes and Parker seeing them pick up 6 shots to Bucks’ 2. With the score at 14-12 in Oxfordshire’s favour, the Bucks skip played some world class bowls to pick up 6 shots over the next 5 ends to Oxfordshire’s 3 seeing the final end being played with Oxfordshire 18-17 down. Pratt’s fantastic last end put Parker under pressure and with his last bowl narrowly missing the target, saw Bucks win the Pairs title 21-17. Once again a fantastic achievement from Alistair Heyes and Will Parker who were unlucky not to have claimed the title.

The Oxfordshire Bowling Association wishes to thank Shane Cooper, Alistair Heyes, Will Parker and Bradley Squires for attending the day and driving the 300 mile round trip to represent the county.

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