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League week 13

The 2018 season is rapidly approaching its denouement, and with one round of matches left we now know the champions of all four divisions.

Congratulations to:
Headington, Division 1 champions for another season
Carterton, back in the top division next season as champions of Division 2
Adderbury, likewise bouncing back up as champions of Division 3
Bicester are Champions of Division 4

However, the rest of the promotion and relegation scraps are still to be competed for in the final round of matches, other than Division 3 where all fixtures are now complete. Promoted for here is Headington, relegated are City and County along with Blackbird Leys, whose defeat to Adderbury sealed their demise.

This week’s results in Division 1 saw Headington take on Witney Mills and come away with their ninth win in ten matches. The results was never in doubt once Ian Snowden’s rink had roared into a twenty eight shot lead at the halfway point. (A lead that included a hot shot eight on the eighth end!). Only Chris Weller’s rink were able to stop the rot to give Mills a possible much needed point.

This because City and County continued their second half of the season fightback, this time away at Watlington. Winning at Watlington is never easy even if the home side were without some of the back end players. To do so when you need it to have any hope of survival is even more impressive. Three rinks were as comfortable as the scores suggest but the fourth featured an excellent comeback by Omar Sharif’s men who found themselves seven down with three ends to play and won the last three ends to tie the game. That extra half point opens up the possibilities for them next week, when they play Banbury Central, who were themselves easing past West Witney and back into second spot in the league. City can still survive, especially as Watlington, who are four and a half points ahead in the relegation battle, take on Headington in their final fixture. Witney Mills could also be relegated but they have a marginally easier, on paper, final match away at Kidlington.
Central’s victory came late on in the game as even at thirteen ends the overall scores were level with one rink apiece and two very close. However, Will Campion and Tom McKenna’s rinks both won their last five ends to come away with comfortable victories.

Carterton continue to show that they are in a different class to the rest of Division 2. This weeks ‘victims’ were promotion hopefuls Witney Town, Highlight of the match was, for the second time this season, an eight shot hot shot going to a losing rink. This week Paul Demczak won the eight only to lose almost all the remains ends to Paul Sharman’s rink.

Town’s defeat leave us with an intriguing final weeks fixture as they now play South Oxford with the winner being promoted! South were doing what they. Needed to stay in the promotion race defeating Shiplake comfortably. Town won easily on two rinks but were well defeated on a third. The rink of note was that between Keith Mobley and David Webb where Keith’s rink went seven shots ahead only to be hauled back by David’s men to be all square at sixteen ends with Keith winning the final row for the game. Shiplake now have to wait on the Chipping Norton v Hanborough fixture next week as they have finished their season. Chippy’s defeat of Charlbury removed any lingering hopes that the latter may have had of promotion, indeed at first glance they look to be in the relegation battle but their superior shot count means that they will finish above Shiplake unless they lose their final game by sixty-three shots.

Division 4 finally sorted its season out its champion with Bicester defeating Bloxham they now cannot be caught by the chasers even though they have finished their season. The visitors were never in two rinks once the Bicester rinks had taken the lead lead, whilst they did win the other two, they never looked like closing the shot difference. Defeat removes any realistic chance of Bloxham gaining promotion but they have an important role to play as their final match is against West Oxford, who remain in the hunt having only taken half a point away at Chadlington.
The other two clubs that could still be promoted, Chadlington and South Oxford, play each other knowing that, whatever their result, the must better that of West Oxford.

This weeks matches only memorable moments were Chadlington’s Phil Radbone’s four on the final end of his match to tie the scores and restrict West Oxford to a half point; and John Copes’ rink taking four shots on the final end of their match to give the match points to his club and keep them in the promotion race.

Printable report
Match results
League tables

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