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League week 5

Strange to think that we are already past the first third of the season! However, this week gave us a first of the season to cheer about with Adderbury’s Tom Clark’s rink scoring a maximum eight shots on end six of their match at Chadlington.

Elsewhere, the two leaders in Division 1 both came away with maximum points, which should leave little to write about but the absolute superiority of two of Headington’s rink, skipped by Mark Charley and Nick Rae-Welsh, deserves mention. Marks 28 shot winning margin is biggest anywhere in the league this season whilst between them they ‘allowed’ the opposition, from Witney Town, to win on nine of the thirty-six ends!

Carterton’s defeat of West Witney was less spectacular but probably more surprising given the potential strength of the opposition.

Banbury Central looked to be on track for a five – one win at home to Watlington but poor shot choice on Keith McNeil’s rink allowed Gordon Hooker’s men to grab six shots on the final end snatch a win. This involved a measure – to see if the Jack was on the rink or not. String out and it was judged in by millimetres with the rest to the competitors from the other finished rinks watching and making their own judgements! Unfortunately for Sam Watts he came up against an inspired Mike Andrew who snatched victory for his rink on a number of ends.

For Chipping Norton, John Benfield’s rink lead Alan Ley’s by three shots at fifteen ends but dropped 12 shots on the last three ends to lose the game and ensure that Division 2 leaders City and County came away with five points from their match. The other three rinks were as one-sided as the scores suggest.

Dropping five shots on the 17th end cost South Oxford’s Vic de Paauw the game against Russell Edwards men but elsewhere in this game South Oxford proved too strong for Headington who now look to be struggling to stay in division two.

Tom Clark’s hot shot end was one of many good ends for Adderbury in their game at Charlbury, a result that makes them favourites for promotion to division 1, along with City and County.

Had Kevin Taylor’s ring not dropped four shots in the last two ends the match between Thame and Bicester would have finished with only a single shot separating the two teams. In the end, Bicester’s defeat drops them second place behind Chadlington in Division 3.

Peter Madeley and Phil Radbone’s rinks both had winning second halves of their games to give home side Chadlington match points in their game against Banbury Central.

Shiplake’s strong home team defeated Bloxham, whose Tony Gardner managed to beat Jim Bland for their only point. If Shiplake could take the same team away they would surely return to division 2 at the end of the season.

If you look at the Division 4 results for the week you might think that it was a division of two halves given that all matches were won five – one! How wrong you would be! City and County had taken but a single point from their last three matches before they defeated erstwhile leaders Burford five – one; Oxford University Press has not won this season, indeed had taken only three points, before their five – one defeat of high fliers West Oxford!

Woodstock, however, continue their impressive form. Indeed, though David Bye’s rink did win for visitors South Oxford they did so after blowing an impressive eleven shot lead at fourteen ends by dropping seven shots on end fifteen to opponents Dave Francis.

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