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Oxon U25’s beat Bucks in JHCL

Oxfordshire under 25s achieved their first JHCL win in 3 seasons with a 6-4 victory over neighbours Buckinghamshire at Waddesdon on Sunday 9th June.

Captain of the day Orren Bennett’s rink of Luke Gilbert, Ben Dickson and Bradley Squires started evenly against a strong rink skipped by Michael Gomme, being 5-6 down at 5 ends. By 10 ends, this had increased to a 6-11 deficit. The Oxon boys started to play their way back into the match and were level at 13-13 at 15 ends. Then in a burst of high scoring, 2 ends later this became 13-19 down, before Orren’s men picked up a 5 and a 4 to be 22-19 up at 19. However, it wasn’t to be, as a couple of dropped 2’s meant they were edged out 22-23.

Jamie Wilkinson’s rink of Joe Justin, Brandon King and Dan Swanson were slow out the blocks against Bucks skip George Reid, 2-9 down at 5 ends. This gap maintained til 10 ends and they were 6-13 down but had increased by 15 ends to 9-18 down. Then the comeback started, and at 18-20 down playing the last end, Jamie played 2 excellent bowls to be holding the 3 shots required to win the rink. Unfortunately for them, George’s last bowl did enough to get second and the final score was a 19-20 loss.

Harvey Alder’s rink of Jonathan Dadson, Lucas King and Joe Glenn found the pace of the picturesque Waddesdon green quicker than their opponents and were leading Andrew Litchfield’s rink 11-1 at 5 ends. They continued to steadily increase this lead to 17-5 at 10 ends and, with a 7 on the 15th end, they had a strong lead of 26-11. Harvey’s front end peppered the jack relentlessly and Harvey played big bowls when required as they continued to race away, finishing as 35-12 winners and bringing home the points for the overall score as well.

The final score was 76-55 to Oxfordshire.

This was an excellent performance on all 3 rinks against a strong Bucks side and has finally broken the “curse” of the blue trousers, being the first win in the Oxon juniors kit.

Next game is Sunday 16th June, which is the White Rose regional finals at Cranleigh, Surrey. We have 2 teams in the new format single-rink competition and go into it with fresh confidence after this win.

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