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League week 6

Driving back from Birmingham at 16.00 on Thursday, as the wall of water continued to fall, I doubted that any matches would be played to a finish that evening. As it transpired, only the match between Carterton and Headington fell foul to the water, with Carterton’s green being deemed unfit for play.

Kevin Alder’s rink has obviously paid the correct homage to the goddess of bowls as, for the first nine ends of their Division 1 match they both bowled well and took advantage of all the wicks! At sixteen zero up, with two other rinks being close, it looked like a good win for West Witney over close rivals Banbury Central. However, the Central rinks came good, especially Keith McNeil’s which scored seven unanswered shots over the last four ends to give Central a five point win.

With Watlington on a bye week, the other two clubs vying to climb out of the relegation zone met at Witney Town. At fifteen ends, the match seeming to be going to Witney Mills, as a six point victory was on the cards. However, the Witney Town rinks skipped by Alan Scholan and Brian Bloomfield both fought back to snatch victories on the last end, indeed, Brian moved the jack back to get the shots he needed on that end.

Division 2 saw the first two move further clear of the pack.  City and County won a close encounter with South Oxford thanks to the six and five score by Omar Sharif’s rink on ends sixteen and eighteen.

Adderbury had a much more comfortable win at home to Kidlington. The highlight of which was David Sharp’s rink which came from six shots down at ten ends to score twenty-three unanswered shots over the last seven ends.

The third match in the division saw Chipping Norton dramatically improve the chances for the season with a whitewash of visitors Charlbury. The best performance came from Alex Fleming’s rink that came from seven shots down at thirteen ends to snatch victory with three shots on the last end.

Division 3 has new leaders as Shiplake continued their impressive home form, this time at Chadlington’s expense. Indeed, the visitor’s only win came from the triple of Peter Madeley which outscored the opponents by enough to be able to lose twenty-five percent of the total and still win.

Thame travelled to Bloxham and returned with four points thank, in large, to Bill Giles rink which never allowed their opponents a toe hold in the game. Tony Gardner’s rink scored six on the last end to cement their victory in what was a generally low scoring match.

Banbury Central’s heavy defeat of Hanborough moves them into the promotion race, in a close division, whilst leaving their opponents staring relegation in the face before the season reaches the halfway point. Eric Trinder’s rink were the outstanding four, losing only one end in the second half of their game.

Woodstock still top Division 4 despite not playing. Burford, who had the chance to catch them, were beaten by West Oxford whose two winning rinks were won by surprisingly large margins. Tim Stacey’s rink dominated the second half of their game to run out fourteen shot winners and Mick Bostock’s men were equally dominant in their thirteen shot victory.

Oxford University Press would have come away from Blackbird Leys with a share of the points but Dave Barlow’s ‘rink’ was a triple and forfeited shots, and the game point, whilst James Baldwin was ruthless skipping his four to a twenty shot win, allowing his opponents four ends in total in the match.

City and County returned from the deep south of the City having comprehensively defeated South Oxford. Their three winning rinks dominated from the start whilst Keith Clarke’s men were almost as dominant for South’s single win.

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