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Carterton’s Young Guns shine at the Under 25 Singles day

Chipping Norton Bowls Club was the venue for the under 25 singles day for the first time.

The first round of games see firstly Headington’s Brandon King against Banbury Central’s Luke Gilbert. An even start see the score at 11-9 in Brandon’s favour before his lead increased by scoring a further 4 shots unanswered, 15-9. Luke then reduced the score by winning the next two ends, 15-12. The next three ends see an even affair which left the board showing only 1 shot in the game, to Brandon’s favour. 3 won ends, including back to back 3’s see Brandon progress to the quarter final, 21-15 victor.

The other morning game saw club mates, and lifelong friends, do battle in both their last year in the junior campaign, West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Harvey Alder. The first 15 ends could see no clear favorite, but with the score at 15-11 in Bradley’s favour. Harvey then bowled 6 ends of class to score 9 shots unanswered to see him only requiring him needing 1 shot to progress, but Bradley had other ideas. 2 great ends from him see him pick up back to back 3’s to narrowly win 21-20. 

After a splendid lunch, the quarter finals began. The first game saw another pair of “old” juniors fighting for their last chance at Leamington in the competition, Headington’s Sam Watts up against Banbury Borough’s Jamie Wilkinson. The first half of the game see Jamie take a comfortable 14-7 shot lead, after 11. After 17 ends the score was heavily in Jamie’s favour, at 18-11 however 5 winning ends for Sam see him secure the 10 shots he required to progress to the semi-final, 21-18 winner. 

The next game saw Carterton’s Joe Justin up against the 5th “old” competitor of the day, Kidlington’s Joe Glenn. After 11 ends the score was all square at 11 apiece. 3 good ends from JJ see the score at 18-13 after 15 ends. Joe G (Hashtag) then could only manage a single shot pickup before JJ picked up a 3 that sent him through to the semi-final, 21-14 victor.

The next quarter final See West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Headington’s Brandon King. A good start from Brandon see him 6-0 up after 3 before Bradley scored 10 unanswered shots, including back to back 4’s, see the score at 10-6 after 6 ends. Brandon then fought back well to see the score at 14-13 after 16. Bradley then won the next 6 ends to see him 20-13 up and holding game before Brandon played a “worldie” game saving bowl to keep him in the game. Brandon then went on to win the next 2 ends. 20-18. Bradley then won the game with his last bowl in another tense, but high-quality battle. 

The first semi-final line up was Headington’s Sam Watts and Carterton’s Orren Bennett. An even first half again see the score at 11-9 in Orren’s favour. Orren then went 16-10 up and then 17-13 up after 19 ends. Sam then bowled a game saving bowl to see the score go to 17-14. Orren then went on to win 2 of the last 3 ends to secure the win 21-15 victor. 

The other semi-final saw West Witney’s Bradley Squires against Carterton’s Joe Justin. A good start for Joe saw him take the lead, 12-7 after 8 before Bradley fought back well to win the next 5 ends, unanswered, scoring 7 shots see him take the lead 14-12. After 16 ends the game was totally level 16 apiece before 3 lush ends from Joe see him pick up 5 shots to secure the last place at Leamington for the junior campaign this year. 

A huge thank you to all those competitors who attended the day and made it such a spectacle. Also, a big thanks to all the parents and family that continually support the junior game within Oxfordshire, without you we would not be building such a strong demographic for the future! 

Finally, a big thanks to Chipping Norton Bowls Club for hosting the county twice in a week and providing excellent facilities, the lunch was superb!!

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