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League final week

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.) 

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title. 

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford. 

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Woodstock were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Woodstock short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Woodstock or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

Another season completed and, despite some occasionally awful weather, only one match was lost and that to an unplayable green rather than the weather on the Thursday night.

Division’s 1 and 2 were, to all intents and purposes, completed last week, thus this week’s matches were played in a much more relaxed way than they would normally be. (At least the one I was involved in was, I can only hope the others were also.)

So, congratulations to Headington A, champions of Division 1, (again!) and City and County A who bounced straight back to the top division by winning the Division 2 title.

Commiserations to Witney Mills and Witney Town who are relegated to Division 2 and Charlbury and Chipping Norton who will play in Division 3 next season.

The other two divisions were far from over with five teams in division 3 still able to be promoted along with, already Champions, Bicester, and any of three clubs from Division 4 who could join West Oxford in Division 3 next year.

In Division 4, fourth place Burford could finish second if they defeated a resurgent Blackbird Leys on all four rinks. In the event, they trailed on two rinks throughout the game which meant they could not go above City and County, who were not playing. Woodstock could gain promotion and the division title if they took at least five points from their match with Oxford University Press. They surpassed this winning a very one-sided match by 54 shots. That meant that they were promoted but West Oxford would still take the title if they took two points from their game at South Oxford.

Win they did, and took five points to clinch the title, but it was closer than the final score suggests. Mike Bostock’s rink trailed 14-9 after fifteen ends as South Oxford looked to spoil West’s party. It took a five shot win on end sixteen and a final end three to clinch the game and the match for West Oxford.

Those of you following these reports will know that Division 3 has had a sometimes very weird season behind runaway champions Bicester. Indeed, Shiplake, in fifth place, could still be promoted on the final day. They played Hanborough at home and won comfortably on three rinks to take five points, which put them, momentarily, into second place on shot count.

Thame were most people’s favourites for promotion as they were playing at Chadlington, who, not surprisingly, were tipped to be relegated. However, Carl Smart and his men had other ideas winning their game by 14 shots to leave Thame short in the promotion race, though it proved insufficient to keep Chadlington up as Shiplake had won so well.

The final match was between the champions and Banbury Central. Central knew that five points would be enough to get them promoted, regardless of other results, or one point more than Thame or any two points would keep them above Shiplake and Bloxham. Across the match Central led by five shots at nine and fifteen ends, and were always ahead on two rinks, but Tom McKenna’s rink picked up fourteen shots between ends 11 and 16, only dropping one in the process. Despite Bicester’s efforts over the last two ends, Central emerged match winners by a single shot thus taking four points and the final promotion place.

This means the division 2 will have two B teams playing in it next year for the first time in the league’s history!

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