At short notice, Kidlington BC hosted this years annual fixture between the Oxfordshire and Surrey Past President's Bowling Associations on Monday August 9th. After the heavy downpours the previous day in various parts of the country and mixed weather predictions for Monday, apart from a five minute light shower, the game was played  played in breezy and sunny conditions.

It was a pleasure to see nine of the Oxfordshire County Past Presidents playing in the game, Gordon Roper, Blackbird Leys (1997), Martin Workman, Bicester (2003), Allan Hunt, Banbury Central (2004), Mike Petersen, Oxford City & County (2005), Ian Whelpton, Banbury Central (2009), Michael Andrew, Banbury Central (2014), Bill Jarvie (Chipping Norton (2017), Michael Morris (Banbury Borough (2019) and Paul Demzcak, Witney Town (2020).

Chairman Bill Jarvie led his rink from the front followed by David Wedge, Ian Whelpton with Michael Andrew at skip in a very tight game against the Surrey PP President's rink. It was a four on the 12th that eventually put Bill's four in the lead by one shot. A five on the eighteenth opened up a six shot lead with victory in sight, Alas, two singles and a five on the last end saw the Surrey four take the game 21-20.

Mike Jones, Terry Gripe, Alex Fleming and Michael Morris collected the highest winning rink prizes after winning 13 ends. From 9 shots each after 10 ends, the Oxfordshire rink won seven of the remaining eleven ends 16-7 to run out winners on 24-16.

Alan Rowe, Martin Workman, Nigel Satchell and Michael Petersen Also won their game by eight shots, but won two ends less than Morris' rink. From eight all after 12 ends, the home rink collected 10 shots (including a 5), over the next four ends to open up a winning lead. Three shots for to five shots against was sufficient for them to take the win.

Bernie May, John McGeough, Keith Buckle and John Hurren were unlucky to lose by one shot 18-19. in a very close game in which they won 11 of the 21 ends. From 7-14 down after thirteen ends a five and a single over the next two ends broght them within one shot of the Surrey rink and with three ends remaining they were level. Unfortunately, the last three ends were all singles, two to Surrey and one to Oxfordshire.

Oxfordshire's final foursome of Past Presidents, Allan Hunt, Gordon Roper and Paul Demczak, backed up by Kidlington's Chris Cox went off on a flier, 9-1 after only 5 ends. The next five ends went 9-1 in Surrey's favour, all square at the half way mark. After another five ends it was Surrey in the lead 19-12. A three, two singles and a drawn end brought the Oxfordshire rink within two shots but two singles to Surrey gave them their third winning rink, 21-17.    

Oxfordshire's 100 shots to Surrey's 90 followed on from the OBA's 1 shot win in the friendly in the first game back on the green this season. 

The banter on the green, which bowled well, sunshine on our backs, an after match meal with a well stocked bar and the usual Kidlington warm welcome gave the feeling that the game is on it's way back to how we remember it.

The Past President's now move on to Hertfordshire PP's on the 18th at Welwyn & District BC.


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