Oxfordshire Bowls League

2024 OBL Match Reports

 

OBL Match report for week 3 – 23 May

It is interesting to compare the clubs with two teams when seeking to predict which clubs are intent on doing well this year. The outstanding team, so far, is undoubtedly Carterton. Both Div1 & Div 4 teams have started with 2 wins and both have achieved 100 plus scores, making a statement that they hope to control things this year. The two Headington teams have made successful starts, although the A team are 3rd in their table currently, whilst the B team are top, but with 3 teams below them with a game in hand and all capable of overtaking the North Oxford team.

At the other end of the spectrum, Witney Town have had three games for both teams, with only one win overall and a draw to show for their efforts. Whilst much can be blamed on their current poor green, their opponents have mastered it better so far. Similar results apply to Oxford City & County teams , who have collectively won just one game from their 5 games, with their A team losing by an eighty shot margin this week.

Banbury Central’s league ambitions are harder to predict as both A & B teams have 50% records, but the club has a lot of pride and nobody would be surprised if they gained ground soon.

Turning to Division 1, it is right that I start with the highest scoring team of the day, running up 117 shots to 37 shots and a 6-0 win for Carterton over City & County. I think this huge score will be difficult to beat this year, but the gauntlet has been laid down for all. Remy Clanfield won his first league game since week 1 in the 2023 season and Joe Justin came back from being 7-1 down to win impressively for the last 13 ends and achieving a 41-7 rink win.  Headington showed their opponents from Banbury Borough that games are harder to win in division one, compared with the lower leagues, although both Mark Sykes and Keith Holloway won their rinks against Mark Charlett and Nick Rae-Welsh. However it was the mercurial Howard Watts and his rink who made the biggest impact with a 22 shot margin, within a final scoreline of 74(4) – 56(2) to the home team.  The two teams that share a green in Witney cannot blame the state of the green on this occasion, with West Witney coming out on top by 82-55 shots and leaving the Millers with just half a point. Andy Wiggins won the last 3 ends to deprive the West Witney team the full house. David Leighfield made a strong start on the first end with 5 shots on the end and repeated this rink score again on the 10 th end, before completing a shot win of 23 – 16 for his rink.

In Division 4, there were 5-1 wins for both Carterton B, who move to the top of the table and Banbury Chestnuts who played their first match. For City & County, John Jarvis was the only winning skip against Matt Osling of Carterton and C. Jones won the only rink for Witney Town against Chestnut’s Richard Morris.

In Division 3, Chipping Norton continue to lead the table after another fine win against Charlbury. Chris Beard amassed 29 shots for his Charlbury rink and all four rinks had good starts after 4 ends, before the Chippy lads found another gear and won on three rinks, skipped by Martin Acock, Dave Lattimore & Dave freeman. The latter achieving the highest margin of 14 shots and collectively nullifying Chris Beard’s efforts. The final score was 80(5 pts) -73(1 pt) in favour of Chippy.

Burford went to Bicester for the first time and found the green challenging, apart from Team Captain, Steve Gould who had a 28-10 rink win and secured the extra 2 points for his team. The Workman/Parker encounter resulted in a 18-18 draw and there were rink wins for Bicester’s Alan Wagner 18-13 and K. Taylor 20-13. The final result being in favour of Burford 72 (3.5 pts) – 66 (2.5 pts). In the third game Banbury Central B had a good 5-1 victory against West Oxford for which only James Baldwin managed to win a point, with a one shot win. There were rink wins for Glen Mullard and Eric Trinder, but the outstanding performance came from Paul Humphris for Central with a 26-8 win against Steve Studds for West Oxford.

Finally in Division 2 there were three clear winners. Headington B won by 5-1 against Witney Town A, with only Brian Bloomfield’s rink earning the point, whilst winning skips for Headington were Omar Sharif by 25-13, Colin Whitehead by 15-11 and Steve Gould by 15-13.   Adderbury suggested they are intent on achieving promotion back to the top tier next season with a resounding win against Thame by 95 shots to 38 shots and all the points. All four rinks won convincingly, showing strength in depth, which they will need as this promises to be a hotly contested league in 2024. The third win belonged to South Oxford who won at Woodstock by 78-48, with only Steve Hopkins winning a point for Woodstock with a 19-11 rink win against Richard Green’s rink. The outstanding rink for the South Oxford team was Dave Tidball’s 31-6 victory over K. Wilson’s rink.

 

OBL Match Report – week 2 – 16 May 2024

West Witney took the opportunity to take the top spot in division 1, whilst Headington had a bye, by beating Oxford City & County 4-2 and a scoreline of 72-58 shots. David Leighfield’s rink leading the way with a 23-6 win against Chris Maizy’s rink. This was supported by Will Parker with a good win over Ray Pink’s rink 18-14.  Carterton’s A team showed Banbury Borough, that it is a bigger step up into the top division than they may have thought, with a 83-44 win (5-1 points). Only Keith Holloway could pick up a point for Borough, against Robbie Clanfield’s rink. Paul Sharman, Joe Justin and Craig Morphet all had comfortable rink wins. Carterton played with 3 Junior members including Fin Goodwin playing his first A team game and he was brilliant apparently. Banbury Central won the other game against Witney Mills with a 10 shot margin and 4.5 valuable points against Mill’s 1.5 points. Three of the rinks were very tight, with only Lee Young establishing a comfortable victory of 22-10 against Chris Weller’s rink.

Division 3 started their season with wins for Chipping Norton, Charlbury and Bicester. Chipping Norton scored an impressive 91-48 against Banbury Central B  for 5.5 points and lead the division from the start. David Lattimore had the highest winning rink with a 35-9 victory, with Percy Hickman and Dave Freeman also securing good wins. Charlbury had 3 winning rinks against Burford, with only John Hurren’s winning rink to celebrate. Chris Beard’s strong rink for Charlbury beat Steve Gould’s four by 29-12 and the other two rinks were closely contested.  Bicester managed to get a 3 shot advantage over west Oxford, although the match finished on a draw 3-3. M. Workman’s rink needed the 24-6 win for Bicester to secure the additional 2 points and the draw, despite the Oxford sides three rink wins, skipped by Messrs Blackburn, Richardson and Baldwin.

Kidlington took all six points from Witney Town in division 2 with an emphatic win of 79-52. Only Jim Feeley had to hang on to win by a single shot against Paul Demczak’s rink for the full house.  Headington B had a good win over Woodstock by 5-1. Tim Stevens for Woodstock was probably miffed about the absence of his fourth player which would have given him the rink win, but lost after reducing his score by 25%. Omar Sharif had the biggest win for the Headington team and Brian Clarke earned the only point for Woodstock. South Oxford achieved a 5-1 win at Thame, despite Thame’s captain D. White winning his rink by 27-13. 20 + shot rinks from the fours skipped by Richard Green and Dave Tidball secured the victory for the visitors.

Finally, in division 4 we have our first 100 plus shot team this season and this was achieved by Carterton’s B team which bodes well for this season. They defeated Witney Town B by 102 -55 for a 6 point victory. The match between Oxford City & County B v Bloxham was also high scoring, the Oxford team achieving a 94-55 win and 5.5 points. Half points were awarded to B. Heavens from Oxford and Ian Jackman for Bloxham after an exciting 19-19 draw.

Just a reminder to everyone that sends in the results cards – please send the cards through before 11 am if you can, as this allows my full attention before sleeping.

 

Thanks zzzz

 

Match Report – week 1 of the 2024 Season

Our first week of league bowling heralds the start of summer and the weather made a timely turn for the best, however the relentless rain over the last six months has held back the state of the greens for many clubs.

Whilst we cannot predict the outcome of the season, last year’s champions, Headington A sent a warning to all, that they intend to carry on where left off, which gave them one of the highest wins of the day, against Banbury Central A for a 5.5 pts -0.5 pts result. The game was closer than this score suggests although Headington won 3 of their rinks and drew the fourth, so don’t write off the Central team too early.

There were first game wins also for West Witney and Witney Mills in Division1 by the margin of 4-2 results. Will Parker and David Leighfield’s rinks sent a “welcome to the top league” message to newly promoted Banbury Borough with 21-12 and 22-16 rink wins respectively, whilst Keith Holloway and Chris Charles secured 3 point wins for each of their rinks. The extra 2 points went to the two Witney teams, much to the disappointment also of Oxford City & County who travelled to the disappointing green at Witney Mills. The home team had strong wins from the rinks skipped by Paul Robbins and Les Day, with Chris Mazey and Ray Pink winning their rinks to keep a small margin of 6 points between the two teams.

In Division 2, Witney Town defeated a depleted Woodstock, who only mustered 12 bowlers for the match to get a welcome 6 -0 win. The other teams, both winning by 4-2 margins got off to good starts, these were, Adderbury beating Kidlington by 73 shots to 59 shots and Thame beating Headington B by 60 shots to 56.5 shots.  Headington B were disappointed that Ian kibblewhite’s rink was one man short which turned their winning rink into a loss after applying the 25% loss of points and with wins from the rinks skipped by Russell Edwards and Colin Whitehead, the extra win may have resulted in an overall win for the Headington team. Thame had no such problems, enjoying a large membership and were thankful to Ian Rutherford and his team mates for bringing home the win.  Adderbury had D. Bryant and Ted Ealy to thank for their win with comfortable wins against Kidlington’s stalwarts Chris Cox and Paul McGrath and finished the match with a margin of 14 shots.

With Division 3 starting next week, there was only one fixture played between Witney Town B and Bloxham. There was no doubt the game was won by Mr Greenall’s rink with Micky Banks, Brian Carter and a lead (who remains anonymous on the card submitted), as they won their rink 30 shots to 10, with each of the other three rinks losing. The score finished 3-3 although the Witney Team had a 3 point advantage overall.

Banbury Chestnuts and Carterton B agreed to rearrange their fixture due to the funeral of former President Bob Wright of Carterton, for which over 200 people attended. The OBL offer their condolences for Bob’s family and friends. He was well known to all and very respected. RIP

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2023 OBL Match Reports

OBL Match report for the final week in 2023 – Games on 10 August

With division 3 finishing last week and all league winners being confirmed previously, this final week was all about which divisions would all the clubs play in next season.

In Division 2, Headington B began the week one point ahead of Witney Mills and Witney Town were only one point ahead of Charlbury to avoid the second relegation spot. Clearly the desire to stay up in division 2 was stronger for the Witney Town team, as they defeated Headington 5-1 at home to relieve the pressure on local rivals Witney Mills. The Millers had Les Days to thank for getting a 4-2 win over Charlbury, as his 27 -8 win provided the extra 2 points for the match win, whilst Eddie Lacey and Eric Pitts for Charlbury did everything they could to spoil the Millers party, with 23-15 and 22-12 rink wins respectively. The total match score was 71-68 to the Millers and Charlbury are relegated to division 3.  Meantime, Witney Town achieved a 69-56 victory over a full strength Headington B team, effectively keeping the two Headington teams in different divisions next year. Rink wins for Paul Demczak (20-16), Brian Bloomfield (18-8) and Fabrizio Boer (15-13) secured the win for the Town and assisted the Millers to get promoted next season.

In Division 4, Banbury Central B secured the second promotion spot as Carterton B needed all six points and a 27 shot advantage to overhaul them. The young Carterton team managed a 5-1 win and a 23 shot difference (70-47) away to Banbury Chestnuts which was a great effort and will start next season as favourites to win division 4. Meanwhile Burford enlarged their winning margin by beating Bloxham 5½-½ points (83-43 shots) to complete their successful season. The return of Tim Stacey to the Burford team provided more depth to their squad and again he had the stand out win of 30-7 against the luckless Des Jones to lead the celebrations.

Division 1 was rather an anti-climax in the last week, with League Champions and relegation spots being determined last week. The key question was which of the West Oxfordshire teams would claim the coveted second position. Both Carterton and West Witney won their games, but Carterton took advantage of Lee Young’s success at Leamington which depleted the Banbury Central team, to get the larger win of 5-1 (93 – 37.75 shots) to take second spot. David Leighfield (23-18) and Martin Shepherd (18-12) won the two West Witney rinks and lead the way for a 4-2 (77-69) win against South Oxford.   Headington A continued to do what they do well, by defeating City and County 5-1 and they too were depleted by the clash of interests with Paul Mabbutt performing in the National finals.

Next week I will summarise the season in a final seasons report and I aim to provide a summary of all the seasons results on the respective division tabs on the county website, for information and interest.

Thanks to all those responsible for sending the result cards through to me after the matches throughout the season and for enabling me to get the results out before players are waking up next morning. John 

OBL Match Report for week 13 – 3 August 2023

Division 3 are the first to complete their league programme and what a closely fought division this has proved. Woodstock started the season well, but appeared not to have the self-confidence to back themselves to win, but the team narrowly stayed ahead of close rivals Thame on shot difference only to win the top spot. Bicester will be disappointed at their slow start to the season and did well to be only 1½ points behind the leaders at the end.

Woodstock had a nervous last game against Chipping Norton with both teams attaining 65 shots each. However, Chippy won 3 rinks giving them the 4-2 win. Simon Pratt’s rink secured the only win and this appears to be the main factor that contributes to the club gaining promotion at the end of the season. Thame did everything they could on the night and had a 6-0 victory over Blackbird Leys, but despite a winning game of 97-39 shots, the overall shot difference prize went to Woodstock. Special mention to Ian Rutherford of Thame for his winning rink score of 38-5: one of the highest scores all season. Bicester secured a final win of 5-1 (76-55 shots) over Oxford City & County B team, but alas they will probably remain in division 3 next season.

In division 4 the results helped Burford’s position of league leaders, despite not playing themselves and mathematically they will be league winners overall. Carterton B had a good win against the Witney Town B team 5-1 with Richard Jefferies leading his young Carterton rink to a 27-8 win and Gary Panon’s quartet securing the only point for the Witney team. The battle of Banbury was won by the Chestnuts who secured a 4-2 win against the Central team, who remain the other likely promotion candidates. Mr K. Wedd won his first game as skip this season with a 27-15 rink score for the Chestnuts.

In Division 2 with one game to go, Banbury Borough are confirmed as League winners and look forward to division1 matches next year. They finished with a convincing win of 5½-½ (96-59 shots) over Witney Town A team. The second promotion spot is all to play for, between Headington B and Witney Mills, although the latter will need to bounce back well from their home defeat by Kidlington, who won 4-2, with only one shot separating the two teams after the 18th end. A good rink win by Les Days for the Millers keeps the promotion door ajar for them next week. Regrettably, West Oxford will rejoin division 3 next year despite a close game against Charlbury 2-4 (60-62 shots).

Finally in Division 1, with league leaders Headington A resting this week, Carterton and West Witney emerge as the mostly likely winners of the prestigious second spot. Carterton beat Oxford C & C by 5-1 (73-58) to keep them one point ahead of rivals West Witney who won 4-2 (68-59 shots) at Banbury Central. Will Parker again lead the way for West Witney with a 29-8 rink win which accounted for the extra two match points. Good rink wins for the Carterton rinks skipped by Bradley Squires, Tim Jupp & Baden Sparkes gave Carterton the one point advantage for next week which could be crucial. South Oxford will play division 2 bowls next year and lost to Adderbury on the night 1.5 – 4.5 (55-68). Adderbury are one of three teams trying to avoid the relegation spot next week alongside Oxford City & County and Banbury Central. This will give all the games a bit of spice on the last league night of the season on 10 August.  

Well done to all the league winners:

Div 1 – Headington A           Div 2 – Banbury Borough        

 

Div 3 – Woodstock        &     Div 4 – Burford Town

 

OBL Match report for games played on 27 July, 2023

Whilst Headington A team have already secured their place as league Champions, there is all to play for as runner-up and despite Oxford City & Counties recent good form moving them up to second position last week, both Carterton and West Witney moved up a gear to stake their claim. Carterton beating the League Champions 6-0 away with four good rink wins and a margin of 41.5 shots. West Witney also won 6-0 against Oxford City & County with three good rink wins and Dave Leighfield’s rink hanging on for a one shot victory. In the final game in Division 1, Adderbury continued their topsy-turvey season with a narrow win over Banbury Central by 4-2. A J Docherty and Nigel Galletly winning their rinks for Central, but Phil Gladden and D. Bryant getting the extra few shots to win by a 61.5-59 margin.

In Division 2, Banbury Borough look set to achieve three successive promotions from each league, leading to Division 1 bowling next season. Their latest 4½-1½ victory away to Headington B threatens the latter’s ambitions of bouncing back to Division 1. Rus Edward’s rink had to score 6 shots on the last two ends to tie with Mark Sykes rink but with only one game to play, they will be looking over their shoulder at Witney Mills who are just 3 points behind with a game in hand. Kidlington continued their late run to defeat West Oxford 5-1 with the home side scoring double their opponents score (82-41). There was a notably large win for Captain Ben Dickson, whose rink won by 30-4. The battle between the Witney teams in Division 2 was won by the Town who had home advantage, sharing 2 rinks each, but Town had the highest number of shots: 68-62. Paul Demczak’s quartet scored four 4+ ends to achieve the margin required for the extra 2 points to the dismay of opponents, Paul Robbins’ team. Kevin Siford’s team took a good early lead for the millers with a 13-4 lead after 9 ends, but Roy Radband’s team fought back in the second half and finished with just a two shot deficit.

In Division 3, Woodstock kept their championship hopes alive by beating Oxford C & C - B team by 5-1 at the Ferrybridge Road green. The only City & County win came from Tony Wright’s rink with a narrow margin of 14-13 shots, whilst Brian Clarke, Tim Stevens and Simon Hopkins had comfortable wins for Woodstock. Bicester and Thame are in the second and third spots contesting the promotion slot and played each other; which was a very close game (56-58 shots) although a large win of 5-1 for visitors Thame, with only T. Freeman gaining a point for Bicester. R Plested had all the pressure on the final end with scores level against A. Wagner of Bicester. The Thame skip won the end by one shot, but anything less would have resulted in a different share of the points. In the final game in Div 3, The Leys new skip, Alan Cox’s win over Alex Fleming was not enough to prevent Chipping Norton managing an overall shot advantage and a share of the points. Percy Hickman and his quartet were the pride of the Chippy team, winning all three points with a 31-8 rink win.

In the most evenly contested division 4 matches, Burford sustained their lead with a 4-2 home win against Banbury Chestnuts. L. Selby and M. Wall secured the Chestnuts two points with 4 shot and 6 shot wins respectively, but higher scoring rinks from John Hurren’s quartet (21-4) and Tim Stacey’s rink (25-10) was enough to earn the extra two points, with an overall score of 71-49. Banbury Central had everything to play for, to gain promotion and their 5-1 win against Carterton’s young team did much for their hopes, even though Carterton have a game in hand. Messrs Leather, Trinder & Mullard had good rink wins for Central whilst Derek Surman had a narrow win (16-15) to secure the only point for the Carterton team. In the final game, Bloxham continued their current form moving from bottom position to third place with a drawn match against Witney B (3-3 in points and 58-60 points). Skip Greenall, supported by M. Lister, Ian Hale and Micky Banks for Witney Town were responsible for the 3 points with a rink win of 24-7. The 3 points for Bloxham came from rink wins skipped by Dave Morse, Des Jones & John Stephens.

 

OBL Match report for week 11 – 20 July 2023

 

Witney Mills continue their current form and beat Headington B by 4-2points(75-55 shots) in division 2 and now hold third position with a game in hand on their rivals. Richard Barnett’s rink gained 16 points in the last 8 ends to win 22-10, whilst Rus Edward’s rink for Headington had a good start winning the first 6 ends(9-0 lead) and went on to take a point with a 22-14 result. Kevin Siford for the home team had a tremendous finish gaining 12 shots in the last 3 ends to win 26-9, but again Headington’s Colin Whitehead narrowly gained a point to win 14-13 despite Chris Weller’s quartet taking 3 shots on the last three ends.   Elsewhere in Div 2, Kidlington had a good away win against Charlbury with a 26 shot margin to win 5-1. Chris Cox for Kidlington had the stand out win, limiting Eric Pitts to 4 end wins only and winning by a margin of 30-7. The only home point for Charlbury came from Eddie Abbey with a 17-11 victory over Paul McGrath’s rink.  The final game in Div 2 was a close encounter between West Oxford and Witney Town B who had winning rinks from Paul Demczak and Brian Bloomfield, but home advantage helped West Oxford to gain a 4-2 victory with only 2 shots separating the teams. A 20-12 shot win for Steve Stubbs and a 21-11 shot win for G. Richardson’s team secured the match for the West Oxford side.

In Division 4 the other Witney Town team hosted league leaders Burford and again this was a very close game with Burford holding a one shot lead (62-61) overall and a 4-2 win. John Hurren’s quartet won the pens with a 17-9 rink win, whilst Tim Stacey just held onto his 5 shot lead on the 17 th end as Brian Carter’s quartet held 4 shots in the final end. This secured the rink win by 1 point (19-18) and the overall margin of 1 point (phew !)  The only other game in Div 4 was between Bloxham on their excellent green against lead contenders Banbury Central B. To many surprised onlookers, the home side won a very good victory of 5-1 (63-57 shots) with 3 rink wins skipped by A. Miles, Dave Morse and John Stevens.

Match of the day in Division 1 was Oxford City & County A team winning 6-0 against Adderbury, which continues their current form and moves them up to 2 nd position in the league. 9 shots in the last 4 ends ensured John Major’s rink joined the other winning rinks, skipped by Ade Kemish, Chris Pollard and Tim Cox.  Despite City & County’s late surge through the table it is now mathematically impossible for all clubs to catch Headington A, who finished their game against West Witney as League Champions for 2023. Well done to Howard Watts (15-13), Mark Charlett (21-5) and Jason King (28-3) for getting the rink wins required and achieving a 5-1 win. Will Parker won the only rink for the visitors by 14.25 – 8 with a three man team.  Banbury Central A achieved a 5-1 win over South Oxford with Nigel Galletly getting the biggest win over Dave Tidball's team by 29-13 shot, whilst the usually reliable AJ Docherty was well beaten by Keith Mobley's rink, scoring 10 shots on the last 4 ends. Keith McNeil won on the last end and Will Campion just hung on by a point despite C. Billingham's 3 shots on the last end.

 

The competition is getting very close in Division 3, with Chipping Norton becoming one of four teams with promotion chances, having scored the most number of points this week against Oxford C & C B team with a 90-52 margin and 5-1 points. Two big rink wins from Percy Hickman (32-13) and Dave Lattimore (26-8) energised the rest of the team for their next two games.  Bicester continued to win during the second half of the season, the latest being a 5-1 win away to Blackbird Leys who couldn’t maintain their good start to the season. P.Hooley had yet another good rink win for Bicester (24-3) supported by rink wins from messrs Freeman and Taylor, with only the mercurial Steve O’Keefe winning his rink for the Blackbird Leys squad.  The final game saw league leaders Woodstock losing to Thame 4.5-1.5 with only Tim Stevens achieving a full point for the Woodstock team. Meanwhile Chris Shannon and Bill Giles secured wins for the home side and the extra points came from the 60-53 shot totals. 11 shots for Chris Shannon’s Thame rink over 3 ends separated the teams towards the end of the first half and Brian Clarke had to win all three last ends to secure his half point against Ian Rutherford’s  rink.  There are only seven points between the top 4 clubs, so we wait to see who holds their nerves over the last two games. 

 

 OBL Match Report for week 10 – 13 July 2023

 

In Division 1, Oxford City & County had another impressive win, this time away at South Oxford. Adie Kemish kept up his recent good form with his rink beating Opponents Dave Tidball and team-mates by 18 shots to 11. This was supported by Chris Pollard’s rink who kept their opponents down to just 5 winning ends to finish with 21-13 to take the point. The other two rinks went to Keith Mobley and Neil Whiting for South Oxford, but by small margins only. City & County gaining 4 points for the match with an overall win of 65-53 shots.  Adderbury became the first team to beat league leaders Headington A  by 5-1 (75-66 shots), although the Oxford team retained a healthy margin between themselves and the chasing pack. A strong finish with 8 shots in the last 3 ends secured the rink win for D. Bryant against Nathan Lewis’ rink. Solid wins were gained by Phil Gladden and J. Wilkinson for their respective rinks. Only “new skip”, Ian Henwood secured a point for the visitors with a 23-15 margin. The last game was a local derby between West Witney and Carterton, with a home win, starring Martin Shepherd  with a 24-15 rink win over Baden Sparks.  West Witney were 1 down on the game, when Shep dropped a 5 on his last end, whilst Kevin Alder’s rink picked up 3. Will parker & Dave Leighfield, both with two ends to go, each picked up a 4 to go in front. Fortunately for them both Carterton skips missed with their last bowls, leaving a closing result of 4-2 in favour of the Witney team (70-62 shots). Tim Jupp & Craig Morphett picked up the points for Carterton.

In division 2, Witney Mills won a close match at Banbury Borough coming out with a 4-2 win (65-63 shots). Chris Weller had a good win on his rink despite a rocky start and this was supported by Les Day’s rink who had a 7-1 lead after 4 ends before dropping 9 shots in the next 3 ends for Keith Holloway to take the lead. A strong finish by the millers gave Les Days a 19-16 shot rink win. The Boro points came from rinks skipped by Mark Sykes and the on-form Chris Charles. Headington B came close to the league leaders with a 4-2 (73-64) win over West Oxford with rink wins for John Baldwin and Steve Studds, who won 26-10. However two high scoring rinks for Steve Gould and Colin Whitehead provided 24 & 23 shots respectively to gain the additional 2 points. The third game in Div 2 ended in an away victory for Charlbury over Witney Town A by 5-1 (64-51 shots) with only Roy Radband’s rink securing a point. New skip B. Busk had a good rink win over the previously dependable Fabrizio Boer to give the Charlbury rink a 20-6 win.

In Division 3, Woodstock made a big statement about their objectives this year with an emphatic win away to Blackbird Leys; 6-0 (69.75 -39 shots). A very good result for the Woodstock team. The other two matches produced 5-1 wins for Bicester against Chipping Norton and for Thame against Oxford City & County B team. Bicester, despite a poor start to the season, now find themselves in second place thanks to rink wins by skips, K.Taylor, T. Freeman and A. Wagner.  Alex Fleming collected the only point for the Chippy side with a 12-10 victory over P.Hooley.  Thame were the highest shot scorers of the day with 81 shots against City & County’s 53. Bill Giles had a strong win against Dave Williams with a rink total of 28-6 and was supported by Ian Rutherford (21-12) and Chris Shannon (20-15) with only Tony Wright the C & C president securing a point for the home side.

Finally in division 4, games remained tight between a number of well matched teams. Leaders Burford went down 4-2 to Carterton B, who fielded 4 young players from their academy, who all played very well. Respect to young players Noah Pearce –Jones, Ronnie Marden, Nye Osling , Kaylem Curley and to the Carterton club for giving them the opportunity. Their total ages did not reach either of the two rink winners for Burford:  Jack Lafford and John Hurren.  The match would have been closer if Richard Jefferies had not fired out the Burford lead on the last bowl to emerge 5 shots up on the end.

Bloxham surprised Banbury Chestnuts with a 3.5-2.5 win (68-54 shots). This was in part due to a fantastic rink win for Bloxham’s Tony Gardner and team-mates by 30 shots – 5.  Two 4s on the first two ends for Russell Vircaus set up a 20-16 rink win for the Chestnuts, whilst Len Selby for the home side had a hard fought draw against Bloxham’s rink led by Des Jones. In the final game Banbury Central B got their challenge underway again by beating Witney Town B by 5-1 (75-64 shots). Strong wins for Central skips P.Humphris and M. Leather led the way for the win, with T. Shaylor picking up the lone point for the Witney side. 

 

OBL Match report – week 9 – 6 July 2023

Division 3 resumed after their mid season break with leaders Woodstock losing the first game of their season and indications that Bicester intend to seek a promotion spot. These two teams met this week at Woodstock and Bicester won the game 5-1 (70-47) to close 3 points behind Woodstock at the top of the table. S. Hopkins only just secured the Woodstock point, winning with a 14-13 margin, even though K Taylor’s rink for the visitors won the last 3 ends. Bicester secured the other 3 rinks with comfortable wins.    The bottom two teams also met, and Oxford C & C B team got their first win of the season by beating rivals Blackbird Leys 6-0. D. Williams just got home for C & C by one point, but the other three rinks coasted home for a 75-57 points victory. The third game saw promotion hopefuls, Chipping Norton, slip against rivals Thame. Despite winning two rinks and drawing the other, Chippy’s Alex Fleming lost 13-23 to Thame’s Ian Rutherford and this margin secured the additional two points for a 3.5 – 2.5 victory, although the fact that Thame won the last end on each rink also contributed.

Headington A confirmed their status at the top of the division 1 league after a convincing score of 5-1 (84-48 shots). Howard Watts’ rink were the stars on the night with a big rink win of 34-12, whilst Neil Whiting scored the only point against temporary skip, Paul Mabbutt.   The wheels came off this week for Banbury Central who went down 6-0 at Oxford City & County. The rinks were all low scoring, so clearly they had to work hard to achieve this spectacular result.  Carterton are now aiming for second spot and achieved a good 5-1 win over Adderbury. Baden Sparks regained his form to lead his rink to a 20-9 win and this was backed up by temporary skip Tim Jupp, whose rink beat Phil Gladden’s rink 23-16.

In Division 2, Headington B had a 6-0 victory over Charlbury with a 29 shot margin. Steve Gould’s rink win by 20-7 against Eddie Abbey’s rink was the most notable performance of the night. They started with a 5 on the first end and finished with 5 more over the last 3 ends which helped their cause.  Kidlington kept up their good form with a 5-1 (79-48) win over Witney Town, with Fabrizio Boer yet again securing the only rink for the Witney team. The other three rinks resulted in comfortable wins for the Kidlington team.    Leaders Banbury Borough continued their winning form on the challenging West Oxford green winning three of the rinks for a 5-1 (78-52) for their victory. John Baldwin won the only point for the Oxford team with a tight win over Chris Charles’ rink, whilst stand in skip Mick Morris had a good 24-9 win in the absence of captain, Mark Sykes.

Finally Division 4 continued it’s topsy- turvey season with both the bottom teams gaining wins. Bloxham capitalised on their home form to beat Carterton B 4-2 in a very close match with only one shot separating the two teams. Dave Morse for Bloxham and John Warner for Carterton were the stand out victors for their rinks, but in a very tight game, there was no particular stand out moment that gave Bloxham the one point edge they needed. A good team performance got the result.  Witney Town B overcame Banbury Chestnuts by 4.5-1.5 points (68-64 shots) despite a rink win for R. Vicaus of 30-8 for the chestnuts. Skip Ian Dick’s rink had to wait to the fourteenth end before winning a shot for Witney Town, but G Greenall’s rink recovered this situation keeping Richard Morris to just 4 end wins and a 27-6 victory for the Witney team. I think there would have been some interesting chatter in the bar afterwards !

 

BOL Match report – week 8 – 29 June

The only match in Division 4 featured the two league leaders, where Burford hosted Banbury Central B. The match was closely contested, with three of the Burford rinks winning, but Paul Humphris’ rink scored 9 on the last three ends to give Central their only point. Tim Stacey’s experienced rink secured the extra 2 points for the win with a 19-8 victory and a total score of 70 -56 shots for a 5-1 win.

In Division 1, all matches produced 4-2 results. New bowler Robert Mackie made his debut for Headington A after last playing in the 2000- 2021 season. He lead for Mark Charlett’s rink and contributed to a good rink win of 27-14. There were rink wins for Central’s Nigel Galletley and AJ Docherty’s teams, with the latter securing a 24-9 rink win to beat Nick Rae-Welsh. However the overall points were in Headington’s favour: 69-63 for the win.   West Witney achieved their win with a 69-66 shot advantage over Adderbury. C.Skidmore’s rink gained 6 points on the last two ends to beat Dave Leighfield’s four, but Shane Cooper and Will Parker achieved good wins to secure the 4-2 overall win, despite J. Wilkinson’s 29-11 win for the home team, with 17 shots gained between the 12-17 ends. Carterton A achieved the third 4-2 victory in the division, whilst away to South Oxford with a margin of nearly 10 shots. Dave Tidball managed to win by 0.25 for a point with his depleted rink, after taking off 25% of his total and Neil Whiting’s rink scored the other home point after beating Baden Sparks by 22-13. However the rink’s skipped by Joe Justin and T Warner won 21-13 and 23-12 respectively to keep Carterton in the pack fighting for second place in the league.

In Division 2, Witney Mills kept up their recovery from a poor start to the season, with a consecutive 6-0 victory in the league: this one over West Oxford. They won 79-46 points and moved from the lower positions into second place in the division, courtesy of Headington B being defeated by Kidlington. Wins for Paul McGrath (21-13) and Jim Feeley (19-11) with another half point between Chris Cox and S.Gould (15-15) secured an overall win of 4.5 –1.5 points for Kidlington. Ian Kibblewhite’s rink won the only full point for Headington B after narrowly beating Ben Dickson by 2 points.

In the final game in Division 2, Banbury Borough extended their lead at the top of the division with a 4-2 victory over Charlbury and a score of 79-63. Mark Sykes led the way with a 25-12 win over struggling Eddie Lacey, with Keith Holloway’s rink also winning for the Borough. Mark East’s four and Eric Pitt’s rink scoring the two points for Charlbury.

 

Next week the division 3 teams and most of the other teams in Div 4 return from their mid season breaks, as the season starts its’ second half.

 

BOL Match report – week 7 – 22 June

Only division 1 & 2 teams played this week, as they have an extra team in their leagues compared with divisions 3 & 4.

If I was a book-keeper I would declare Division 1 as a one horse race, with all other teams competing for second place. Headington A achieved a 6-0 away win against Oxford City & County A to take them well clear at the top of the league. Adie Kemish’s rink were one shot up with two ends to play for City & County, but Howard Watts’ rink scored 4 on the last two ends to bring home maximum points for the Headington team. The away team achieved convincing wins on all other rinks with a total of 80-50 shots.   South Oxford pulled off a good win against West Witney 4.5- 1-5 (59-56.75 shots), suggesting the missing person on Martin Shepherd’s rink made the difference. After a slow start Will Parker’s team from the Witney club won the match 21-13 to beat Richard Green’s rink but this point and the half shared between Dave Leighfield and Dave Tidball, were the only consoling parts of this match for West Witney. Neil Whiting and Keith Mobley’s rink wins secured the win for the South oxford team.

A 24 shot difference for Central’s AJ Docherty, supported by Nigel Galletley’s 18-9 win, were the main contributors to this 5-1 win for Banbury Central, with only Robbie Clanfield securing a point for the visiting Carterton side. AJ’s rink scored two 5s and a 6 during their game and looked likely to take no prisoners after 7 ends when they had a 20-2 lead against a battered Remy Clanfield’s rink. Baden Spark’s rink held a 14-9 lead after 15 ends but Will Campions’ rink scored two 5s in the last three ends to bring home the point. The final shot difference was 85-51.  

In division 2, Banbury Borough made their intentions clear with a 5.5-0.5 points win (72-53 shots) over Kidlington, who haven’t got their league performances together yet. Strong wins for Darren Sharpe and Keith Holloway for Borough, were supported by Mark Sykes who gained 9 shots in 4 ends to surge past Ben Dickson’s Kidlington rink that were 10-5 up after 12 ends. The game between Chris Charles and Chris Cox was tight throughout and ended in a draw, giving Kidlington their only half point.

 

Witney Mills regained their form to the detriment of Charlbury, gaining all 6 points for four rink wins and an impressive 85-53 shot win. This was a good team effort with nobody claiming the bragging rights on the night. The final match in Division 2 was between Headington B and Witney Town A, which the Oxford side won by 4.5-1.5 points. All four Witney rinks had strong finishes, but it only mattered for Roy Radband (Witney) who scored 3 on the last two ends to secure their match by 2 shots and Fabrizio Boer scraped a half point for a 19-19 draw. The experience of Rus Edwards and Colin Whitehead led their rinks home and secured the winning points for the Headington team.

 

OBL Match Report for week 6 – 15 June

 

Division 4 is proving a topsy-turvy league with results being difficult to predict. Banbury Central who lost 6-0 last week, beat title hopefuls Banbury Chestnuts 6-0 to re-establish their leading position at the half way stage. Burford won at Bloxham to be a half point behind the leaders with good wins from the two ditch rinks, skipped by Jack Lafford and John Hurren, whilst Bloxham also had two good rink wins themselves, with Alan Miles & Dave Morse skipping their winning rinks. The margin was 6 shots more for Burford, securing the extra 2 points.

Whilst the two Headington teams took a rest this week, there are now 5 teams in Division 1 with only 2 points between them, but none appear to be closing against the leaders, who remain 11.5 points ahead of the pack. West Witney struggled to get a team with Jimmy Wells and Eddie Dorling coming in at short notice, but despite playing with one triple they managed a 4.5-1.5 victory over Banbury Central with only Keith McNeil winning for Central and Will Young & A J Docherty settling for an exciting draw and half a point each. Andy McIntyre and Dave Leighfield had good rink wins.

Adderbury secured a 4-2 win (75-21); against South Oxford with a notable performance from Phil Gladden’s rink of Mike Jelfs, and messrs Bullard and French, who won 27-11 on their rink. Carterton A went down at home 5-1 against City & County with only Paul Sharman securing his rink win. Chris pollard had the stand-out rink for the Oxford team winning by 5-1 (73-65 shots)

In division 3 the two leaders went head to head, with Woodstock using home advantage to gain a comfortable win 5-1 (73-60 shots) against Chipping Norton. Bicester continued their current good form by beating City & county’s B team by the same margin of 5-1 with A. Wagner’s rink leading the way. Similarly Thame also achieved a 5-1 win to recover some form by beating Blackbird Leys, where A. Turner’s rink scored a point against Bill Giles’ rink

At the half way stage in Division 2, Banbury Borough established the top spot in the league against a resolute Witney town, who scored 2 points, notably with Brian Bloomfield’s win of 26-9, but the skips Mark Sykes and Keith Holloway had strong wins to secure the 4 points overall to take them above a resting Headington B team.

Charlbury had seasoned skip Eddie Lacey back in the team after a long rest and he inspired his team to a 5-1 win and a 27 shot margin over opponents West Oxford, who only had John Baldwin to thank for the solo point. Finally in Division 2, two of the off form teams played together with Witney Mills winning the encounter 4.5- 1.5 (70-62) against Kidlington. Kevin Siford getting a good win for the visitors against Chris Cox’s rink and Paul Robbins getting the better of Paul McGrath’s foursome.

 

Next week divisions 3 & 4 take a short mid season break, whilst the top two leagues continue their programme.

 

OBL Match report for week 5 – 8 June 2023

 

Division 2 and 4 were particularly interesting this week, as the late starters staked their claims for promotion at the end of the season. Banbury Borough raised their game to stun leaders Headington B with a comprehensive win on all rinks. An 86-40 scoreline achieved a 6-0 victory. The local derby between Witney Mills and Witney Town A resulted in a win for the town 69-54 (5-1) with only Kevin Siford getting a point for the Millers. The last game in Div 2 was a closer affair, with West Oxford using their home advantage to narrowly beat Kidlington by a small margin of 2 shots which translated to a 4-2 victory for the West Oxford team. Alan Blackburn and Steve Stubbs had good rinks for the home team, whilst Paul McGrath showed how it should be done for Kidlington.

In Division 4 there are only 2 points separating the top 4 teams, with Carterton B overtaking everyone after a 6-0 win against Banbury Central B, who had led before this fixture. Burford met a determined Banbury Chestnuts team and in a very close game, Banbury scored one extra shot to claim the extra 2 points and an overall score of 3.5 -2.5. Steve Gould for Burford was disappointed to lose 5 shots on the last end, which appeared to tip the victory to the Chestnuts. The final game in Div 4, Bloxham who were bottom of the league coming into this match achieved a 6-0 victory (84-70 pts) over Witney Town B to prove there are no easy wins in this division.

In Division 1, Headington stretched their lead with a 5-1 victory over Carterton, who are their nearest contenders. The rest of the league appear to be competing for second place already. Oxford City & County had the edge over West Witney winning by 2 shots for a 4-2 victory. All rinks were keenly contested. The final game between Banbury Central A and Adderbury was also very close with Phil Gladden winning 11-10 and J Wilkinson winning 17-16 and later D. Bryant drawing with AJ Docherty gave the visitors 2.5 pts, whilst Will Campion bringing home the extra 2 points after a 12 shot win over C. Skidmore’s rink.

In Division 3, Thame continue to struggle finding their best form, with the improving Bicester team taking advantage with a 5-1 win (73-47 points). Chipping Norton showed their promotion potential with a good win over Blackbird Leys, the star of the evening being Chippy’s Mercurial Percy Hickman with a 34-5 rink win. This contributed to a 5-01 win for Chippy with only D. McLellan’s point scoring for the Blackbirds.  Woodstock moved to the top of the league with a 4.5-1.5 victory over City & County’s B team. Tim Stevens and Simon Hopkins for Woodstock getting the big rink wins to secure victory. Congratulations to the City rink of Clive Bristow, Robin Cooper, Tony Wright & Skip Dave Williams for achieving a hotshot on the 12 th end, however, the Woodstock team were not deterred and finished on equal points to share the points.

OBL Match report – week 4 – 1 June 2023

Headington A continue to dominate Division 1 and now have a 10 point lead over nearest rivals Carterton A. Mark Charlett had three men only for the third week running, but this time missed out on the point as a result of the minus 25%. West Witney fought hard on all rinks and the scores were close, 58-64.75 overall. Will Parker was sharing 15 points each with rival Nick Rae-Welsh, but the Headington player gained the winning shot on the last end, A last gasp 3 on the last end from Kevin Alder’s team fell just short of the draw and Shane Cooper won by 0.25 to gain the only point for West Witney.  Will Campion’s rink were solid from start to finish and had two consecutive 7s. AJ Docherty's rink were next to finish. Some very tight heads that didn't go their way, but they kept it tight for only a 7 shot defeat by Keith Mobley. Keith McNeils rink also had some very tight heads and pulled away in the 2nd half for a comfortable win. Nigel Galletly's rink was last to finish and was a tight finish. 3 good bowls from the South Oxford front end that remained to the end but wasn't quite enough and Nigel clung on for a 1 shot win.

The final game in Div 1 was between Adderbury and City & County, with Adderbury getting started with their first win of the season so far. C. Kerr’s team took an early lead 12-5, but C. Skidmore’s rink battled back for a draw at 15-15 all. The match winners for Adderbury with a 4 shot difference were the team of D. Welerhoff, G.Tyrell, M.Stokes and skip B. Ogilvie. The game finished 63 -61 (4.5 -1.5 points) in favour of Adderbury.

In Division 2 it was déjà view with Headington B dominating the lead with 20 points in 4 matches. Headington’s B team scored the highest number of shots of the evening (100) with Witney Mills only managing 35 points. The scores speak for the rest. Charlbury had a close fought win at Kidlington with Eddie Abbey securing the extra 2 points for the win, the other three rinks were a lot tighter. The third fixture in this division was also tight with Witney Town A 76 (5 pts) to West Oxford’s 74 (1 pt). Fabrizio Boer for the Witney side, having the stand out winning rink with a 4 point margin against James Baldwin.

In Div 3, Chipping Norton were disappointed about their 4-2 win over City & County B team, with two close games both going to the home side, but Percy Hickman and Martin Acock had solid wins on their rinks to finish 55-69 overall. Leaders Woodstock gained a 5.5 – 0.5 win over Thame with Tim Stevens and Brian Clarke achieving good rink wins. Thame’s only half point came from the rink skipped by R. Plested. Finally Bicester town achieved their first win of the season, 5-1 against early starters Blackbird Leys. He stand out rink for Bicester was won by K. Taylor with 34 shots compared with the 4.5 shots from the depleted R. Brain’s threesome. Only Dave McLellan managed a point for the away side with Skips A. Wagner and T. Freeman coming home with comfortable wins for Bicester.

Div 4 saw Burford get their second consecutive 6-0 win. This week against a depleted Witney Town B side, with half a dozen regular players being called up for the A team. The score was 89-56 to the home team. Steve Gould and John Hurren’s rinks having comfortable wins. Carterton B continued their yo-yo start with a good win over Banbury Chestnuts. John Gibson and Richard Jeffries having comfortable wins for Carterton with D. Wall playing well for the Chestnuts. Division leaders Banbury Central B had a tight game with Bloxham with only six points difference between the scores, but secured a 5-1 win. T. Miles getting the sole win for Bloxham and P.Humphris scoring with the biggest shot margin for Central. The league table suggests this could be a very competitive league with only 2 points separating the top three teams.

 

OBL Match report – week 3 – 25 May 2023

The highest score this week was accumulated by Chipping Norton with 97 points, although Headington A would have scored over a hundred had they not been deducted 25% for 3 rinks which were a player short !

The following achieved dominant 6-0 victories in their respective divisions: Headington A & B teams, Chipping Norton and Burford, but there were also some very close games, where the results could have gone either way, notably Witney Town B with 66 (2 pts) against Banbury Central B with 68 (4pts), also Charlbury 64 (4pts) against Witney Town A – 63 (2pts). Clearly the rub was not going with Witney Town this week.  Other close games were Woodstock in Div 3 v Blackbird Leys with 65 (4 pts) – 64 (2 pts) in favour of the home team. Witney Mills had a close encounter with Banbury Borough with the score 69 (4 pts) – 68 (2pts) and finally West Witney with 3 winning rinks drawing with Carterton 3-3 thanks to  the last rink of: Dave Pearce-Jones, Jamie McDonough; John Warner & Paul Sharman with a 12 point win, in a match that finished 73-68.

In Division 3, a 7 shot loss on the second end didn’t upset Woodstock’s Brian Clarke who took the next 8 ends to win comfortable. Overall a tight match with both teams successful on 2 rinks saw Woodstock scraping the extra points by one shot. In division 2, there was a 64shots to 63 (4 points to 2) win for Charlbury at home to Witney Town A. This was a very close game with the result in the balance till the very last end of the evening when Mark East took two to win the match by one. Eric Pitts maintained his perfect unbeaten start to the season with Charlbury's highest winning rink.

In division 4, Banbury Chestnuts again scored well to stake their claim of promotion candidates by beating local rivals Bloxham 80-58 (5-1 pts)

 

OBL Match report for results -week 2 – 18 May 2023

 

This week welcomed Division 3 back to the league, with a full programme of games. The division has three co-leaders after the first week and this could be a keenly contested season with a number of closely matched teams. Blackbird Leys don’t usually come away from Oxford C & C with smiling faces, but David Buckwell restricted his opponents to 5 rink ends only and building on a good 10-1 lead , they finished by winning 21-14. Nine points on the 16 th and 17 th ends for Roy Brain’s rink to secure another rink win for the Leys. Despite losing 8 shots in the final 3 ends, Doug McLennan’s team had built up a good lead and won 21-16 giving Blackbird Leys a 5-1 win.

Thame beat a depleted Chipping Norton team, with Chippy’s skip, Martin Acock taking their only point. Alex Fleming built up a final score of 19 points with his trio, but the 25% penalty enabled Bill Giles to get a fractional win of 15- 14.25 to take the point. Messrs Plestead and Rutherford captured the other two points for the home team making it a 5-1 win (68 – 58.25 overall).  The final game was closely contested with Bicester’s captain Paul Dodman’s rink winning 19-11 and being 2 shots up overall with a couple of rinks still to finish. However, the rinks led by Woodstock’s Tim Stevens and Brian Clarke had strong finishes to take 5-1 in points and a lead of 7 shots at the end.

Division 4 also looks to be a competitive division with 4 teams on either 5 or 6 points after the second week. Witney Town B, who beat Carterton B last week, were beaten 5-1 by Banbury Chestnuts this week and Carterton B who lost last week, won 5-1 this week against Bloxham.  Winning 12 of the 18 ends, R. Vicaus won comfortably for the Chestnuts by 24-11. This was supported by a 21-7 victory for L.Selby’s four and D. Evan’s rink secured a 21-13 rink win. Witney’s only point coming from Ian Dick’s rink. Chestnuts won 78-55 (5-1) to get their season off on a high note.

For Carterton B’s win, 7 points on the last three ends secured the rink win for John Warner’s four:  Richard Jeffries team narrowly won 20-19 and Derek Surman’s young team surged home with a 25-15 win to secure the third rink and overall score of 80-67 for a 5-1 win after D. Morse’s home rink win.

In the top division, Headington A staked an early claim to defend their league champion’s status from last year, with a comprehensive 6-0 win over South Oxford, whilst Carterton A got a positive result for their challenge, winning by a single wood overall margin, with 4-2 points against Adderbury. All four rinks for Adderbury scored 15 points each.   In the third game, Ade Kemish and J. Major had good wins for Oxford C &C against Banbury Central’s A team. However Nigel Galletley’s four romped home with a 30-11 win, with Will Campion getting a narrow one point win to secure the overall win for central.

In Division 2 Banbury Borough staked their desire to reach the top division with a big win over opponents  West Oxford.  Skips: Mark Sykes, Darren Sharpe, Keith Holloway and Chris Charles all secured wins on their rinks for Borough, for a 94-39 win and 6 points. Headington B are keen to be a Yoyo team by bouncing back to division 1 this season with their high scoring 91 shots beating Charlbury’s 55 shots. However, rink wins for Mark East and Eric Pitts gained a valuable 2 points for the visitors. Steve Gould notched up a 37-9 rink win for the home team with Rus Edwards also winning comfortably. The third game in Division 2 was between Witney Town A and Kidlington, with the home team securing a 67-56 result for 5 points to 1. Chris Cox’s four gained the only point for the visitors with a 12 point rink win, whilst the other Kidlington skips scored 11 points each, giving wins to the Witney rinks and skips Paul Demczac, Roy Radband and Brian Bloomfield.

My thanks to all those clubs that got the results to me before 12 midnight.

 

Match report for results on 11 May 2023 (week 1)

It wasn’t the greatest weather to start the new season, with some clubs experiencing hail stones, rain, sunshine and grey clouds, but all clubs completed their first scheduled games.

Headington A started their season with a 5-1 win over Banbury Central A, with only AJ Docherty’s rink for the Banbury team, securing a closely contested rink in the last two ends. Mark Charlett and Howard Watts, led their rinks to secure good wins, leaving last year’s champions where they want to be – on top of the league.

Elsewhere, West Witney staked their claim as potential league winners with skips, Shane Cooper, Will Parker and Martin Shepherd ensuring a 5-1 win against Adderbury. Jamie Wilkinson’s rink were looking good after 11 ends with a 13-5 lead, but Will Parker’s team accelerated by winning the final 7 ends to secure a 28-13 win. The third game in Division 1 was won by Carterton against South Oxford with only Neil Whiting’s rink obtaining a single point compared with a good win from Craig Morphet, supported by Paul Sharman and Remy Clanfield who won much closer contests.

In division 2, Witney Mills and West Oxford had a close game, although the score of 5-1 for the Mills suggested it was a comfortable win. It was thanks to John Baldwin for the home team that the final scoreline showed 59 points for the home team, with the Mills securing 66 points.  There were comfortable wins on three rinks for Banbury Borough to secure a 5-1 victory against home team, Charlbury, with Eric Pitts securing the only home point. Banbury Borough have made their intentions clear for going from Div 4 to Div 1 in consecutive years.

Headington B’s skips Colin Whitehead and Russell Edwards scored high wins on their rinks with Paul McGrath and Ben Dickson balancing the match with good wins for Kidlington. Ben Dickson’s foursome finished their game off in style with an impressive 9 points on the last two ends. The match finished 4-2 for the Headington side.

In Division 4, Steve Gould scored the only point for Burford against opponents Banbury Central B. Burford dropped a seven on two rinks in the final stages to make it more comfortable for the Banbury team securing a 70 – 62 (5-1) victory.   Newbies Carterton B found a competitive Witney Town B team on the night with Witney securing a 72-51 victory and a 5-1 win. Only the experienced John Warner led his young rink to victory for Carterton but all the newly formed team will have learned from the experience and will likely bounce back in future games.

The division 3 teams will start their campaigns next week.             .......................................................................................................................................

 

Oxfordshire Bowls League - League Cup Final Report 2022

(left to right): Mark Charlett, Chairman Tony Backer-Holst & Will Campion

 

This year’s League Cup final saw defending champions Headington A make it a League and Cup double for the second year in a row, securing a narrow victory against a battling Banbury Central side.

Banbury Central A were making their first return to the final for 7 years, with both Clubs celebrating a successful season in local and national competitions. The event lived up to expectations, and ended with just 2 shots separating 3 of the 4 rinks.

Once again hosted under the floodlights at Kidlington, Headington were quickest out of the blocks and after 6 ends were slightly ahead on all 4 rinks. At 12 ends there were just 6 shots in the game though, helped by Nigel Galletly’s rink edging in front for Central.

The final 6 ends built to an exciting climax, as both sides adjusted to the floodlights and the changing green conditions. Headington tried to maintain their slender lead, whilst Central battled hard to narrow the gap. Will Campion’s rink picked up 9 shots in the last 6 ends to seal a 1 shot victory for the Banbury side. However, Will’s strong finish was matched by Headington’s captain, Mark Charlett, who’s rink ended Central’s hopes of a late victory, claiming a decisive 20-12 shot win.

Winning captain Mark Charlett commented afterwards, ‘The final was played in great spirit, and was a fitting climax to the League season. I would like to congratulate Banbury Central on a great season, but also thank my own team for securing the League and Cup double, along with the Hawker Cup. I’d also like to thank Kidlington Bowls Club for being great hosts and supporters of the competition’.

The League’s ChairmanTony Backer-Holst presented the trophy to Headington’s Mark Charlett, congratulating both teams for an excellent and exciting final.

The result: Headington A,62–Banbury Central A,52: 

 

M Charlett20, AJ Docherty 12; N Rae-Welsh 15, K McNeil 13; H Watts 13, N Galletly 12; J King 14, W Campion 15.

 

2022 OBL Match Results

 

Final Match Report for games played on 18 August 2022 (week 14)

Another season draws to a close, though one match is still to be played it does not have any chance of changing the final placings for this year.

Whilst we already knew many of the league champions and a number of those club that would be playing in a different division in 2023, some matches played this week had the ability to change club’s seasons.

The Division 1 champions were known some weeks ago, indeed Headington A were considered champions by some almost as soon as the season started! We also knew that Witney Mills were destined to return to Division 2, the final relegation place depended on the results this week. Adderbury were in pole position at the start of the night with a two point advantage but they had a difficult away game against the champions elect to navigate. Headington B were also away, at second place Carterton, needed to better Adderbury’s result by 2.5 points.

Adderbury relied on their long term skips, Chris Skidmore and Phil Gladden to get them a result and they came through on the night, meaning that Headington B had to take 4.5 points off Carterton. Whilst Colin Whitehead and Steve Gould’s rinks produced the required results, Russell Edwards’s men were suffering as Joe Justin’s men were proving too good on the night. Ian Kibblewhite looked as though his rink could make it three points  for the visitors but Baden Sparks pulled away over the final three ends to leave Headington B short of the points they needed and they return to Division 2 with Witney Mills.

Mills went to Banbury Central determined to go down with a fight, which they did for fifteen ends. Unfortunately, Central took eleven off the final ends across the four rinks, outscoring their opponents 17 – 2 in the process. This meant that Central finish third behind Carterton in the league.

City and County B are confirmed as Division 4 champions and their defeat of Banbury Chestnuts also took the losers out of the promotion race. That left Hanborough and Blackbird Leys battling for the second promotion place. The home side needed to all six points from the match to move above the visitors! Martin Oliver ensured three of these with a nineteen point win, Graham Haynes rink won comfortably and Ken William’s men took a miraculous five shots on the final end of their game to snatch a fifth point! Unfortunately, for Hanborough, Leys' Roy Brain was 17 – 8 up at fifteen ends and try as they did, Geoff Thompson rink could only pull seven shots back over the last three ends to leave Hanborough half a point behind Leys, who will play in Division 3 next year.

I have left Division 3 to last as the second promotion place was even closer than that in Division 4! Banbury Borough were already confirmed as champions, Witney Town were also promoted and Central were relegated regardless of the final result. However, the final relegation spot was still available to the other four clubs with only two and a half points separated the four sides, and two playing each other. Chipping Norton appeared to have the easiest game, at home to Banbury Central. Central had other ideas and ran out 5 – 1 winners leaving Chippy to worry about the other games.

Woodstock hosted West Oxford with the visitors needing a result if they were to stay up. On the night they won on three rinks but Woodstock’s Tim Stevens 23 shot win meant the home side also left with three points. This meant that West Oxford was safe but Woodstock needed Banbury Borough to beat Burford 6 – 0 if they were to stay up. Unfortunately, for Burford, Borough did just that finishing with one of the few 100+ points scores of the 18 end era.

In a year of good weather, only one match was lost, and close results, the fact that the final positions in two of the leagues should be contested by eight club sides in all augers well for the future. I  hope that 2023 proves just as good.

 

Match report for results on 11 August 2022 (week 13)

Wow… In my ten years of reporting these results I cannot remember a week with so many postponements – either games that had been postponed and now been played or games postponed from this week.

In  Division 1, both the games involving Headington teams were postponed as the club was involved in a National event, but their A team had caught up with last weeks postponed games against Central, which they won 5 – 1.

That left the Carterton/Adderbury match to be played! Carterton’s Joe Justin showed remarkable team spirit by playing, and skipping, on his 21st birthday and his teammates ensured it was a happy one! Not only did Joe’s rink win but so did Ryan Full’s, which won seven of the last eight ends, after trailing at ten ends. The only Adderbury win was Chris Skidmore’s which had done enough that dropping a six on the final end still left them Infront! The result means that Adderbury are looking over their shoulder this week as Headington B and Witney Mills both have games in hand.

Division 3  should have been simpler but the game between West Oxford and Banbury Borough was actually played in early July! Borough came out on top thanks, largely, to Darren Sharpe’s rink winning by fifteen shots.

Burford’s defeat of Chipping Norton was largely uneventful, with the home side winning comfortably on three rinks but Chippy’s David Lattimore took three shots on the final two ends to force a draw on the fourth rink.

Witney Town ensured their promotion to Division 2 for next season with a, one-sided, defeat of Woodstock.

The fight for the second relegation place could not be tighter with four clubs in the mix and they each play next week.

Surely Division 4 has to be simpler, however!

Witney Town B were still in the promotion race and were away at bottom club Oxford University Press. City and County B were away at close rivals Blackbird Leys. If both away sides won well, they could both be promoted. In the event, neither could manage a win but City and Counties single point was enough to ensure their promotion but not the title. Leys may well have done enough! They won three rinks comfortably but Dennis Richens’ rink, having tried to spoil their own evening by going from 15 – 5 up at twelve ends to lead by a single shot going into the last end, won that for City’s only point of the night!

Witney Town managed four points at OUP but may regret the smash and grab they let Roger Cann’s men get away with, dropping two on the final end to lose the rink.

Highlight of the final game, at Bloxham, was Tony Gardner’s rink for the home side that came from 11 – 18 down with three to play to snatch the win with four shots on the final end!

Blackbird Leys is in the driving seat for the second promotion place but next week’s games could see more upsets!

 

Match Report for games played on 4 August 2022 (week 12)

Oxfordshire clubs have been remarkably successful in National competitions this season and the fixture list has become very congested! This week’s game between Headington A and Banbury Central was postponed due to a fixture clash, and next week will see both Headington A and B postpone their fixtures, leaving only the Adderbury/Carterton match being played.

The two games that were played in Division 1 both ended in seemingly one sided results, with the home sides both winning comfortably. However, the game at West Witney would have been even more one sided had Phil Gladden’s rink not taken seven unanswered shots in the final three ends to come back from 21- 16 down at fifteen ends to snatch a win!

Witney Mills were even more unfortunate, or Carterton more fortunate, as they had three winning rinks at seventeen ends but saw Dan Wakeman’s rink take four shots and Remy Clanfield’s five on the  eighteenth to snatch victories away from the visitors on two of these! The other outcome of the match was that it saw Headington A crowned champions as the trailing teams are now unable to catch them.

Also confirmed as champions are South Oxford, whose defeat of Thame gives them the Division 2 title. Promoted along with them to Division 1 are City and County A , whose win away at Kidlington means that they bounce back to Division 1 next year.

The City and County victory was ensured by Colin Pollard’s rink that came back from the brink of defeat to grab five shots over the last two ends for a win.

Charlbury’s defeat of Bicester ensured their remaining in the same division whilst relegating Bicester who, along with Thame are relegated to Division 3. The highlight, for Charlbury, was Chris Beard’s rink that took six shots on the final end to snatch both victory on their rink and for their club!

Congratulations to Banbury Borough who have been promoted for the second season in a row, this time from  Division 3. A comfortable defeat of Witney Town means that the match this coming week between Witney and Woodstock become a potential promotion battle!

Chipping Norton’s defeat of West Oxford leaves them needing to win both their remaining games to join Banbury Borough in Division 2 next season. The highlight from the game must be Jim Steven’s rinks thirty-four shot winning margin!

In other matches in the division, Banbury Central’s defeat of Burford was all too late for the home side and they are relegated for the second season in a row! Highlights included Burford’s Doug Mustoe’s rink coming from behind at sixteen ends to tie and for Central Mal Leather’s men snatching victory having trailed at sixteen ends.

Division 4 games saw City and County B get promoted back to Division 3, as they cannot be caught by more than one of the chasers. Their match against Hanborough came to a head over the final two ends which City and County won by ten shots to two to swing the match results completely on its head!

Banbury Chestnut’s defeat of Witney Town B leaves the second promotion place still available to any one of four clubs, this could be an interesting two weeks in the division.

 

Blackbird Leys kept their promotion hopes alive with two big rink wins, though dropping the other two on the final end to Bloxham may yet prove costly!

 

Match Report for games played on 28 July 2022 (week 11)

With three weeks of the season left, and without playing themselves this week, Headington A are within one point of the league title as only Carterton can now catch them, and then only if they take all the eighteen points available to them in their last three fixtures and Headington take no more points!

Two of the chasers met at Banbury Central with the home side losing to Carterton as Tim Jupp’s rink scored seven unanswered shots in the final three ends to overcome Will Campion’s rink. Dan Wakeman’s four were so dominant that they could afford to drop a seven on the penultimate end and still win by nine shots!

West Witney’s defeat of Witney Mills almost certainly means relegation for the latter and also relieves any relegation worries they may have had!

This left Adderbury and Headington B to fight it out for the final relegation spot with the home side triumphing. Three very one sided rinks, only Jamie Wilkinson’s men coming from twelve – five down after twelve ends to win by five shots for Adderbury’s third rink win of the match, provided any real excitement.

In Division 2, South Oxford’s whitewash of Bicester proved the most unexpected result of the week, given Bicester’s usual home green advantage! The one close rink in the game saw Keith Mobley’s men come from behind to snatch a win on the last end.

City and County remain second, winning easily on three rinks but Mike Smith’s men held the fourth for a point for Charlbury.

Thame’s defeat of promotion chasing Kidlington was almost as big a surprise as Bicester’s loss. Nine shots over two ends in the middle of the game gave Ray Plested’s rink a win over Chris Cox to cement the win.

Keith Holloway’s twenty eight shot win ensured match points and a win for Banbury Borough in Division 3, despite opponents Woodstock winning two rinks and tying a third!

Behind Banbury Borough, the chase pack still has it all to play for. Witney Town hold second place after beating rivals Chipping Norton in a game of three, one sided, rinks but Paul Demczak’s rink took three shots over the final two ends to win a close game and ensure five points for the winners.

Banbury Central B now look certain to be relegated after another big loss, made to look really bad by Chris Sherwood’s rink which came from behind, winning the last six ends by ten unanswered shots for the fifth point for West Oxford.

City and County B look certain to get promotion from Division 4, despite not playing, after closest rivals Hanborough and Witney Town B both suffered surprise losses.

Bloxham completed their first win of the season, at home to Hanborough, thanks to long term Skips Dave Morse and Tony Gardner rink’s wins. Indeed, Morse’s rink had a flying start going 14 – 2 up after six ends before winning by thirteen shots.

Blackbird Leys defeat of Witney Town B may have been a close affair, but I have no information other than the bare result from both teams!

The final game was at Banbury Chestnuts where OUP, with fifteen players, only won the rink they played a triple on! Highlight of the game was the twenty-seven shot win for D Walls rink for Chestnuts.

Match Report for 21 July 2022 (week 10)

Headington A continue to pull away in Division One, beating third placed Carterton more comfortably than the final score suggests. Easy wins on two rinks for the leaders, but a three on the final end for Gordon Walker’s rink saw them come from behind to win; MarkCharlett was unlucky as his rink actually beat Paul Sharman's but having played as a triple, the shot penalty they incurred meant that Carterton took the point on that rink as well. Headington could win the league next week!

A much needed win for West Witney saw them move clear of the relegation zone. Easy wins for M Shepherd and Will Parker’s men for the home side plus Kevin Alder taking the final six ends by five shots to pull away means that West Witney are now a game ahead of the relegation battle.

Paul Robin’s rink was level with Russel Edwards at twelve ends but scored five unanswered shots over the next three ends to win for Witney Mills but Headington B had won two rinks by a large enough margin to grab the all-important match points in the relegation battle of the week.

South Oxford’s defeat of Kidlington moves them to the top of Division 2 as erstwhile leaders, City and County, lost to Bicester. The game at South Oxford went to the home side thanks to big wins for Keith Mobley and Richard Green’s rinks, despite James Feeley’s efforts!

Bicester took full advantage of their home turf to outplay the leaders City and County to finish with a surprise win. Credit to Alan Wager’s men for the home side as they came from three down with two to play to tie, but the game of the day? season? was that between Keith Taylor and Colin Pollard’s men. Keith careered out at the start going 14 – 0 up in six ends only to be completely outplayed for the rest of the game as Colin’s four won eleven of the last twelve ends to run out winners by five shots!

Thame’s heavy defeat at Charlbury means that they now trail fourth place by thirteen points and already look certainties for relegation.

With Banbury Borough not playing, it should have been time for Witney Town to close the points gap as they played bottom club, Banbury Central B in Division 3. The Banbury club had other ideas, in fact, only Roy Radband’s rink taking three on the final end to force a tie, gave the visitors any points at all.

The situation at the top became even more clouded as Chipping Norton defeated Woodstock comfortably thanks to three big rink wins.

This meant that the game between Burford and West Oxford ceased to be just about avoiding relegation and meant that West Oxford’s big win, whilst still leaving them in fifth place, moved them closer to the top than the bottom of the league.

In Division 4 City and County B moved ahead of the chasing pack with an easy win at Bloxham but it could have been closer as Bloxham’s Ron Higgins led 13 – 4 at eight ends only to lose the remaining ten ends to hand the win to Dave Williams men.

The game at Witney Town was a second place encounter with the home team taking most of the points on offer. G Greenell’s rink won because they scored four on the thirteenth end in an otherwise low scoring game.

Only Paul Tweddle’s men offered any real resistance for OUP as Blackbird Leys kept their promotion hopes alive. His rink started well, going 15 – 4 up after eleven ends, before managing the last seven ends to complete their win.

 

Match Report for 14 July 2022 (week 9)

Division One served to show the gulf between the top of the division and those teams trying to avoid relegation from it. Headington A comfortably defeated West Witney at home whilst BanburyCentral were beating Headington B just as comfortably. The only drama in these matches came at Central where Russell Edward's rink made a valiant, but ultimately vain, attempt to come back against Will Campion's men; Russell’s men clawed back eight shots in the final four ends but still required another shot to tie when they ran out of ends.These two teams now occupy the top two spots in the league.

In the final game Adderbury had a big win at fellow relegation contenders Witney Mills which moved them out of the relegation zone and should give them a chance of staying in the division next year.

In Division 2 City and County A imposed themselves on strugglers Thame. Three comfortable wins plus a last gasp effort saw them move to the top of the league.

Likewise, South Oxford provided an almost as dominant performance against Charlbury, spoiled only by Mark East’s rink taking four shots in the final two ends to tie after Keith Mobley, with three in the last two ends seemed to have given South a clean sweep.

The match between Kidlington and Bicester was close, especially in the last quarter of the game. At fifteen ends, the clubs were tied on shots and winning two games each, at seventeen ends Bicester led by ten shots but Kidlington scored nine more than their rivals on the final ends to lose by a single shot!

Banbury Borough’s demolition of Chipping Norton sees them well clear at the top of Division 3 while Paul Demczak’s rink had a nine shot win, which was sufficient to maintain Witney Town A’s push for promotion at the expense of losers Burford.

The game at Woodstock was much closer with Banbury Central B snatching some points on the final two ends. Brian Ray’s men tied their game with two shots on the last end whilst Dave Davies’s four shots over the last two saw them grab a win. Central still look certain to be relegated however!

City and County B and Hanborough have moved clear of the rest in Division 4. The former’s whitewash of Witney Town B saw another ‘nearly’ game with Micky Banks rink scoring six shots over the final three ends to get within one for the visitors.

Hanborough’s defeat of OUP could have been so different had Geoff Jordan’s rink not fallen as far behind as they had at fourteen ends as their six unanswered shots over the final four ends got them within a single shot!

 

Closest match of the day was at Blackbird Leys where two games were tied and one game won by each team with visitors Chestnuts winning one by three shots and losing the other by two! In fact, Alan Wase’s two on the final end saw the game swing to the visitors!

 

Match Report for 7 July 2022 (week 8)

 

Another fine week for bowls, and the expectation is for the next two weeks to be equally hot!

Headington A continued their domination of Division 1 and appear to have set a new record score for the eighteen end format for the league with a total score of 102 shots against their own B team. No love lost there! Big wins for both Nathan Lewis and Jason King’s rinks though Russell Edwards’ men continued their fine form with their win.

Banbury Central A move into second place with a secure win away at Adderbury. Jamie Wilkinson’s rink did what it could for the home side but it was the game between Chris Skidmore and AJ Doherty’s rinks that stood out! Trailing for most of the game, the home side lead by four shots after fifteen ends in a low scoring game, but the visitors scored five unanswered shots in the final three ends to snatch the point.

West Witney and Carterton provided the closest game in the division. Two seven shot wins, one each, meant the match hinged on the outcome of the final two ends of the other two rinks. Will Parker trailed by two after seventeen ends as did Paul Sharman! Will’s men took the three they needed for victory to put Witney ahead, Paul Sharman’s men managed the two for the tie when a three would have tied the match on shots!

 

City and County A won the battle between the two sides at the top of the Division 2 in a match that was close throughout, though Alan Ley’s rink were unable to win their game despite taking a seven on the ninth end!

Kidlington’s promotion hopes were dealt a blow by Charlbury whose win moves them closer to promotion than relegation! Mike Smith’s men snatched a draw from a game they looked to be losing by a big score! They trailed 17 – 4 at eleven ends only to go on and win six of the final eight ends to tie!

At the foot of the table, Thame snatched the win, thanks to Bill Giles' big win, whilst both they and Bicester have much to do if they are not to be relegated!

 

Banbury Borough now lead Division 3 by a full game having beaten Banbury Central B in a tight game – despite the final score! Central tied two rinks, one thanks to Chris Charles’ men scoring twelve unanswered shots in the last four ends, the other saw Glen Mullard coming from behind to tie the closest match, in the lowest scoring match in the league for some time!

Behind the leaders there is a four way contest going on that looks like determining second place. Comfortable wins this week bring Burford into this contest whilst Witney Town A's defeat of West Oxford moves them into second place.

The other two matches saw generally one sided games on seven of the eight rinks but the game between Chris Sherwood and Brian Bloomfield swung one way, then the other. Chris took a 10 – 5 lead after nine ends only for Brian’s rink to win the next five ends for a 14 – 10 lead. Not to be outdone, Chris’ rink took the final four ends to win 16 – 14!

 

Division 4  matches were also one sided with two of the promotion hopefuls winning well. Unfortunately, erstwhile leaders Hanborough came up against a determined Banbury Chestnuts. The potential underdogs looked as though they would take a clean sweep until Ken William’s men took three on the final end of their game to snatch a win by a single shot.

New leaders of the division are City and County B who comfortably beat bottom team, Oxford University Press. The final game saw Witney Town B defeat strugglers, Bloxham to move into the promotion race.

 

Match Report for 30 June 2022 (week 7)

 

The league reached its halfway point this week giving us the chance to see what was likely to happen with winners,  promotion and relegation at the end of the season.

Headington A continue to dominate, but the rigors of two teams in Division 1 are starting to become apparent. Adderbury were their host this week but Headington could only manage to raise 14 players! Even so, they proved too strong for the opposition, though Nathan Lewis’s rink only grasped control over the last few ends. Of the two triples Headington played Nick Rae-Welsh’s rink just managed a win, by half a shot, once they had had their score adjusted but Mark Charlette’s men lost giving Adderbury a much needed point.

Carterton beat Headington’s B team comfortably. Two rinks were always in control for the visitors and, whilst Tim Warner’s rink only took control of a close contest on end 14, Gordon Walker’s men had to come back from five shots down after 14 ends winning the last four ends by eight shots for their win.

The game at Witney Mills went to the visitors. Alan Wiggins’ rink took seven on end 10, to win their game for the home team but this only served to cancel the seven dropped by Paul Robbins' men in their game against AJ Docherty’s team.

Three teams are competing for promotion in Division 2. The form team are Kidlington, who defeated leaders City and County A this week. City’s ‘Old Boy’ Mike Peterson came back to haunt them with a resounding win whilst a second for James Feeney saw match points going to the visitors.

Five shots in their final two ends saw Keith Mobley’s rink not only come from behind to win their game but also swing the match points to South Oxford and leave Thame in a relegation battle.

The highlight of Charlbury’s defeat of Bicester was Alan Wagner’s win with his rink taking the final seven ends of the game 16 – 3. This, coupled with Paul Sansome’s five shots in the last two ends to snatch victory earned the visitors a needed win.

Surprise win of the week came at Burford in Division 3 with the home sides defeat of Banbury Borough. Indeed, a returning Mark Sykes skipping his rink to a five shot win on the last end to snatch victory for the Borough stopped it being an even better night for Burford.

The Borough still hold first place in the league but the other promotion spot now appears to be between Witney Town A, Woodstock and Chipping Norton.

The latter of these three had a comfortable night at Banbury Central, who look certainties for relegation, indeed their only point came from Eric Trinder’s rink which scored five shots over the final two ends to snatch victory. High point for Chipping Norton was Alex Fleming’s rink that won their final six ends to ensure the match points.

West Oxford can thank James Baldwin rink for their match points as their nineteen shot winning margin more than cancelled out Tim Stevens seven shot win. Mention must be made of Simon Pratt’s losing rink, trailing by ten shots after ten ends and having scored only two shots in those ten, they won the next six ends by a total of nine shots only to have the chance of victory snatched away from them when they lost the seventeenth end!

Ken Williams’ rink snatch victory for Hanborough in Division 4 scoring ten unanswered shots over the last six ends to take the match points by a single shot away to Blackbird Leys. This leaves them clear at the top as closest rival City and County B lost to Banbury Chestnuts. The latter have Alan Wase to thank for their win as their eleven shot winning margin proved too great for the visitors. 

The final game of the night, at Bloxham, was rained off with both teams getting three points.

 

Match report - 23 June 2022 (week 6)

I have to start with the outstanding match of the week! In Division 1, Headington B team’s whitewash of West Witney at Witney! It was not quite as easy, or as big a whitewash as it looks on paper as two rinks could have gone the other way. Colin Whitehead’s men trailed Dave Leighfield by three shots after sixteen ends but scored the needed three on the seventeenth and won the last to snatch their win. Elsewhere, Steve Gould’s rink were leading by three after sixteen ends then dropped the three on the seventeenth to Kevin Alder but they won the last to snatch the win.

Headington’s A team won again and the title already look theirs but Allan Wiggins provided Witney Mills with a point, leading by eight shots after sixteen ends to grab a win.

Carterton whitewashed Adderbury with the only close game being between Phil Gladden and Craig Morphet who were tied at seventeen ends with the latter taking to final end to complete the 6 – 0 score line.

Division 2 provided us with two more one sided games. South Oxford’s win at Bicester was as one sided as the 36 shot win implies whilst the game at Charlbury’s highlight was the fighting spirit of Malcolm East’s men who came from five shots down at 14 ends to win by three shots and, in the process, give Charlbury their only point of the night.

Kidlington’s defeat of Thame was not as one sided as the final scores imply as all four rinks were close at fourteen ends with the home side proving too strong over the final four ends, though it took a last bowl from Chris Cox to reduce Bill Giles’ rink to also run as they were tying until then.

Closest match in Division 3 came at Woodstock where previously high flying Witney Town A were defeated primarily by an exceptional performance by Simon Pratt’s rink who restricted their opponents to four single shot wins to win their game by fifteen shots and grab the match points for the home side.

What, on paper, was going to be a close game at Chipping Norton saw visitors Burford slump to defeat. Jim Stevens’ rink completing the whitewash coming from 15 – 10 down at sixteen ends to grab the six shots they needed over the final two ends.

Banbury Borough’s defeat of West Oxford was on the cards when the visitors arrived with 14 players. Borough showed no mercy winning comfortably on all four rinks!

Division 4 was reduced to two matches this week as Oxford University Press found themselves unable to raise even twelve players. Their erstwhile opponents, Witney Town B were handed the match points.

Blackbird Ley’s M Painton must have thought his rink’s eighteen shot win was sufficient to give the club at least a share of the points but City and County B had different ideas winning the other three rinks by a total of 33 shots!

Bloxham’s game saw close neighbours, Banbury Chestnuts arrive determined to come away with a needed victory. whist they achieved this, Ron Higgin’s rink gave the home side some joy winning the last end of their match to snatch victory whilst Bloxham’s Roy Billington’s men allowed R Vircaus  to take three shots on the final ends for the visitors.

 

Match report - 16 June 2022 (week 5)

Headington A continue to dominate Division 1, this week defeating erstwhile second place team, Banbury Central A. Jason King and Nick Rae-Welsh’s rinks provided the big wins, the former being ably supported by his number three, Ian Henwood, the latter by picking up seven shots on one end towards the end of what had been, until then, a close game.

Carterton’s defeat of Witney Mills was as comfortable as the score line implies. Indeed, Paul Sharman’s rink was fifteen shots in front after nine ends.

Adderbury found West Witney in a determined mood and were unable to stop the visitors winning well on two rinks.

City and County A can thank Omar Sharif’s rink for their defeat of Bicester in Division 2. Whilst they actually lost their rink, they pulled back ten unanswered shots in the final four ends of their game to turn what would have been a close overall result into a comfortable win for the home club.

Thame were unable to repeat their League Cup victory from earlier in the season losing to Charlbury. In a close game, Chris Shannon’s men came from 8 – 14 down after fourteen ends to tie with Eddie Lacey’s four.

The biggest swings of the night came at Kidlington in the closest game of the week! Dave Tidball’s rink started the fun! Five shots down at halfway, they won the second half comfortably, to win 19 – 16. Not to be outdone, Chris Cox’s rink came from five down after fourteen ends to win by two shots. Norman Whiting’s rink then got into the plan coming from six shots down after thirteen ends but, unfortunately for them and their club, they ran out of steam and lost by a single shot!

In Division 3, Witney Town showed their potential with a good win, beating previously undefeated Banbury Borough comfortably, with only still undefeated Keith Holloway’s men able to take a point for the visitors.

West Oxford’s defeat of Chipping Norton was almost a clean sweep but Jim Stevens and David Lattimore’s rinks were able to pull back over their final two ends to tie their games and give the visitors a point.

Burford had a comfortable win over Banbury Central B, whose trials on the road show little sign of abating! Only John Hurren’s rink struggled for the home side, winning only on the final end.

Hanborough still top Division 4 despite losing to City and County B in a close game. Indeed, they led by a single shot overall at sixteen ends only to see the visitors win the final two ends by five shots over the four rinks giving them the match points.

Whilst Blackbird Leys defeat of Bloxham was comfortable enough, they actually led on all four rinks at fifteen ends but Norman Hambridge’s rink took a four on the seventeenth end to win and Ron Higgins’ rink won their last end to tie to allow Bloxham to return home with some points!

The final game of the night saw the biggest winning rink of the night as Brian Carter’s men came away with a twenty shot victory for Witney Town B to cement their win at Banbury Chestnuts.

 

Match report - 9 June 2022 (week 4)

Another fine evening for bowls, though Thursday seems to have colder evenings than most other days!

With Headington A on their bye week, time for other clubs to narrow the gap in  Division 1.

Banbury Central took their chance at Carterton, winning a close game by outscoring the home team by eleven shots over the final four ends. Keith McNeil’s rink played the proverbial game of two halves coming from 5 – 15 down at ten ends to win 21 – 17!

Russell Edward’s rink had another good game andust m have thought that they had done enough to take the match points for Headington B. Going 25 – 3 up after twelve ends before winning by nineteen shots against Adderbury. Phil Gladden and Chris Skidmore’s men had other ideas, winning by a combined nineteen shots to leave the game as balanced as possible. Ian Kibblewhite and Ted Eley were tied at seventeen ends with the home team winning the final end to secure the match points.

Witney Mills defeated West Witney in the closest, geographically, derby in the league, in the closest, shot wise, match of the week! Although Andy McIntyre won his game comfortably and Kevin Alder’s men took four shots on the seventeenth end to snatch their game, Chris Weller’s rink had the upper hand once they had taken a six on the twelfth end and Paul Robbin’s won the last six ends by seven shots in his game to leave the match poised at two rinks each, Mills won all four final ends, each by a single shot, to win the match by a single shot!

Division 2 already has the feel that promotion and relegation issues will be close at the end of the season. For Kidlington, Chris Cox’s rink’s 29 shot winning margin is the biggest in the league for some time and was always going to leave Bicester struggling to catch up.

The win does not promote Kidlington into a promotion slot as South Oxford, with an equally impressive defeat of Charlbury, and City and County with a whitewash at Thame, showed that the experience of playing in Division 1 the previous year helps teams in the division below.

Division 3 matches were all very one-sided! A very impressive Banbury Borough victory  cemented their top spot, while Banbury Central B had their first win of the season, at home to West Oxford. Malcom Leather’s rink’s 26 shot winning margin would have been the league’s biggest in most other weeks of the season!

In third game, at Chipping Norton, the visitors have the ever reliable Brian Bloomfield to thank for their single point. Game of the week, perhaps, was between Tim Ludlow(Witney) and Martin Acock with a low scoring, close game going to the home side only on the very last end.

Bloxham and Banbury Chestnuts continue to struggle in Division 4 both slipping to their third defeats of the season, the latter allowing OUP a rare win.

In this match Dave Barlow and Geoff Jordan’s rinks were both well in front early in the game whilst the other two rinks were close with OUP scoring 4 shots on the final two ends of each almost snatch victories.

Bloxham have Tony Gardner’s rink to thank for their point, his team taking thirteen unanswered shots  to go from 3 – 7 down to 13 – 7 up. Hanborough won the other three rinks as comfortably as the scores make clear and are now well clear at the top of their league.

In this week’s final game, Mel Mansell’s men were level with Brian Carter’s (Witney Town B) at sixteen ends but scored five shots on the final two ends to add to Blackbird Leys points.

 

Match report - 2 June 2022 (week 3)

Welcome to Division 2 clubs. If this week’s results continue this should be an interesting league to follow this year! Only Omar Shariff’s rink was able to win for City and County A in the game between last year’s Division 1 clubs. However, their result put City and County seven shots clear over the four rinks with just the final end to play. South Oxford’s rinks won all four of their final ends by a total of seven shots to force the draw!

Not to be outdone, Kidlington and Charlbury fought out a close match with the eight shots taken by Eric Pitts(Cha) rink over the final two ends taking the match away from the home side.

Thame spoiled the closeness of the league with a comfortable win.

I would love to comment on the result of the Woodstock/Chipping Norton game in Division 3, but I only have the bare results! It was obviously close!

West Oxford and Burford’s game was close with G Richardson’s rink thirteen shot win and Chris Sherwood’s seven shots in the final three ends of his loss, giving West Oxford a share in the points.

Witney Town proved too strong for Central’s B team as they look to bounce straight back to Division 2.

Division 4 is proving difficult for some sides! Bloxham continue to struggle whilst newly formed Witney Town B found Hanborough too hot to handle!

Finally, to Division 1.  Headington A continue to dominate, though for Carterton, Dan Wakeman’s rink led by twelve shots after eleven ends, only to be pegged back by Nathan Lewis’s four with the Carterton rink only taking a single shot in the final seven ends. This proved sufficient as they hung on to win by that one shot.

Witney Mills just won their game against Headington’s B team as their two wins were by a greater margin than their opponents!

 

Match Report 26 May ‘22 (week 2)

 

Week 2 and still no rain, though not as warm as one might expect for the last Thursday in May!

Headington A continue to dominate Division 1, this week winning comfortably at West Witney only David Leighfield’s four stopping a complete whitewash! They scored three shots in the last two ends to tie!

Meanwhile, their B team won at home to Banbury Central in a match where the visitors struggled to adapt to the green early in the game. Eventually, it was Russell Edward’s rink that maintained their big lead to give the home side the match points. Nigel Galletly’s four pulled off what already looks to be the comeback of the season coming from 3 – 17 down to tie at 18 all.

Adderbury proved to strong for Witney Mills with Ted Ely also vying for the comeback prize winning by twelve shots having trailed by seven after eleven ends.

Division 3 saw the two newly promoted sides fare very differently, Burford losing to Witney Town A despite Derek Lafford’s close victory in a match with a tight second half.

Meanwhile, Banbury Borough were almost cruising to victory at Chipping Norton, with only Percy Hickman’s rink’s tight victory able to halt the visitor’s dominance.

The game at Central saw the third big comeback of the week with Woodstock’s Tim Steven’s rink coming from 0 – 8 down to win by eight shots!

Newcomers to the league, Winey Town B, now hold a promotion place in Division 4 having easily won the ‘B’ team match. The match-up between themselves and current leaders Hanborough may determine who will win the division this year.

The other matches were highlighted by close games where rinks just failed to close on their rivals. Martin Oliver (Han) and Paul Tweddle (OUP) both losing out in this way in their game whilst Ron Paignton (Leys) also suffered a similar fate in the final game.

Match Report 19 May ‘22 (week 1)

Another season starts, in three divisions at least! I hope the initial good weather stays with us on every Thursday until late August.

For the first time, two teams from the same club are in the same division, which forced an alteration to league rules in that Headington players will have to choose one team to play for, for the season, that is they would not be able to play for the clubs B team and then, occasionally for the A team in the same season. They were also drawn to play each other on the first game where, as would be expected, the A team proved too strong, though the B team pushed them harder than the final results show.

West Witney got the better of close neighbours Carterton, thanks, in the main, to Kevin Alder’s rink which won by thirteen shots.

Banbury Central eventually proved too strong for neighbours Adderbury in a close game where the overall lead changed often, with a seven shot swing on one rink turning the game to the home club. On the thirteenth end, Keith McNeil’s played a final, desperate, wood into a head where he was trailing by two shots and came out with a five! Such is the vagaries of the game!

Division 3 provided the biggest win of the night at Banbury Borough where the newly promoted home side soundly beat a demoted Banbury Central B. Chris Charles’ rink with a big win cementing the result for the home team.

Brian Bloomfield’s rink’s eleven shot winning margin proved enough to give Witney Town victory at home to West Oxford, whilst Woodstock finally got the better of Burford in a very close encounter.

Geoff Thompson’s eighteen shots winning margin provided the icing on the cake for Hanborough in Division 4 enabling the home side to run out comfortable winners. The rink was nineteen shots ahead after eleven ends.

City and County’s B side were just too strong for Oxford University Press with Dennis Richens’ men winning by eight shots in an otherwise close game.

The week’s final game saw newly formed Witney Town B take on Bloxham and leave victorious in a remarkably close encounter with the game only decided over the last two ends with the visitors doing just enough to emerge victorious.

 

2021 Match Results

Match report for week 14- Games played on 19 August, 2021 and Final positions

So, we come to the end of an odd year! No food after matches, no handshakes for much of the season and ladies playing… Which of these, if any, will still be happening this time next year?

Whilst this would usually be an ‘end of term’ report I must start with the excitement, for some clubs, of the last week of matches. Division 1 and 2  were already decided, as were the champions of Divisions 3 and 4 the final promotion places were up for grabs as was the last relegation spot it Division 3.

With Charlbury already promoted, Thame, West Oxford and Chipping Norton were all still in the hunt for promotion whilst Woodstock or City and County would join Bloxham in Division 4 next year. City and County were matched with Bloxham and took all the game points thus putting them above Woodstock, who played Chipping Norton knowing they needed at least one point to stay up. Chippy knew that they would only be promoted if they took four points more than Thame, who were hosting West Oxford. The match came down to the rink of Ray Plested v Alan Blackburn. At seventeen ends Alan held a four shot lead and Woodstock were safe! However, Ray and his four won the final end by those four shots to tie the game. The half point was enough, and Woodstock will play in division 3 next season with City and County relegated. So, to Thame! They knew that they needed to get more points than Chippy but they struggled… After three rinks were complete, they held a single point and trailed by four shots after seventeen ends on the fourth rink. Ray Plested and his men produced one of the comebacks of the season to tie the rink and give Thame 1.5 points from the game. Had that not happened, Chipping Norton and not Thame would have been promoted!

In Division 4, Burford hosted Hanborough knowing that they needed a 4 – 2 point win to be promoted. Anything less meant that their opponents triumphed! As it turned out, it was a bit of an anti-climax as Tim Stacey’s rink went 21 – 1 up after seven ends to almost guarantee Burford the match points and thus promotion!

The high spots of the season were the three games where teams scored over 100 shots, not easy to do in an eighteen end game. Congratulations to Headington A, Charlbury and Banbury Borough. Also, to the two rinks that scored 40 shots in a game, Brian Bloomfield (Witney Town) and Martin Acock (Chipping Norton).

Low spots: the rain,  late withdrawal of teams making it impossible to give Divisions 2 and 4 sensible fixture lists and, of course, Covid.

A reminder that the AGM is at the end of September and you need to come to give the committee some guidance about 2022 and the new features 2021 and Covid introduced.

I wish you a good winter and hope that you will all be bowling in 2022.

 

Match report for week 13 - Games played on 12 August, 2021 

A week of opposites! For some, the ‘end of term’ spirit had set in as both teams already knew their fate, others knew that the outcome of the game would determine what their season came to.

At the better end of the night, the top two in Division 2 met in their last matches of the season and with the title at stake! Fittingly, the outcome was close with Headington just edging Witney Mills. They will both meet again next year in Division 1. Of the four rinks played, two were close with Colin Whitehead’s Headington four snatching the two shots they needed on the final end to tie their game, whilst Chris Weller (Witney Mills) scored two on each of the last two ends to snatch a win.

In the division’s other game Bicester showed their class with a demolition of Banbury Central.

Division 3 - Champions elect, Charlbury, finally ended any lingering hope that Woodstock might have had of joining them in Division 2 next year, winning a close encounter. However, it could have been quite different as the visitors led on three rinks and by a total of nine shots after fourteen ends. Unfortunately for them they were unable to keep their lead and the points they did get means they cannot be promoted. Indeed, if they lose badly at Chipping Norton and City and County get their expected six points at home to Bloxham they could still be relegated.

Chipping Norton’s win, at home to West Oxford ,leaves both clubs in with a chance of promotion but the six points Thame get for their cancelled match with Bloxham, who were unable to raise a team, puts them in pole position.

We already knew that Banbury Borough are champions of Division 4, but the competition for the second promotion spot has gone down to the final match of the season. Burford and Hanborough can still be promoted and they meet, at Burford, next week!

For once, Division 1 come last in this report as all possible promotion and relegation issues had already been decided. Easy wins for Headington and Adderbury with City and County getting a good win against Carterton just cemented what we already knew.

 

Match Report for week 12 - Games played on 5 August, 2021

First my congratulations to all those teams who actually played on a very wet night! Second, I wonder about those who think bowls matches should be played at all costs as I have a sneaky suspicion that we all wish we had followed Bloxham and Hanborough and called the games off!

As it was, many promotion and relegation issues were finalised, and I would like to congratulate Headington for winning Division 1; Charlbury who have won Division 3 and Banbury Borough who are confirmed champions of Division 4.

My commiserations go to: Witney Mills and City and County A who will play in Division 2 next season, Central B and Witney Town who are relegated from Division 2 and either or both of Bloxham and City and County B who will be relegated from Division 3.

The events of the night itself were:

Division 1  Headington’s seemingly comprehensive defeat of City and County was a much closer affair on two rinks than the final score suggests. Alan Ley’s rink led that of Jason King by six shots after fifteen ends only to lose the final three ends by a total of seven shots! Marcus Bunning’s rink were leading Mark Charlett’s men after twelve ends, but the Headington four took the next five ends, including a six shot sixteenth, to run out comfortable winners.

Carterton were the only club left who could challenge Headington for the title. Unfortunately, they lost a very wet match against Banbury Central to end what hope they had of doing so. With two rinks always under Central control and one going to the visitors the match and points hinged on the game between Nigel Galletly’s four and that of Dan Wakeman. Dan’s men led early on, in the rain, but as the weather improved Nigel’s four pulled back winning the last four ends to snatch victory on their rink and for the club.

At the halfway point in the game at West Witney visitors Adderbury led on all four rinks. The home side staged a great comeback to take three of these including Kevin Alder’s rink which scored five shots on the last end to snatch a win.

In Division 2, Headington B and Witney Mills stay inseparable! To add to the tension, they play each other next week in their final game of the season! With Headington not playing this week, Mills had a chance to put daylight between themselves and their rivals. Unfortunately, they met a Kidlington team needing to win to guarantee staying up! Les Days dropped a five on the first end but then fought back to level at sixteen ends but Alan Rowe’s four were determined and took the last two ends to win. Mills only win came from Allan Wiggins whose four won all but four of the eighteen ends.

The other match succeeded in confirming what we already knew that Banbury Central’s B team are not good enough for the division! Needing to beat closest rivals Witney Town, Central lost on three rinks, including a thirty five shot defeat to Brian Bloomfield’s men, and will now play in Division 3 next year.

In that Division, standings are much more uncertain! Charlbury look to be heading for the title but could still be caught by the clubs behind them whilst Bloxham and City and County B can overtake Woodstock and West Oxford!

In this week’s game, (only one has been played to date!), Thame had an easy win at home to City and County though Keith Croxton's rink for the visitors must have thought they were heading for an easy win when they led 16 – 4 after eight ends. Ray Plested’s team had different ideas and they won the last ten ends for the win.

With Banbury Borough’s match at Hanborough being called off, the three points they took means that they cannot be caught at the top and will therefore be champions in their first season in the league. Again, only one match was played and Burford kept themselves in the promotion hunt with a win at Oxford University Press. The only close rink saw Paul Tweddle’s team win the final end for his sides only point.

 

Intriguingly, Burford meet Hanborough in the final match of the season and it looks as though the winner of that will earn promotion!

 

Match Report for week 11 - Games played on 29 July, 2021

As the season draws towards its finish, promotion and relegation become forefront in the planning of many sides. With two teams to be promoted in all divisions, clubs in Division 2 are the most likely to play in a different division next year.

In Division 1, Headington still look to be heading for another title, despite slipping up again against Adderbury! Bryan Ogilvie’s team demolished Mark Charlett’s men in the second half of their game to win comfortably and Chris Skidmore’s four went 16 – 6 up after thirteen ends. For Headington, Nathan Lewis was always ahead, and it took Jason King’s demolition of Darren Sharpe’s rink to get the scores back to level. However, Headington still have three games to play whilst chasers, Carterton only have two.

Carterton’s demolition of South Oxford leaves the latter looking relegation in the mouth as their two remaining fixtures involve trips to both Adderbury and Headington.

City and County can feel let down by their absentee player! Forced to play a triple on one rink, this meant that they dropped 4.5 shots on that rink at the end of the match, to lose it by 0.5 shots! Worse, in a close game, they lost the overall match by a single shot! Had they put anyone on the rink they could have taken the match 4 – 2, as it was they lost 5 – 1 and, probable, guaranteed their relegation as a result!

Congratulations to Headington B and Witney Mills who will be playing in Division 1 next season as neither can now be caught by their closest chasers Bicester.

Headington played as though they knew this as they lost at home to Kidlington in a close match but one where the visitors had the upper hand from the start. Indeed, Steve Gould’s rink pulled back from 7 -  12 after fourteen ends to force a draw with Paul McGrath’s rink for Headington’s half point!

Allan Wigging’s rink proved the difference in the match at Witney Mills, their eleven shot victory giving the home side the match points and, crucially at this point in the season, widening the gap to opponents, Bicester, in the race for promotion.

Kidlington now need two points from their remaining games to ensure their safety and relegate Witney Town and Banbury Central B.

In Division 3, Charlbury’s whitewash of Bloxham ensures their promotion as their chasing rivals cannot overtake their points total, so I add my congratulations to them.

Elsewhere in the division, almost anything is possible with three clubs within half a point of each other. but it will take a perfect set of results to stop Bloxham being relegated. Of the three clubs most likely to be promoted, West Oxford still have fixtures against both Thame and Chipping Norton!

In this week’s matches the best performance came from Gary Richardson’s West Oxford rink who trailed 6 – 12 after twelve ends against Woodstock to then score thirteen unanswered shots over the last six ends!

Chipping Norton moved to second spot with a comprehensive victory over City and County.

Division 4 looks almost as enticing with our clubs still in the promotion race. Banbury Borough’s defeat of close rivals Chestnuts saw the absolute comeback of the week from AJ Docherty’s rink as they scored five shots in the last two ends, including a final end four, to tie with Richard Morris men!

 

Burford’s home win over Blackbird Leys was guaranteed by Doug Mustoe’s rink which won by nineteen shots to ensure the home side points.

 

 

Match Report for week 10 - Games played on 22 July, 2021

On yet another very good evening for bowling, Carterton closed the points gap to Headington in Division 1 with a comprehensive defeat of close rivals West Witney. It could, in fact, have been an even more emphatic victory as Tim Warner’s rink led 16 – 11 at fourteen ends only to lose the last four ends, and the game, to Witney’s Will Parker.

The other two fixtures provided slightly unexpected results! Central travelled to South Oxford with expectations of a fine win. Keith Mobley had other ideas! After losing the first two ends to Central’s Keith McNeil and dropping five shots on the sixth end, he and his team won nine of the final twelve ends to win by 18 shots. Central were unable to close the gap and South Oxford ended the night with a good win.

The game at City and County was equally unexpected and indeed looked to be close until the twelfth end with each club winning two rinks at that point. Unfortunately, for the home team, Alan Ley’s rink, who were winning 12 – 6 at that time dropped five on the fifteenth end and two on the last to lose their game whilst Chris Lewis, who had led 15 – 7 after eleven ends lost the next six to Darren Sharpe’s men to trail 15 – 18 at seventeen ends and failed to score enough on the last.

Little of note to report from Division 2 where Whitney Mills and Headington have now moved clear of the rest and look set for the top division next year. Indeed, only Brian Bloomfield’s men were able to put up much resistance, but even they, whilst leading 14 – 10 after fifteen ends, dropped a five on the next to trail but bounced back to win the final two ends and the game for Town’s single point.

Tightest game of the week was at City and County in Division 3 where the home side fought out a draw with runaway leaders Charlbury. One easy win apiece meant the match hinged on the rinks between Dennis Richens and Mark East; and Bob Heavens and Eddie Abbey. Mark’s men lead until fifteenth end then trailed after seventeen only to take two on the last to grab back the lead for Charlbury. Bob’s men led 17 – 6 after thirteen ends only to find their lead cut to 17 – 14 after sixteen ends. A two on the penultimate end proved enough though Eddie’s final end two saw the match tied!

Elsewhere, Thame’s Chris Shannon just failed to close a six shot gap at sixteen ends losing to Chipping Norton’s Keith Field’s team, whilst the game at Bloxham saw the home side do just  enough to get match points from visitors Woodstock.

Banbury Borough have found a way to win in Division 4 and used it to good effect again this week defeating Oxford University Press very comfortably going clear at the top of the division in the process.

The final match of the week saw Banbury Chestnuts grab the match points in a close encounter with Hanborough. Richard Morris and his team’s eleven shots win proved enough to give Chestnuts the match points.

 

Match Report for week 9 - Games played on 15 July, 2021

Normal service was resumed this week, at least in Division 1 if nowhere else, with Headington and West Witney winning away from home.

Headington’s game at Carterton was notable on two rinks. Ray Gaskins rink went 19 – 0 up after seven ends(!) whilst Nick Rae-Welsh’s scored three on the last end to snatch a victory.

At Central, Kevin Alder found himself 7 – 18 down after fourteen ends and, despite winning last four was unable to close the gap. Likewise, Nigel Galletly was 2 – 16 down at the halfway point thanks to some superb bowling by Will Parker and Andy McIntyre, a gap that proved to big to close in the second half of the game. David Leighfield’s demolition of his opponents meant that the match points were always going to the visitors.

The bottom two met at City and County with the points, just, going to the home side. Alan Ley’s rink took the three shots they needed on the final two ends to draw their match after Richard Green’s rink had won the last end, and his rink, for South Oxford.

In Division 2, Headington’s comprehensive defeat of Witney Town saw them move closer to the top division. Only Brian Bloomfield’s rink was able to put up any real resistance finally losing on the last end.

Banbury remain rooted at the foot of the table though Eric Trinder’s rink salvage some pride with a big win. Of the other three skip’s only Tom McKenna manged some respectability as Witney Mills near promotion back to the top division.

Bicester, the third side left in the promotion battle, maintained their hopes with an away win at Kidlington in a match of four hard earned victories, three of which went to the visitors.

Runaway leaders in Division 3, Charlbury, finally overcame the seventeen shot deficit they accrued with Bill Giles big win for Thame. Eric Abbey and Mike Smith won by a total of 23 shots to put the home side ahead whilst Mark East came from 9 – 17 after thirteen ends to tie with a two shot final end.

West Oxford and Bloxham each won two rinks but Dave Morse’s (12) and Alan Miles (8) for Bloxham outscored John Parker (11) and Gary Richardson (6) for West to give Bloxham the match points. However, they still remain in the bottom spot.

Best match, for the spectator if not all the players, came at Woodstock. While Paul Stevens was winning comfortably for the home side, the other three rinks were the stuff made of legend! Bob Heavens(C&C) was 15 – 10 down after fifteen ends but fought back with six shots over the final three ends to snatch a point; Eddie Stevens (W) trailed by six shots after twelve ends only to snatch a win with two shots on the final end; not to be outdone, Brian Clark(W) trailing by six shots at fifteen ends took the required six on the next end and went on to win the game!

Division 4 would have had to be outstanding to match the higher ones. Try as they might, it proved impossible! Banbury Borough continued to show just how strong they can be with a comprehensive demolition of Blackbird Leys. Indeed, only Roy Brain survived the onslaught and then only for twelve ends with Borough’s John Brooks winning the next five ends to clinch the win.

In the final match, Geoff Jordan’s rink managed to give me something to write about! Trailing by eight shots after eight ends, he skipped his rink to victory as they won the next ten ends, each by a single shot! Elsewhere the rinks were very one sided with Hanborough taking match points to maintain their push for promotion.

 
Match Report for week 8 - Games played on 8 July, 2021
 

Wow!

Division 1 re-wrote the script this week! Leaders Headington and second placed Carterton were both beaten while third placed West Witney were held to a draw.

Headington were at home to Banbury Central, the club they had scored over 100 shots against at the start of the season. From the off, Will Campion’s rink dominated Mark Charley’s four with a star performance from teenager Luke Gilbert, called in to replace his father who was away on business! Try as they may, Mark’s men could not get into the game.

Elsewhere, it still looked to be Headington's match. Nigel Galletly’s four were ten shots adrift with two to play, but scored seven shots over those ends to get within two. Keith McNeil trailing by eight shots at twelve ends, won five of the last six to move into the lead. The fourth rink had become a real battle! Nick Rae-Welsh led  8 – 4 for Headington after six ends, only for Lee Young’s men to lead 14 – 9 after twelve! The home rink then won the final six ends to win 24 – 14!

The match at West Witney was almost as big an epic! Neil Whiting’s rink scored seven shots in the final two ends to come from  13 – 16 down; Dave Tidball scored four to come from behind while Keith Mobley scored four on the seventeenth end to retake the lead. Mention must be made of the fourth rink, which West Witney won comfortably. However, David Leighfield and his team must regret the two shots dropped on their final end as it, ultimately, cost the club a share of the match points!

At Adderbury, three ends were very one sided, going 2 –  1 to the home team, the final rink saw Chris Skidmore’s men take seven of eight ends in the middle of the game for a lead that the opposition could not recover from.

Division 2 was much less spectacular. Highlights were Kidlington’s James Feeley’s rink scoring a seven shot end in a one sided game and Central’s Tom McKenna outscoring Colin Whitehead’s team 9 – 1 over the final six ends in an ultimately futile attempt to close a big gap.

Division 3 produced a cracker and two damp squibs! Easy away wins for Charlbury and Woodstock were offset by the game at City and County. One easy win apiece meant that the match was close with the home side one shot Infront on total score. John Parker’s rink took seven shots over the final three ends of their game to give West Oxford a two shot advantage. Keith Crox0n led Chris Sherwood by one shot after 17 ends, rink and match points depended on the last end, which went to Keith’s men by two shots so match points to City and County.

Division 4 saw all three away sides win easily. Best result was at Burford where Banbury Borough finally showed what we had all believed possible; winning on two ends and drawing the other two in a match against their promotion rivals. Dougie Mustoe must have thought that his rink was in a winning position with a five shot lead with three ends to play but John Brooks’ men had other ideas taking the needed five to tie. Better came from Derek Lafford’s men who, in the comeback of the season,  came from 4 – 16 down to AJ Docherty after ten ends to tie the game by winning the remaining eight ends!

The other two games were anything but spectacular, even the tied ends were single shots on the last end of close games.

 
Match Report for week 7 - Games played on 1 July, 2021
 

The halfway point in the season is normally my chance to give my opinions as to who could win promotion and who may be relegated. However, this week’s report must start with the most outstanding final end of bowls I have had the pleasure of reporting on!

In the game between Blackbird Leys and Banbury Chestnuts in Division 4, home skip Steve O’Keefe’s rink, facing Alan Wase’s four, had trailed throughout the match and werebehind by six shots after 17 ends.Needing to achieve the seemingly impossible he and his four did just that to draw and earn a well-deserved pat on the back!

The rest of the rinks were not so exciting though Dai Evans clawed back most of a thirteen shot deficit, scoring eleven unanswered shots over the final five ends, but just failed to snatch anything from the game.

The other game in the division featured four comfortable wins as the home side, Hanborough, took the spoils against promotion rivals Burford to leave them top of the table but in a three way promotion battle.

Back in the top division, Headington seem to be taking their foot off the accelerator! Bottom team South Oxford entertained their near neighbours and took more points off them than most others have achieved. Keith Mobley’s rink led for sixteen ends only to have Nick Rae-Welsh creep into the lead on end seventeen. A single shot on the last was enough for the home side to tie. Better still, Dave Tidball’s rink led from the start, but Jason King scored eleven shots in seven ends to lead for the only time in the game after seventeen ends. Dave had other ideas and his rink scored the two they needed on the last to regain the lead.

City and County would have hoped for more than a single point from their match with West Witney and Adderbury went to local club Banbury Central aiming to come away with a win but had to be satisfied with two points.

The Division seems to have split into two with three teams pulling away from the others, who are themselves involved in a relegation fight, but nothing has yet been decided though few would bet on Headington retaining their title!

Division 2 featured two one sided matches, but the single rinks won by the visitors deserve mention. Central’s Dave Davies’ men won a close game on the last end while Tim Ludlow winning rink scored a seven shot sixth end, having scored three on each of the previous two ends to lead by seven after six ends, a gap his opponents were unable to close.

As the top division, this one is now a division of two halves with the top three teams vying for promotion and the bottom three trying to avoid relegation.

The Bloxham v City and County game in Division 3 was one of those where a single rink swung the game. Andy Crawley’s twenty-two shot winning margin gave the visitors an equal share of the points, as the other three rinks, although close, went to the home side. However, Bloxham remain rooted to the foot of the table and will have to beat the odds, and more of their opponents, to stave off relegation.

The game between Chipping Norton and Woodstock was as one sided as the result show whilst that at West Oxford was remarkable not for the result but for the run of winning ends produced by both teams. Chris Studds four took the first six and last six ends in their game but won only one of the middle six. Ray Plested took the last six of their game to come from behind while Graham Watson’s men won ends ten to sixteen! 
 
Match Report for week 6 - Games played on 24 June, 2021
 
The top clash this week was at West Witney where the home team came close against leaders Headington but were eventually, like all others so far, worn down by the opposition. They came away with two tied rinks; Will Parker’s rink swapped the lead through much of their game with N Rae-Welsh’s rink winning the final end by a single shot to force a tie; David Leighfield’s rink led Howard Watts by four shots with three ends to play but the Headington skip forced a draw in the game.

Rob Clanfield led 15-5 at ten ends in the match at Carterton but his rival from City and County won the next seven ends to tie the game only for the home rink to snatch victory on the last end.

The final match in Division 1 saw Adderbury win comfortably at South Oxford leaving the home side looking favourites for relegation even at this stage of the season.

Division 2 only featured two games this week and Banbury Central were unable to repeat their feat of the previous week and reverted to their early season form losing to leaders Bicester. Indeed, only Dave Davies’ rink put up a fight, leading by four after 15 ends only to see their lead whittled away to lose the game on the final end.

Comeback of the week was by Witney Mills’ Les Days’ rink which trailed by six shots after 14 ends but snatched a draw on the last whist Steve Claridge won the last two ends to snatch victory for Headington B in the same match.

In Division 3, Chris Studds’ West Oxford rink scored three on the final end to tie their game, whilst Chipping Norton’s Percy Hickman skipped his four back from a five shot deficit after fourteen ends to have a chance of a win but …

However, almost comeback of the week was in Division 4, where Derek Lafford’s rink which trailed by ten shots after twelve ends in Burford’s match to draw level at seventeen ends only to lose the last and the game to Chestnut’s Alan Wase.

Though Blackbird Leys’ Roy Brain’s men trailed by five shots at thirteen ends against OUP’s Roger Cann they took the lead after seventeen ends only to lose the last and have to settle for a draw.

The next set of fixtures will bring the league to its halfway point for the season and should demonstrate who might win and lose most divisions.

 
Match Report for week 5 - Games played on 17 June, 2021

As the league approaches the halfway point in the season, league positions begin to matter as clubs consider either winning divisions or relegation from them!

Congratulations to City and County’s M Clarkes’ rink as they became the first this season to defeat a Headington rink in Division 1. However, Headington still won the other three rinks to maintain their grip on the division.

Banbury Central’s Keith McNeilshowed real determination to come from 10-14 down after 14 ends and snatch the game on the final end. The other three rinks were one sided affairs, especially as the games progressed with Carterton scoring enough shots to get match points.

West Witney proved too strong for Adderbury although David Leighfield’s rink had to win the final end of their game to ensure the sixth point for his club.

Central’s B team roared back from early season disappointments in Division 2 to defeat Witney Town with Dave Davies’ men scoring seven shots over the final four ends to grab their win.

The other match in the division saw Witney Mills triumph but Kidlington pushed them close on three rinks. Alan Rowe’s rink pulled five shots back on Paul Robbins over the final few ends to lose by a single shot, Paul McGrath won the final end of his game to tie, and Chris Cox’s rink won the last end by three shots to snatch victory!

Charlbury came close to getting all six points at home to West Oxford in Division 3 but both Chris Sherwood and John Parker’s rinks proved just too strong for the visitors, winning final ends in their games which could easily have gone to their home side.

Bloxham’s Alan Miles was six adrift at 13 ends but came back to tie the game, but this proved the only ray of sunshine for the club as Chipping Norton proved far too strong on the other three rinks which included a 35 shot winning margin on one.

Thame’s Ray Plested’s rink rubbed salt into City and Counties wounds scoring three shots on the final end to snatch a win.

Whilst the Burford/OUP clash in Division 4 saw four very one-sided rinks the top of the table clash between Banbury Borough and Hanborough was different! At first sight, Keith Holloway’s win looks one sided but Ken William’s men scored eight shots without reply at the start of the game only for the home side to win the next ten ends! At 12 – 6 after 13 ends AJ Docherty must have thought the game over but his rink only won one more end to hang on for victory while John Brooks was in a similar position at 15 – 7 at 13 ends but hanging on for the win!

 
Match report for week 4 - Games played on June 10, 2021

First an apology! Given the busy weekend, football, family, garden, good weather … the need to do this completely slipped my mind. As it is, there was little to report from last weeks fixtures that cannot be gleaned from the results so here is a brief synopsis of the events that cannot.

In Division 1 the game at Headington was as comfortably one sided as the results imply, other than the game between Howard Watts and Ted Ely where the latter pulled back from an eight shot deficit after eleven ends to level at seventeen ends only for the home rink to snatch the last end for a one shot win.

Carterton’s away win at South Oxford was a closer affair, especially for Paul Sharman’s rink who dropped a five on the final end to see their comfortable lead cut to a single shot!

Chris Lewis’s triple always held a comfortable lead in their game, but Will Campion needed two shots on the last end to win but was held to a single shot to give City and County the win by half a shot!

Headington continued the clubs’ winning ways in Division 2 but only because Kelvin Woodward’s rink won the final end of their game by a single shot. Had Kidlington’s James Feeley won the end then they would have taken match honours!

Witney Mills won, comfortably, on three of the four rinks to give them their win in the other game in the division.

For Woodstock, Tim Stevens rink took four shots in the final two ends to tie their game, but it was not enough for the club as they lost a tight match at West Oxford in Division 3.

Elsewhere, Percy Hickman’s team came from behind over the last two ends to snatch victory for Chipping Norton whilst Charlbury’s win at Bloxham was one of the biggest in the league this year.

The two new teams met at Banbury Chestnuts in Division 4 with the home side coming out on top, to many people’s surprise! Although Banbury Borough’s AJ Docherty won his rink comfortably, the home side were able to snatch a win by a single shot!

The Final match saw Burford beat Blackbird Leys comfortably.

 
Match report for week 3 - Games played on June 3, 2021

Week three of this season’s league was, for the first time, played in conditions suitable for good bowling!

With Headington having a bye, Division one’s big game was at Carterton where the home team had a seemingly comfortable victory. However, close neighbours, West Wintney, almost won a second game with Brandon Sparkes needing to win the final end against Kevin Alder as they were tied going into it.

Adderbury’s Darren Sharpe’srink scored eight shots over the final three ends of theirgame to snatch victory, not only on their rink but also in the match points for their club.

Nigel Galletly’s rink won five of the last six ends to grab a point from South Oxford’s Richard Green and give Banbury Central all six points from an otherwise very one-sided game.

Kevin Taylor snatched a point for Bicester by winning the final end of his rink but that was all Bicester could muster as opponents Headington continue their quest for promotion from Division two and so become the first club with two teams in Division one.

The other match in the division saw Witney Mills triumph in a local derby with Witney Town. Only Tim Ludlow’s rink were able to save face for the visitors having dropped ten shots in two ends to Les Day’s men they won the last three ends to grab a point.

Division three is, once again, proving the tightest of the divisions. Erstwhile leaders, Charlbury, lost at home to City and County in a game they were winning comfortably after fourteen ends only to have their opponents dominate the final four ends and snatch victory.

Thame’s defeat of Chipping Norton could have been a much tighter affair, but G Watson’s rink came from behind to win on the last end to make the club’s win more comfortable.

Tim Steven’s men guaranteed Woodstock the match points with a comfortable nineteen shot win, handing Bloxham their first defeat.

Hanborough continued their winning season in Division four, this week defeating ‘new boys’ Banbury Chestnuts, whilst the other new club, Banbury Borough, seem to have found their form producing the second ton plus of match shots in the league this season at home to Oxford University Press. Keith Holloway’s thirty-two shot win being the largest in the league this week.

 
 
Match report for week 2 - Games played on May 27th 2021
 
 The new bowls season continues, despite covid restrictions, although the pandemic still has effects. South Oxford are unable to raise a B team and have pulled this team out of the league, meaning that division 4 now only has six teams.
 
Headington continue to dominate Division One, this week they overwhelmed Carterton for their second maximum points score. Banbury Central’s struggles continue, losing for the second week, this time away at West Whitney. Two close rinks in the match resulted in one victory apiece with Shane Cooper's men getting the better of the later stages in their game whilst Will Campion’s rink gave Central their first points in what was probably the tightest match in league history with only twenty shots being scored in eighteen ends of bowls.
 
The final match in the division saw Dave Tidball’s rink go thirteen shots clear at the halfway point, a lead they maintained to the end of the game, giving South Oxford the match by a single shot.
 
Division 2 saw comfortable victories for both Headington B and Bicester. Russell Edward’s rink scored four on the sixteenth end to sneak a lead that their opponents were unable to pull back, to ensure Headington’s win whilst James Feeley was just unable to catch Kevin Taylor and grab Kidlington a point and Bicester got maximum points.
 
In Division 3, Chris Sherwood and Tim Stevens provided their respective clubs with their only winning rinks but, in both cases, winning by such large margins that their clubs outscored their opponents overall to take the match points giving us the unusual occurrence of two tied games in the same division in the same week.
 
With South Oxford’s withdrawal there were only two games in Division 4. James Baldwin’s twenty-three shot win proved enough to give Blackbird Leys victory at home to Banbury Borough, whilst Hanborough won a tight game at home to Oxford University Press to go top of the league in this very early stage of the season.

 

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Match report for week 1 of the OBL - games played on 20 May 2021 

Well! We waited 20 months to get a nice warm game of outdoor bowls and ended up playing in what can best be described as a November storm!

The pandemic cost the league three long standing members with Shiplake, Watlington and Chadlington unable to field side this season. These withdrawals were off set by the addition of the returning Banbury Chestnuts and, new arrivals, Banbury Borough.

In Division One, Headington resumed where they left off with an emphatic victory away at Banbury Central. The highlight of this game was the match between Lee Young of Central and Mark Charlett with the latter snatching victory on the final end.

Elsewhere in the division, newly promoted Adderbury and South Oxford learned just how difficult it is to win in the top division. Both losing away from home to established Division 1 sides.

Division two only consists of six teams and, with Shiplake’s late withdrawal making it impossible to reorganise fixtures, some weeks, like this one, will only have two games. This week’s matches were both one sided, though James Feeley’s Kidlington rink looked well set for victory against Witney Town only to see their twelve shot lead after ten ends dwindle to a single shot at the end of the game.

Brian Clarke’s men were the difference between Woodstock and Thame in Division 3; their fifteen shot winning margin giving the home side the win in a close encounter.

Death bowlers of the week were the Charlbury side which, collectively, came from six shots back at fifteen ends to win by thirteen shots against Chipping Norton.

The other new team, Banbury Borough, made their intentions known with a hard fought victory against Burford in a match that included the first ‘hot shot’ of the season for John Hurren’s men in scoring the maximum eight shots on the fifth end of a game they eventually hung on to, to win by two shots.

Hopefully, normal service will return this week with the weather forecast seeming to conform to a more summer like service.