Just two teams are still undefeated

Oxford Mail: David Quinn David Quinn

Five rounds into the present campaign and only two sides can boast 100 per cent winning records.

The Ploughman’s Bunch! (Wolvercote) is one such proud owner, and they sit atop the Premier Section courtesy of their latest conquest, that of fellow title rivals, Far From The Madding Crowd A’ (Oxford City), 83-67. The latter are suffering badly with availability, fielding only three players in each of their last two outings. For the Bunch!, benefiting contrastingly from a surfeit of team members, they now enter the Christmas break in a strong position to add the Winter title to that secured in the summer.

The other perfect start belongs to the Royal Sun (Begbroke), front runners in the West. In a contest, closer, I am informed, than the scoreline suggests, they overcame hosts, the Woodman (North Leigh), 72-56, the latter distracted perhaps by events being simultaneously broadcast into the pub from a stadium in Gateshead.

Due to a quirk in the fixture list, the White Hart (Eynsham), lying second in the division, played only their first home match last Thursday, but their travels on the road have yielded three wins from four starts, and they added to their success with a hard-fought 69-64 victory over defending champions, the Windrush Club (Witney). Despite a gutsy performance against Premiership big guns, the Plough (Wolvercote), the misery continues for the Black’s Head (Bletchingdon). A 56-79 defeat means they remain winless and rooted to the foot of the West table.

We may be entering the festive period, but there was precious little benevolence evident at Far From The Madding Crowd, where the ‘B’ team were crushed by visitors, the Green Road Club, 85-28. This latest triumph for the Kidlington crew sees them take over pace-setting duties in the Oxford Division from the North Oxford Conservative Club (Summertown), who themselves were on the receiving end of a battering from the Hatchet (Childrey), 77-56. After beginning the season with back-to-back successes, the Black Swan (East Oxford) succumbed for the third time running, this time at the Gardener’s Arms (North Parade), 67-51.

In the East, the Green Dragon roars on! Beaten in their opener, the Haddenham outfit has now reeled in four consecutive victories, their latest, a 73-55 mauling of the King’s Arms (Wheatley).

Meanwhile, the Eight Bells (Long Crendon) bounced back from a hammering by the Green Dragon seven days earlier to outgun the Chandos Arms (Oakley), 60-47.

Finally, in the North, where my eulogising of the Bell (Lower Heyford) in last Tuesday’s column, provided the inevitable kiss of death for the league leaders. Hitherto unbeaten, they fell at the hands of the Chequers (Chipping Norton), 54-66. Capitalising on this event, the Blue Boar Bees (also ‘Chippy’) moved into the Bell’s slipstream with a narrow, 66-58 defeat of the Seacourt Bridge (Botley), whilst their stablemate, the Blue Boar ‘A’, squeezed past the luckless Sun Inn (Hook Norton), 56-51.

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