ALTHOUGH last Thursday marked only the mid-point of the season, it’s a fair bet that the Ploughman’s Bunch! (Wolvercote) are not going to successfully defend the Premiership title they won last summer.
Their latest defeat, against arch-rivals and stablemate the Plough, was already their fourth of the campaign and they now trail by a massive eight points in the table.
At one stage in last week’s match, it looked like a much-needed victory might have been on the cards. Trailing by nine early doors, an excellent picture round catapulted them into a five point lead. However, this swiftly evaporated in the second half and the Plough kept chipping away to eventually prevail 78-72.
Having extinguished one team’s championship aspirations, the Plough could significantly damage another’s when they take on the Royal Blenheim ‘A’ (Oxford City) in a couple of day’s time. The latter are hanging on to the league leader’s coat tails courtesy of a narrow victory over the North Oxford Conservative Club (Summertown). Behind by one with two rounds remaining, their superior knowledge of Africa saw them edge ahead prompting their opponents to implode, the Blenheim sealing the contest 77-69.
The ‘Doc’, one of the Blenheim stalwarts, did not have one of his better nights. A fully qualified GP, he failed to correctly answer any (and bizarrely there were several) of the medically related questions. Copping a fair amount of flak for this from both sides, he confided that he was changing to a career in psychiatry. The collective relief was palpable – a wiser and doubtless, for us, safer choice!
After their setback seven days earlier, the Black’s Head (Bletchingdon) returned to winning ways with success over the Royal Sun (Begbroke). Opening up a five point advantage in the first half, they extended it to eight by the end, running out victors 75-67. They now possess a four point cushion at the summit of Section One.
In contrast to their heroics of recent weeks, the Seacourt Bridge (Botley) were handed out a right hammering at home to the Black Swan (East Oxford). One can only imagine they must have been missing a key player or two as they were bludgeoned 71-42.
A gutsy effort by the Royal Blenheim ‘B’ was not enough to take the spoils at the White Hart (Eynsham) but their tally in this 60-75 loss was greater than their average so far this season.
With those reverses for both the Con Club and the Royal Sun, the Green Road Club (Kidlington) did not waste the opportunity to renew their claim to divisional honours. In a thriller against the Gardener’s Arms (North Parade), they sneaked home on the last pair of questions, 63-60.
With the Black’s Head up next for them, things could get very interesting indeed towards the top of Section One.
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