BOWLS: Oxfordshire up against it after opening defeat

Oxon’s Shane Cooper (left) and Paul Sharman show their approval of this end during their 23-19 win

Oxon’s Shane Cooper (left) and Paul Sharman show their approval of this end during their 23-19 win

First published in Sport

Oxfordshire face an uphill task to progress in the Middleton Cup after losing their opening match 115-109 against Middlesex at Oxford City & County.

Too many of the Oxon team failed to show anywhere near their best form as they lost out on points 18-4 in the South Group Section B clash.

Captain Alan Prew and Carterton clubmate Paul Sharman guided their rinks to victory by 22 and four shots respectively over Phil Sutcliffe and Norman Worley.

However, Oxon’s four other rinks all lost. Despite being below par, Oxfordshire led 58-44 at ten ends with Prew, Sharman and the third Carterton skip, Baden Sparkes, all opening up leads.

But it was the third quarter of the game that made the difference with Middlesex picking up 41 shots to Oxon’s 18.

They dominated the home team in terms of general play, and with conversion shots all seemingly getting premium results, they went into the final ends with a lead that they held on to despite an Oxfordshire rally.

Oxford Mail:

Sam Watts made a solid debut, but was unable to stop Oxon sliding to defeat

Sparkes was unlucky to lose 19-18 to Perry Cook, but the rinks of Mark Charlett, Ian Snowdon and Mark Sykes could not make an impression and all lost out by greater margins.

Sam Watts, of Watlington, making his debut at this level, had a good game at lead in Charlett’s four, who were beaten 24-12 by Ron Leleux.

And West Witney’s Kevin Alder, picking up his third game flash, also played well at No 2 in Snowdon’s side, who lost 19-12 to Paul Fuller.

Nevertheless, massive all-round improvement is needed if Oxfordshire are to match the last two years and qualify for the quarter-finals.

They now have away games to come at Isle of Wight and Kent, and just one at home against Hampshire.

Oxfordshire 109 (4pts), Middlesex 115 (18)

(Oxon rinks first)

Rink 1: K Holloway, I Henwood, C Carpenter, A Prew 32, P Reynolds, A Frankland, B Elbourn, P Sutcliffe 10.

Rink 2: S Watts, G May, J King, M Charlett 12, R Watkinson, M Larmon, P Cater, R Leleux 24.

Rink 3: L Young, S Cooper, B Lambourne, P Sharman 23, G Adams, J Carey, J Sweeney, N Worley 19.

Rink 4: R Pink, Re Clanfield, C Whitehead, B Sparkes 18, R Fortune, T Brooks, R Hackwell, P Cook 19.

Rink 5: D May, K Alder, N Lewis, I Snowdon 12, J Little, A Tanner, T Bracallello, P Fuller 19.

Rink 6: AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Red-ford, M Sykes 12, C Cleaver, D Pitt, I Rudston, T Aller 24.

OXFORDSHIRE BA were pipped 128-126 by Somerset in a friendly at West Backwell BC, Bristol.

Oxon shared the rink wins, but Somerset edged home.

Somerset 128, Oxon 126 (Oxon rink scores): P Demczack, M Oliver, R Bull, A Ley won 22-19; M Jones, T Beaumont, D Wedge, I Whelpton won 27-16; S Tolhurst, P Brittin, H Franklin, J Lucas lost 18-13; B Jarvie, A Fleming, B Bloomfield, D Allin lost 27-22; M Cameron, A Melville, R Slater, J O’Shea lost 28-17; C Haley, P Monahan, B Willoughby, A Hall won 25-20.

Oxford United look to spoil Hartlepool's party

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Andy Whing says Oxford United should expect to beat Hartlepool United this afternoon despite the Football League’s bottom club appointing a new manager this week.

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton is weighing up his striking options

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 20th December 2014

Michael Appleton’s main selection decision for Oxford United today is picking who leads the line against Hartlepool.

RUGBY: Nathan Morris hoping to get chance to pit his wits against the best

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

LONDON Welsh replacement hooker Nathan Morris is looking forward to the opportunity to test himself against some of the best in the game when they travel to Saracens today, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

TABLE TENNIS: In-form duo maintain relentless title battle

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

Forum A and Holton A kept up their battle for the Division 1 crown, as they both hit an incredible 32 points apiece in the latest round of matches.

BOXING: Ashley Banks cashes in to capture national title

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Banbury BC lightweight Ashley Banks was crowned England junior novice champion after a unanimous points win against Rahul Gondalia (Karmand BC, Bradford) in the final.

ICE HOCKEY: Popular veteran Andy Cox back on board to boost Oxford City Stars

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Oxford City Stars have ex-player Andy Cox back in their ranks when they host Solent Devils in English National League South Division 1 tomorrow (6.15).

AQUATHLON: Award-winning Janette Cardy given sponsorship lift

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Janette Cardy has received a welcome boost following her success at last month’s Oxfordshire Sports Awards.

ANGLING: Paul Brant quick out of the blocks to land shield

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Paul Brant struck early to win Littlemore AS’s Christmas Shield fished by 14 on the River Thames at Sandford.

CRICKET: Imran Hussain shines for Ruscote

Oxford Mail: cricket generic

8:00am Saturday 20th December 2014

Imran Hussain helped Ruscote to a four-run win against Chipping Norton in Division 2 of the Banbury Indoor League.

RUGBY: Justin Burnell delighted at selection dilemma

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Saturday 20th December 2014

PIRI Weepu returns to the London Welsh side to take on Saracens at Allianz Park today (3), with head coach Justin Burnell admitting is was nice to have a selection headache, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

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