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.

New contract deals unlikely until Oxford United reach safety - Mark Ashton

Oxford Mail:

1:00pm Friday 27th February 2015

NO further contract talks are expected at Oxford United until the club’s Football League status is secured.

RACING: Charlie Longsdon and Lawney Hill preview Cheltenham Festival

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

12:04pm Friday 27th February 2015

Oxfordshire trainers Charlie Longsdon and Lawney Hill are among the panel at a Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Middleton Cheney Sports & Social Club next Thursday (7pm).

Interactive graphic: Explore all our preview stories for Oxford United's trip to Portsmouth + video

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 27th February 2015

Oxford United travel to Portsmouth today - catch up on all our preview stories and video of the first league meeting between the sides

I have no hard feelings against Oxford United, says former U's boss Gary Waddock

Oxford Mail:

11:00am Friday 27th February 2015

GARY Waddock says he feels no bitterness towards Oxford United as he prepares to face the club for the first time since being sacked last summer.

RUGBY UNION: Weepu leaves London Welsh to join Wasps for rest of season

Oxford Mail:

10:52am Friday 27th February 2015

Lonodon Welsh's New Zealand World Cup winning scrum half Piri Weepu has quit London Welsh to join Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps until the end of the season.

Michael Appleton: Oxford United should relish Fratton Park stage

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 27th February 2015

MICHAEL Appleton says there is no better place for Oxford United to win this season than Fratton Park – and it has nothing to do with his links to Portsmouth.

RUGBY UNION: Chinnor chucked out of Oxfordshire Cup final for fielding ineligible player

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 27th February 2015

Director of rugby Matt Williams is regretting an oversight that has cost Chinnor a place in the Oxfordshire Cup final.

Maturing Callum O'Dowda aiming to stay on his upward curve at Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 27th February 2015

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Danny Hylton reveals his Oxford United penalty plan

Oxford Mail:

8:10am Friday 27th February 2015

DANNY Hylton says he has found a system this season which is helping him take penalties with confidence.

RUGBY UNION: Oxford Harlequins ready for crunch clash

Oxford Mail: rugby generic

8:00am Friday 27th February 2015

Jamie Cope says Oxford Harlequins’ home clash with fellow strugglers Old Redcliffians tomorrow is crucial to the club’s fight to avoid relegation.

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