BOWLS: Oxfordshire battle home to keep cup hopes alive

Witney Mills’s Chris Weller will play his first Middleton Cup game for Oxon against Hampshire on Saturday

Witney Mills’s Chris Weller will play his first Middleton Cup game for Oxon against Hampshire on Saturday

First published in Sport

Oxfordshire kept their Middleton Cup hopes alive with a 121-110 win over the Isle of Wight at Shanklin.

The 15-7 points victory means that Oxon are still in with an outside chance of qualifying from South Group Section B.

But, with Hampshire, who Oxfordshire entertain at Oxford City & County on Saturday, running riot with a 60-shot win over Kent, the south coast are hot favourites for top spot.

At five ends, Oxon led by 20 shots, with four rinks opening up leads.

By ten ends the Islanders had closed to 12, but with Ian Snowdon’s rink dominating play and the fours of Mark Sykes and Alan Prew also leading, Oxfordshire still looked in a comfortable position.

However, a mixture of good play and good fortune saw the Isle of Wight push Oxon all the way with five of the six rinks settled by two shots or less.

Oxon’s Paul Sharman led early on, but his opposite number, John Crews, came back to win by 17-16.

Mark Charlett and Baden Sparkes’s rinks rallied well to draw 17-17 and lose 18-17 respectively, having held ‘game’ before the final bowls.

A seven and four picked up on consecutive ends saw Darren Griffith overtake Prew, who went down 22-20.

On the end rink, Snowdon’s four were pegged back and went into the last end a shot behind, but a great opening bowl from Dean May and a drawn second shot from the Oxon skip with the game’s final bowl secured a 24-23 victory.

Sykes’s rink of AJ Docherty, George Schwab and Richard Redford stayed in front throughout to win 27-13. Captain Alan Prew is unavailable for Saturday’s clash with Hampshire, so vice-captain Keith Holloway leads the team.

Calvin Carpenter skips in place of Prew, and Carterton’s Stuart Richens plays at No 3 in his first Middleton Cup game since 2011.

Witney Mills’s Chris Weller makes his debut at No 2 on Sparkes’s rink, replacing Remy Clanfield.

Isle of Wight 110 (7pts), Oxon 121 (15)

(Isle of Wight rinks first)

Rink 1: B Davies, R Smith, M Butchers, J Crews 17, L Young, S Cooper, B Lambourne, P Sharman 16.

Rink 2: J Wilkins, B Price, P Furmidge, D Griffith 22, K Holloway, I Henwood, C Carpenter, A Prew 20.

Rink 3: S New, P Knight, J Pearce, A Cawdell 18, R Pink, Re Clanfield, C Whitehead, B Sparkes 17.

Rink 4: R Hayes, J Marsh, T Lloyd, T Meller 17, S Watts, G May, J King, M Charlett 17.

Rink 5: M Cox, C New, S Hamblin, K Beckett 13, AJ Docherty, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes 27.

Rink 6: B Bridgeman, G Day, D Gustar, A Best 23, D May, K Alder, N Lewis, I Snowdon 24.

Oxford United striker Danny Hylton says they are ready for Stevenage battle

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

Danny Hylton has warned Oxford United will get “eaten alive” at Stevenage today unless they match their hosts’ appetite for a battle.

Oxford United duo Richard Brindley and Joe Skarz ready for first starts against Stevenage

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 31st January 2015

Oxford United are likely to hand debuts to full backs Joe Skarz and Richard Brindley at Stevenage this afternoon.

ANGLING: Percy Hickman proves an ice-breaker

Oxford Mail: Bradford Sea Angling Club want last year's trophies returning to their next meeting on Tuesday, January 20 at the New Inn, East Bierley (8pm)

8:20am Saturday 31st January 2015

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ICE HOCKEY: Duo return to give Oxford City Stars a lift

Oxford Mail: ice hockey

8:20am Saturday 31st January 2015

OXFORD City Stars welcome back two key players ahead of their crucial English National League encounter at home to Cardiff Devils tomorrow (6.15).

SNOOKER: Ben Rowland falls just short of ton break

Oxford Mail: cue and cue ball for images of snooker and billards for sport

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

Ben Rowland just missed out on a century break in Abingdon Conservative Club B’s 5-1 home win over Rileys B in the Gentworks Oxford & District League.

TABLE TENNIS: Karl Bushell still leading the way after 50 years

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

OXFORDSHIRE’S most successful player is celebrating half a century playing the sport he loves, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

SWIMMING: City of Oxford trio reign in Spain

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

LUCY Smith won bronze in the Catalonian Open Championships in Barcelona.

FOOTBALL: Dean Saunders at Thame United

Oxford Mail: Dean Saunders say Albion will have their hands full against Aston Villa

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

Former Oxford United favourite Dean Saunders returns to the county next month.

RUGBY UNION: Justin Burnell's backing London Welsh to hit back from heavy loss

Oxford Mail: Ringing the changes: London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has made 15 new signings this week

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

London Welsh’s pummelling by Saracens earlier this season will have no bearing when the two sides meet tomorrow, according to Justin Burnell, writes SIMON WILLIAMS.

RUGBY UNION: Koree Britton's confident London Welsh will put up a better fight

Oxford Mail: London Welsh are staying at the Kassam

8:00am Saturday 31st January 2015

Koree Britton insists that he and his teammates will not be out for revenge when London Welsh face Saracens tomorrow, writes SIMON WILLIAMS.

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