Oxford MailBOWLS: Oxfordshire battle home to keep cup hopes alive (From Oxford Mail)

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BOWLS: Oxfordshire battle home to keep cup hopes alive

Oxford Mail: 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

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.

FOOTBALL: City beaten at Ardley

Oxford Mail: Callum Convey scored Ardley United's winner in their 1-0 success at Ascot United on Tuesday

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Oxford City slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Ardley United in their penultimate friendly before the new season gets under way.

RACING: Longsdon's double bid

Oxford Mail: Charlie Longsdon

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon is double-handed in the thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30) at the Irish track today with Vulcanite and Grandads Horse.

RACING: Charlie in action again

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Charlie Wells, the horse trained by Eve Johnson Houghton at Blewbury, near Didcot, who tested positive for morphine, runs in the 7.15 at Ffos Las tomorrow.

Appleton's closing in on striker for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

AUNT SALLY: Title race thrown open as Six Bells falter

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Wednesday 30th July 2014

THE battle for the Premier Section crown is alive after leaders Six Bells C lost for the second match in succession, writes ANDY BEAL.

Commonwealth Games: Watson aiming to lift crown

Oxford Mail: Ben Watson just missed out on a place in 2010

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

BEN Watson will look to convert his English title into a Commonwealth Games medal tonight.

Commonwealth Games: England pays price for lack of finishing power

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

HANNAH England admitted she did not have enough finishing speed after fading to seventh place in the 1500m final last night.

Commonwealth Games: Fox frustrated as hockey team lose

Oxford Mail: hockey - field

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

DAN Fox was left frustrated as England’s men’s hockey team lost 2-1 to New Zealand.

CRICKET: Ayaz's nine-wicket blitz crushes Minster

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Cowley Internationals’ bowler Ayaz Khan nearly took all ten for a second time when he bagged a nine-wicket haul in their 65 win at Minster Lovell in OCA League Division 1.

CRICKET: Cumnor push Downs closer towards drop

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Wednesday 30th July 2014

Former Oxfordshire opener Andew Sabin compiled a match-winning innings of 92 not out as Banbury 2nd eased to a convincing eight-wicket win at Thame Town in Cherwell League Division 1 on Saturday.

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