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 loan out trio

Oxford Mail: Matt Bevans started 11 games for United this season

6:12pm Friday 29th August 2014

OXFORD United have loaned out Aidan Hawtin and Josh Shama to Banbury United plus Matt Bevans to Farnborough.

Oxford United aiming to make signing before transfer deadline

Oxford Mail:

12:00pm Friday 29th August 2014

NEGOTIATIONS will continue over the next few days as Oxford United attempt to sign one more attacking player before the transfer window closes.

RUGBY UNION: Piri relishing life at Welsh

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 29th August 2014

World Cup winning superstar Piri Weepu is more than happy to muck in at London Welsh.

Appleton prioritises points over panache in search for first Oxford United win

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 29th August 2014

MICHAEL Appleton is happy to sacrifice style in favour of substance tomorrow if it means Oxford United finally get up and running in Sky Bet League Two.

Confident Hoskins out to repay Oxford United's faith with goals

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 29th August 2014

AFTER spending 18 months away from competitive football, Oxford United’s newest signing may be short on match fitness, but there is one commodity he does not lack – self-belief.

Ruffels eyes payback for Dagenham's bizarre winner

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 29th August 2014

JOSH Ruffels is hoping Oxford United get a change of fortune as they attempt to get off the mark tomorrow.

United boss Appleton's dilemma on Hoskins

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

Will Hoskins is set to make his Oxford United home debut against Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow, but head coach Michael Appleton has not yet decided whether the striker will start.

Daggers boss not fooled by Oxford United's league position

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Friday 29th August 2014

DAGENHAM & Redbridge boss Wayne Burnett is reading nothing into Oxford United’s position at the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table ahead of their trip to the Kassam Stadium tomorrow.

Newey - striking first blow key for Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

8:20am Friday 29th August 2014

TOM Newey says Oxford United would go a long way to turning their form around by scoring the first goal when they host Dagenham & Redbridge tomorrow.

Oxford United fourth in agent fees league table

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

8:00am Friday 29th August 2014

OXFORD United spent the fourth highest amount on agent fees in Sky Bet League Two last season.

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