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.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh fall just short despite second-half revival

Oxford Mail:

9:59pm Sunday 25th January 2015

London Welsh were left wondering what might have been as they came the closest they have all season to a victory against Lyon, but a late fightback proved too little too late, writes SIMON WILLIAMS.

Who was Oxford United's man of the match against Exeter City?

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:55pm Saturday 24th January 2015

Oxford Utd 2 (Hylton 18, Roberts 90+2), Exeter City 2 (Davies 37, Nicholls 87)

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

5:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

JAMES Roberts struck a stoppage-time equaliser as Oxford United stopped the rot with a draw at home to Exeter City.

Oxford United sign full back Joe Skarz

Oxford Mail:

2:50pm Saturday 24th January 2015

OXFORD United have made their first addition of the January transfer window by signing Joe Skarz.

Oxford Utd v Exeter City - updates

Oxford Mail: oxford united logo 1200pix

2:01pm Saturday 24th January 2015

All the news from Oxford United's Sky Bet League Two clash with Exeter City at the Kassam Stadium.

Johnny Mullins backing Oxford United's quality

Oxford Mail: Johnny Mullins

9:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Johnny Mullins says Oxford United’s squad have the quality to get themselves out of trouble even without help from new signings.

RUGBY UNION: London Welsh coach Justin Burnell backing his side to repay vote of confidence

Oxford Mail: London Welsh Justin Burnell, a former coach and player at Pontypridd

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Head coach Justin Burnell believes the vote of confidence he has given his London Welsh side by naming the same starting line-up to face Lyon at Oxford’s Kassam Stadium tomorrow (2.30) will reap rewards.

DARTS: 'Jabba' Caven is on show in Didcot

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

World No 19 Jamie ‘Jabba’ Caven will give an exhibition at GWRSA Club, Station Road, Didcot, tonight. For tickets, call John Fowler (07958 033638) or Martyn Gardiner (07474 880680).

Plea for noisy salute today to Oxford United fan Keith Pasfield

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

THE KASSAM Stadium will echo to a minute’s applause this afternoon to mark the death of a lifelong U’s fan.

MOTORSPORT: Talented teenager Zubair Hoque joins Chippy team

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 24th January 2015

Teenager Zubair Hoque will make his BRDC Formula 4 Championship debut with the Chipping Norton-based Sean Walkinshaw Racing.

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