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.

RACING: Pendleton gets off to a flier on debut

Oxford Mail:

7:21pm Thursday 2nd July 2015

Olympic track cyclist Victoria Pendleton can hardly wait to get back in the saddle again after making a polished start to her new career as a jockey in finishing eighth on Mighty Mambo at Newbury.

Update: Ryan Clarke on his Oxford United departure

Oxford Mail:

4:14pm Thursday 2nd July 2015

RYAN Clarke has admitted it is a sad day but he leaves Oxford United with "amazing memories" after six years at the club.

Stewart Donald invests more than £500k to buy Oxford United stake

Oxford Mail:

1:00pm Thursday 2nd July 2015

OXFORD United have received a major financial injection with lifelong supporter Stewart Donald set to acquire a ten per cent stake in the club.

RACING: Victoria Pendleton excited ahead of first competitive action

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Thursday 2nd July 2015

VICTORIA Pendleton admits she is struggling to contain her excitement ahead of her first public appearance in a horse racing saddle.

BOWLS: City triples seal national championship spot

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

TWO women’s triples from Oxford City & County have qualified for the National Championships at Leamington Spa in August.

BAR BILLIARDS: Democrats earn draw in opener

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

7:20am Thursday 2nd July 2015

West Oxford Democrats Club started their OBBA Summer League campaign with a thrilling 3-3 draw with Berinsfield Club in Group A, writes PETE EWINS.

BOWLS: May and Watts to fly Oxon flag for Under 25s

Oxford Mail: image of bowls close up of bowling woods and jack for sport

7:10am Thursday 2nd July 2015

DEAN May and Sam Watts will represent Oxfordshire in the National U25 Singles Championship at Leamington Spa.

ATHLETICS: James Bolton and Sophie Carter shine at Thame

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

Woodstock Harriers’ James Bolton missed out on the Thame 10K title by just five seconds.

ATHLETICS: Captain Ben Claridge driven by memory of home Olympics

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

After watching on from the stands at London 2012, rising star Ben Claridge has set his sights on becoming an Olympian.

BOWLS: Headington strengthen grip on top flight table

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 2nd July 2015

HEADINGTON continued their relentless progress towards yet another Division 1 title in the Oxfordshire Bowls League, sponsored by Bridle Insurance.

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