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's young guns relishing Manchester City clash

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD United’s rising stars will get a taste of the big time tonight as they attempt a giant-killing against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup (7).

AUNT SALLY: Townsend hits six for Cricketers

8:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

GEOFF Townsend hit a six in his 14 dolls as Cricketers whitewashed Garsington B 6-0 in the Molson Coor Gladiator Friday League.

BAR BILLIARDS: Pincombe triumphs after epic encounter

Oxford Mail: Bar billiards

8:10am Thursday 18th December 2014

BOB Pincombe reached the second round of the Johnsons Buildbase Oxford League’s Men’s individual event after a thrilling win over Chris Bateman, writes PETE EWINS.

F1 fans race in to snap up Marussia souvenirs in Banbury factory auction

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

FORMER show cars from the collapsed Oxfordshire Formula 1 team Marussia sold for a total of £106,000 at a two-day auction.

RACING: Grandads Horse surprises Charlie Longsdon

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Chipping Norton trainer Charlie Longsdon admitted even he was surprised by Grandads Horse’s recent winning run after the gelding’s heart-stopping victory at Doncaster.

RUGBY UNION: Saar stars as Banbury rally

Oxford Mail:

7:20am Thursday 18th December 2014

Hugh Saar bagged a brace of tries as Banbury Under 18s A finished with a flourish to win 33-14 at Newbury in OBB League Division 1.

FOOTBALL: Scotland star Anya so grateful to Oxford City spell

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Ikechi Anya admitted he might never have achieved such considerable success as a professional footballer if not for his spell at Oxford City, writes Matthew Bruce.

ATHLETICS: Amend defends ladies' crown

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

SAMANTHA Amend defended her ladies’ title at the Andy Reading 10k race.

BOWLS: Oxon A are swept aside

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

7:00am Thursday 18th December 2014

Oxfordshire A were beaten 27-13 by Avon A in the English Short Mat Bowling Association’s Inter County Competition at Bristol.

ATHLETICS: Hat-trick heaven as City veterans prove class apart

Oxford Mail:

6:50am Thursday 18th December 2014

OXFORD City’s men retained the vet 60 team title for the third year running at the SEAA Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships.

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