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: Britton, Schofield and Down return for London Welsh

Oxford Mail:

3:40pm Friday 19th September 2014

LONDON Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has shuffled his pack for today’s Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium (2).

Newey: Oxford United are doing it right

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th September 2014

TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.

Joining Oxford United's 'project' offers new chapter in life of Brian

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 19th September 2014

HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.

AWARDS: Your chance to nominate best in local talent

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

NOMINATIONS for the 2014 Oxfordshire Sports Awards open today.

Fazackerley: Oxford United boss has managed with testing start well

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.

Collins thankful for Oxford United support after family emergency

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 19th September 2014

MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.

Westley wary of Oxford United as the rivalry with Stevenage resumes

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

GRAHAM Westley believes Oxford United’s new signings will help to make life difficult for Stevenage tomorrow.

Boost as Oxford United striker avoids surgeon's knife

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

WILL Hoskins could face a shorter lay-off with a groin injury than feared after a specialist advised surgery was not needed.

FOOTBALL: Gee looking to Cook for missing ingredient

Oxford Mail: North Leigh boss Mark Gee after Saturday's win over Havant

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

North Leigh boss Mark Gee has hailed the capture of Jamie Cook from Oxford City.

RUGBY UNION: Williams urges Chinnor to be quickly out the blocks

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DIRECTOR of rugby Matt Williams has called on his Chinnor team to be smartly into their stride when they take on Dorking in National 2 South at Kingsey Road tomorrow.

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