Three senior citizens from Shiplake Village with a combined age of 211 years booked their place at the National Championships for the first time with a stunning victory in the Oxfordshire semi-finals.
Francis Benham, 2006 county president David Bullock and skip Graham Kennedy will play in the triples at Leamington Spa next month after recording a 24-15 win over Headington’s Middleton Cup trio of twins Dean and Gary May and Remy Clanfield at Oxford City & County.
Their opponents in Sunday’s final at Banbury Chestnuts will be Carterton’s David Clanfield, Paul Sharman and Alan Prew.
Carterton had a battle against Banbury Central’s Lee Wilkinson, Shane Cooper and Will Campion, who were only three shots adrift with two ends to play, but then saw their dreams shattered by a six and conceded the game on the 17th end.
Headington’s Dean May staged a remarkable comeback to defeat his younger twin brother, Gary, 21-18 in the singles semi-final.
With Gary leading 18-6 and only requiring three more shots for victory, Dean stormed back to collect 15 shots over five ends without reply to move into the final.
There he will face Banbury Borough’s Greg Moon, who finished strongly to claim a 21-16 win over fellow ex-international Prew.
The fours semi-finals set up an all-Headington decider between the rinks of John Nicholls, Ian Henwood, Jason King and Mark Charlett, and Mick Nash, Norman Rae, Paul Mabbutt and Nick Rae-Welsh.
Charlett’s rink took early control of their game against the Banbury Borough’s Keith Holloway, George Schwab, Richard Redford and Mark Sykes to triumph 18-14.
Rae-Welsh’s four saw off City & County’s Paul Lopez, Chris Lewis, Alan Ley and Mark Hancock 19-16.
Reigning pairs champions AJ Docherty and Calvin Carpenter, from Banbury Borough, came from behind to defeat Shiplake Village’s Jim Bland and Barry Lambourne 21-15.
Fellow Borough bowlers George Schwab and Mark Sykes scraped through 18-17 against Carterton’s Bob Wright, substituting for Roy Craig, and skip John Hicks.
Triples: L Wilkinson, S Cooper, W Campion (Banbury Central) lost to D Clanfield, P Sharman, A Prew (Carterton); D May, R Clanfield, G May (Headington) 15, F Benham, D Bullock, G Kennedy (Shiplake Village) 24.
Fours: M Nash, N Rae, P Mabbutt, N Rae-Welsh (Headington) 19, P Lopez, C Lewis, DA Ley, M Hancock (Oxford City & County) 16; J Nicholls, J Henwood, J King & M Charlett (Headington) 18, K Holloway, G Schwab, R Redford, M Sykes (Banbury Borough) 14.
Pairs: B Wright & J Hicks (Carterton) 17, G Schwab & M Sykes (Banbury Borough) 18; J Bland & B Lambourne (Shiplake Village) 15, AJ Docherty & C Carpenter (Banbury Borough) 21.
Singles: G May (Headington) 18, D May (Headington) 21; A Prew (Carterton) 16, Gr Moon (Banbury Borough) 21.
Fours (10am): M Nash, N Rae, P Mabbutt, N Rae-Welsh (Headington) v J Nicholls, I Henwood, J King, M Charlett (Headington).
Two wood singles (11am): N Lewis (Headington) v M Sykes (Banbury Borough).
Under 25s singles (11am): G Schwab (Banbury Borough) v S Watts (Watlington).
Triples (2pm): D Clanfield, P Sharman, A Prew (Carterton) v F Benham, D Bullock, G Kennedy (Shiplake Village).
Pairs (2pm): G Schwab & M Sykes (Banbury Borough) v AJ Docherty & C Carpenter (Banbury Borough).
Singles (2pm): D May (Headington) v Gr Moon (Banbury Borough).
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