BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

BOWLS: Oxon veteran Ley reaches 800-game milestone

First published in Sport

Oxford City & County’s Alan Ley chalked up another landmark with his 800th game for Oxfordshire in their 129-89 win over Buckinghamshire in a friendly at Long Crendon.

Ley, who made his Oxon debut in 1966 at the old Blue Circle club, near Kidlington, was unable to mark the milestone with a rink victory as his four were pipped 17-16.

The 66-year-old beat the previous record of 459 set by Walter Lester while playing for Summertown in 1992.

His remarkable tally is also believed to be a record for any county in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Reflecting on the achievement, Ley said: “It hasn’t been done for any reason. It has just happened – the games have just accumulated.

“It is great to get there. I still enjoy it and they still keep picking me.”

Ley wasn’t the only Oxfordshire bowler reaching a milestone in the match as Bicester’s Allan Hall was awarded a 100-game badge.

He celebrated by helping skip Melvyn Brain’s rink to a 33-13 victory.

Both counties were one player short and so one of the rinks was played as a triple.

Steady scoring by all but one side meant that Oxfordshire were always in charge as four of their six sides returned wins.

Meanwhile, Ley is set to embark on his next century when he makes appearance No 801 as Oxfordshire take on Gloucestershire at Witney Town on Wednesday.

Buckinghamshire 89, Oxfordshire 129 (Oxon rink scores): E Dorling, J Timms, B Gilkes (triple) won 20-13; B Willoughby, J Stephens, D Wedge, C Weller lost 23-13; V Webb, K Washington, H Franklin, M Petersen won 25-10; P Demczak, M Jones, L Days, M Andrew won 22-13; G Penn, P Brittin, D Bullock, A Ley lost 17-16; M Cameron, C Haley, A Hall, M Brain won 33-13.

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