ALAN Ley brought up an incredible 900 matches for Oxfordshire in a friendly against Hertfordshire.

The 71-year-old won on his rink by five shots in a 100-97 defeat at home club Oxford City & County.

It is a milestone which the Oxfordshire Bowls Association believe is unique in the sport.

Ley’s first Oxon appearance came more than five decades ago, in 1966.

A full county badge followed 12 months later, as he played for the old Blue Circle club at Bunkers Hill near Kidlington.

Along the way he skipped the county for many decades in the Middleton Cup, plus won Oxon titles for singles, pairs, triples and fours.

Since starting out at Blue Circle, he went on to play for Summertown and when that closed he joined Oxford City & County.

His most recent appearance at the national championships in Leamington was five years ago, where he lost out in the Senior Pairs final with Mike Petersen.

Ley’s landmark appearance against Hertfordshire was curtailed by rain to 18 ends.

Starting slowly, Oxfordshire trailed by six shots after ten ends and were nine behind after 15.

They had cut the deficit and looked well placed to gain the upper hand, but the rain intervened.

City & County’s vice president Chris Lewis marked his 100th Oxon appearance, while Borough’s David Tidball received a colts badge.

Oxfordshire 97, Hertfordshire 100

Rink 1: B Jarvie, A Smith, K Buckle & B Clarke won 16-14.

Rink 2: P Hickman, T Gripe, M Oliver & I Whelpton lost 11-18.

Rink 3: C Lewis, N Satchell, D Bullock & B Bloomfield won 20-17.

Rink 4: S Tolhurst, K Williams, D Tidball & M Morris lost 17-19.

Rink 5: P Demczak, J Hurren, G Thompson & A Wase lost 16-20.

Rink 6: R Green, B Ealey, D Wedge & A Ley won 17-12.