Success for Banbury Cross in county indoor bowls finals

Players at last completing finals from 2019-20 as well as this season

By Zoe Ashton
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 3:40 pm
Pairs Finalists Remy Clanfield and Criag Morphet (Carterton) and AJ Docherty and Mark Sykes (Banbury Cross)

Two season’s finals of the Men’s Oxfordshire County Indoor Bowling Competition continued last week at Oxford City & County Bowls Club

On Wednesday in the 2019-2020 Triples Final, Oxford & District led by Keith Mobley took on AJ Docherty’s Banbury Cross.

With Keith Holloway at lead finding excellent line and length early on Banbury pulled well clear to lead 13-1 after 8 ends and set up what proved to be an unassailable advantage. Despite Chris Billingham beginning to out bowl Holloway in the second half of the game there was very little Mobley could do to pull the game back with Docherty doing whatever was necessary to see Banbury home by 18-9.

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Thursday saw three finals including the 2019-2020 Pairs in which a game of high-quality bowls again went Banbury Cross’ way after a quick start by Mark Sykes & AJ Docherty against Carterton’s Craig Morphet & Remy Clanfield.

Dropping 14-1 behind after 7 ends Carterton then dug in to win 10 out of the remaining 14 ends. But Docherty was again imperious as skip ensuring that any losses were limited and on a crucial 17th end and their lead having been cut to just 4 shots, a ditched jack and wood removals from Docherty resulted in a 5 to move Banbury clear again.

The final score of 25 - 17 did not reflect the closeness of the match with many excellent bowls from all players.

The other games on Thursday were both Over 60s Singles Finals. The closest match turned out to be the 2019-2020 final between Tim Jupp of Carterton who just had the edge over Oxford & District’s Keith Mobley.

It was nip and tuck throughout, Mobley 3 up early on but Jupp leading 17 - 11 after 15 ends and picking up a crucial 3 shots on the 19th end to lead by 5 and only 1 more shot needed to win. But Mobley made it 19 - 20 before a final 3 saw Jupp over the line.

In this season’s Over 60’s Final Paul Sharman of Carterton who had comprehensively disposed of histwo previous opponents conceding a grand total of only 6 shots, continued in a similar vein by beating John Hurren of Chipping Norton 21-6.

This week sees four more finals, all this season’s events, with the pairs and triples at Carterton yesterday (Wednesday) and the Over 60s Pairs and Open Singles tonight (Thursday) at City & County.

The main event should be the singles final clash between Docherty and Sharman. All spectators are welcome.