Last update: Fri 23 Aug 2019 20:10

Pairs Report

Oxford Pairs

It was Pairs competition week where it was played at four different venues down to the finalists, to produce the last eight to be played on Monday September 2nd and in one of the most open competitions for many years we have eight pairs from eight different teams and across three sections.
Played at The Cricketers Kevin Baker & Den Butler from The Gladiators ‘A’, who have been in many finals but never together battled their way through to the play offs. However they could have easily have fallen at the first hurdle when they just managed to sneak past Liam Purcell and Steve Bayliss from The George ‘A’. Losing the first leg 7-5, Baker & Butler drew level in the next leg on three sticks after it was tied 6-6. The final and deciding leg the Glad’s pair could only set four and looked like exiting the competition early but they were given a reprieve when Purcell and Bayliss could only muster up three in reply to lose the leg and tie. In the next round they beat The Woodman pairing of Ashley Keenan and Dean Harris 2-0 in the leg scores of 4-3, 5-4.
Joining them will be Phil Austin and Mick Phipps from The Black Prince who defeated team mates Roger Goodall and Rob Bradford 2-0 in the first round. Chasing a set of only four Austin and Phipps struggled to only match it with four but won the three stick shoot out to go one up. They then made sure of victory by setting nine in the next leg which was enough to see them through. In the next round they were pitted up against Jamie Smith and Wayne Grey from Donnington Club ‘A’ and after winning the first leg 7-6 they made sure of victory in the next leg with a set of eight including a six from Austin.
There were some good close and high scoring games played at Garsington Sports Club and 2009 winners Pete Rampton and Steve Ward from The Six Bells ‘D’ Kidlington were the first pair to make their way to the play offs. In the first round first leg Darren Cox & Scott Thompson from Gladiators ‘C’ set them seven and in reply a four from both Rampton and Ward saw them go one up. A set of five from the Glad’s pair was never going to be enough to see them level and Ward & Rampton both hit three dolls each to see them advance to the next round. In the next round they came up against the strong pairing of Kevin Giles & Chris Jenkins from The Gladiators ‘A’ who had a strong win earlier against another formidable pair of Dick Walsh & Jon Townsend from The Swan ‘A’, winning both legs 7-6, 8-7. Jenkins with three and Giles with a six set an impressive score of nine in the first leg which was more than enough to give them an early lead. Ward & Rampton hit straight back in the next leg with a set of nine themselves and in reply The Glad’s pair fell just one short with eight to send it to a third leg. Jenkins & Giles set with a steady six, however it proved no problem for the Bell’s pair as Rampton clanged off a six leaving Ward just the one doll to see them though which he hit with his first stick.
James Morrison and Kevin Stuart from The George ‘A’ make up the first half of the Quarter finals when they dispatched Willy Waite & Roy Frazer from The Bullnose Morris ‘A’ 2-0 in the first round and then had a difficult game against team mates Billy Trinder & Brian Reidy who set seven in the first leg. A three from Morrison and five from Stuart saw them take an early lead, however they could only set a score of five in the second leg and gave Trinder and Reidy a chance to level. They failed to capitalise however and could only match the score to send it to three sticks. A set of four was enough to see Morrison and Stuart through.
At The Gladiators Club one of two pairs outside the top section to make it through were Pip Goulding and Pete Shepherd from Section 2 team Tiddington Cricket Club . In the first round they had a battle against Geoff Townsend & Stuart Bishop from Chequers ‘A’. They won the first leg 8-6 with The Chequers pair hitting straight back to level in the next leg with a set of 8. Final and deciding leg Goulding and Shepherd set and won 7-5. Next round they were drawn against Premier pair Ian & Steve McAteer from The Black Prince. A set of seven was enough to give Goulding and Shepherd the first leg. The McAteers levelled in the next leg 8-7. Final and deciding leg the Tiddington pair could only set five, however the McAteers struggled and could only match that to send it to three sticks. A set of five by Goulding and Shepherd was enough to give them victory.
Nigel King & Mark Poulter from The Red Lion ‘A’ Yarnton are also into the quarter finals after they defeated Paul Townsend and Ray Grant from The Woodman 2-0 and then team mates Eddie Lacey and Henry Johnson 2-0 in the leg scores of 8-6, 8-5.
The last two pairs to go through played at The Black Prince were Trevor Greenaway and Barry Ruffels from Garsington Sports Club who romped home 2-0 in the first leg against Jason Fox and Steve Ducker from Six Bells ‘D’ Kidlington. In the next round they saw off Graham Bristow and Ray Manning from Tiddington Cricket Club 2-0 (6-0, 8-7) with Barry Ruffels hitting a six in the second leg.
Mark Washington and Andy Lewis from Ampleforth Arms ‘A’ in Section 2 make up the final pair. They had to play a preliminary round where they beat Mark Rollins and J.Glenister 2-0.In the next round they just got the better over Charlie Buckingham & Neil Pratley from The Woodman winning both legs narrowly 6-4, 5-4.
They’re final game was a humdinger against team mates veteran Phil Wilkins who has won this trophy five times before and Dave Simms who has yet to appear in a final. Wilkins & Simms won the opener 6-5 with Washington and Lewis drawing level in the next leg 4-3. Final leg couldn’t be much closer with Washington & Lewis winning it by the finest of margins 7-6.

SIXERS: G.Bailey (Swan ‘B’) K.Giles (Gladiators ‘A’) P.Rampton (Six Bells ‘D’) P.Austin (Black Prince)
B.Ruffels (Garsington Sports Club)


LOWER SECTION PAIRS

Played at two venues and down to the finalists at each venue, Steven Bradbury & John Griffin from Cowley Workers will play Ian Gillett & Richard Hathaway from Chequers ‘B’ in the final.
Played at The Masons Arms Bradbury & Griffin had to come from behind to defeat Carly & Kevin Bloomfield from Bullnose Morris ‘B’. Losing the first leg 3-2 they scrapped through the next two legs by the odd doll 4-3,4-3. They were then pushed all the way in the next round by Dean Sims & David Lammin from The Bullnose ‘B’. Bradbury & Griffin set and won the opening leg 5-4. Sims and Lammin hit straight back in the next leg to level 4-3. Final leg had to be decided on a one stick shoot out after six sticks was tied 3-3, three sticks was tied 2-2 before The Workers pair won the one sticker 1-0.
The final game was a low scoring but close match against Yorkie Finney and Steve Buckle from The Blackbird. It started off well for The Blackbird pair when they won the first leg 4-2, however it all went downhill from there. Set only one in the next leg by Bradbury & Griffin it was a formality that Finney and Buckle would be in the final, but somehow they both managed to blob out to give the Workers pair a lifeline. Bradbury and Griffin faired not much better in the final leg when setting only 2, but once again The Blackbird pair collapsed and could only hit one in reply and deny themselves a place in the final.
Played at The White Horse, Gillett and Hathaway had a marathon game against Jamie DeBanks and Jamie McMahon from The Bullnose ‘B’ in the first round. The Chequers pair set and comfortably won the first leg 6-3 however the next leg went to five throws to find a winner. Six sticks was tied 5-5, as was the three stick and one stick shoot out. Back to six sticks and that was also tied 5-5 before The Bullnose pair won it on the second three stick shoot out to level the match. Final and deciding leg went to The Chequers pair 6-4.
In the next round they had to come from behind to beat Mick Murphy & Tom Finney from The Blackbird. Trailing the first leg 5-3 they won the next two legs 8-3, 4-3. In the semi-final game on the night they then saw off Mick Richardson & Paul Wiggins from Kidlington Football Club 2-0 (6-5, 4-3)
The final game they were pitched against team mates Harry Jenkins and Ben Green and brushed them aside with a 2-0 win (4-3, 3-2).

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