28th June 2020

Apologies from our roving reporter this week, as he could only manage to wax lyrical about one game from each division. So much for not being on furlough leave any more!

Premier/Division One 

It proved to be another good evening for the White Lion, with skipper Brian “Goughy” Gough sticking to his revised youth policy.   Away to the Pheasant and another lovely summer evening, Brian stuck with the young sorcerer’s apprentice, Tyler Andrews, as Phil “the Power” Allen’s return from an injured shoulder has been hampered by lifting and opening too many John Smiths cans during the lockdown!  With the Pheasant looking up at all the other sides in the top division, they were hoping to make a game of it and spring a surprise result on the White Lion, who in contrast, are now back in the hunt for their umpteenth league title.   Despite home advantage, the Pheasant had trouble getting airborne and after a slow start could only set 13 dolls in the first leg - Pete McCaron and Dave Fry with three dolls each.  The visitors, using all their experience, had come fully prepared for the match, with welding masks and blackout sunglasses to overcome the somewhat sun-filled throw up on the hill.   It paid dividends immediately, as the White Lion going for the kill, responded with a steady 19 dolls to take the first leg - Pete “Demps“ Dempsey, modelling a Deko full welding mask, with a great start of five dolls, and Eddie “Eduardo“ Gordon, (sporting the more traditional Aviator Sun glasses) with four.  With the White Lion now on the hunt, they set in the second leg.   Taking pride of place this time round, modelling a fine pair of Ray-Ban’s, was Bobby Allen, with a six; and looking very dapper in his Oakley’s, youngster Tyler Andrews's fine four dolls helped the White Lion roar to a great score of 22.   Could the Pheasant strut their stuff and make a comeback?  Looking to rekindle their season and get themselves out of the woods, they needed a good start; unfortunately for them it didn’t happen, and they couldn’t poach the leg.    Maybe they need to invest in some sunshades themselves?  With their tail between their legs, the Pheasant side were left brooding, as they could only reply with nine dolls.  With their feathers ruffled and looking to get themselves up the league, the Pheasant were determined to make the White Lion chase a decent score in the last leg.  Showing something near their old form and consistency, the Pheasant got off to a good start and it continued through the pecking order - Dave Morris and Charlie Govier, with four dolls each seeing them set a tasty 19.  With the White Lion hungry for a 3-0 victory, they set out on the hunt early and another six dolls from Dougie “the Rocket man“ Revitt, with his work sponsored Tesco Prescription shades working their magic as the sun was setting over the throw!  With his vintage Polaroid classic shades on, Francis “the legend“ Hillier hit four dolls, as did skipper and anchor-man Brian Gough, sporting a fine pair of Browning shooting glasses to match his new pick up truck.  So, a 3-0 victory, which sees the White Lion still kings of the jungle and top of the Premier division.

Division Two 

Knowing that a 3-0 victory for either side could see them go top of their division, the Shakespeare were hoping to put on a scene stealing performance against the travelling Whitmore Exiles.   Would it be an Oscar winning performance from the home side or could the travelling Exiles out-perform them?  Taking centre stage and setting in the first leg, the Shakey got off to a good start and with the team all playing to the script, they hit 19 dolls - Tony Nichols the star of the show with a nice five.   Always a dangerous side to play, the Exiles, encouraged by yet another new Robbie Bryant cardigan, did start well, but fell short through the middle order.  It meant that despite a tidy four from anchor-man Dave “the briefcase” Reast, they could only respond with 13.   Not to be outdone, the Exiles decided to go straight back in to set. They certainly didn’t fluff their lines in this leg and found some decent form.   A great start by Jon “up the Villa“ Woodman, with five dolls, followed up by skipper Robbie with four, put them on their way to a great set of 21.  It certainly wasn’t in the script that the Shakespeare had planned for the evening and they fluffed their lines managing to finish well short with only 13 dolls.   Possibly a touch of Macbeth, as it proved unlucky for them.   Looking for an Oscar winning performance in the last leg, the Shakey choose to set - a twist in the plotline for definite, as skipper Martin Wanless always enjoys the Chase (and other early night TV quiz shows too, evidently).   It certainly saw them playing to the crowd though, as a fine performance from Pete Litten and Andy Grose with three each, but star of the show and leading lady, Paula Grose with four dolls, taking them to a reasonable 17.   Perhaps with their focus on winning the beer leg, or Robbie having taken his cardigan off because of the heat, but it was a case of first night nerves in the last leg for the Exiles, as a dismal performance saw them struggle to a lowly six dolls.   2-1 to the Shakespeare.

Division Three 

Another Lion side looking to keep pride of place at the top of their league, the side from Wendlebury had to travel out to the Prince of Wales at Steeple Claydon.  Hoping to turn things round themselves, the Prince were looking for a more royal performance, to help them stay away from the bottom of the division.  It didn’t go to plan in the first leg for the Prince though; deciding to try and tame the Lion, they decided to set.   In what turned out to be more of an abdication than a coronation, the Prince struggled to get going and, despite three dolls from Malc Hodges, they could only set nine.   Sensing the kill was on the cards, the Lion pounced and threw consistently to hit a great 16 dolls - Norman Dearlove and Mick Leonard, with three dolls a piece, helping to do the damage.   On the hunt for the win, the Lion decided to set in the second leg; but this time, it was more like the sleeping Lion, as they got off to a slow start and struggled to set a very low five - more crosses on show than at a vampire hunters convention!   With their middle order throwing well - four dolls from Simon North and three from John Carter - saw the Prince crown a great second leg with an impressive 16 dolls.  Down to the last leg, and would the Prince become kings with a victory, or could the Lion get themselves back into the hunt for top spot?   With both teams wary of losing the leg, the Prince set in what proved to be a tense finale.  Struggling from the off, they became paupers and could only set a chase for the Lion of seven dolls.   It proved to be a bigger chase than expected for the Lion, but in the end, they caught their quarry and took the victory with nine dolls. A 2-1 victory and the Lion were kings over the Prince and stay top of the division.

Division Four 

At home to Chearsley Cricketers, Launton Sports and Social were hoping to find some good form and push themselves up the league a little bit.   With Jim “the gent“ Harris hoping to motivate his “angels”, they set in the first leg.   With the ladies on fine form, Sophie “I’m a better player than my brother“ Thomson led the way with four dolls, closely followed by sisters Claire and Cindy Reynolds with three apiece, giving Launton a great total of 16 dolls.  Despite the Cricketers' openers doing well, there was a bit of a middle order collapse, leaving too much for the tail enders, as they could only reply with 10 in their first innings. The follow on from the Cricketers in the second leg was even worse and, with the lovely evening meaning that rain was definitely not going to stop play, they struggled to a meagre seven.   A slightly nervous Launton, hoping not to drop points to a low score, and something which has dogged their season so far, had Haydn Marks (last year's division four top doll scorer) to thank as his four dolls helped them to 11 to take the leg.  With the bit firmly between their teeth, Launton set in the third and final leg, sensing a first-of-the-season 3-0 victory.  With three dolls apiece from skipper Jim and Sarah Beesley on the board, they set a total of 12.   Could the Cricketers find their form and hit the boundary a few times to take a leg?   Well, they didn't manage to find their line and length and another middle order collapse saw them reply with only four dolls - too many wides and no balls hampering them throughout the night!   So, a 3-0 victory for Jim and his Angels and it saw them leap to joint second in the division with the White Hart.

Division Five 

A top of the table clash saw the Launton Arms Divas host the Eight Bells from Long Crendon.   Victory for either side would probably see them take first place in the division; so, could the Divas put on a performance or would the Eight bells toll??   Winning the toss for the first leg, Divas skipper Hannah Roberts decided to set.   Perhaps with not enough prosecco flowing and the pressure getting to them, the Divas struggled to a score of six - the zero’s flying about like Pearl Harbour again!  With a ding-dong start, the Bells got off on the right tune and with three dolls from Simon Longley and Chris Norgate-Barnes, they clanged off a total of 11.   With the good score still ringing in their ears, the Bells decided to set in the second leg; and what a great decision that proved to be.   Their good form continued and they rang in a great set of 16 dolls - Rob Webb with four and then three dolls each from Adam Woodliffe and Colin Hazel, doing the damage.  Could the Divas put on a performance to match the Bells?   Well it wasn’t to be as they struggled from the off and only managed to reply with seven - two each for skipper Hannah and Angie Pearson.   Hoping to salvage some pride and with the bubbly now flowing nicely, the Divas chose to set in the third and final leg.   With three dolls each from Tessa Mills and Penny Brown, they hit double figures with 10 dolls.   It proved to be more than enough; the Eight bells dropping a right clanger and with 7 blobs (yes 7 !! ), only one doll was hit - by Roger Norgate-Barnes.   Looks like the Eight bells are in pole position for the lowest score trophy so far!!.   But a 2-1 victory to them and top spot in the league. 

Phil Allen


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22nd June 2020

Whilst we don't allow it in the "real aunt sally world", this week's Virtual Aunt Sally matches had to be rescheduled and took place a night earlier than normal.   Someone, can’t think who, wanted to watch the football on Wednesday evening!

Premier/Division One 

First game of the evening was newly promoted the Bell playing the reigning Premier league champions the White Lion.  The big story of the evening was the White Lion had a change in team selection.  Former White Lion captain and league secretary, Phil “the Power” Allen was dropped from the team!!  Allegations were that he failed to make new skipper Brian “Goughy” Gough a practice throw for his garden.   Into the fray came Phil’s young apprentice and grandson, Tyler “the youngster “ Andrews - just a day after his 21st birthday too!!   Would this spoil his birthday celebrations, and could there be an upset on the cards?  Well, no, there wasn't really - unless you play for the Bell!  They dropped a real clanger and had a real hum dinger of an evening.  Setting in the first leg and definitely out of tune, the Bell could only manage a toll of 9.  The White Lion, sensing they could be in for the kill, took no time at all to win the leg with 12 dolls from the first 3 players, Bobby “the gent” Allen, Pete “Demps“ Dempsey and the new young apprentice and birthday boy of the team, Tyler.  Not to be out done, and with some team pride at stake, a fine 6 from Dougie “Rocket man” Revitt saw the Lion roar to a score of 26.  Then the arthritis kicked in and saw the White Lion struggling to reach a set of 16 - four dolls from that man Eddie “Eduardo” Gordon and three from Francis “the legend“ Hillier.  Could the Bell ring in the changes when chasing in that second leg?  After a slow start it proved too much, even with Ray Rowe chiming in with four dolls, they could only manage 11.  So, 2-0 down and with the banter ringing in their ears, the Bell looked to set a towering score on the board.   Three each from Aimee Sheehan, Chris Hulme and Billy “the stance” Craig saw a score of 15 - something for the White Lion to get their teeth into?   It nearly proved to be more than they could chew, but anchor-man and skipper Brian Gough, with five dolls, saved the day, as they totalled 17.  3-0 to the White Lion.   Great team selection Brian!!

Tiddington Cricket Club, back on the home wicket against the Pheasant, soon found their high scoring form.  Opening well, and continuing this through the middle order, the Cricket boys set a mighty 26.  Would this flush the Pheasant out and see them hit back?  Well they were game enough to begin with, but it was short lived, and they ended up with 16 dolls - Paul and Dave Morris, dancing in, with four each.  Setting in the second leg, the Pheasant fell fowl of their recent bad form and could only manage nine - Charles Govier with a three.   Hoping to knock the Pheasant off its perch, the Tiddington side certainly found the boundary with 4 fours in a row, to give them a score of 25 - a great second innings for them.  Two nil up and looking to drive the Pheasant back to Brill, with their tail firmly between their legs, the Cricket Club found their line and length again with an impressive 23.  The Pheasant needed a good response, or they could be looking at falling down the pecking order to bottom of the league.   Despite four each from Pete McCaron and Dave Fry, it wasn’t to be their night and they couldn’t poach the last leg, ending up with 19 dolls.  3-0 to Tiddington Cricket Club.

In what proved to be another game with some high scores, the Bull Inn A hosted the Crown CoO A.   Hoping to take the game by the horns, the Bull set the first leg, but, whether the red rag wasn’t visible or the sun was in their eyes coming over the wall at the Bull, only a set of nine was recorded.   Finding their form at last, the Crown responded in royal fashion, replying with the third 26 of the evening - Tony Launchbury, with a six, leading the way; John “Uffer“ Hudson, Terry “Siddy“ Bagnall and Jed Launchbury with four apiece.   Maybe the over excitement of hitting the big score got to them, 'cos in the next leg the Crown slipped and could only reach half their previous score with an unlucky 13 - Jed Launchbury and Callum Cooper hitting three apiece to make the score almost respectable.   It certainly wasn’t unlucky for the Bull, who, in full charge, managed to sneak the leg with a 17 - James Bateman continuing his good winter form with four and skipper Colin Baldwin chipping in with three.   With their very competitive skipper Colin looking for a charge up the league, the Bull set the third leg.   Whatever he did to inspire them certainly worked like a red rag - perhaps he'd even offered to buy them all a drink!   Derek “Dell Boy“ Richards with a six, was the star of the show, with the father and son Edgington’s (Carl and Rob), hitting four each plus, brothers Kev and Dave Gardiner with fours as well, charging them along to another 26 of the evening.   So, a first victory of the season for the Bull, by two legs to one.

The last game of the evening in the top division was the top of the table clash between the Highfield Club, who were at home to the Launton Arms A.   After much debate about which doll to put on the iron, team selection and the order they would throw in, the Highfield set the first leg.  A bit like the first live game back on Sky Sports, it proved to be hardly worth the wait (I mean, who thought Sheffield Utd vs Villa was going to be exciting, well apart from Speedy!).   After a poor start, from the usually reliable Lee “Wanny“ Wanless, with just two, the Highfield ended up with nine - skipper Andy “Mr Blobby” Lincoln not overly upset, as his standard one doll didn’t look out of place!   On a throw which is not a favourite of some of the Launton Arms players (especially the ones who lob the sticks so high you think it will have snow on when it comes down), replied with a winning 17 - Wayne Walker and Kevin Powney with four each helping Launton secure the leg.  A good start saw Launton set a very respectable 22 in the second leg - Terry Clack, Andy “Bread sticks“ Poppitt and super sub Steve “Gassy“ Gass with four each, helping them on their way.  Looking at possibly being 2-0 down, the Highfield previously would have collapsed quicker than an Arsenal defence, but not this time round.  Showing why they deserve to be in the premier league (at least according to their usually quiet skipper Andy Lincoln) saw them reply with another big score for the evening (26) - a six from Kevin Vickers (he must have been allowed to play whereabouts in the order where he wanted too) and five from Jason Harris - oh, and Andy “Mr Blobby” Lincoln with, for him, a great 2 dolls, helping to do the damage.   Celebrating with the restraint you would expect from the Highfield, they eventually settled down after scenes like England winning the world cup, to set the third leg.  The excitement of the previous leg got to them and with anchor-man Lee “Speedy” Conway, still busy discussing the Villa game (God knows why) he could only manage two at the tail end (something he normally does under pressure according to some of his team mates), to see the Highfield set 15.   Maybe it was losing a leg after setting 22,  but the Launton Arms threw like a team without any enthusiasm as they could only manage nine in response. So apart from the cheap beer, a bad night for Launton Arms A.

Division Two 

The Launton Arms B team entertained the Whitmore Exiles, who on their travels are always a tricky side to face.  The first leg saw Dicky “I hate you Butler“ Butler’s side knock off 15 dolls - Ged “dodgy belly“ Mills with four dolls.  The Exiles slow out of the blocks, but then they never rush about anyway, could only manage 11 in reply - maybe Jon “the Villa“ Woodman was too busy thinking about the Villa game on Sky too!   Determined to smarten things up (like his new cardigan), Exiles skipper Robbie Bryant set them on their way with three.  Unfortunately, the Exiles didn’t get any better than that, and could only manage 13.  Fortunately, it proved unlucky for the Launton Arms B, who couldn’t find their mark and staggered (much like they do at the end of every Aunt Sally evening), to a paltry six dolls.   One all, going into the last leg.  The Launton Arms were in and hoping for a good set, but it wasn’t to be, with them managing only 12.  "Maybe skipper Dicky Butler needs to offer to buy a round more often" seemed to be the feedback from the team!   Spurred on by Robbie, the Exiles started well, with Alan Styles and Les Cullen hitting four each early on, and then a tidy five dolls at the end by Dave “the briefcase“ Reast finishing things off nicely for them, giving them 19 dolls and a 2-1 win.

Another team struggling to repeat their winter league form is the Red Cow.   At home, they were hoping to outperform old rivals, the Shakespeare, who have been playing to the script a bit more recently. The Red Cow set the first leg, hoping to milk the situation and put the Shakespeare under the spot light.   A set of 17 - Roger “the Gent” Herbert and Ian “time for a fag” Cantwell both with four, set the scene. Blowing their lines, the Shakespeare could only manage 12 dolls in reply, cheering Martin Wanless up no end!   Having now properly warmed up, and treating the first leg as a rehearsal, the Shakespeare looked to silence their critics with a fine set of 21 - a great start of five from Tony Nichols (who obviously wasn’t driving), and four dolls from Pete Litten, helping them to a fine performance.  The Red Cow didn’t respond well and hit a poor nine dolls in reply.   Non-playing skipper Ria Cantwell again threatening to start sharpening the axe ready for team selection the following week.  With the threat of being sent to the slaughter house hanging over the Red Cow team, they responded well and certainly milked the situation - a fine set of 21, with four each for Liam Fisher and Liam Merchant.   It would take an Oscar winning performance from the Shakespeare to beat it and unfortunately, they fluffed their lines, managing to score only seven.   2-1 to the Red Cow and a reasonably happy Ria.

The Ashton Club, in fine form at the moment, were at home to the White Horse.   Setting in the first leg, the Ashton started well and hit 20 dolls - obviously having had enough time to lubricate themselves before the game - Rick “I’m on the Rattler“ Gumbert and Dave Wheeler with fours!   The White Horse, although capable, didn’t look odds on favourites to win this leg and it proved to be too much for them. Despite getting out of the stalls well early on, with a four from Danny Dyer (who managed to keep his mind off the kebab van in Market Square long enough to throw his sticks), they could only canter to 14. Setting in the next leg, the White Horse went off at a gallop.  This time getting into their stride and maintaining a decent pace until the finish line - five dolls from Baz “Futher Mucker“ Bazile and three each from Ruby Giles and Tony Owen amassed a total of 20.  It proved too much for the Ashton Club who could only reply with an unlucky for them 13 - three dolls for Brian Loverock in that leg.   So, at a leg apiece and with the visitors looking for their first win of the season, the third leg saw the Ashton get off to a slight canter this time round, which ended with them scoring 14 dolls - John Cottingham with a nice four.  Looking for a stable start to the leg, the White Horse pulled up at the first fence and fell to a lowly nine dolls.  2-1 to the Ashton and Danny was off to the kebab van.

Former Division One sides, Brill S&C B team and the Nut Tree, faced each other on top of the hill.   With the now customary gale force wind blowing, it could be anyone’s game.   Brill set in the first leg, and, despite the conditions, hit a reasonable 18 dolls - Alan Horton and Martin Bailey chipping in with four each; still not quite in full bloom, the Nut Tree replied with 12 dolls - Robert “Big Bob“ Price with three dolls helping the Nut Tree to crack double figures.  Setting in the next leg, Nut Tree skipper, Dicky Franklin, led the way with four dolls, but the bough broke and they only ended up with another score of 12.  This time, it proved to be too much of an uphill task (much like the throw at Brill) for the Club and they could only just reach double figures scoring ten.  It proved to be much the same story in the last leg, as Brill struggled against the wind and managed only to knock off six dolls. Consistency is the name of the game in Aunt Sally, and the Nut Tree certainly showed that, hitting another dozen to take the leg.  Richard “Dicky” Cooper finding some of his old form, hitting four.  So, 2-1 to the Nut Tree and a cracking evening for them.

Division Three 

The Prince of Wales hosted the Barley Mow this week and, on their home turf, the Prince team were looking for a much needed 3-0 win. Unfortunately, the set in the first leg was more of an abdication than a royal flush and they only managed to score nine - Frank Morrison with three of those.   Also struggling for form, the Barley Mow soon cropped down the chase and hit 16 dolls - James Kirkland, with a terrific five dolls, doing the damage.  The set in the next leg saw the Barley Mow cropped down to size and they could only muster nine dolls - Terry “red, red, wine  Hawkins with three.   Looking for a regal response, the Prince team found their mark and avoided making right Charlies of themselves by hitting 17 dolls to take the leg - Malc Hodges and Simon North with three dolls apiece.  The good form carried into the deciding leg with the Prince hitting another high score of 16 dolls - Trevor Barnett, with five, putting the pressure on the Barley Mow.  It proved too much for them as they struggled to a lowly eight.  That defeat sends them to the bottom of the table.  2-1 to the Prince of Wales.

In another meaty encounter, the Butchers Arms were at home to Brill S&SC A team.  Setting the first leg, the Butchers didn’t really put the Brill team to the sword and hit a dozen dolls - landlord Terry Gooch with three dolls.  In reply, the Brill score was just a cut above the Butchers with 14 - Mike Horn and Phil Chanel with three each.  The next leg saw the Brill side struggle with the conditions and they were unable to put a decent set on the board, managing just six dolls.  With their heads on the block, the Brill side watched the Butchers just win that leg, with eight dolls - John Plested scoring three to help the Butchers to the win.  Hoping to sharpen things up, the Butchers set the third leg.  It wasn’t to be though, and a few players could be for the chop, as they hit a lowly score of six.  Going in for the kill, the Brill S&SC A hit a great score of 20 dolls - a nice six from Dave Munson seeing the Club side go on to win the leg and the match 2-1.

Top of the table, the Lion Wendlebury, faced second place the Chandos. Hoping to keep pride of place at the top of the league, the Lion set a reasonable 14 dolls - Dave Coyle and Graham Brown with three each. The Chandos responded magnificently and with Robert “Curly“ Taylor back on form with five dolls, they hit a score of 17 to take the leg.  The next leg saw the Chandos choosing to set.  With the Lion team ready to pounce, the pressure seemed to get to the Chandos and an unusually low score of nine, saw the Lion sensing the kill.  A terrific start, with much more consistency through the side, saw them go for the kill with a terrific 20 dolls - Norman Dearlove and Mick Leonard with four each. The third leg was more the mouse that roared than the Lion, as they set a very poor five dolls.   With joint top of the table on points at stake, the Chandos did themselves proud with a score of 19 and took the last leg - Shane Jackson with five dolls helping to do the damage and leave the Lion licking their wounds.

Last game in the division was the Crown at Twyford at home to the Fox of Souldern.  The Crown set the first leg, with a score of 14 dolls - Sam Roberts with three shining well for them.  The Fox, looking to pounce, started well and ended well, scoring a terrific 20 dolls - Dan Kimber and Charlie Surman doing the damage with four each.  The second leg was a different story.  The Fox, maybe caught in the spotlight, could only manage five dolls - more crosses on the board than a David Beckham tribute night!   Even that nearly proved to be too much for the Crown, but they keep their heads and hit eight dolls to take the leg.  The third leg saw the Crown hit a royal 16 dolls - Kevin Hall and Tom Cook with a four and three respectively.  It all proved too much for the not so wily Fox, as they struggled again and could only manage a reply of nine, giving victory to the Crown, 2-1.

Division Four 

The Bull and Butcher A team hosted the Chearsley Cricketers.  Sitting bottom of the division, the Bull & Butcher (B&B) needed a win more than ever.  Setting in the first and taking the game by the horns, the B&B set a reasonable 13 dolls - Vic Whittingham and Mervyn Wilson with a nice three dolls each helping their cause.   With the Cricketers' openers and middle order keeping pace with the B&B, it came down to anchor-man Adam Lazaruk who needed two to draw and three to win the leg; hitting the boundary with a cracking four, he secured the win for the Cricketers.   Going straight back into bat, they then set an average score of ten.   The B&B, hoping to mince their way through this, struggled from the off and, despite three dolls from Paul Southey, they could only reply with eight.  Deciding to set in the third leg, the B&B were hoping to salvage a point.   Despite three dolls from Tom Sarjent, they couldn’t find the charge they needed and ended up with ten on the board.   Sensing the hat trick could be on the cards, the Cricketers settled in nicely and had taken the leg by the time the tail enders came into to throw - Daren Vythelingum and Tom Gadsby with four each on the way to 17 dolls and the 3-0 win.

The Launton S&S had the small trip out to March Gibbon to play the Plough A side.   Setting the first leg, the Plough found the going a bit tough and could only set eight dolls - Ben Kossick with three.  Launton S&S had a nightmare first leg and, with the zero’s flying about like Pearl Harbour again, they ended up with five dolls.  Hoping for some improvement in the second leg, Jim ”Jimbo” Harris put his side in to set.  With very little improvement, it didn’t help much, as another poor effort from his "Angels" saw a score of only eight on the board, despite three dolls from Hayden Marks.  Looking to furrow their way up the division, the Plough responded well and hit a tidy 15 to win the second leg - Matt Orlando and Lewis Wilson with four dolls each.  Setting in the third leg, the Plough got a bit stuck in the mud.   With those zero’s making another appearance, a poor set of four dolls gave the Launton side a chance to take a leg.   With three dolls from Sophie Thomson, Sarah Beesley and Cindy Reynolds, the Angels found their wings as they soared to a score of 16 to win the leg.

The Crown CoO B team hosted the Bull Inn B for a top of the table clash.   A high scoring game saw the Crown shine brightly in the first leg, setting a great 14 dolls - Barry Reynolds with four and three from Richard Pike.   The Bull were out of the stable quickly but couldn’t keep up the charge and only hit ten in reply - three dolls from Chris Mack. Skipper Nick Turnbull chose to set in the second leg and it was the red rag the Bull needed.   With four dolls from skipper Nick himself and the same from Clare “come on you Irons!!“ Walker helping them on to a great set of 17 dolls.  That proved way too much for the Crown, as they slipped to a score of nine in reply - John Day with three.  Hoping to put themselves back on top, the Crown set in the deciding leg - 11 on the board - David Basey with three of them.  Not being able to take the leg by the horns, the Bull struggled and could only reply with eight dolls. The Crown top the table with that 2-1 win.

The White Hart "entertained" the Bull and Butcher B team.  Setting in the first, the White Hart sprang into action with ten dolls - skipper for the night, Kat Berry, with three.  The Bull & Butcher weren’t quite sharp enough and only managed eight dolls in response - not much to write home about in that leg.  The B&B set in the second and struggled again, hitting nine dolls this time round, with a three from Russell Salter.  Skipper Kat, determined that White Hart stalwart and league chairman, George “up the hoops“ Deans would not be getting his guitar out this week, pushed them on to score 13 and take the leg.  Obviously, a few of the White Hart players are tone deaf, as George threatened to sing again if they didn’t win the last leg - and they went on to set just four dolls.   With Bicester’s version of "The Voice" looming, the B&B must enjoy a sing song too, as they hit ten to take the leg - Tony Williams with four dolls.  2-1 to the White Hart and George was off with “She’ll be coming ‘round the mountain”!

Division Five

The Red Lion Finmere were at home to the Plough MG Casuals.  Looking for pride of place at the top of their division, the Red Lion set in the first, with a decent 11 dolls.   The Casuals, apparently playing a little too laid back to say the least, had a nightmare and could only hit one - more crosses than a vampire hunter carries with him on the board.   Luckily, the Casuals have a great team spirit and they went into the second leg determined to put things right.   Maybe my understanding of that is different to theirs, as this time round they hit a mighty two!   Hardly needing to roar, and it was a good job too, the Red Lion won the leg - just, with a massive three dolls.   By this time the chalk was running out with all the crosses going on the board.   With both teams finally finding their feet, the Red Lion set 10 dolls - Trevor Jones' turn to shine, with three dolls.  The Casuals upped their game too (which wasn’t exactly hard), and came back strongly to take the third leg with 16 dolls - Rob McGrath and John Calin with three dolls each.   2-1 to the Red Lion.

The Safari Garden played hosts to the Highfield Social B team.   Coming out in sympathy for the Plough MG Casuals, the Safari Garden, setting in the first leg, also hit one - those zero’s making an appearance in Arncott now.   Skipper Ady Carvell with a nice four, saw the Highfield score 13 dolls and, unsurprisingly, win the leg.   Now I’m not sure what was going on in Division Five, but the low scoring-itis seemed to be catching.   Maybe they are running their own competition of most blobs in a season, to rival the highest doll scorer trophy - something the committee could think about perhaps?   Anyway, feeling sorry for the home side, the Highfield managed two dolls in their set in the second leg.   Safari skipper Lee Savidge, with five dolls, inspired his team on to 16 in total to take the leg.   Maybe the over excitement of those five dolls (or still talking about his new fence since the old one burned down), but Lee’s side could only hit four dolls in the last leg - some of their players definitely going for that new trophy of most blobs!  It nearly proved too much for the Highfield, who scraped past it with six.   2-1 to the Highfield.

The Fountain entertained the Launton Divas, with word spreading quickly about this new trophy, and not to be outdone on the most blobs front, the Fountain set a hefty four dolls in the first leg.  (Maybe someone has shares in a company that sells chalk around Bicester and wants to sponsor the new trophy!)  Anyway, the Divas, having a great season, replied with 11 - three dolls from skipper Hannah Roberts and Angie Pearson.  Then the Divas decided they would like to enter the new competition and set six - Vicky Hedger with three of those!  Not to be outdone and determined that one of their players would get a shot at the new trophy, the Fountain responded with four.  The last leg saw the Fountain find their flow and they hit a far more respectable 14 dolls - John Thornton, Nigel Cox and Vince Cox with three each.  The Divas, still focused on the possibility of a trophy for most blobs on finals night, could only reply with six dolls.   Still a 2-1 victory for Divas and joint top position . . . !

The Jungle drums about the possibility of new trophy must have been beating loud, as the Eight Bells (at the top of the table after three consecutive wins), hosting the Bell B, could only set one in the first leg. Skipper Olly Carvell, determined that his team wouldn’t drop a clanger, hit three dolls, helping the Bell B to a score of 10 and the first leg. Clanging off another 10 dolls in the second leg, they set well.  Possibly with their low first leg score ringing in their ears, the Eight bells were out of tune again in the second, replying with only five dolls - a few players still listening to the jungle drums maybe?   Finally, ringing in some good individual scores, the Eight Bells set 12 dolls - Rob Webb with four of them.   Perhaps listening to the rumours of a blob trophy, the Bell had a proper ding-dong leg and could only muster four dolls in reply.   2-1 to the Bell B. 

Phil Allen

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15th June 2020

Afternoon all,

True Aunt Sally weather this week, with grey clouds and showers. The motley crew met once again to “virtually” score the summer league fixtures for week 3.   Honours fell to Pete “Demps” Dempsey to be in control of the scoring and he pulled out some great scores and results. As the lockdown is relaxing, with some possibility of pubs reopening their gardens, our weekly review from next week will focus on one key match per division, with a condensed report for the other results.  Each week will feature a different team where possible.

Back to normal order this week, so Premier and Division One first.

The White Lion entertained the high scoring Tiddington Cricket Club. On what is probably their furthest journey, it appeared that jet lag may have got to the cricketers.   In fairness, the White Lion team, (with most of them now allowed out for an hour a day, as, apart from YTS apprentice Dougie, they have all been in the vulnerable group during lockdown), managed to find some form.  An uneventful first leg saw the Lion sneak it 12-9.  Tiddington, adjusting to the lack of umbrella’s and foot high grass, struggled to find the throw, literally, and only hit 10. Then the veterans showed their capability and smashed 26.  League legend and rolling back the years, - well, quite a few years, - Eddie “Eduardo“ Gordon with a six, justified his selection by skipper Brian Gough, who also chipped in with a six too - although Brian’s was better and cleaner, (according to super sub Nigel Wakelin - and who wouldn’t believe him??).  With the Lion setting and a chance to grab their first 3-0 victory, excitement got the better of them - something that can happen at their age!  Despite the young apprentice Dougie hitting a 4 , a few low scores from some of the more experienced players (probably the cold and wet getting in their joints), meant a set of only 9. Tiddington, determined to salvage some pride, knocked off 15 dolls.   2-1 to the Lion and in for the “ a la carte” after match food…

The Crown A team have been struggling since the winter league and their bad run of form continued this week at home to the Bell.  The Crown slipped a little in the first leg, hitting 16 dolls.  John “Loony” Lehane and Matt Hillsden with 4 each, shining for the Crown.  The Bell were in tune from the first throw, clanging off 20 dolls - Darren Moore with 5 and Chris Hulme with 4.  With the great set ringing in their ears, the Bell certainly had a ding-dong second leg, totting up 23 - six dolls for Ray “ever improving“ Rowe and 4 each for Billy “the stance“ Craig and anchor man Darren “Lodgey” Lodge doing the damage.  The Crown started well but faltered towards the tail and managed only 16 dolls - Callum Cooper with four.  Looking for a good set in the last leg, it was more tantrums and tiara’s than a Crown, as they could only hit 13 - John “Uffer” Hudson got four of those.  The Bell were certainly ringing out the good scores all night, as another 20 dolls saw them to a 3-0 victory - Aimee Sheehan and Dan Jobling with four each.

In another high scoring game, the Highfield, after much discussion, finally decided on their throwing order and it paid dividends against the visiting Pheasant team.  Scores of 25 and 18 in the first two legs, followed by an amazing 26 in the last leg gave them the 3-0 victory - Lee Wanless, with a six in the first leg and Lee “ Speedy” Conway finishing off the last leg with one as well.  Good job the team was on fire as Andy “ Mr Blobby “ Lincoln carried on his fine form of 1-0-1 - probably wrinkled fingers from spending far too much time in his new hot tub.   The Pheasant were left spitting feathers after a good win last week.  Although knocked off their perch at the Highfield, Pete McCaron and Dave Fry threw well, despite the lack of Peroni in the Highfield Club.

The last game in the top division saw another massive score go on the board at top of the table Launton Arms A versus the Bull Inn A.  In, what is without doubt, the closest local derby travel-wise and with village pride at stake, the Launton Arms set a reasonable 19.  Stevie “Mr G“ Golder, with a five, leading the way.  It proved in vain though, as the Bull A  took the game by the horns and smashed 26 dolls off in the first leg - Derek “Dell Boy“ Richards leading the way with a fine six (the coaching he’s received in the winter league obviously paying off!), four apiece for the Edgington’s nearly bringing a smile to their faces!  Looking to beef up their league standing with an away win, the Bull had obviously peaked a bit too soon and mustered only 10 in the second leg.   Knowing a low score chase had often been their Achilles heel, the Launton Arms had a steady start from the first four, with three a piece which sealed the leg.   The home skipper, Andy “ Bread” Poppitt, didn’t hesitate to put his lads back in and it proved a great decision -  something as rare as him hitting a six! - and the team set 25 - six dolls from Norman “Smiler“ Brock helping things along.  About time too, in his own words.   Despite an early charge from the Bull, it proved too much and even with fours from Kevin Gardiner and James Bateman giving them 20 dolls, it was 2-1 to the Launton Arms A and they remain top of the league - on dolls scored over the Highfield.

Division Two 

Struggling to adjust to their new venue and throw, the Whitmore Exiles, hosting the Red Cow, only managed 10 dolls in the first leg.  Dave “the briefcase” Reast the best of a bad bunch, hitting three.   In response, and after a few dodgy weeks, the Red Cow hit 17 - Roger “the Gent" Herbert hitting four.  Hoping to milk the situation, the Red Cow then slipped back into the poor form they have shown recently and only set eight.  Ready to send the Cow players to slaughter for a poor performance, non-playing skipper, Ria Cantwell, was happy to see the Exiles struggle to a lowly seven - Exiles skipper, Robbie Bryant, claiming he was giving the game up, for the 145th time. His threat seemed to spur the team on and they knocked off a respectable 17 dolls - Jon “up the Villa“ Woodman and Alan Styles chipping in with four each.  Possibly celebrating their victory prematurely, or concentrating too much on the beer leg, the Red Cow only managed seven; so 2-1 to the Exiles.

The White Horse versus the Launton Arms B, although not a local derby, did see two brothers and a lot of close friends playing against each other.   Ruby Giles, playing for the Horse, was up against brother Paul “Maverick“ Giles, and old friends and golf sparring partners, Danny Dyer, for the Horse was against Dicky “I hate you“ Butler, skipper of the Launton Arms B.   Pulling up at the first fence, the White Horse could only muster 11 dolls - Baz “Futher Mucker” Baziel with a steady four.   The Launton Arms responded well and hit a terrific 21 dolls - Alan “Moonshine“ Moon and skipper Dicky leading the way with four apiece.  With the lockdown fish and chip shop queue not quite as bad as previous weeks, the Launton Arms, unperturbed and undisturbed, set 19 - lead-off man Rob Owens with four (both the Launton Arms teams seem to have some quality lead off men!) and four from Paul “Mav” Giles.   It proved just too much for the White Horse and they lost by a neck, managing 14 - Danny Dyer managed a packet of crisps, whilst Dave Futter and Tony Owen hit three each.  Playing for pride only, the White Horse got slightly blinkered and cantered to a lowly 11 - Danny Dyer, on this occasion with a packet of Scampi fries was the highlight for them in that leg.  Sensing a 3-0 whitewash and bragging rights over his old foe, Dicky Butler rallied his men and offered to buy them a round if they could secure the victory.  Not wanting to miss the opportunity of sending Dicky to the bar, Chris McKechnie with five and Bob Watmough with four, saw the Launton team hit 19 and take the honours 3-0.  It also means the Launton Arms B are top of their division too - the same as their A team !!

With the weather being back to normal Aunt Sally wind and rain, Brill S&C “B” looked to be favourites against the Shakespeare, at home on top of the hill.   It proved to be anything but home advantage though, as the Sports Club team struggled in the first leg, managing a poor set of seven - more crosses on show than at an exorcism.  Taking centre stage for the Shakespeare, Tony Nichols with four, got them off to a great start.  The plot nearly went wrong though, with a few blobs in the middle; but a fine performance, dare I say it, from Martin Wanless with four at the tail, secured the first leg and a score of 13.  Although a team known to like chasing, the Shakey side set and got their act together, putring 20 dolls on the board - Pete Litten with a five, Erik Poslusny and Paula Grose chipping in with three helping to do the damage.  Jon Vaile and Alan Horton with three each proved to be not enough for the Club team, struggling on their own turf and scoring 14 in total.  Setting in the last leg, a smart five from Martin Bailey saw Brill put 15 dolls on the board.  It was to be the encore for the Shakey team though, as a score of 17 and that man Martin Wanless with another four securing the leg and the 3-0 win. It even put a smile on his face!  3-0 to the Shakespeare.

The Nut Tree hosted the Ashton Club in the final game of Division 2, in a middle of the table clash, which it certainly turned out to be. Setting 14 in the first leg, skipper Dick Franklin was hoping his side could sneak the first leg.  The Ashton side, despite the murmurings about the price of a beer in the Nut Tree, knocked 19 dolls off to take a 1-0 lead - Rick “I’m on the rattler man !!“ Gumbert, Dave Wheeler and John Cottingham with three each, helping to chop down the Nut tree score. The next two legs generated the same level of excitement as a bingo night in the Ashton, with the Club setting 11 and the Nut Tree only managing 9.  Then a set of eight from the Nut Tree saw the Ashton hit another 11 to take the game 3-0 - nobody from either side excelling themselves, except maybe the Chef at the Nut Tree, where as usual the after-match grub was outstanding.

Division Three 

The Barley Mow have had a bad start to the season and were hoping to improve on their situation, at home to the Butchers Arms.  Having had some tight games against each other during the Winter league, both sides were hoping to carry that form into this week’s game.  Things didn’t go to plan for skipper Mark Hiles, as he saw his side set a woeful five (come back Freddie Sawyer maybe?).  The Butchers, needing to sharpen up their game, did take the leg, but only by two dolls, scoring seven.  Setting in the next leg saw the Butchers carving up a great set of 20 - skipper John Plested leading the way with five and landlord Terry Gooch putting the knife in with four.  Like lambs to the slaughter, the Barley Mow responded poorly by their standards again and only mustered seven.  Two nil down, Terry “the Tiler“ Hawkins, refreshed by his 5th of 6th glass of vino scored a fine six, helped the Barley Mow on their way to a much better set of 16.  The Butchers, already celebrating their victory, put their heads on the block for selection next week, scoring a poor five.   2-1 to the Butchers overall though.

Another game that struggled to get going for both sides was the Chandos Arms against the Prince of Wales.  The Chandos were slow out of the blocks and only hit seven, which did inspire the Prince team who replied with a nice 19 - Trevor Barnett and Malc Hodges rolling back the years (something they have plenty of), to do the damage for the Prince. It might have over inspired them though, as in the next leg the wheels came off and they only managed to set five.  The Chandos, although not playing well, scored nine to take the second leg.  This seemed to wake them up a bit and in the last leg a fine set of 19 was put on the board - Rob “Curly“ Taylor finding his old form and scoring five dolls. The Prince, looking forward to the beer leg as usual, lost concentration and could only reply with a total of six.  2-1 to the Chandos.

The Crown at Twyford had a close match against the Brill S&SC A team. A royal set of 15 in the first leg, with four dolls each from Sam Roberts and Tom Hanson, proved to be just enough, as the Brill team responded well with 14 - Mike Horn and Dave Munson with four each almost doing enough for Brill.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t carry the form over into the next leg, which saw a mediocre set of nine go on the board.  With a regal four each from Kevin Wall and Tom Cook, the Crown replied with 17 to take the second leg.  Two nil up and looking to be kings of the castle and take all three points, the Crown set a great 16 - Judd O’Connor with four helping them on their way.   Not to be outdone, Brill responded superbly, hitting 18 dolls to take the leg and secure a point - Jeff Flasck and Joe Southend with four each.  2-1 to the Crown.

The Fox at Souldern were in the hunt for three points against the Lion from Wendlebury.   A set of 11 in the first leg wasn’t enough for the Fox though, as the Lion roared past it with a massive score of 20 - pride of place going to Mick Leonard with a great six.  The Lion went on the hunt in the second leg and hit another great score of 14 - Norman Dearlove with four doing the damage this time round.  The Fox seemed to shy away in this leg and could only reply with six.  Was this a cunning plan from the Fox to take the third leg?  Well it didn’t go to plan if it was, and they only set seven.   Sensing the kill, the Lion started well and took the last leg with a score of 12.   3-0 and pride of place at the top of the league for the Lion.

Division Four 

Setting on a wet and sticky wicket saw Chearsley Cricketers off to a bad start with six - all singles and a couple of wides!  The visiting Plough MG A furrowed away and hit a nice 14 to take the leg - Matt Orlando and Ben Cossick starring for the Plough with four each.  It wasn’t to be the same story in the next leg though, as the Plough got stuck in the mud and could only set 11.  Opening well, the cricketers got off to a steady start and went well through their batting order to hit 15 - Daren Vythelingum with a decent innings of four.  So, 1-1, going into the final leg.  The Cricketers going in to set, had a bit of a middle order collapse and just reached double figures with 10.  The Plough, sensing they could turn this over, went through the field nicely and hit 13.  Not unlucky for them and a 2-1 victory.

The Bull Inn B were at home to the Bull and Butcher A.  Unfortunately, the first two legs of this game reflected the weather - dull and uninspiring.  The Bull struggled to hit five and the Butchers just sneaked past it with seven in the first leg.  Then setting in the second leg, the Bull and Butcher could only manage four dolls, comfortably beaten with nine from the Bull - Clare Walker with three the highlight of this leg.   With a small delay as more chalk was needed for the score board, as it had been used up marking all the blobs from the first 2 legs, the third leg saw the Bull aiming to take the win.   A pity they didn’t aim at the doll as well, as another low score of seven was set.  The Butchers responded well knocking off 17 to take the leg and the game 2-1 - Chris Lee and Robert Evans scoring three each in the final leg.

The White Hart hosted Launton S&S (or "Jim’s Angels" as they are often known), under captaincy by Jim Harris.   League chairman, George “the Celtic warrior” Deans, saw his side get off to a woeful start, setting a meagre four, leaving him speechless, which was a first!   In response, Launton Sports, slow out of the blocks, just managed to win the leg with seven.   Setting the next leg, Launton found some form and hit 13 - Jim Harris and Cindy Reynolds with three each.  With George threatening to get his guitar out after the game if the White Hart didn’t show any improvement, they managed to reach double figures, but no more - just 10.   Adding that he would'nt only play the guitar but sing as well, George tried to inspire the Hart team to salvage a point.  It resulted in another score of 10.  Obviously Launton S&SC also fancied a sing song, as they could only respond with four.   So, 2-1 to Launton and the evening ended happily with George belting out “come by yah my lord, come by yah”!

The Bull and Butcher B hosted the Crown CoO B team. After being set nine by the Bull & Butcher, the Crown B showed why they are top of the division by hitting 16 - Barry Reynolds and Matthew Holmes throwing well for the Crown (maybe the Crown B should be playing for the Crown A?).   It didn’t stop there, as a royal set of 17 in the second leg, proved just too much for the Bull & Butcher who responded with a great 15 - three dolls each for Steve Andrews and Gareth Wagland, but not enough to take the leg.  With the Crown shining bright, the Bull & Butcher folded in the last leg, with a set of six . The Crown sparkled and hit another 16 dolls - Barry Reynolds rounding off a good night for himself with a five.  3-0 to the Crown CoO B.

Division Five 

The Plough MG Casuals had a bad start against the Safari Garden, setting only six.  The Safari Garden, who obviously enjoy being on their travels, responded with eight - skipper Lee Savidge with three dolls. They went straight back in and hit another eight.  It proved too much this time round for the unusually tense Casuals, who could only respond with four.   Going into the last leg, the casuals turned on the style and hit 14 - Robert McGrath and Brian McCann doing the damage with four each.  It was a close call though, with the Safari garden playing well, but falling one short at the end with 13.  2-1 to the Safari Garden.

The third team from the Launton Arms, the Divas, are also having a much improved season and doing well in their division.  The all-girl side hosted the Red Lion Finmere.  Perhaps a little over confident after some good recent results, the Divas had a bit of a tantrum and could only manage four dolls - new skipper Hannah Roberts quickly ordering more Prosecco ready for the next leg!  The Red Lion with a little bit of overkill, roared and hit a nice 15 dolls - Andy Hughff and Robin Kelsey on form for them.  Feeling in the hunt, the Red Lion, setting in the second leg, managed double figures with 10.  The Divas managed to stop chatting with each other and, with some more prosecco now consumed, they hit a magnificent 14 - Hannah, Tessa Mills and Penny Brown, with three each.   With the bubbly now flowing, the Divas put on another good show and hit 12 - Angie Pearson with four doing the damage this time.  It proved too much for the Red Lion, who could only reply with four.  Another victory for the Divas, 2-1.

The Eight bells played the Highfield B in a close game. Totting up a good set, the Eight bells hit 15 - Rob Webb and Simon Longley throwing well. The Highfield, still finding their feet in the league, hit a respectable 10 dolls in reply.  Setting in the next leg, the Highfield hit a great 13, which did prove to be unlucky for them, as the Eight Bells clanged off 14 to pinch the leg - Chris Norgate-Barnes with four.  The last leg saw the Eight Bells toll as they set 13, to which the Highfield could only respond with seven.   3-0 to the Eight Bells and a place at the top of the table.

Last game of the week saw the new Bell B team host the Fountain.  A terrific set of 15 by the home side set the tune for the first leg; the Fountain could only reply with nine.   Despite not flowing well in the second leg, the visitors set six, including a couple of dolls for Paul Symonds - and even that proved too much for the Bell B; they could only clang off four.   With the low score ringing in their ears, the Bell side struggled to get in tune again in the last leg and only managed five - bit of a clanger really!  This inspired the Fountain and after a good start, the rest of the team went with the flow and scored 11 - Richard Cox with three dolls.   2-1 to the Fountain. 

That's the last of our weekly full blown report - our "reporter's" back to work next week.  As was said at the beginning, we will focus on one big match report and condense the rest.   Hopefully it will still provide some entertainment

This week, because Premiership football is back on the telly on Wednesday, our virtual aunt sally will take place on Tuesday

Phil Allen


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7th June 2020

Warning - please ensure you have a free half an hour or so and a beer at hand before settling down to read this rather lengthy report!  Don't get too used to it - it won't always be like this!

The second week of the Bicester "Virtual" Aunt Sally summer league fixtures and, as if the Aunt Sally gods were watching us, the weather changed dramatically in the real world and it was more like a typical league night outside.   Maybe scoring games via Skype could be the way forward !

So, onto this week’s results, with the scoring carried out in the same manner as our first week, randomly selected this time by our committee member, Billy “ Don’t be a hero” Atwell.   Last week’s shenanigans raised quite a bit of interest;  so much so that this week we were joined by two more well-known players, Eddie Gordon from the White Lion and Dave Fry from the Pheasant to oversee that the scoring was all above board and correct, plus to have a beer or two.

Having covered the top two divisions last week, we’ll start this week with Divisions Three to Five reports.

Division Three 

First game of the night and a clash of the big boys was the Chandos vs the Barley Mow.   Robert “ Curly “ Taylor, playing his usual steady self in the first two legs, and with the Barley Mow missing (or maybe not) Paul “Freddie “ Sawyer, the Chandos took the first leg by just one doll, 13-12.   The Barley Mow, with Terry Hawkins enjoying a glass or two of red wine before the game, and pitching in with a nice four to help the visitors set 15, found it was nowhere enough, as the Chandos (Shane Jackson, John Mole and Richard McVeigh in particular), all threw well, rocking up a very tidy 20.   So, 2-0 to the Chandos; but then, with the weather getting worse, it appears that they all took shelter in the bar, the wheels came off slightly, and only 8 was put on the board.  Terry rallied his team with his now infamous “come on boys !!   We can do this !!“ - and they certainly did, smashing off 20 dolls in reply.  Terry, James Kirkland, Mark Hiles and Dave “Calm down, calm down“ Medhurst all carrying over their winter league form.  Chandos with some decent individual scores were victorious, 2-1.

The Butchers Arms hosted the Crown Twyford and with skipper John Plested, Shaun Wickens and Ky Maciejewski all relatively sober in the first leg, the Butchers set an impressive 18 dolls.  The Crown throwing reasonably well, with some decent scoring by Sam Roberts and Tom Hanson, could only manage 12 in reply.  Landlord Terry Gooch, inspired by his impressive winter league form, offered an extra plate of chips for the Butchers boys if they could keep the scoring up, which they certainly did and knocked off 17 in each of the second and third legs. Their high scoring seemed to knock the Crown’s confidence and they could only respond with a 10 and a 6.   Maybe they were hoping to share the chips!   So, 3-0 to the Butchers Arms, who seem to be finding their winter league form, inspired, of course, by Landlord Terry’s generosity with the food!

League stalwarts the Prince of Wales, Steeple Claydon were home against the Fox of Souldern.   A fair distance to travel in the lockdown conditions but it didn’t seem to affect the Souldern team.  The Prince boys, just managing to get themselves out of the bar for the 8.30 start, set 14.   John Carter, Malc Hodges and Frank Mahon all pitching in with some decent scoring, but not enough to keep skipper Les Walker happy.   Nothing new there then!   The Souldern boys, enjoying a new venue despite the travelling, hit an impressive 20; Charlie Surman and Luke Kimber throwing well for the Fox.   Their turn to set in the second leg; but could only muster up 10.   With skipper Les leading the way, helped along by Trevor Barnett, it looked set for an equalising leg for the home side; but "nay", they fell but the wayside, scoring just 7.   All down to the last leg, with the Prince doing their utmost to redeem themselves, setting a very tidy 15.   Not enough though, the Fox looking forward to the beer leg smashed off another 20 dolls.   3-0 to the Fox.

Brill S&SC A faced another team relegated from Division Two, The Lion, Wendlebury.   With home advantage and the wind only whistling across the playing field at 50mph, the Brill side looked to be favourites, but they could only muster a set of 9.   The Lion replied with a hefty 18. Maybe if they had thrown like that last season they wouldn’t be where they are in the league!   Norman Dearlove, Andy Cox and Pete Busby all pitched in with decent scores.  Having found their bearings at altitude and mastering the resident gale force wind, the Lion put a respectable 15 on the board - Eddie Peake and Dave Coyle chipping in this time, as Norman had popped inside to listen to the Jazz!  The Brill team responded well, as they should - having years of experience with said windy conditions - but, even with Mike Horn and Dave Munson hitting a couple of decent scores along the way - they fell short, managing just 12.   The final set of the evening, in calmer conditions all round, but with the Jazz melodies enhancing the evening as it progressed, the Brill side mustered a seemingly winning 17 - Phil Chanel, Jeff Flasck and Joe Southend all playing well.  The Lion though, came back strongly and smashed a very respectable 19 dolls off.   Norman Dearlove, Graham Brown and Mick Leonard (with a nice 5) all helping the visitors to a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Division Four 

The first result of the virtual night in Division Four was the Bull Inn B at home to Chearsley Cricketers.  With the alcohol still waiting to kick in and, maybe, the less than friendly weather, led to a poor set from the Bull, hitting only 7 - Clare Walker with a steady 3, was the best of a low scoring leg.   Although it looked like they were staring defeat in the face, the visiting Cricketers definitely needed more time for a few beers and could only reply with five - more "snowflakes" on the board than at one of the lockdown demonstrations in London.  The second leg saw the Cricketers still queuing for their beer and they only managed to hit eight - difficult to pick out star players with these scores, but Paul Kingsman and Adam Lazaruk were the top scorers!   The Bull B made short work of their chase and hit a tidy 13 - Emma Johnson and Chris Ashton chipping in with a respectable 3 apiece to do the damage.   The 2-0 lead, plus a few well-earned beers kept the momentum going for the Bull and they set a great score of 17 in the last leg.  This seemed to wake the Chearsley team up; they then hit their best score of the night with 15, but still not enough to salvage a leg.   Hopefully they can improve on their away form.   3-0 to the Bull Inn B.

The Plough MG entertained the White Hart.   As usual the Plough side had a bad start, setting only 5 - nearly as many Zero’s flying about as there were at Pearl harbour.  The White Hart, with league chairman George Deans leading the way, only just managed to secure the first leg with 9.  Being a Celtic fan, George likes to keep faith and the White Hart set 11 - this time Andy Maycock and Doug Shults doing the damage for the Hart.   It proved too much for the Plough, who, despite a couple of decent scores from Matt Orlando and Ben Cossick, ended up with seven.   So, down to the last leg and the Plough, hoping to restore some pride, hit a terrific score of 16 - Lewis Wilson doing some damage with a nice 4.   The White Hart, already celebrating victory being 2-0 up (a bit like George does each year with the Scottish premier), missed the chance to win 3-0 and responded with just nine.   Still, he's happy - 2-1 to the White Hart!

It was a proper local derby at the Bull and Butcher, Ludgershall, with the A team hosting the B team.   The first leg saw the A team put a big score of 16 on the board with some terrific throwing by Richard and Chris Lee of 4 each, plus Robert Evans chipping in with 3 dolls.   It proved not to be big enough though, as the B team responded in true derby style with 17 - Steve Andrews, Gareth Wagland and both Shaun Fisher Snr & Jnr chipping in to secure the first leg.   With village pride at stake, the B team set 11 in the second leg.   How would the A team respond?   Well despite a couple of decent throws by Mervyn Wilson and new landlord, James “ Jimbo” Hunt, it just wasn’t to be and a score of nine saw the B team go into a 2-0 lead.   With James “ Jimbo” Hunt encouraging both sides to drink as much as they could to help fund his next golfing holiday, the third leg went to the B team, who after being set a despondent five from the A team, sailed past it to hit 14 and secure a 3-0 victory.

Last game up in Division Four was Launton Sports & Social versus the Crown (CoO) B team.   With Jim Harris at the helm anything is possible for the Launton side, but mostly keeping the turnover of the club moving along nicely!   With the wind coming across the playing field as usual, the first leg was a low scoring affair.  Launton, only managed to set seven, with the best player in the Harris household, Sophie, hitting her usual 3 dolls.   The Crown struggled with the conditions and only knocked off four in reply.   Best not to say too much about who hit what in this leg as it looked like a bad night on Britain’s Got Talent, with crosses all over the scoreboard!   The Crown did improve slightly in the next leg (but only just), doubling their first score to hit eight - Barry Reynolds hitting half of them.   It proved too strong for the Launton side, who collapsed and only replied with five.   Poor old Jim, so disappointed at not beating eight, was left pulling out what hair he has left!   With the Reynolds sisters, Claire and Cindy, having a decent last throw, Launton still couldn’t set double figures and ended up with eight.  Some better throwing by Nik Paterson and John Day helped secure the last leg for the Crown and give them a 2-1 victory.

Division Five 

The Launton Arms Divas, our only all-female side in the league, have been improving season on season - something which the A & B teams from the pub are finding hard to do!   It certainly seemed the case on Wednesday, as they set 10 in the first leg against opponents Plough MG Casuals. Former skipper Tessa Mills chipped in with a handy three, more than her partner Ged Mills (a Launton Arms B team player) averages on a good day!   The Casuals replied well but fell one short, only hitting nine - Rob McGrath hitting 3 amongst the Casuals scores.   It was then a case of what happened next.   Not a lot in this case.  The Plough team, maybe distracted by the ladies, had more crosses on the score board than David Beckham managed in a game for Man Utd. Possibly the lowest score seen in Bicester - one was the set!   Inspired by this, the ladies threw extremely well, totalling a nice 13 - Angie Pearson and Penny Brown whipping off three apiece to rub salt into the Casuals' wounds!   Seeing how well they can perform, the girls set another 13 in the last leg - new skipper Hannah Roberts leading the way with four dolls and Vicky Hedger with three.   Would it prove too much for the shell-shocked Casuals??  Not a chance and inspired by some good throwing from Helen Barnes, Vlad Coican and Cairene McAnn they pipped the Divas scoring 16 dolls.  So, 2-1 to the Divas on the night.

The Safari Garden hosted the Eight Bells.   After causing much excitement in the village of Arncott earlier in the week by setting his newly erected garden fence ablaze, skipper Lee Savidge may have wished he’d thrown his aunt sally sticks on there too (although he would have probably missed the fence anyway) as the Safari team only set a meagre three.   The Bells team, on tour from Long Crendon, passed this with ease hitting 11 - Rob Webb and Simon Longley leading the way for the Bells.   Not sure if someone in Crendon had burned their garden down too, but the Bells certainly weren’t on fire in the second leg, they themselves only hitting three.  The Safari team mustered together (much like the village did to watch the fence burn) and knocked eight dolls off.   So down to the last leg to see who would be victorious.  The Safari team set, managing only 6.   The Eight Bells, on fire this time round, hit a nice 14.   So, 2-1 to the Eight Bells.

The Red Lion Finmere hosted one of the league’s new teams, the Bell B. Andy Hughff hitting a nice four to see the home team through to a score of 14.  Unfortunately for the Bell B, they fell two short with 12; the anchorman needing four to draw managed only two.   Realising they were in with a chance seemed to rally the Bell B side who replied with a nice 13 doll set in the second leg.   The Lion team didn’t quite roar loud enough and could only hit 10 dolls in reply.   So, 1-1 going into the last leg.   With their two top scorers from last year, Andy Hughff and Robin Kelsey not firing on all cylinders the Lion only set four.   Over excitement of a win in their first away game got to the Bell and after six blobs and one each from the last pair, managed only two.   A 2-1 win for the Lion which sees them rather dizzingly perched on top of the table!

Last up in Division Five was the Highfield B, another new side, at home to the Fountain.   With the nicely priced beer flowing well, the Highfield led the way with 11 - on this form the Highfield B could be pushing their A team for a game!   The Fountain came close but could only manage nine - last year's Division Five top doll scorer, Phil Carter, chipping in with three.   Now setting, one of the league’s longest serving sides showed their experience and buoyed by the cheap booze, hit a massive 16 - Paul Symonds and Richard Cox with four apiece helping things along.   Another good throw from the Highfield with 11, but not enough to take the leg.   Undeterred by losing that second leg, the Highfield came out guns blazing and put 13 on the board.  This proved too much for the Fountain, who could only reply with seven. Maybe the nice prices in the club making an impact on them??

As we are reporting in reverse order, Division Two reports next.

The White Horse hosted the leagues wandering minstrels, the Whitmore Exiles.   Danny Dyer from the Horse expressing his dismay that he wouldn’t get the opportunity to play at the Muddy Duck now, as the Exiles are playing out of the Butchers Arms.  Can’t think why he’s disappointed?   Onto the match, with the queue for the Bassett Avenue Chippie, due to social distancing, running along side the throw of the Horse, it proved to be a tricky night for both teams.   The White Horse came out of the stalls quickly, knocking off a reasonable 16 dolls - Dave Futter, Baz Baziel and Ruby Giles all hitting three.  With skipper Robbie Bryant on form with four, Jon Woodman three and Dave Reast three, the Exiles hit 19.   With the chip shop queue still growing, the second leg saw both teams (as reflected in their scores) were put off by the crowd on the path next to the throw - the Exiles managing only 14 -  Alan and Les Cullen with three apiece.   A poor response from the White Horse team (too busy watching videos on each other’s phones maybe), saw them reply with a lowly nine dolls.  Setting in the last leg, three each from Tony Owen and Danny Dyer helped the Horse to 13. Sensing their first ever 3-0 victory over the White Horse, the Exiles threw well and hit 15 to take all the points - Alan Styles with a nice four doing most of the damage.  3-0 to the Whitmore Exiles.

After a disappointing start in the first game last week, the Red Cow were looking to take some points at home to the Brill S&C B team.   With the lighting as superb as ever, the Cow only managed to knock 10 dolls off - Roger Herbert with three helping to redeem himself from last week.   With the Brill A team being used to blustery conditions, the “Chesterton Breeze”, which blows gently across the throw at the Cow, didn’t hamper them at all and they scored a handsome 19 dolls - Alan Horton and Martin Bailey with four each doing the damage.   The visitors then collapsed quicker than the Arsenal defence and only set seven.   With non-playing skipper Ria Cantwell already threatening to drop players unless they pulled their fingers out, the Cow responded with a tidy 18 - the two Liam’s, Merchant and Fisher, with fours and Ian Cantwell with three, helping the Cow to the second leg.  Unfortunately, the set in the last leg didn’t match the second leg scoring for the Cow. Despite a four from John Clutterbuck, they only managed 11.   Ria was already sharpening the axe for next week!   Sensing victory, the Brill team grew in confidence and hit 18 dolls, with Jon Vaile smashing five dolls off.   2-1 to Brill S&C B.

Launton Arms B, now skippered by Dicky Butler, were looking to replicate their performance from the week before.   Hosting the Nut Tree, they set a 17 in the first leg, Robbie Owens, Alan Moon and Dicky Butler all scoring three.   The Nut Tree were a bit slow out of the blocks and only hit 10 in reply - Dicky Cooper with three (although he claims it should have been four!) the top scorer for them.   Setting in the second, the Nut Tree boys seemed to be relaxing too much now they’ve dropped down a division and only managed to put six on the board. With the ever competitive Launton Arms B side sensing victory, a couple of three's from Bob Watmough and Chris McKechnie did the damage and won the leg for them.   With their eyes more focused on the beer leg and skipper Dicky Butler having had more than his prescribed two halves of bitter, things went a bit off kilter in the last leg and the Launton boys only hit six.   Dicky Franklin leading the way for the Nut tree with four helped them to scrape through by just one doll!  Four blobs in that leg!   2-1 to Launton Arms B

Last game in Division Two was the Shakespeare at home to the Ashton Club.   Tony Nichols, Martin Wanless and Pete Litten all throwing well, with four each, meant the Shakespeare scored a great 20 dolls in the first leg.   Despite some great throwing by John Cottingham and Joe Young, with three each, it proved too big a chase for them and they ended up with 16.  Setting the next leg, the Ashton could only manage seven dolls.   Preferring to chase, the Shakey team easily took that one, hitting 18 dolls - Erik Poslusny, Andy and Paula Grose all hitting three to help them along.   The last leg saw the Shakey side put 16 on the board, with Pete Stammers making one of his guest appearances and hitting four.   It looked likely that the Ashton could be in for a bad night; so, it proved to be, with them managing to only hit six dolls between them. So, a 3-0 victory to the Shakespeare and a happy Martin Wanless, for a week, at least.

Premier and Division One 

Match of the day was the Crown A versus the White Lion.   With a full-strength Crown hoping to dent the Lion’s league title claims for this season and with the rest of the premier league eagerly awaiting the result, the Crown set 17 - Matt Hillsden, John Hudson and Tony Launchbury all hitting three.   With lead off man Bobby Allen struggling to find his form, a bad start led to the Lion only hitting 15.  Not good for them, but great for all the other sides hoping to knock them off the top spot!   Determined to make amends, a six from Dougie Revitt and four each from Phil Allen and Eddie Gordon saw the Lion hit a massive 26. Smiles back in the Lion team and how would the Crown boys react? Despite some great throwing from the Crown, three a man from the first seven players, left Siddy Bagnall needing five to draw and six to win.   More than capable of hitting the dolls required, Siddy fell short and the Crown ended up with 24.   A great leg from both sides in fairness.   So, 1-1 going into the last leg; how would the Crown respond?   A score of 19, with Callum Cooper and Jed Launchbury both hitting four, left the leg in the balance.   Would the nerves get to the White Lion or would their experience help them take the last leg? Unfortunately for the Lion, but not for the rest of the league, the score proved too much, and they only managed 15.   A few chinks appearing in the armour of the reigning champions, eh?   Only time will tell.

Tiddington Cricket club, hoping to extend on last week's impressive debut game in the Bicester League, faced the Highfield A.   Carrying on from last week, the Tiddington team set a high score of 21 in the first leg.   Having to make the journey down the M40 to Tiddington meant only half the Highfield Team could enjoy a beer - and it clearly showed, with them only replying with a score of 15 - Jason Harris and Brian Causby scoring highest in a disappointing leg for the Highfield.   Skipper Andy “ Mr Blobby “ Lincoln, disappeared to the bar half way through the leg after helping his team's cause with his usual one doll !   Rallying themselves for the second leg, a steady four from lead off man Lee Wanless, helped by Jason Harris and Lee “ Speedy “ Conway with three each, gave the Highfield a reasonable set of 17 - the alcohol and banter between the Highfield boys helping to settle themselves down.   Then, up until now, high scoring Tiddington could only reply with 13, leaving the match up for grabs at 1-1.   Maybe the nerves got the better of the top divisions new boys as they only managed to set 14.   Would we see a last leg collapse by the Highfield?   Not this time, as great team effort saw them hit 21 and take the game 2-1.   Unbelievably, Highfield skipper Andy Lincoln was unavailable to comment after the game, which was fortunate, as it helped to keep the match report short!

Newly promoted Bell faced the top of the Premier Division Launton Arms A.   Always up for being the underdogs and keen to take legs off the stronger sides, the Bell were looking for a win in their first home match.   A slow start, very much unlike their form in the winter league, saw the Bell struggling to a poor set of 11 - Ray Rowe hitting three of them.  Possibly a lack of alcohol hindering them!  Possibly worrying too much about their lofty position in the league as usual, the Launton boys chased down the Bell score, but didn’t fire on all cylinders - Stevie Golder and Terry Clack with three each getting them over the line with a total of 15.   With skipper Andy “Bread“ Poppitt firing them up for the second leg, a steady start from Karl “Sticky“ Budd and Billy “Don’t be a hero“ Atwell  and the tail wagging nicely - Steve Payne, Norman “Smiler“ Brock with four a piece, saw a tidy set of 24.   Allegedly chatter of “this could be our year to win the league” were calmed down by skipper Bread informing the team they had only played five legs, not five matches!   Possibly trying too hard, and with the big score to chase, the Bell fell well short, managing only to hit another 11 - Darren “Lodgey” Lodge making it respectable with a four as anchorman.   So, the Launton boys were bouncing, hoping to make it a clean sweep and secure top spot.   But the Bell were determined to take their usual minimum one leg off the league leaders and came back with a terrific set of 21 - Darren Moore finding his range eventually with four, Chris Hulme with four also, Billy Craig, Aimee Sheehan and Lodgey with three each. With some steady throwing but nothing exceptional, the Launton A blew their chance of securing the top spot for definite and only hit 19  - something that’s been their downfall for a few seasons.

The Pheasant found some fine form against the promoted Bull Inn A.   A set of 19 in the first leg included a terrific six from Dave Fry - must have been the Peroni helping him along out of his own posh glass! With the sun setting above the windmill once again, the Bull started well, with the ever chirpy and full of beans, Rob and Carl Edgington, leading the way with three each; but, unfortunately for them, a succession of “Desmond Tutu’s” left the Bull one short with a total of 18.   Despite a stirring team talk from skipper Colin Baldwin, the Bull struggled again to find their form at the hilltop venue - a couple of three's from James Bateman and Derek Richards helping them to reach 15.   The Pheasant, flying high, with Pete McCaron, Dave Morris and the in-form Dave Fry all throwing well, with four a man, gave the Pheasant another good score of 19 and the second leg to go with it.  So, 2-0 up and setting the last leg, the Pheasant could have pushed for top spot in Division One with a 3-0 victory.   Unfortunately for them, maybe a couple of beers too many, saw them only manage to hit nine in the last leg.   The Bull took the game by the horns and with a five from Dave Gardner and three apiece from brother Kevin and skipper Colin, they hit 19 dolls and salvaged a leg.   Another great game on possibly the most picturesque venue in the league.

Phil Allen

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28th May

So, after some entertaining “trial” runs, with technology and alcohol helping or hindering - we’re not quite sure which - we finally had our first official Virtual Aunt Sally games last night.

As you can see from the results attached, the process of scoring the games has thrown up some unexpected scoring, both good and bad, with a few actually very close to how they possibly would have been on a real match night; but who knows !!!   Aunt Sally is never predictable…

Anyway, the matches were played as per the planned summer league fixture list and the only major rule changes we implemented - both to save time and make life easier - were the home team would set first and last legs, and the away team the middle leg. There is no real benefit in this as it’s virtual and the process will be the same in the reverse fixture later in the season. We also removed the possibility of 3 stickers (and the possibility of a one sticker), again for ease and speed.

So, onto the actual games and results, with some added ad-libbed banter and commentary, contributed by all those involved in the drawing of the scores –

Premier & Division One

First game out of the bag threw up a big one, with a possible banana skin for the reigning champions the White Lion, who hosted the ever improving (and new to the premier section) Highfield Social Club.  A few cobwebs in the first leg from the White Lion - must be something to do with their average age now - hitting a meagre 10; and five of those were from their YTS and Bobby Allen’s apprentice, Dougie Revitt.  His form has been undeniable for the last couple of seasons in fairness. The Highfield, with a massive 22, smashed the first leg; some good throwing by the whole team, except Andy “ Mr Blobby “ Lincoln as usual.  Lee Wanless and Lee “Speedy” Conway carryied over their good form from last season. The next leg was the reverse; the Highfield boys getting over excited and struggling to a measly nine.  The Lion easily surpassed that, taking the second leg - with some more consistent throwing this time round from their seasoned veterans.  Last leg saw the Lion hit 17 (an average score for them); Bobby Allen, Francis Hillier, Brian Gough and Dougie holding them together.  Unfortunately for the Highfield it proved too much on their debut night in the premier, as they only managed an "unlucky" 13 - although “Speedy” did hit a respectable 4.

Launton Arms ( previously the Black Bull “A” ) in their first game with their new name, at home to the Crown “A”, were out of the blocks quickly with a huge 24 - birthday boy Billy Atwell with a tasty 5.  The Crown boys, a bit shell shocked, or just their usual laid back selves (not sure which), hit 17. Callum Cooper and Matty Hillsden throwing well for them - which made a change according to Terry “ Siddy” Bagnall.  Crown set the second leg with 12, the Launton Arms boys couldn't believe their luck.  But, haven't we all been there before!  It was left down to their veteran and ex-world champion, Kev Powney, to secure the leg - but, true to form, it had to be with his last stick!  Kevin revelling in the pressure and the spot light!  The final leg saw the Launton Arms hit 16 and the Crown, with a strong tail end, hit 18.  As usual with both these two sides, very little beer was consumed and it was a relatively quiet night.

The Bull Inn A hosted the new boys to the league, Tiddington Cricket Club (TCC, as it’s too long to keep typing that) who brought with them a wealth of experience and some great throwers from the Oxford league. The Bull A set 13, not up to their usual standards - but with some good scoring from Dave and Kev Gardiner.  Still not enough to keep skipper Colin Baldwin happy; but then what does?  The TCC smashed this with a hefty 24 followed by a very tidy set of 22.  With the Bull A still discussing the first leg problems between themselves, they only managed 12.  James Bateman throwing well to make sure they reached double figures.  Determined to save some pride in the last leg, the Bull A had a group hug and set 16.  So much for breaking social distancing rules!!   TCC weren’t worried about the hug and knocked off another big score of 22 - 70 dolls on the night.  Welcome to the league boys.  Pack in these 20+ scores or you won’t be asked back next year!!

The Pheasant Inn hosted the other new team to Division One, the Bell A.  With home turf and a lovely evening, the Pheasant, equipped with welding masks and goggles, had no problems at all with the sun shining high above the Windmill and the throw. They set a creditable 18 - and, with that, they scraped the first leg by one doll - the Bell's anchorman, Darren Lodge, needed 5 to draw and the lot to win, but, having got the first four, he felt rather dizzy and missed the vital one!  They'd lost it by one doll !  Undeterred, they came back to win the other two legs (21-19 and 24-22).  The next leg the Bell A put a tidy 21 on the board, with some good scores from Darren Moore, Billy Craig and the ever improving Ray Rowe. This proved too much for the Pheasant, despite some quality throwing from Dave Morris. The Pheasant responded in the deciding leg with a big 22, but with the sun now setting, the Bell went to town and hit 24.  Aimee Sheehan, Lodgey and Ray Rowe all throwing extremely well.  Lodgey redeemed himself and finished with 12 on the night!   Must have been the altitude.

Division Two

In their first game after being evicted from the Muddy Duck - due to garden refurbishment (although we believe it may have been for drunken debauchery), the newly named Whitmore Exiles played their first home game at their new venue, the Butchers Arms Fringford.  Confusing we know!  Anyway, Robbie Bryant, Dave Reast and the boys had a bad night and lost 2-1 to the Brill S&C B 2-1.  Maybe a little while until the Exiles get used to their new throw!

The Nut Tree faced the White Horse in their first game, after volunteering to step down a division to allow Tiddington CC to go straight into Division One.  We say "volunteering", but actually their boys asked to drop down, hoping it would stop Dicky Cooper moaning every week and allow big Bob Price and Michael Crook to hit the scores they are capable of.  It obviously worked as they won 2-1, despite some good throwing from the White Horse boys - Baz Baziel playing well as he did in the winter league. Danny Dyer  would have got a mention but he only went for the food.

The Ashton Club - after improving no end in the winter league - were far too strong for the Red Cow.  Rick Gumbert, Brian Loverock and Dave Smith all throwing some great sticks.  Roger Herbert had a disappointing night by his standards, which one of his team mates said is happening a lot recently!  We have no idea what they mean, but  captain Ria Cantwell said if he doesn’t pull his finger out, he’ll be dropped.  Liam Merchant had a good night for the Cow, but it wasn’t enough and they went down 19-16, 19-12 and 15-6.  3-0 to the Ashton.

The Shakespeare hosted the Launton Arms B.  It proved to be one of those nights for the Shakey team - very shakey!  Martin Wanless, arguing with himself in the toilet; Erik Poslusny finding the form he had when he played for the Black Bull A and Tony Nichols enjoying the beer more than the Aunt Sally.  Only Andy and Paula Grose threw well but not well enough to prevent the Launton B taking the match 3-0.  Something they haven’t achieved since Keith Raynor was landlord of, what was, the Black Bull.  New skipper, Dicky Butler, leading his team well, with good throwing from Rob Owens, Chris McKechnie and Paul “ Maverick” Giles.

Match reports for Divisions 3-5 will appear next week, as  we develop the virtual league over time

Phil Allen

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18th May 2020

Afternoon one and all,

As the lockdown is continuing to impact the hospitality industry for at least another good few weeks, maybe months, this season’s summer league is unlikely to be salvaged.

In light of this, we are looking to set up a “virtual aunt sally” results system based on what would have been this season’s summer league fixtures.

The Bampton league has already been running a system for a couple of weeks now and a report in the Oxford mail about it stirred some interest from a couple of the committee members and a few players from Bicester who saw the article.  However, we're unable to do it as they are.

Our intention is for the “virtual” system to be purely for fun, enjoyment and some 'not too serious' entertainment. We hope it will also keep your interest in the game going until we can get back to playing properly outside.

To help ensure that we can make it both fun, but also worthwhile for us to look at setting up, the committee would be very interested to hear who would enjoy seeing us trying it out and those who would be interested in being involved.

We are still toying with and trialling different aspects and ideas on how it ultimately would work, but the main part of the result scoring would, most likely, be done via Skype..

If you are interested and would like more information and/or be involved please let me know and we’ll keep you posted on how we;re progressing with our (and your) ideas.

Once again, I would just like to say that it will be set up purely for fun and entertainment, with possibly some usual aunt sally “banter” as a result if we can generate enough interest.

Attached is the way we "think" it will work.  Could be a few refinements before we launch it.  

    Using a video chat (Skype is more likely because it can cater for up to 50 people at a time), our fixtures list, coloured numbered discs and a couple of “distanced” parties, I’m sure we could have some fun.  As I have done in previous seasons, I will send out the results over the weekend, with a blank result sheet for the following week’s matches.

 FIXTURES ARE ON THE FIXTURES PAGE

Without going into too much detail, here’s a rough idea of how it will work:

1.    For the first week I will issue a copy of the fixtures list and a blank results sheet.  It will, of course, only go to those on my email distribution list.  If anyone else wants to get involved, please pass a copy on to them.

2.    Starting on Wednesday 27th May (and every Wednesday thereafter), at 8.30pm, on Skype, we will do “the draw”.  Very briefly, it will go something like this:

a.    Two or three people (not quite sure how many at the moment but they’ll be at different properties) will be involved.

b.    On the fixtures list you will see that each match is numbered from 1-20 and the divisions are coloured.  The first disc drawn out will be the match number.  When you see the colour for your division, that’s the time to get excited!

c.    This is when the banter starts!  Firstly, we’ll have a “heads” or “tails” option (being called for by a member of the away team, if we have them online), followed by “chase” or “set”

d.    Then a disc showing the setting team’s first leg score will be drawn, followed by one for the chasers. 

e.    Paragraph d. above will be repeated for the second and third legs (no beer leg!)

f.     And, that’s it.

3.    I’m sure we could have a great deal of fun and generate some banter, don’t you!

4.    If you’d like to be involved, the next step is to ensure you have Skype and know how to use it! Below is a list of those I’ve not been able to find on Skype; if you’re already on it, would you please let me know your Skype number or username.  (If your name’s not on the list, then I must have found you on Skype and have already added you to my contacts list.)

CAN’T FIND YOU ON SKYPE !

AdyCarvell Karen Blainey
Andy Grose Keith Lennard

Andy Maycock Kevin Powney

Andy Poppitt Lee Savidge

Brian Gough Martin Wanless

Chris Hulme Mike Batts

Colin Baldwin Mike Leonard

Dan Kimber Paul Coombs

Danny Dyer Paul Mitchell

Dave Morris Paul Nunn

Dave Smith Pete Shepherd

Derek Richards Ria Cantwell

Dick Franklin Roger Herbert

Eddie Gordon Ron Jones

Eddie Jones Shane Jackson

Erik Poslusny Stella Robinson

George Deans Steve Payne

Glyn Roberts Stewart Joy

Graham Milne Terry Clask

Hannah Roberts Terry Smith

James Hunt Tessa Mills

Jean Turner Tom Cook

Jim Harris Tony Hutt

John Clutterbuck Tony Launchbury

John Hudson Tony Nichols

John Mole Tony Owen

John Plested Trevor Barnett

Jon Vaile

K Safari

 

AUNT SALLY V CORONAVIRUS

Right, let's do it.


Although it's probably not what you want to hear, you're half expecting it anyway. 
We, the Bicester and District Aunt Sally League, will be seen to be doing our bit by operating within the government guidelines.  The aunt sally summer league is suspended; not cancelled
but suspended.  It means we will not be starting on 22nd April as planned.  
Suspended because we'll keep an eye on when the current seriousness of coronavirus subsides and then make a decision to see if we can fit in a shortened version of our fixtures and/or cup competitions after that.   At that same stage we will return, either in full or in part, the team registration fees to those who have paid, depending on the duration of the season and the number of league matches or competitions we can actually play.

We do also, of course, have the added uncertainty of whether pubs will be open or not.

I would like to thank you all for your understanding in what are difficult and uncertain times for everyone.  We will, of course, keep you posted on any decisions as and when relevant government guidelines are updates

Phil Allen

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15th March 2020 - INDOOR

Still waiting for a few teams to submit their registration forms and money and then I'll formulate the divisions.  I'll be writing to those teams as soon as I've finished this email

The decision has been made to submit results this season via WhatsApp.  Consequently, I sent out a revised registration form asking for the result reporter's name and number and for the same details for a stand-in should the reporter not be at the match,  But many of you have still filled in and returned the old form, not giving me the details I need.  Please have a look at the attached spreadsheet and if the details are missing or incorrect against your team, could you please let me have them.

Thank you. 

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15th March 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all.  After two cracking finals nights, I'm now back down to earth!

Sadly, both the Tuesday and Wednesday leagues have now finished for this year.  In their own ways, they've both been brilliant; I've really enjoyed them - and I hope we can repeat it all again later this year when we start it all over again!

The results are as follows.

TUESDAY LEAGUE

League champions - Red Cow

Runners up - Bull Inn A

Knockout Cup champions - Red Cow 

Runners up - Butchers Arms

Knockout Cup plate winners - Mr&Mrs Fits

Runners up - Barley Mow

2.5 Pairs Knockout Cup winners - Red Cow

Runners up - Barley Mow

2.5 Pairs Knockout Cup plate winners - Mr&Mrs Fits

Runners up - Bull Inn C

Triples winners - James Kirkland, Dave Leopold, Steve Webb

Runners up - Paul Sawyer, Wayne Walker, Clive Sewart

Pairs winners - Ian Cantwell and Roger Herbert

Runners up - Wayne Walker and Clare Walker

Singles winner - Karl Budd

Runner up - Paul Sawyer

Sixers - Karl Budd, Nigel King, Dave Gardner, Roger Herbert, Brian Loverock

Top Doll Scorer - Karl Budd

WEDNESDAY LEAGUE

DRD Roofing League champions - Misfits

Runners up - Unwanted

Knockout Cup winners - Misfits

Runners up - Unwanted

Knockout Plate winners - Ex Services

Runners up - Shakespeare

Two and a half pairs knockout cup winners - Misfits

Runners up - Bell

Two and a half pairs plate winners - Ashton Club

Runners up - White Horse

Triples winners - Tony Nichols, Erik Poslusny, Andy Grose

Runners up - Paul Sawyer, Tyler Andrews, Baz Bazile

Bob Hook pairs winners - Tony Nichols and Erik Poslusny

Runners up - Steve Golder and Phil Allen

Singles winner - Doug Revitt

Runner up - Paul Sawyer

Sixers - Doug Revitt, Bobby Allen, John Hudson, Eddie Jones, Karl Budd, John Weller, Kevin Powney, Pete Dempsey, Jeremy Launchbury, Terry Hawkins, Erik Poslusny, Baz Bazile, Ray Rowe, Pete Litten, Bill Mellis (and Tony Nichols got one on finals night)

Top Doll Scorer - Doug Revitt

FOR YOUR DIARY

Wednesday 18th March - Charity Night - just turn up and have a fun night.

Wednesday 25th March - Interleague match, away against the Yarnton League

Wednesday 22nd April - Summer league starts (fixtures will be with you soon).

I have been asked if we can run an indoor Tuesday night summer league at the Ex Services.  I don't mind organising it if we get sufficient players.  If anyone's interested - ie any individual or complete teams of five - get in touch with Phil Allen as soon as possible.

Phil Allen

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8th March 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all,

Such a shame but the end of the indoor league season is upon us - just the finals nights left.

Going into the final match in the Tuesday league, Bull Inn A and the Red Cow were level on points at the top but the Red Cow held the "trump card" having scored more dolls.  Despite a valiant effort by Mr&Mrs Fits, the Bull (with James Bateman hitting 11 dolls) won their first match of the evening 6-0, whilst the Red Cow dropped a leg against the Butchers Arms.  Fittingly, they then had to play each other in their final fixture.  The Bull went into it two points ahead but, because of the deficiency on dolls, still needed three points.  It wasn't to be; the Red Cow won the first two legs and became champions.  Well done chaps.

On Wednesday, with the Misfits already champions, the fight was on between the Unwanted and the Crown to become runners up.  Despite twelve dolls from Karl Budd, the match was 'drawn' on three points apiece - enough for the Unwanted to finish in second spot.  Kevin Powney also hit twelve dolls (including a six) and Tyler Andrews showed his potential with a very useful ten.

There were some very good individual performances on the night, including (in no particular order)

  • 13 dolls for Dave Reast (Misfits) in their first match
  • 12 dolls for Tony Nichols (Shakespeare) against the White Horse
  • 20 dolls for Pete Litten (Shakespeare) - two tens
  • 10 dolls for Andy Grose (Shakespeare) against the Unwanted
  • 21 dolls for Karl Budd (Crown) - 12 and 9
  • 21 for Bobby Allen (Misfits) - 9 and 12
  • 10 dolls for Dean Hudson (Crown) in his one match
  • 10 for John Weller (Ex Services) against The Bell
  • Rick Gumbert (Ashton Club) with 19 dolls - 10 and 9
  • 10 for Dave Futter (White Horse) against the Crown
  • Dougie Revitt (Misfits) with 22 - two elevens

Apologies if I've missed anyone off.

Finals this week - both Tuesday and Wednesday.  Could do with some help at 7 o'clock on Tuesday, please, to set up the equipment.

Sixer on Wednesday - Kevin Powney (Unwanted).

Phil Allen

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1st March 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all.

Something a bit different this week with the Two and a Half Pairs competitions.  As you've probably realised, much of it depends on the luck of the draw - and, consequently, some of the better players may not even get a game and their teams fall by the wayside.

On Tuesday, the Butchers Arms kicked off the evening with a 10-2 win over the Ex Services, whilst, at the same time, the Barley Mow racked up the same score against Mr&Mrs Fits.  Individually, Terry Hawkins and Wayne Walker did themselves proud with nine dolls apiece.  Despite Jim Harris throwing well for Bull C and getting a draw (3 points each) in the singles against Roger Herbert, the Red Cow proved too strong and went through 11-5.  Bull A were a player short and Nigel King, playing on his own as a "pair", put up his best fight but eventually went down 4-2 to Terry and John Smith.  Dave Gardner pulled the match back to level pegging (6-6) in his singles match against Andy Massey - and then, the pairing of Derek Richards and John Rayner was sufficient to take the B team through 11-7.

In the semi finals, the Barley Mow were too strong for the Butchers Arms, winning 11-3.  Terry Gooch was drawn out as his team's singles player for the second time on the night, but this time, he came up against a much better opponent - Terry Hawkins who hit 13 dolls.  In the other semi, the Red Cow walloped the Bull B 11-1.  In the first of the plate semis, the Ex's entertained Mr&Mrs Fits.  It was tied at 3 each after the first pairs, and then we saw the game of the evening - the singles between Brian Loverock and Wayne Walker.  Wayne set three but Brian fell one short.  Brian set with a six and Wayne almost got there but also fell just one short.  Wayne set four this time and Brian, getting tired at this stage, only managed one!  Ex's 7, Mr&Mrs Fits 11.  Bearing in mind the Bull A only had four players, it was still a shock to see them go down 10-6 in their match against Bull C.

So, through to the finals are Barley Mow against Red Cow and, in the plate are Mr&Mrs Fits and Bull C.

On Wednesday there were relatively easy wins in the first round for the Unwanted, Bell, Misfits and the Crown.  A little bit closer in the semis where the Bell beat the Unwanted 10-8 and the Misfits won 10-6 against the Crown.  In the plate semis, the White Horse won their way through against the Shakespeare and will meet the Ashton Club in the final after they saw off the Ex Services

This coming week is the last of the league games - championship deciders on Tuesday and runners-up decider on Wednesday!

Setting up on Tuesday - Ex Services and Barley Mow.

Phil Allen

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Just a quick reminder before I dash off to work.  I'd be grateful if you could get your registration forms to me on or before this Sunday, please.  Just so that I can start working on the summer league.

On result reporting I've had a change of mind.  If I get everyone sending in their results via WhatsApp, I'm going to get 40+ every week and my phone's soon going to get clogged up.  Let's delegate the responsibility as we did before - the WINNING team is to send in the photograph of the card.  I'll remind you all nearer the time!    

Phil Allen

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TWO AND A HALF PAIRS COMPETITION

 Captains draw opponents’ names out in the following order:

·        First pair

·        Single player

·        Second pair

Each pair or single player to play all three legs (until one team has won).  With 18 points at stake, the winners are the first team to 10 points.

Each leg to be scored as two points for a win and one for a draw.

Because there’s a possibility of a draw (ie 9 points each), once the draw has been made and before play commences, each team must nominate one of the pairs to “play off” against the opponents’ nominated pair.  They then play the best of three legs.

The winners obviously go into the next round whilst the losers go into the Plate competition (which is played in the same manner).  So each team will get two games on the evening.

Teams may, if they wish, change players in the second match.

TUESDAY EVENING

·         7.45pm on pitch one –Ex Services v Butchers Arms

·         7.45pm on pitch two -  Barley Mow v Mr&Mrs Fits

·         8.20pm on pitch one -  Red Cow v Bull Inn C

·         8.20pm on pitch two -   Bull Inn A v Bull Inn B

·         8.55pm on pitch one - the winners of the 7.45 matches play each other

·         8.55pm on pitch two - the losers of the 7.45 matches play each other

·         9.30pm on pitch one - the winners of the 8.20 matches play each other

·         9.30pm on pitch two - the losers of the 8.20 matches play each other

WEDNESDAY EVENING

·         7.45pm on pitch one –Unwanted v White Horse

·         7.45pm on pitch two -  Shakespeare v The Bell

·         8.20pm on pitch one - Misfits v Ashton Club

·         8.20pm on pitch two - Ex Services v Crown

·         8.55pm on pitch one - the winners of the 7.45 matches play each other

·         8.55pm on pitch two - the losers of the 7.45 matches play each other

·         9.30pm on pitch one - the winners of the 8.20 matches play each other

·         9.30pm on pitch two - the losers of the 8.20 matches play each other

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26th February 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all.

A couple of "exciting" evenings this week.  On Tuesday, with the Red Cow dropping four points (to Mr&Mrs Fits) and the Bull Inn A winning all theirs, they're now tied at the top of the table.  Just one week (two games) of league fixtures to go, and they play each other in the final game.  The aforesaid Mr&Mrs Fits could do some damage in the first game that evening; they're up against the Bull Inn A.  What a cliffhanger, eh?  Incidentally, if the top two teams finish level on points, the winner is the one with most dolls.

 Karl Budd has had a terrific season and with 264 dolls (an average of 10.15 per evening), he's already the Tuesday league's top doll scorer.  Well done Sticky.

 Congratulations to the Misfits!  Having "loaned" the league trophy to the Crown for a year, they've got it back again!  They went into Wednesday needing just nine points from the 24 available, to reclaim the title; and, with their closest rivals, the Unwanted, going down 4-2 in their first match of the evening against the White Horse, the Misfits' target was now reduced to five - and with Brian Gough and Dougie Revitt hitting 12 and 10 dolls, they got what was needed against the Bell.  Second place is still up for grabs.  Just seven points between the Unwanted and the Crown and 12 available.  And they play each other in the first game on the final night of league fixtures.

 In a close match between the Ex's and the Crown on Wednesday, the Ex's eventually came out on top 4-2.  Bill Mellis and John Weller with 12 dolls apiece and Eddie Jones with 10 did the damage for the club, whilst Karl Budd (12) and Jeremy Launchbury (10) responded for their opponents.  Bill Mellis and Eddie Jones also hit 10 each in their second match.  Dougie Revitt hit 12 in his second match, giving him 22 for the evening.  Darren Moore showed his true form with 10 and 11.

 Top doll scorer on a Wednesday is still up for grabs!  Dougie, with 275 (an average of 10.58) is only 17 dolls ahead of Sticky and 21 ahead of teammate Bobby Allen.

 This coming week we have the Two and a Half Pairs competitions.  So that people know what time they're on, we did the draws for both nights last Wednesday.  Copies of the rules and the draws are attached.

 Setting up on Tuesday evening are the Bull Inn A and the Butchers Arms.

Phil Allen


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17th February 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all.

Time's whizzing by; just four weeks to go for our two winter leagues - and then we start preparing for the summer one!

Just four league games left on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays; four games for the Bull Inn A to overtake the Red Cow to retain their league title and four games for the Crown to claw back 25 points on Wednesdays to leapfrog the Misfits and retain theirs!!  Four games for second placed Roger Herbert to make up ground and overtake Karl 'Sticky' Budd as top doll scorer - he's only 45 ahead!

The Bull A started that recovery on Tuesday, gaining two points over the table toppers by winning all 12 whilst the Red Cow dropped a leg to the Bull Inn B.

Top scorers this week were Karl Budd with 24 (12 and 12), Steve Golder with 19 (7 and 12) and Ian Cantwell with 18 (10 and 8).

The Misfits are almost there.  With a maximum 12 points on Wednesday - and their nearest rivals, the Unwanted dropping a leg against the Ashton Club - the winning post is just around the corner!  With four of their players hitting double figures in their first match against the Crown, they totalled 51 dolls in three legs; in the second, against the Shakespeare, they did what was needed to be sure of the points.  Bobby Allen was terrific on the night with 25 dolls - and no six!  Karl Budd, with 23 dolls (12 and 11) wasn't far behind him on the night - and he didn't get a six either!  Bill Mellis also shone with 23 dolls (13 and 10) - but, guess what?  He did get a six!  Our 21st in the league this season.  Well done Bill.

Sixer - Wednesday - Bill Mellis (Ex Services).

For your calendar:

  • Wednesday 11th March - Finals night.
  • Wednesday 18th March - Charity night (Tuesday league players invited to participate as well).
  • Wednesday 25th March - Match against the Yarnton league (away).    

 

Phil Allen

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9th February 2020 - INDOOR

Afternoon all,

Rather disappointing turnouts for both Tuesday and Wednesday singles competitions - 28 at each.  Understandable on Tuesday I guess, with Oxford United up against Newcastle United in the FA Cup Replay; but Wednesday?  I don't know why so few.

Anyway, on Tuesday Paul 'Freddie' Sawyer won his way through to the final where he'll be up against Karl 'Sticky' Budd.

On Wednesday, facing his Misfits' team mate Billy Atwell in the first match of the evening, Dougie Revitt started proceedings with a six in the first leg.  He went on to beat Billy, and then Dave Wheeler, Pete Litten and another team mate, Bobby Allen to get through to the final.

Freddie Sawyer was the other to get through.  A bye in the first round but then he faced some stiff opposition in Kevin Powney, Karl Budd and Pete Dempsey - and every one of those had chances and could have, but didn't beat him.

Setting up this coming Tuesday are Bull Inn A and Bull Inn C.

Phil Allen

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2nd February 2020 - INDOOR

A good week for the Red Cow in the Tuesday league - all twelve points won, three players with 19+ dolls, nearest rivals, Bull Inn A, dropped four points and the gap at the top of the table has widened to six points. Mind you, with still six games to go, and they meet each other in the very last game, anything can happen.  In their first of the evening, they hit 40 dolls against the Bull Inn C - Ian Cantwell, Nick Cherry (against his old team) and Roger Herbert with ten apiece - and then, in the second against the Barley Mow, they were up to 42.  Ian with 11 and Roger with another ten, including a six in the third leg, finished off a good evening for them.  

In the first of Wednesday's matches, the Ex Services annihilated the Shakespeare.  With four of their players into double figures (including a second six of the season for Terry Hawkins), they hit a very creditable 48 dolls.  Eddie Jones also hit a six for them in their 5-1 defeat against the Crown (his third of the season) and an evening's total of 22 (11 and 11).  The Misfits saw off their nearest rivals, the Unwanted, quite comfortably (4-2) and then hammered the Bell 6-0 with Brian Gough and Dougie Revitt hitting 14 apiece in that one.  With the Misfits going down 4-2 again, this time to the White Horse (Dave Futter with 11, giving him 20 on the night), the gap at the top is a massive 14 points.  Another with a decent evening's score was Tony Nichols for the Shakespeare (9 and 10).  Ray Rowe started the evening well for the Bell with 11 dolls, but then, a little weary (carrying his team mates !!), only managed three in the next match!

Sixers - Tuesday - Roger Herbert (Red Cow).

           - Wednesday - Terry Hawkins (Ex Services), Eddie Jones (Ex Services).

Setting up on Tuesday - Red Cow and Ex Services.

This coming week is the singles competition on both evenings.  Turn up on the night and the draw will be done then.

Phil Allen


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26th January 2020 - INDOOR

Morning all

Firstly I must say how pleasing it was to have Keith Lennard back with us this week, and to have him up and playing too.  Well done Keith; just take things easy.

With Roger Herbert having a decent evening with 22 dolls (12 and 10), the Red Cow extended their lead at the top of the Tuesday League by another point, winning eleven of their twelve points - only drawing their last leg against a four man Bull Inn B team ruined their evening!  The gap is now a "massive" two points over the Bull Inn A who dropped a leg against the Barley Mow.  A great team performance from Mr&Mrs Fits earned them the only maximum 12 points of the evening.  Karl Budd weighed in with his fourth six of the Tuesday season in his total of 23 dolls.  Terry Gooch had a terrific night too for the Butchers Arms with 18 dolls (10 and 8).

A great match to get the Wednesday League going and another to finish it!  To get the evening on its way, the Unwanted got the better of the Ex Services with a close 4-2 victory.  Kevin Powney (12), Pete Dempsey (11) and Paul Sawyer (10) starred for the winners whilst Eddie Jones (11) and John Weller (10) put up a strong fight.  After already beating the Shakespeare 4-2 earlier in the evening - with ten dolls apiece from Bobby Allen and Billy Atwell, the Misfits were up against the Crown in the final match.  The first leg was drawn on 16 each (with Karl Budd hitting a maximum for the Crown).  With Billy Atwell throwing out of his skin, the Misfits continued with 16 in each of the next two legs, and won them both.  5-1 to the Misfits.  With 13 dolls from Jeremy Launchbury (including a six), the Crown got the better of The Bell (4-2) in their first match to keep up their fight to retain the league championship - but now find themselves 15 points behind the Misfits!  Eddie Jones continued with another 11 dolls in his second match to finish with a creditable evening's 22 dolls. 

Sixes - Tuesday League - Karl Budd (Mr&Mrs Fits)

          - Wednesday League - Karl Budd (Crown) and Jeremy Launchbury (Crown)

The standard's certainly improving in both leagues.  At this stage last season we had just 4 sixes in the Tuesday League - so far this time round, we've had 6; and in the Wednesday League, last year it was 7 whilst this year it's an amazing 17 !!  Well done ladies and gents.

Setting up on Tuesday evening - Barley Mow and Mr&Mrs Fits.

Don't forget, the Summer League AGM will be held on Thursday night - 8 o'clock at the Ex Services. 

Phil Allen

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19th January 202 - INDOOR

Morning all, 

It's getting a bit topsy turvy at the top of both the Tuesday and Wednesday leagues.

Despite the Bull Inn A getting the better of the Red Cow in their match - winning 4-2 - they then went and lost by the same score against Mr&Mrs Fits, whilst the Red Cow (despite not scoring well at all) scraped home with all six points against Butchers Arms.  That does mean they swap places at the top once again - still only one point in it though.  And still ten games to go!  Place your bets now, please!

Wednesday was very much the same.  The Misfits, a player short in their first game, and despite ten dolls from Brian Gough, dropped two legs to the Ashton Club.  Then, up against the Ex Services, the top of the table side, scored just nine dolls and dropped the second leg - Eddie Jones got his second six of the season.  In their earlier match of the evening, the Ex's were up against an inconsistent Bell side and took four points off them.  The Bell's 18 in the first leg was enough to take those two points but they then lost the others with John Weller needing five - and hitting them - to win the third leg.  A close match that one with Bill Mellis hitting 12, John Weller 13 and Darren Moore for the Bell with 12.

The Unwanted 'closed' the gap at the top - with eight points on the night they're now only eight behind the Misfits!  The Shakespeare set 17, and took the first leg against the Unwanted but then couldn't get into double figures in the next two.  Martin Wanless "shone" with ten dolls.  In their second match, the Unwanted took another four points; this time against the Crown.  Pete Dempsey and John Hudson both hit sixes.  Steve Golder and Karl Budd also got into double figures with ten apiece.

Sixers - Wednesday League - Eddie Jones (Ex Services), Pete Dempsey (Unwanted), John Hudson (Crown). 

Phil Allen

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12th January 2020

Great to be back, up and playing in the indoor league again.

After the festive season's break, we had two great nights of fun with the Triples Competitions this week.  James Kirkland, Dave Leopold and Steve Webb won their way through to the Tuesday League final against Paul 'Freddie' Sawyer, Wayne Walker and Clive Sewart.  Well done chaps.

And then on Wednesday, Freddie's team of himself, Tyler Andrews and Baz Bazile progressed through to the final, where they'll meet Tony Nichols, Erik Poslusny and Andy Grose.  A special mention for the Ashton Club team of John Cottingham, Dave Smith and Dave Wheeler who, by their own choice, played with a team average way below all the others, and still proved to be difficult opponents.  Well done everyone.

Back to the league fixtures this week.  Red Cow and Bull Inn A to set up on Tuesday evening, please.

Phil Allen

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12th January 2020

Morning all, just to confirm that the AGM for the summer league will be held at the Ex Services Club in Bicester - on Thursday 30th January starting at 8 o'clock. 

Phil Allen

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5th January 2020

Afternoon all,

Such a sad occasion but a tremendous turnout and a fitting tribute to John Chapman on Friday, with his Brill aunt sally colleagues presenting him with a guard of honour at his funeral.  He will certainly be missed. 

The groupings for the Tuesday and Wednesday Indoor Leagues' triples competitions are attached.  Would team captains of the non-regulars (Chris Mack, Dave Jeacock, Dan Jobling, John Lehane), please do your utmost to get them to turn up.  If you know they're not doing so, could you please contact me.

The AGM for the summer league will be held on Thursday 30th January, starting at 8 p.m.  It's very likely to be at the Ex Services but I've forgotten to check availability!  I'll do that and let you know for sure.  If you have any points to raise at the meeting, could you please let me know so I can do a bit of research if necessary.#

Phil Allen

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29th December 2019

Good morning all.

That's part one of the festive season over!  Hope your Christmas went as well as you had wished for and you all had a great time.

Further to my email a couple of weeks ago when I announced that John Chapman, ex-Pheasant Inn player, had passed away, his funeral will be this coming Friday afternoon, 3rd January - 2 o'clock at Oxford Crematorium and then back to Brill Sports and Social Club.

Phil Allen

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Christmas Eve 2019 - INDOOR

Why am I the only one here at the Ex's on a Tuesday night?  

Bet tomorrow will be the same!  Is there something else going on?


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22nd December 2019

In the Tuesday night league, the Red Cow and Bull Inn A swap places once again after the Red Cow lost 4-2 to Mr&Mrs Fits.  John Clutterbuck threw what was probably his best ever (with 10 dolls), and Steve Golder (with 9), but the Red Cow still lost the first and last legs - by one doll on each occasion.  Despite dropping a leg against Bull Inn B, Bull Inn A managed ten points for the night to take them to the top of the table for the first time this season.  With another ten dolls in his second match, Stevie Golder is having a terrific season in the Tuesday league.  Terry Hawkins seems to have found some decent form too, with 18 dolls on the night (11 and 7).

Some decent aunt sally on Wednesday evening.  The Misfits totalled 100 dolls in their two matches (53 and 47), with two sixes in their first leg - Bobby Allen and Doug Revitt.  And, with ten points on the night, they've extended the gap at the top to ten points.  Stevie Golder, in only his second Wednesday evening call up for the Unwanted, weighed in with 22 dolls (12 and 10).  Eddie Jones (Ex Services) got better as the evening went on - 8 and then 13.  Paul 'Mav' Giles hit ten in each of the Shakespeare's matches.   Good to see Brian Gough back playing again, and knocking the dolls off as well as ever - two tens on the night.  Well done chaps.  But let's not forget those relatively newcomers to the game; despite getting four consecutive blobs, Dave Vear for the Ashton Club, persevered and finished the evening with a 2 and a 1.  Keep it going Dave.

With a few deletions and a couple of additions, the triples sheets I passed around on Tuesday and Wednesday will change a bit.  Let me work on it! 

With no aunt sally this coming week, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sixers - Bobby Allen (Misfits) and Doug Revitt (Misfits). 

Phil Allen

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indoor15th December - INDOOR

It was with great sadness that I heard on Wednesday of the sudden death the previous afternoon of John Chapman who had been playing in the summer league for the Pheasant Inn.  Such a lovely gentleman.  On behalf of the League, I offer our condolences to his family and friends at this very difficult time.

We've reached the halfway point of the league fixtures, on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

James Kirkland, with nine dolls, played well for the Barley Mow on Tuesday to help inflict a 4-2 defeat upon the Red Cow.  The Bull Inn A, in second place and chasing the Red Cow, didn't take full advantage as they also dropped a leg, to the Butchers Arms.  Sophie Thomson (Bull Inn C and John Plested (Butchers Arms) also had relatively good evenings with nine dolls apiece.

In the Knockout Cup semi finals on Tuesday, the Butchers Arms beat Bull Inn B 2-1 and the Red Cow did likewise over Bull Inn A.

The Misfits were on fire on Wednesday!  With the Bell on the receiving end, the table toppers totalled 55 dolls with all of their players hitting double figures - well done chaps.  With the Unwanted dropping a point and the Crown dropping a leg against the Ex Services, the gap has widened at the top to six points.  Terry Clack starred in his first appearance of the season for the Crown with 12 dolls - terrific, seeing he only turned up for a beer, not expecting to play and had to use someone else's sticks!  Just missed out on a six too - missing the last one in the second leg.  Well done Terry. 

Phil Allen

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8th December - INDOOR

Morning all.

Although they didn't score up to their usual standard, the Red Cow still managed to win all their legs on Tuesday and, with the Bull Inn A dropping a leg, the gap between those two at the top has widened to four points.  Still a long way to go yet!  Nigel King hit eleven - including a six -in his first match but then found the change of pitch for the second didn't suit him so well - he got seven.

The Crown had a shocker on Wednesday!  With all of them way below par, they only managed one point all evening - in their last leg against the Bell.  To rub the salt in, they lost their first match 6-0, against their biggest rivals, the Misfits.  Mind you, the Misfits did throw well - Dougie Revitt with 13, Bobby Allen and Billy Atwell with 12 apiece and an overall team total of 51 dolls.  The Unwanted took advantage of the Crown's downfall and, with an evening's points tally of ten, they now leapfrog into second place.  Tyler Andrews was the Unwanted's star of the night with 11 in the first match and then eight in the second.  Glad he's in my team!  The Bell had a terrific night too.  All six points against the Shakespeare in the first match and then played very well against the Crown, winning 5-1.  Ray Rowe and Darren Lodge both got 13 in that second match - with Ray hitting a magical six in the second leg.  Another to hit a maximum was Erik Poslusny, but the Shakey still lost 6-0 in that match against the Misfits.

Sixers - Tuesday League - Nigel King (Bull Inn A

Wednesday League - Ray Rowe (Bell) and Erik Poslusny (Shakespeare). 

Phil Allen

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1st December - INDOOR

Morning all.

A couple of great evenings of pairs' aunt sally this week.  On Tuesday, those who really shone and got themselves through to the final were Clare and Wayne Walker.  In the prelims they were drawn against, and beat, team mates Cindy Reynolds and Marina Atwell.  Next on the list were John and Terry Smith.  I believe it was in this match that Clare and Wayne, when setting, both hit 5.  A terrific set.  They got through that match and did likewise against Brian Loverock and Rick Gumbert.  The other pair to win their way through to the final were - probably peoples favourites - Ian Cantwell and Roger Herbert.  Well done to all of them.

On Wednesday, with another great turnout of 24 pairs, those who eventually got through were Erik Poslusny and Tony Nichols from the Shakespeare and Steve Golder and Phil Allen from the Unwanted.

I would like to thank all who bought raffle tickets for the Katharine House Hospice fundraising day to be held on Sunday 8th December at the Shakespeare.  Between the two evenings we raised a terrific £145.00.  Thank you all once again.

Last year in our Tuesday night triples competition, to ensure that teams were relatively equal, and we didn’t have the situation whereby a few teams were way better than some of the others, the secretary made up the teams by averages – ie once he knew who was taking part, he divided them into three “sections” (top, middle and lower).  He then sorted them into teams of three – one from the top, one from the middle and one from the lower – each team then finished up with a very similar total average and was, more or less, equal.  It worked very well and we will continue to do this in the Tuesday league this year.  The plan is to implement this on Wednesdays as well.  Please consider it and we can then discuss it when we meet again. 

Phil Allen


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24th November - INDOOR

Morning all.

The Bull Inn A and the Red Cow both warmed up nicely in their first matches on Tuesday, ready for their head-to-head clash later in the evening.  Both won 6-0 convincingly, scoring 46 dolls each.  Dave Gardner with 13 (including a six) and James Bateman with 12, starred for the Bull against Mr&Mrs Fits whilst Ian Cantwell (12), Steve Golder and Roger Herbert (11 apiece) and Nick Cherry (10) did likewise for the Red Cow against the Butchers Arms.  Karl Budd hit his third Tuesday night six of the season.  The clash later between the top two didn't really live up to the high scoring match we were expecting.  Steve Golder got himself into double figures again with 10 to help the Red Cow to a 4-2 victory and to open up a two point gap at the top of the table over the Bull Inn A.

With the Crown having a below par night on Wednesday, losing 5-1 to an improving Unwanted and then dropping a leg to the White Horse, the Misfits, with a draw against the Ex Services and then a 6-0 victory over the Ashton Club, have leapgrogged to the top.  

Pete Dempsey's 26 dolls (15 and 11) and Kevin Powney's 22 (10 and 12) helped the Unwanted to eleven points and a terrific 99 dolls in their two matches.  

Erik Poslusny with 10 and 8 and Andy Grose with 7 and 11 did their utmost to help the Shakespeare to a 5-1 victory over the White Horse but were then on the receiving end of a 6-0 thumping against the Unwanted. 

Sixers - Tuesday - Karl Budd (Mr&Mrs Fits) and Dave Gardner (Bull Inn A)

           - Wednesday - Pete Dempsey (Unwanted)

Phil Allen

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17th November - INDOOR

Afternoon all.

Feeling a bit under the weather and not too well today - so apologies in advance if this becomes a little incomprehensible!  Anyway, let's give it a try.

The star on Tuesday evening has to be Karl 'Sticky' Budd.  With 16 in his first match (including a six obviously) - way over the top against a four-man Barley Mow team - and then, in his second match, when he could really have done with a few more against the Red Cow, he was a little below par by his standards with eight.  Mind you, who's going to argue with 24 dolls in one night!  Well done mate!  Team colleague Cindy Reynolds had a much better evening too.  Finding it difficult to get used to the environment, Cindy had just nine dolls in her previous seven matches but produced some much better form on Tuesday with 12 in two games.  Well done Cindy, keep it up.  Elsewhere, Nigel King, with 19 dolls on the night, is doing his utmost to keep up with Sticky but still finds himself 15 dolls behind!  You remember Ian Cantwell was top scorer last week with 21?  A little different this week!  He's asked me not to mention that he only got four dolls in each of his two games on Tuesday - so I won't, OK!  Rick Gumbert has been struggling a bit lately but came back with a creditable 18.

I'm sure this is not going to go down too well!  I have to apologise to my own Wednesday team (the Unwanted).  In the tables for the 30th October, I initially gave them a win too many (ie two points).  Sorry chaps, that's now been changed and we're a little further behind the top two than we originally thought!

In the opening match of Wednesday evening, the aforementioned Unwanted did well to pinch two legs off a below par Misfits - but Dougie Revitt spoiled the party hitting a terrific five in the second leg to win the leg by one and lessen the blow.  Norman Brock and Kevin Powney both had a much improved night with 20 dolls apiece for the Unwanted.  The Crown kept up their challenge on the Misfits, winning 6-0 in their matches against the Shakespeare and the Ashton Club - as did a much improved Ex Services side against the same opponents.  Terry Hawkins hit a six in his second match, as did Jeremy Launchbury, who then followed it with the "inevitable" blob.  

Tuesday Sixer - Karl Budd (Mr&Mrs Fits)

Wednesday Sixers - Terry Hawkins (Ex Services) and Jeremy Launchbury (Crown). 

Phil Allen

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10th November - INDOOR

Morning all.

Although the star (scoring-wise) on Tuesday was Ian Cantwell with 21 dolls, I still feel the "real" stars are those who seldom win, don't score many, but still return the following week making them enjoyable evenings for the rest of us.  Well done.

As they did last year, the Red Cow and Bull Inn A battle it out at the top, but with the Red Cow drawing a leg and losing one, the Bull have drawn level on points.  The Butchers Arms got themselves back into winning ways, with ten points on the night, whilst the Barley Mow dropped a couple of places with just two points.

Oh yeah, a reminder while I think about it.  If you're the driver and your wife leaves before you - going home with someone else - just make sure you get your car keys from her before she goes!  Otherwise it could be a long night!

The standard on a Wednesday night is certainly improving; for comparison purposes, I've included the league tables from this time last year and you can see, the dolls scored and the averages are quite evident.

Three sixes on Wednesday (John Weller, Kevin Powney and Eddie Jones), and with John hitting 24, that's his best form for a long while.  Dougie Revitt's throwing well at the moment - wherever he plays - and also hit 24; he now tops the individual scores by nine dolls, with an average of 11.14 per match.  Well done Dougie.

Bobby Allen with 22 and a few other individual totals of 20 for the evening shows how the competition is improving.  Keep it going!

Sixers - John Weller (Ex Services), Kevin Powney (Unwanted), Eddie Jones (Ex Services).

Phil Allen


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3rd November

Morning all,

Let's get this out the way before the rugby comes on!

A relatively good night for the Mr&Mrs Fits on Tuesday.  They won 6-0 in their league match against Bull Inn C, scoring 34 dolls in the process.  Karl Budd and Billy Atwell scored 11 and 10 respectively but the highlight of the evening has to be the ten dolls by Clare Walker (4, 2,4).  Well done Clare.  Even in the cup match they pushed the Bull Inn A to the wire before just losing out 2-1.  Newcomer Dave Behan showed he's going to be an asset for the Bull Inn A with 10 in their league match and then nine in the cup.

"Double figure" scorers on Wednesday were Dave Futter (White Horse) and Dougie Revitt (Misfits) with 12 apiece, closely followed by John Hudson (Crown) and Pete Dempsey (Unwanted) with 11 each.  Dougie and Karl Budd both hit sixes in their cup matches - wrong time to get them chaps! 

Phil Allen

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29th Oct 2019 - INDOOR

Afternoon all.

Not scoring many dolls but still winning legs, and the new boys, the Barley Mow, top the Tuesday night table.  With "new signing" Terry Hawkins hitting 19 dolls, they won five of their six legs.  With Steve Golder in top form, claiming 23 dolls (13 and 10), the Red Cow drew their first leg and then won the next five, elevating them into second place.  The first week's table toppers, Butchers Arms, came back down to earth - losing every leg, quite heavily too.

On Wednesdays, it's quite apparent that the standard is rising.  For comparison purposes, on the "tables" spreadsheet I've included last season's at the same stage.  It can be seen that all teams apart from the Ashton Club are scoring more dolls.  Long may it continue!  

Darren Lodge has continued his great run of form - 20 dolls last week and 21 this time around.  He's keeping the pressure on Karl Budd and Dougie Revitt at the top of the individuals' chart.  Baz Bazile just missed out on a six last week but made up for it on Wednesday helping the White Horse to take a leg off the Crown.  Well done Baz.  With the Misfits only dropping one point (a draw against the Ex Services) and the Crown dropping three against the Unwanted, the two have swapped places at the top of the table.  A long way to go yet!  Another to get a six on Wednesday was Pete Litten for the Shakespeare against the White Horse.  Well done. 

Bobby Allen (Misfits) and Karl Budd (Crown) top scored this week with 22 dolls apiece.  Well done chaps.

Wednesday League Sixers - Baz Bazile (White Horse) and Pete Litten (Shakespeare)

Phil Allen


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Morning all,

As much as I enjoy the summer season, it's good to get the indoor aunt sally up and running again.

The Butchers Arms went home celebrating on Tuesday - they top the table!  Maximum points against a three-man Bull Inn B followed by another six points against the Ex Services - and a decent 27 dolls on each occasion.  Well done chaps.  The Barley Mow almost matched them but lost their last leg of the evening - by just one doll - against the newly formed Mr & Mrs Fits. Individually, Nigel King is at the top - where he spent much of last season.  OK, in his first match he didn't do so well with just five dolls, but then, having limbered up, he hit back with a creditable 13.

On Wednesday, The Bell were on fire in their first match against the Unwanted.  With Aimee Sheehan and Darren Lodge hitting ten apiece, they totalled 45 dolls and took three points.  And then they dropped five points against the White Horse.  The reigning champions, the Crown, dropped a leg against a very promising Shakespeare team, as did the Misfits against the Unwanted.   

 

   

 

Phil Allen

AUNT SALLY WORLD CHAMPION 2018


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