22 Feb 2019

The Tuesday night handicap league seems to be working well.  The idea of the handicap, of course, is for all teams to be supposedly playing at the same level - in our case, to match the top team, the Bull Inn A, whose leg average was 11 dolls per leg.  If you take a look at the latest league tables, in the 12 legs we've all played so far, the dolls scored range from 133 (average of 11.08 per leg) to 142 (11.83).  So, I guess you could say, it's working well.  

Individually, Karl Budd had another successful evening with 22 dolls (12 and 10), with me just one behind (13 and 8) and Roger Herbert on 20 (11 and 9).

The Crown have widened the gap at the top of the Wednesday League to 19 points - and, with just 4 matches each left (24 points available), surely the title is theirs!  In their first leg of the evening they hit 20 with John Hudson getting his second six of the season, and then Karl Budd kicked off the second leg with a six - but they only managed 17 in that one!  All in all, they won every leg and Sticky had a terrific evening with 25 dolls (14 and 11).  Jeremy Launchbury did his bit too, with 21 (11 and 10).

The Misfits meanwhile, had a terrible evening.  Despite 19 dolls from Dave Reast and a six for Billy Atwell (his second of the season), they could only draw with the White Horse and then lost 4-2 to the Ex Services.

Tony Nichols continued his terrific first season with 20 dolls (11 and 9) and sits in second place in the top doll scorer's chart - only 19 behind Karl Budd.

Well done to James Harkness too.  He played just the one game for the Bell but weighed in with 10.

Just a reminder.  The registration forms for the summer league should be back with me by the end of February - next Thursday.  That's not really essential; but what I would like to know though, is that you are entering a team (just for my planning purposes).

On the first Bank Holiday weekend in May (Sunday the 5th, to be exact), the Shakespeare will be hosting an Aunt Sally competition, raising money for Prostate Cancer UK.  Everyone is welcome - there'll be two competitions, one for novices and the other for known players.


15th Feb 2019

Morning all,

A very enjoyable evening on Tuesday in the newly introduced handicap league.  The idea of the handicaps, as you well know, is to bring all teams up to the same level as the best team - in our case, to match the Bull Inn A's 11 dolls a leg.  And looking at the league table, if you add the handicap per leg to the averages shown, everyone got to the 11 except Bull Inn C who fell just short.  Their first match let them down - and then they came back with 12, 14, 13 (but still lost 4-2 to the Ex's).

Individually, Roger Herbert took the honours with 21 (9 and 12) with Billy Atwell, Karl Budd and Dave Gardner on 19 apiece.

Some good matches in the singles competition on Wednesday too.  I was far too busy to record any scores but I know there were a number of 4's and 5's.  The last sixteen were all good quality players but, as you're well aware, only two can through to the final - and they were Terry Bagnall and Brian Gough.  Well done chaps.


9th Feb 2018

Another great evening on Tuesday for the singles competition.  Despite not playing well and getting knocked out in the first round, I really enjoyed it.

Billy Atwell and Roger Herbert have got themselves through to the final, both having had some scary moments along the way.  Billy had the easier run in of the two but came up against a very improved Derek Richards in the semi final - a match which went to three sticks a few times!  Well done to you Bill and good to see you back Derek!

Roger, on the other hand, had a few stiffer obstacles to overcome.  He was drawn against, and beat, James Bateman in the first round, then Karl Budd and, even Sophie Thomson in the semis, gave him a good game.  Well done Roger.

The Crown were a little bit off form on Wednesday!  Compared to last week, when they knocked off 102 dolls and this week it was only 77, they still managed a 5-1 and a 6-0 - and their nearest rivals in the table, the Misfits, dropped two legs in their first match against the Ashton (who, to be fair, excelled themselves with two legs of 14).  The Misfits came back with a vengeance against the Black Bull, winning 6-0 with 50 dolls (12, 18 and 20).  Rick Gumbert had a great night for the Ashton with 19 dolls (11 and 8), whilst Bobby Allen weighed in with 23 - including another six (his second in consecutive weeks).

Eddie Jones also hit a maximum in his 11 against The Bell.  Darren Moore hit four consecutive fours in his total of 20 dolls for the evening.

Twelve points ahead and just six matches to go, surely the Crown are going to put a stop to the Misfits five year reign as champions!

This coming Wednesday we have the singles competition.  The draw for the preliminary round is shown below.  Normal start time at 7.45 pm.


    Phil Allen


The Annual General Meeting for the summer league was held last night and the minutes are on the AGM page.  Please take careful note about postponements mentioned under paragraph 8. (Any Other Business).  Basically, players expect to play on Wednesday evenings (not any other) and because we have a full fixture list, it causes problems to try to rearrange a game.  Even a team short of players is expected to turn up - if you don't, you lose the points.



Morning all.

On Tuesday evening, the last night of league fixtures, the Red Cow really needed to demolish the Bull Inn A by 6-0 to have any chance of winning the league title.  It wasn't the classic we'd expected (in terms of high scores - Ian Cantwell with 10 was the only one to hit double figures), and ended as a 3-3 draw.  So, very well done to the Bull Inn A who are the champions.

With Roger Herbert and Nigel King not throwing to the normal high standards, Karl Budd, with 19 dolls on the night (5 and 14), leapfrogged them both to take over at the top of the doll scorers chart.  James Bateman and Liam Merchant, with 18 apiece, were closest to Sticky on the night.

Next Tuesday is singles night (weather permitting!) - the draw is shown below.

The gap has widened at the top of the Wednesday league to nine points.  The Misfits dropped a leg in each of their two games whilst the Crown went silly!  As well as securing all six points, they amassed 102 dolls (49 and 53), with Tony Launchbury and John Hudson both hitting 23 (11 and 12 for both players).  

Bill Mellis (12 and 9) and Phil Allen (11 and 10) relegated Karl Budd to fifth place on the night - he only got 20 !!  However, he has widened the gap at the top of the individual scores to nine dolls, with second placed Tony Nichols having a "relatively poor" night with just 18 !

We did have a sixer on the night.  Billy Atwell's stand-in, Bobby Allen, hit a maximum in his first league match, finishing with 10.  Well done Bobby.

There are still eight league games to go so, plenty of time to catch the Crown!  But what are the chances?


    Phil Allen


27th JANUARY 2019

Morning all.

Tuesday evening saw the triples competition, split into teams by averages (with every team being fairly evenly matched) - and what a great evening it turned out to be.  Dave Gardner, James Bateman and Karen Blaine won their way through to the final where they'll meet Liam Merchant, Andy Thomas and Derek Richards (great to see Derek back playing again).

It has been agreed that the Tuesday evening league be extended by a further five weeks with a handicap league being introduced to cover those weeks.  That does not, and will not, affect the league championship.  This coming Tuesday sees the last of the fixtures, including the championship decider between the Bull Inn A and the Red Cow.  No pressure but it appears that the Red Cow need all six points in that one.

A new fixture list is attached.  The handicaps will be worked out after the final league games.

With the reigning champions, the Misfits, dropping two legs on Wednesday, the Crown extended their lead at the top by another point and are now five points ahead.  But there's still ten games to go!  Plenty of time!

The Unwanted and The Bell were unfortunate enough to have had to play both of them on Wednesday.  The Bell took the third leg by 9-8.  In the Crown against the Unwanted match, the league leaders looked doomed in the first leg until anchorman Terry 'Sid' Bagnall came to the oche.  Needing 3 to draw, 4 to win to catch the opponents' 13, he missed the first two and got the last four!  They then set with a vengeance, hitting 19 and 15 - too good for the Unwanted.  Karl Budd finished with 11 and Terry Bagnall with 10.  Kev Powney replied with 11 but didn't get the support he needed from his teammates.

As much as he is a friend of mine, I hate having to concede and do as I am told by him!  My dear mate Eddie - who happens to play for the Misfits and who beat the Unwanted 4-2 on Wednesday - has sent me this special request (but no money enclosed)

"If by any chance you wish to use my leg winning exploits to fill up a gaping hole in your editorial  again can you please ensure that it is grammatically correct.  Please use “It was I wot wun it” not “It was me wot won it”!

A little bit more punctuation needed, I feel!  Sorry, but I felt it (not he) deserved a mention!

Terry Bagnall with 19 (10 and 9), Karl Budd 18 (11 and 7), Tony Nichols (18 (two 9's), Dave Futter 17 (11 and 6) but this week's top scorer was Kev Powney with 20 (11 and 9).  But what about Baz?  Seventeen dolls (9 and 8) - well done Baz.

    Phil Allen


20th January 2019 - INDOOR LEAGUE

With the Bull Inn A dropping a leg on Tuesday, and the Red Cow winning all of theirs, the gap between them at the top of the table is now just four points - and they play each other in the last week of the season.  Could be interesting!

Nigel King got himself back to somewhere near his normal standard with 13 in the first match and 7 in the second.  James Bateman enjoyed a much better week with 10 and 7.  Karl Budd and Roger Herbert maintained their normal consistency - 9 in each of their legs.

I took the plaudits last week for hitting 22; this week was a complete disaster!  A blob in one leg, then missed the first five in the next leg; got the last one though!  A bad week.

Next Tuesday is the triples competition; the draw is in the newsletter attached.

A question for the Tuesday night team captains.  I've been asked if there is any way we could extend the league beyond the 12th February for another few weeks.  That could be done by playing another round of league fixtures and introducing a couple of competitions.  Could you please consider it, ask your teammates and let me know, either by email or on Tuesday evening.

In Wednesday night's triples, the Misfits (Bobby Allen, Eddie Gordon and Brian Gough) got through to the final where they will meet the Crown (John Hudson, Jeremy and Tony Launchbury).  Eddie asked me to report that it "was him wot wun it last night".  I told him he's not even going to get a mention - so I won't mention it!  End of story!


    Phil Allen


11th January 2019

Morning all and a Happy New Year to you.

Here we go again, preparations for the summer aunt sally season are about to begin - in fact, they started in my house as soon as the last season finished!

Our Annual General Meeting will be held at the Ex Services Club in Bicester on Thursday 31st January, starting at 8 o'clock.  A copy of the agenda is on our AGM page; no different from any other year but, let me please ask that, if you have anything to raise which may require some consideration or research from me, let me know about it beforehand.

Most of you will be able to work out which division your team is likely to be in but, just remember, it's not a foregone conclusion - it really depends on how many entries we get.  

If you - or your team - are not going to be involved this coming season, would you please let me know.  Likewise, if anyone knows of another pub/club who wishes to join us (or increase their number of teams), please let me know.

That's it for now.  I could well be in touch before the meeting - depends on what else comes to mind!


    Phil Allen


14th December 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all.  

I know I said it earlier in the season but Tuesday night aunt sally in Bicester seems to have taken off.  Every team now has a full compliment of players, and, in many cases, extras too.  Let's do all we can to get eight teams next year.

Anyway, what happened on Tuesday?

Bull Inn A extended their lead at the top of the table to seven points, having inflicted a 6-0 victory over nearest rivals, the Red Cow (who, by their standards, didn't score well at all).  Dave Gardner starred in that match with 13 dolls.  And then, the Bull A went and dropped a leg to bottom of the table, Bull Inn C.  Funny old game!

Billy Atwell continued his recent run of form with 20 dolls on the night (8 and 12) and is now just three dolls behind Nigel King in the top doll scorers chart - Nigel had a very poor night with just six in the first match and then four in the second.

Wednesday evening turned out to be an eventful one too!  With just one league match per team and the Knockout Cup semi finals on the fixture list, it was suggested (by the Crown!) that we introduce a Plate Competition - in which the losers in the first round of the cup get themselves a second match on the night.  All agreed but then the Crown didn't do themselves any favours and got knocked out by a makeshift Black Bull team!

In the league games it was the turn of the Misfits to pull out all the stops and claw their way back to within one point of the Crown at the top of the table.  With Dave Reast, Billy Atwell and Brian Gough all scoring 11, they racked up 48 dolls against the Black Bull, taking all six points.  Tony Nichols continued his recent good form with ten.  

With Karl Budd at the helm and scoring 11, the Crown really should have got all six points against the Ashton Club; but his teammates didn't play to their normal standards and, with Dave Smith and Dave Wheeler getting ten apiece (Dave Wheeler with a six too), the Ashton pinched the second leg and fell just one short in the last.

In the cup semis, the Misfits (with another commendable 49 dolls) knocked out the Unwanted and the Ex's did the same against the Bell.

Anyway, that's it now until after Christmas so, have a good one and we'll meet again in the second week of January.

    Phil Allen


8th December 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all.

Another terrific week of indoor aunt sally at the Ex's.  I really do look forward to Tuesday and Wednesday evenings down there.  The atmosphere is brilliant and the aunt sally's not so bad either!  The standard in both the Tuesday and Wednesday leagues is certainly improving.

On Tuesday it was pairs night.  Some great matches, many close ones with loads of three stickers, and some nail biting stuff.  Eventually, Wayne Walker and Phil Allen got through to the final where they'll meet James Bateman and Chris Stewart.  Well done chaps.

Despite dropping a leg to the Ex's, top of the table the Crown had a relatively good Wednesday evening - scoring "just" 92 dolls in their two games.  Tony Launchbury led the way for them with 21 dolls (12 and 9), closely followed by Terry 'Sid' Bagnall with 20 (9 and 11).  Jeremy Launchbury only had the one game and still managed 13.

The Misfits managed to pull a point back on the Crown with a 6-0 win against the White Horse and then a 5-1 against the Ex's.  Star of the show has to be Billy Atwell with a total of 22 dolls - 14 in the first match (3, 5 and 6) and then 8 in the next.  Brian Gough also recorded a six in his 19.

With Tony Nichols on top form hitting 21 dolls and Martin Wanless back as leader (?), the Black Bull had a relatively good week, beating The Bell 6-0 and taking a point off the Unwanted.

Next week will be the last aunt sally week before the Christmas break.  Tuesday's will be normal league games and Wednesday's will be league games for the first half of the evening and then the knockout cup semi finals, to be drawn on the night.  Teams involved are the Misfits, Unwanted, Ex Services and The Bell.

    Phil Allen


3rd December 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

With a very strong team now, the Bull Inn A won all of their games on Tuesday evening, scoring 85 dolls in the process - three of their players scoring 65 dolls between them (Karl Budd 23, Dave Gardner 22 and Nigel King 20).  And, with the Red Cow dropping a leg against the Ex Services - and scoring 26 dolls less - the Bull Inn A have opened up a two point gap at the top of the table.

The draw for the preliminary round of the Tuesday League pairs competition is as follows:


  • Pitch One - Nick Cherry and Sophie Thomson will play Phil Allen and Wayne Walker
  • Pitch Two - Colin Baldwin and John Raynor will play Dave Jeacock and Cliff Jeacock
  • Pitch One - James Bateman and Chris Stewart against Chris Ashton and Tricia Jones
  • Pitch Two - Brian Loverock and Ken Siret against Andy Thomas and Shaun Wickens.

In the Wednesday evening league pairs competition, Jeremy Launchbury and Karl Budd won their way through to the final and will meet Erik Poslusny and Martin Wanless, who both excelled themselves!  Mustn't forget, Martin hit a six too!

    Phil Allen


26th November 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Afternoon all - apologies for the delay in getting the results to you; been busy this week - working all day and then gaining some more brownie points yesterday.

The top two teams in the Tuesday league (Bull Inn A and the Red Cow), finished up with ten points apiece and remain tied at the top of the table.  In their first game, the Red Cow scored a total of 40 dolls - far too many for bottom of the table, Bull Inn C.  Roger Herbert with 11 and Steve Golder and Liam Merchant with 10 each doing the damage.  A pity they couldn't have got those scores in their second match against top of the table, Bull Inn A, they'd have won all three legs and gone top themselves.  It is tight though, just one doll in it.  

Nigel King got himself back to something like his normal form with 20 dolls (11 and a nine) and opened up the gap as top[ doll scorer - but teammate Karl Budd did even better on the night, pipping him by one with 11 and 10. 

Some weird stuff going on in the Wednesday league - which makes the evening and the league tables very interesting!

A terrific match to start the evening off - the Black Bull against the White Horse.  Both at the bottom end of the table and yet they come up with leg scores of 17-14, 9-10 and 10-10.  Three points apiece.  Dave Futter and Tony Nichols back on form with 10 and 11 dolls.  Baz got an unexpected eight!

The other "lead off" match (the Ex Services against the Ashton Club) also produced some good individual scores - John Cottingham with 12, Bill Mellis and Dave Wheeler with ten apiece.  The Ashton taking all six points.

How about the next one?  The Crown only managed five in their first leg against The Bell; but then went on to score 13 in each of the next two legs to win 4-2.

With the Misfits not scoring well and there for the taking, the Unwanted didn't take advantage - Robbie Bryant with 11 and Trevor Wood with 10, the only ones with anything like decent scores.  The Misfits came out on top 4-2.

The Black Bull got themselves another three points in their second match, against the Ex's.  Tony Nichols finished off a great night for himself, scoring 11 (the evening's highest scorer with 21) - with Bill Mellis and Mav Giles on nine apiece (Bill on 19 for the night).  Despite going well under the leadership of stand-in captain Tony Nichols, they finished both their matches as three-all draws and still couldn't climb the table.

The Ashton Club rounded off a great evening for themselves, following their previous 6-0 win with a 5-1 over the White Horse.  John Cottingham got 8 (twenty for the evening) and Dave Wheeler got nine (an evening's total of 19) - good throwing and well done chaps.

The Unwanted drew with the Crown in the first two legs (12 and 10 apiece) but then John Hudson spoilt the party with a six in the third leg - with the team's 16 being too many for their opponents.  Well done John.

A weird game between The Bell and the Misfits to round off the evening.  James Smith was the star of this one.  Having only scored 1, 1, 1 in his first match, he, somehow, came up with an amazing eleven dolls and helped his team to win the first leg and draw the next two - a 4-2 victory for The Bell.  If it hadn't been for skipper and anchorman Brian Gough (with 10), it could have been a total whitewash!

Despite all that, the league positions remain as they were last week!

    Phil Allen


17th November 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

Another two great evenings of indoor aunt sally.  It certainly seems to have taken off in Bicester.

Having accumulated sufficient brownie points last weekend, I ventured down to the Ex's on Tuesday evening - just to watch, yet still taking my sticks with me!  And yes, I did get dragged into playing!

I was so pleasantly surprised at how popular the Tuesday evening league has become -  all had full teams and still players floating around waiting to play in their team's second game of the evening.  Do I sense more teams on the horizon?

The first match of the evening, top of the table Bull Inn A were up against an "up and coming" Bull Inn B.  I had to justify my selection for the B side and contributed with 12 dolls with Rick Gumbert also throwing well for his 9.  New signing, Dave Gardner, hit 10 for the A side whilst top doll scorer Nigel King, crumbled under the pressure, getting a blob in the first leg!  He did reply well though with a five in the next leg.- and then a six later in the evening.  All in all, the A team lost their first match 4-2 but got all the points in their second.  That allowed the Red Cow to catch them and join them on 35 points at the top of the table.

In their first match against the Butchers Arms, the Red Cow won the first two legs by just one doll each time and then drew the third - a close match.  And then straight back on against the Ex Services.  The first leg was drawn on 13 apiece but the Red Cow easily won the next two, with Liam Merchant finishing with 11.

Wednesdays are equally as exciting.  The Crown have now taken over at the top of the table, hitting 78 dolls and beating the Black Bull 6-0 and the Misfits 4-2 in the process.  Karl Budd maintained his very good form hitting 12 and then 10 - putting him two clear of Bill Mellis who also played well on the night with two 10's.  The Misfits' other match of the evening, against the Ashton, caused a bit of an upset.  The Misfits easily won the first two legs (17-9 and 16-9) and then set 11 in the third.  The Ashton Club responded with an unexpected 16 - Dave Smith playing a captain's role, finished with ten.  Thirty four dolls for the Ashton in that match but they then dropped to 19 (losing 5-1) in the one against the Black Bull.

Norman Brock came back well from sickness, hitting 12 in the Unwanted's match against the Ex Services - the same match as the Unwanted set just five in the first leg with "yours truly" and Kevin Powney getting consecutive blobs!

Gotta go - got to earn some more "brownies" so I can get out on Tuesday!

    Phil Allen


11th November 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

Didn't get to send out the results yesterday and got myself a rollicking!  Just a friendly one though!  Got to earn myself some brownie points - like getting the Christmas decorating done!

Tuesday evening was the knockout cup night.  A terrific turnout too, I hear.

A little bit different with just six teams; so, wanting to ensure everyone had the chance of a decent evening's aunt sally, we did away with the normal knockout and played it more like a "round robin".  Coincidental it may have been, but all three Bull teams were drawn on the same pitch!  The Red Cow got themselves through on pitch one and, with the introduction of the experienced Dave Gardner (who, I understand, played very well - including a six), the Bull A will go through to play them in the final.

Despite Darren Lodges's 12 dolls in the first match on Wednesday, the Bell still went down 4-2 to the Ashton Club, for whom Brian Loverock and Dave Wheeler got eight apiece.  Darren came back down to earth in the Bell's second match, but, with Chris Hulme getting 12 this time, they managed to overcome the Black Bull 5-1, sending them to the bottom of the table.

At the end of the first round of fixtures, with their best evening so far, the Unwanted got eleven points - six against the Black Bull and five against the Ashton Club.  The White Horse started the season in fine form - 74 dolls on the first night - but, now, not being able to get a settled side, they're struggling - and let's just hope it continues into next week 'cos we've got them!  Just a bit of friendly banter! 

The Crown had a terrific first game of the evening, scoring 45 dolls - ironically against the White Horse.  Karl Budd and Terry Bagnall with eleven apiece and Jeremy Launchbury with ten.  Their second game though shows they can be beaten, scoring just 29 against the Ex's who didn't really take advantage; and despite scoring one more doll in total, lost 4-2.  Bill Mellis hit 18 on the night and has gone to joint top doll scorer with Karl Budd with 60 dolls apiece.

With Dave Reast unavailable, the Misfits had to call upon Doug Revitt - and, what a capable replacement, with ten dolls in each match.   With eleven points on the night, they were able to push just one point further away from the Crown. 

    Phil Allen


2nd November 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

This indoor aunt sally lark seems to be taking off!  Encouraging to see.  And the standard's improving too!

On Tuesday, for the first time, every team had a full complement of at least five players; great stuff!

Not surprising I guess, but the Bull Inn A and the Red Cow are setting the pace at the top the table.  By his standards, current top doll scorer, Nigel King, didn't have the best of evenings - scoring just seven in his first match but then came back with a commendable ten in his second.  Still four dolls ahead of 'Mr Steady', Roger Herbert.  Ian Cantwell hit the league's first six of the season and then, not to be outdone, "Newbie", Steve Golder, playing for the Red Cow in his first Tuesday evening match, also came up with a maximum.  "It's a team game" they say, and that's certainly the case with the Red Cow who totalled 70 dolls on the night - 35 in each of their two matches.

The player on form at the moment is Karl Budd who claimed 20 (8 and 12) and, in his four games so far, has an average of 9.50.  "Only went down to help out as teams were short"; but I know, he really enjoys it.

In the Wednesday league, there was only one league match per team followed then by the Knockout Cup.  The Misfits still top the table after their 6-0 demolition of the Black Bull; but with "just 36 dolls", they were well beaten by the Ex Services who got 39 and second placed Crown who amassed 44 dolls.

The Unwanted, with an average leg score of 11.53 (third best in the league) still find themselves next to bottom!  It can only get better!

Stars of the night?  Eddie Jones with 11, followed closely by his Ex Services teammate, Bill Mellis with 10.  And following on from his good form in the Tuesday league, Karl Budd also came up with ten dolls and tops the doll scorers chart.  Mind you, he's not as good on a Wednesday - his average is only 9.40!

The "disappointment" of the evening (well, it was for the teams involved, but not for the rest of us!) was that the Misfits and the Crown were drawn against each other in the Knockout Cup - what a shame!  And the match itself didn't disappoint either.  The Misfits won the first leg, the second was drawn and went to a three sticker - which the Crown won - and the Misfits won the third.

In the other ties, the Bell beat the Ashton Club, the Unwanted were victorious over the Black Bull, and the Ex Services came out on top against the White Horse.

    Phil Allen


25th October 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Another couple of enjoyable evenings of aunt sally - indoors in the warm, cheap drinks, great company - what more do you want!?  

There are still a few Tuesday evening teams struggling to get a full side; so, if you're interested in playing, just turn up, let someone know you're there and I'm sure you'll get yourself a game.

My apologies but I don't have the time for a full report this week.  Normal service will be resumed next week.

    Phil Allen


18th October 2018 INDOOR LEAGUE

What a great start to a new indoor season.  OK, on Tuesday a couple of teams were a few players short but still an enjoyable evening was had by all.  And then, last night, we welcomed a lot of new faces to the Wednesday evening league, and witnessed some decent aunt sally too.

Incidentally, we are still looking for a couple of players for the Tuesday league.  If you, or anyone you know, is interested in joining, then please, either let me know or just turn up on a Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, Nigel King (Bull Inn A) didn't take too long to settle in and find the target, hitting 13 in his first match helping his team to a creditable 34 dolls, whilst "Mr Consistency", Roger Herbert (Red Cow), scored a 9 and an 8 in his two throws. 

A number of new players have joined our Wednesday league, bringing a wealth of experience with them and, how it showed in some of the matches last night.  

OK, the Misfits are the same bunch as in previous seasons but, my, didn't they throw well last night - a total of 91 dolls in two matches!  In their first match against a strong Crown team, they really did pull out all the stops.  The Crown set 18 in the first leg but the Misfits could "only" manage 16.  But then they responded by setting 18 themselves and the Crown replied in the same manner - only managing 16.  The reigning champions set another 16 but their opponents ran out of steam, dropping short with just 12 on the board.  A few good individual scores amongst that lot - Brian Gough, with a captain's innings, getting 12 whilst John Hudson and Terry Bagnall excelled themselves with 11 apiece!

Dave Futter's been getting some practice in somewhere - he had a great start to his winter season, scoring 14 in his first match (including a six).  He tops the doll scoring chart already, with 22, whilst his team, the White Horse, top the table, winning five of their six legs.

Someone else hit a six; now, who was it?  Oh, just remembered - that was me!  Not quite sure where it came from though - didn't do a great deal else!

Karl Budd didn't take too long to settle into his new environment either, scoring ten in each match.  What a great signing that will be for the Crown!

All in all, it's been an encouraging start to the 2018 winter season, and, without a doubt, the standard of aunt sally in the Bicester area is improving greatly.  And, we all know it, "you play with and against better players, and you become a better player"!

Keep it up.

Sixers - Dave Futter (White Horse) and Phil Allen (Unwanted).

    Phil Allen


4th October 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

My apologies for the delay in getting the minutes of last week's meeting and the fixtures lists to you but I've been waiting for the assurance that we could get a team to fill the Wednesday's "Unwanted" slot and could also get six teams in the Tuesday league - and we're now there.

In the Tuesday league, the Barley Mow are not able to join us, so Keith Lennard is getting an Ex Services team together; and, initially, the Red Cow couldn't field a side but, with a couple of "strays" to join them, they're up and running and we've managed to get our six teams.

As I said in a previous email, in the Wednesday league: 

·  if you're on first then you'll be on third.  If you're on second, you'll be on last.  There won't be a case of being on first and then having to wait to play in the last game (except maybe, in the knockout cup weeks).

·  you play each team four times (as before) but every time you play a team, it will be at a different time to any other time you've played them.  And the pitches you play a team on will be alternated (eg pitch 1, then the next it'll be pitch 2, then back to 1 and then 2).  And, whether you're home away will also alternate.

·  the number of times teams are on first or on last will be fairly even.

Can't do that with the Tuesday night fixtures I'm afraid!  But I would still like to find a way of extending the league for you; any suggestions?

Please have a look through the lists and let me know if there are any glaring problems.

    Phil Allen


3rd October 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all.  I didn't get a great deal of response to the email I sent out on Friday advertising for teams to enter our Tuesday night indoor league - but then it is only Monday!

In fact, it's got a little worse!  Two of the original six (the Barley Mow and the Red Cow) are now unable to get enough players.  Takes me down to just four teams!  Keith Lennard (Ex Services) is getting another side together - we'll then be up to five.

We need to get six sides at a minimum.

If I can't get anyone who can enter a full side, are there any individual players out there who would like to play?  We'll then look at 'mixing and matching'!

    Phil Allen


29th September 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all, this is really aimed at the Wednesday league teams.

For the past couple of days I've been working on the fixtures for the Wednesday league and have managed to arrange it so that:

  • if you're on first then you'll be on third.  If you're on second, you'll be on last.  There won't be a case of being on first and then having to wait to play in the last game (except maybe, in the knockout cup weeks).
  • you play each team four times (as before) but every time you play a team, it will be at a different time to any other time you've played them.  And the pitches you play a team on will be alternated (eg pitch 1, then the next it'll be pitch 2, then back to 1 and then 2).
  • the number of times teams are on first or on last will be fairly even.

Right, the last game before Christmas will be on the 12th;  and then, what I would like to know is, do you want to play on 2nd January or wait until the 9th.  Please let me know and I'll go with the majority.

For those Tuesday night teams, one of the expected teams cannot get enough players, so has had to withdraw.  I have someone else who is looking at getting a team so there's still the chance that we'll have six sides.  Will keep you informed.

    Phil Allen


28th September 2018 - INDOOR LEAGUE

Morning all,

We have our full compliment of eight teams for the Indoor League on a Wednesday but would still like to get another two five-a-side teams for a new league being set up for a Tuesday evening.  Matches will be played at the Ex Services starting on 16th October, running through to mid-March.  Each team gets two games a night.

Is there anyone out there who could get together five players to come and join us?  Please let me know if you can - first come, first served.

    Phil Allen


22nd September 2018

Not much to say in the email itself, it's all on the news page.

Thank you very much indeed for the complimentary comments received by email or seen on facebook; very much appreciated.  Makes it all worth while.  May even consider carrying on next season (subject to being voted in, of course)!

Right, now let's start preparing for the Indoor League!  Don't forget, the AGM is at the Ex Services on Wednesday evening (26th), starting at 7.30pm.

    Phil Allen


20th September 2018

Morning all,

After last night's semis, I can now announce the finalists and the format for tomorrow night.

Sorry, no report - in a bit of a rush, a busy day ahead!



16th September 2018

The results of last night's Plate Finals are as follows:


  • League Plate - Black Bull B beat Brill S&SC A
  • Intermediate Plate - Barley Mow beat the White Hart
  • Supplementary Plate - Crown Twyford beat the Royal Oak

The format for semi finals night next Wednesday, which starts at 8 o'clock, can be found on the NEWS page.

    Phil Allen


16th September 2018

A rather disappointing turnout for the singles competitions.  Only 32 out of 46 for the Premier and Division One, 22 out of 28 in Division Two, 8 out of the 11 in Division Three, 19 out of 25 in Division Four and all 12 in Division Five turned up.  All in all, 29 didn't.

Congratulations to the winners as shown in the attachment.  They will now go through to the semi finals to be played at the Bull Inn, Launton next Wednesday, 19th September, starting at 8 o'clock.

Don't forget, we have the Plate Finals at The Harrison this evening, starting at 8 o'clock.  First on is the Supplementary Plate between the Crown Twyford and the Royal Oak.  Next will be the Intermediate Plate between the Barley Mow and the White Hart.  Last, but not least, is the League Plate involving the Brill S&SC A and the Black Bull B.

Remember - no practising will be allowed.



The AGM for the indoor league will be held at the Ex Services on Wednesday 26th September, starting at 7.30 pm.

As far as I'm aware, we still have the same eight teams as last year but if anyone wants to register an interest in entering a side, please let me know and I'll make a note as a reserve (I already know about the Highfield!).  Or, maybe we could get sufficient teams to start another league - say, on a Tuesday night.  Just get your names in to me.


11th September 2018

With the end of the summer season almost upon us, there are a few items to ponder over..... Please take a look on the news page to see the items suggested.


11th September 2018

Morning all.  I've reminded you that the Plate Finals night is this coming Friday, 14th September but I don't think I've published the format for the evening.  Here we go:

First on, starting at 8 o'clock is the Supplementary Plate between the Crown Twyford and the Royal Oak.  Next will be the Intermediate Plate between the Barley Mow and the White Hart.  Last, but not least, is the League Plate involving the Brill S&SC A and the Black Bull B.

Remember - no practising will be allowed.

There will be nine winners and nine runners up trophies given to the relevant teams.


11th September 2018

Morning all.

Apart from Division Six, the league games are now over and the league tables finalised.

In the Premier and Division One, Brill S&SC B were unable to field a team so the three points went to the champions, the White Lion.  Runners up in the Premier are the Crown who won 3-0 away against the Black Bull B.  What I have found out about the Black Bull B side is that they're "fourth leg specialists"!  They've won ten beer legs, drawing one and losing two.   Does anyone else keep a record of the fourth leg?  If so, can you better that?

The Pheasant won 3-0 at the Muddy Duck to finish up as Division One champions, with Paul Wallington top scoring with ten dolls.  Dave Reast hit 12 for the Muddy Duck.  They tied with 15 each in the third leg, then went to 3, 1, and back to six sticks with the Duck setting 12 - but the Pheasant got the required 13 with just two sticks remaining!

In a great contest at the Highfield, the Black Bull A were eventual 2-1 winners.  The home side set a commendable 21 in the first leg but the visitors were all in terrific form, responding with a massive 27.  Roles were reversed in the second leg; the Black Bull setting 20 and the Highfield coming back with 23.  Even closer in the third leg (19-18 to the visitors) with Kev Powney getting the winner with his last stick.  Some great individual scores with Lee Conway getting 12, Lee Wanless 10 and Andy Lincoln 9 for the Highfield, and Karl Budd 13, Steve Golder 11, Kevin Powney 10, Steve Payne and Norman Brock both with 9 for the Black Bull A.

Champions of Division Two, the Ex Services were one of a number of teams who turned out with an incomplete side and with just six players they lost out 2-1 to the visiting Nut Tree.  Bill Mellis with 11 and Tony Sullivan with ten did their utmost to claim all three points but it just wasn't to be.  With the Bull Inn A turning out with just six as well, and losing 3-0 at home to the Prince of Wales, the Nut Tree have leapt above them into second spot.  Trevor Barnett with 10 helped the Prince of Wales to the three points.  With ten dolls from Chris Hulme and 9 from Darren Moore, the Bell also secured a 3-0 away win at The Lion.  Ten dolls from Phil Chanel - his best of the season - helped Brill S&SC A to two points against the visiting Ashton Club, for whom Rick Gumbert got nine, also his best of the season.

The Shakespeare were another of those teams to turn out with just six players and it didn't help their cause one bit.  Having now lost their last three league games, going down 3-0 on this occasion at Red Lion Islip, they've lost second place in the table to the White Horse B who came away from the Bull & Butcher winning 2-1.

The Butchers Arms needed all three points to be certain of the Division Four title.  They'd almost got it at The Harrison, winning the first two comfortably (15-11 and 17-7).  But then, in the third, they only set 11.  The home side managed 13.  With the White Horse A having a bye and certain of three points, Chandos Arms needed to come up with the goods, at home against bottom of the table, Fountain A.  And they did!  They won 3-0 and became champions.  With Robert Taylor hitting 12 (including a six - his second of the season) inspiring them along the way, there was only going to be one winner!  Mark Cox, with 10 for the Fountain, did his utmost to spoil the Chandos party but it wasn't enough.

In the top-of-the-table clash in Division Five, the Fox Souldern, home to Bull Inn B, needed all three points for the title.  They were well on their way, securing the first two quite comfortably, and then went in to set in the third - and what a disaster!  Just four on the board!  Trish Jones, the fifth player for the Bull, got the winner and the title too!  And, with the Crown Twyford having a bye and the three points, the Fox even missed out on second place!

Now, don't start jumping the gun and trying to work out who's going up and who's going down.  It's difficult and we can't be sure until about March time!  Teams drop out, others come in - so we just can't be certain.

Sixer of the week - Robert Taylor (Chandos Arms).


    Phil Allen


2nd September 2018

The Steve Huntley Memorial Shield” singles competition.  The draw for this competition, to be played on Wednesday 12th September has been made and can be found on our NEWS page.  

Sadly, we’re almost there; not much left to this season.  Thankfully, it's been one very good summer with very little rain - ideal weather for aunt sally.

The White Lion have retained the Premier Division championship.  A 3-0 win at the Crown secured the title, with Bobby Allen scoring 13 and Dougie Revitt 11 for the champions.  Kevin Powney's 11 dolls helped ensure the Black Bull A's survival in the Premier Division with a 3-0 victory over a seven-man Brill Sports Club team and elevated himself back up to the league's top doll scorer.  

The Black Bull B's visit to the Muddy Duck gave them a 2-1 win in a very tight match (17 each in the first leg with the visitors winning the three sticker), then 13-12 again to the visitors and 17-16 to the Muddy Duck in the last leg.  Dave Reast came good with 11 dolls for the home side.

The Highfield took the trek up the hill to Brill and enjoyed a 2-1 victory over the Pheasant, Lee Conway starring with ten dolls.  That does mean that the winners of Division One is still undecided.  I must point out at this stage, that earlier in the season (6th June), Brill Social Club were unable to field a side for their match at the Highfield.  OK, the Highfield got the three points but weren't awarded any dolls.  Now, should the top two (the Pheasant and the Highfield) finish level on points after next week's last games, then the Highfield will be credited with 50 dolls (which was their average for three legs at that point).  

The Bull Inn A had a very poor evening at the Ashton Club, going down 2-1 and sacrificing any chance of winning Division Two.  That accolade has now gone to the Ex Services who also travelled "up the hill to Brill" and won 3-0 at the Sports Club with Kerry White hitting six in the first leg.  Runners up spot is still up for grabs between the Bull, who are home to the Prince of Wales next week, and the Nut Tree who are indoors at the Ex's.

The Division Three champions were crowned last week.  The Red Cow have had a terrific season and haven't lost a match.  A bit late in the season but Roger Herbert is getting back into top form; he hit 12 with Ian Cantwell getting 10 and Liam Fisher on 9 - and then a six in the beer leg!  Oh well, never mind!  As in Division Two, runners up spot is also there for the taking.  With the Shakespeare surprisingly losing 2-1 at home to Chearsley Cricketers and the White Horse B having a bye and the three points that go with it, the White Horse have jumped up into second place.  Watch this space!

Not to be out done, Division Four have also decided to keep it tight at the top!  Last week's table toppers, the Chandos Arms, came unstuck at The Harrison, going down 2-1.  The Butchers Arms took advantage - a little - by narrowly winning 2-1 against a seven man Red Lion Finmere - who set 15 and won the first leg.  It doesn't stop there!  The White Horse A visited bottom team, Fountain A, and, with 11 dolls from anchorman Tony Owen, they also earned themselves a 2-1 victory.  With a bye and three guaranteed points for the White Horse next week, the Butchers (at The Harrison) and the Chandos (home to the Fountain), have to be on their toes and pull out all the stops.

Guess what; it's no different in Division Five - three teams fighting for the title.  The Crown Twyford, currently in third place have a bye and the three points that go with it, and the Bull (currently top) travel to second placed, Fox Souldern, needing just one leg to secure it.  Place your bets here!

Division Six belongs to the Bull & Butcher A.  Their 3-0 victory at the Black Bull Divas - with 17 in the first leg - give them the title.  Ron Jones, Chris Lee and Vic Whittingham scored six dolls apiece.

Sixer - Kerry White (Ex Services).

Right let me remind you of what's left for the season:

·  5th September - League fixtures

·  12th September - Singles competitions (see Newsletter 6 attached) and, for Division Six, it will be their last league fixtures.

·  14th September - League, Intermediate and Supplementary Plate finals at The Harrison, Launton - starting at 8.00 pm

·  19th September - Singles, pairs and four a sides semi finals at the Bull Inn, Launton - starting at 8.00 pm.  The pairs' and fours' semi-finallists are as follows.  Obviously we won't know the singles semi-finallists until after the first rounds on the 12th.



Pete Dempsey & Bobby Allen (White Lion)

Doug Revitt & Brian Gough (White Lion)

Eddie Gordon & Phil Allen (White Lion)

Keith Harris & Pete McCarron (The Pheasant)


Ray Rowe & James Harkness (Bell Bicester)

Dave Crook & Mick Crook (Nut Tree)

Martin Pratley & Richard Cooper (Nut Tree)

Joe Young & Ashley Young (Ashton Club)


Terry Hawkins & Andy Draper (Barley Mow)

Pete Stammers & Tony Nichols (Shakespeare)

Martin Wanless & Keith Vickers (Shakespeare)

Ian Cantwell & Roger Herbert (Red Cow)


Trevor Wood & Jim Harris (The Harrison)

Craig Merry & Daryl Merry (White Horse A)

Robert Taylor & Graham Bradley (Chandos Arms)

Alex Plested & John Plested (Butchers Arms)



Bull Inn A


Red Cow

White Lion

·  21st September - Finals night at the Black Bull, Launton - starting at 7.30 pm.

    Phil Allen

26th August 2018

Wednesday's cup and plate results are below.  No real shocks.

The plate finals will be played on Friday 14th September at The Harrison, Launton and the cup finals at the Black Bull, Launton on Friday 21st September.


    Phil Allen




Muddy Duck 2 v 1 Nut Tree
Black Bull B 2 v 1 Highfield SC

White Lion A 2 v 0 Black Bull A
Brill S&SC A 2 v 1 The Lion


Red Cow 0 v 2 Shakespeare
Barley Mow 2 v 0 Fountain A

(Fountain A failed to turn up - match awarded to opponents)
Chandos Arms 2 v 1 Butchers Arms
White Hart 2 v 0 The Harrison


Bull & Butcher A 2 v 0 Fox Souldern

Plough MG A 2 v 0 Fountain B

(Fountain B unable to raise a team - match awarded to opponents)

Congratulations to the winners and commiserations to those in second place!

The plate finals, to be played at the Harrison, Launton on Friday 14th September, will be:

Brill S&SC A v Black Bull B

Barley Mow v White Hart

Crown Twyford v Royal Oak

The cup finals, to be played at the Black Bull, Launton on finals night (Friday 21st September) will be:

Muddy Duck v White Lion A

Shakespeare v Chandos Arms

Bull & Butcher A v Plough MG A

19th August

Morning all,

Only two league games to go (three in Division Six), and only Division Three champions have been decided.  The remainder could still go down to the wire.

The Crown dropped another leg - this time to the Black Bull A - and the White Lion secured a comfortable 3-0 victory over the Muddy Duck.  The Crown and the White Lion meet in their next league game in what could virtually be the title decider.  Bobby Allen regained some form to knock off 13 whilst Pete Dempsey's 11 takes him to the top of the Top Doll Scorer's list.

Kevin Vickers's eleven dolls and Lee Wanless's nine helped the Highfield  to a 2-1 win at bottom placed Brill S&SC B for whom Martin Bailey also got nine.

The Black Bull B and The Pheasant had a rather lengthy battle.  The Pheasant were already one leg up when they set 18 in the second.  Dickie Butler, anchorman for the opposition, rose to the occasion and got the three required for a draw.  Now it begins!  Three sticker drawn, one sticker drawn, back to six sticks and they get 17 each.  Into another three sticker and the Pheasant won it 13-12.  The Black Bull got revenge in the third, knocking off 23 - with Allan Moon getting a six.  Well done.

The shock result in Division Two must surely be the 3-0 defeat of the Bull Inn A at the Bell.  They started off with a drawn leg (nine apiece), then eight each in the three sticker, and the Bell winning on the one sticker.  The remaining two legs were mighty close - 10-9 and 19-18 in favour of the Bell.  Unknowingly, the Ex Services took advantage with their own 3-0 victory over the Ashton Club - Tony Sullivan with ten, helping them along the way.

The Red Cow are champions of Division Three and a very well done to them.  Their 2-1 win at the Shakespeare was sufficient to give them the title.  A captain's innings from Roger Herbert (with eleven dolls) helped them along the way.

In Division Four second placed Chandos Arms inflicted a 3-0 defeat over the then top of the table, Butchers Arms, and have now gone top themselves.  The White Horse A, with a 3-0 victory over The Harrison and an assured three points when they have a bye as their last game of the season, are ready to pounce should there be any slip ups at the top.  

The Fox Souldern didn't do themselves any favours in Division Five by losing at home to the Crown Twyford.  The really needed a maximum three points to keep in touch with the Bull Inn B.  Interestingly though, the Fox have three points coming their way in the next league week because the KEA have withdrawn and then they are at home to the Bull in the final game.  The Crown mustn't be discounted though because they are at home to the Fountain B and then have the three points coming their way because of the KEA withdrawal.

The Bull & Butcher A have virtually sealed the Division Six title with a 3-0 over second placed Safari Garden.

Sixer - Allan Moon (Black Bull B).

Right let me remind you of what's left for the season:

  • 22nd August - Knockout Cup and Plate semi finals
  • 29th August - League fixtures
  • 5th September - League fixtures
  • 12th September - Singles competitions and, for Division Six, league fixtures
  • 14th September - League, Intermediate and Supplementary Plate finals at The Harrison, Launton - starting at 8.00 pm
  • 19th September - Singles, pairs and four a sides semi finals at the Bull Inn, Launton - starting at 8.00 pm.
  • 21st September - Finals night at the Black Bull, Launton - starting at 7.30 pm.


    Phil Allen


19th August 2018

With Divisions Three down to Six having byes, resulting in players not all playing the same number of games during the month, I'm finding it increasingly difficult when it comes to "judging" for the player of the month.

My choice for the month of July is Ian Cantwell who hit 28 dolls in just three games, playimg for the Red Cow in Division Three.  Well done Ian.   I have a voucher - which I will get to him - from our sponsors, Lodge Garage, offering a 15% discount on any combined service and MOT.



12th August 2018

Because of the football world cup, the singles competition was postponed on 11th July and will now be played on Wednesday 12th September.  There have been very few changes to the original entries - just a few replacements, some deletions and a couple of new entries.  Because of the minimal number of changes, it's felt there's no need to redraw the whole competitions.  Click on the NEWS Button for all the details. 


12th August 2018

Morning all, the end is nigh!

With just three leg games to go, it's getting rather tight in most divisions.

In the Premier, the White Horse maintained their grasp at the top with a 3-0 victory at home against the Black Bull B.  Bobby Allen had a much better game than he has of late, hitting 12 dolls (including a six in the first leg).  Dougie Revitt and Pete Dempsey, with nine apiece, also did their bit to secure the win for the reigning champions.  The Crown dropped a leg at the Highfield and fell to three points behind the leaders.  Trevor Smith hit ten and Lee Wanless nine for the home side but they just weren't enough.

Terry Clack, with 12 dolls, Norman Brock, Kevin Powney and Steve Payne, all with ten each, starred for the Black Bull A who romped home 3-0 against the Muddy Duck - for whom Malcolm Skuce hit 11.  Paul Morris, with ten, helped The Pheasant to a 2-1 victory on their travels to Brill S&SC B.

In Division Two, the Ex Services have regained top spot (on dolls scored) after their 3-0 win at The Lion and with the Bull Inn A dropping a leg at home to third placed Nut Tree.  It's going to be touch and go in the last three games - especially with the Ex's and the Nut Tree meeting in the last game.

A bit of a surprise result down at the bottom of that division where the Prince of Wales beat the visiting Brill S&SC A team 3-0.  A very well done to the Social Club for making that long journey with just six players and almost sneaking a couple of the legs.  A special well done to lead-off man for the visitors, Dave Munson, who hit a six in the first leg.  A tight match at the Ashton Club where the Bell Bicester won 2-1 (14-13, 15-14, 12-13).

Division Three leaders maintained top spot with a comfortable 3-0 home win against the Bull & Butcher B.  Two more points from their remaining two games (their other game being a bye), will give them the title.  Their next one is away at their nearest rivals, the Shakespeare.  Could be a good one!

The shock result in Division Four was the 3-0 drubbing of the leaders, Chandos Arms, at the White Horse.  They set in every leg but didn't score anything like they can and Daryl and Craig Merry - both with seven dolls - saw the home side through - closing the gap on the Chandos for second place.  Fountain A got their second win of the season, both against Red Lion Finmere and both by two legs to one.  The Fountain scored 35 dolls on both occasions with the Red Lion getting 30 both times - boring!!  They now swap places at the bottom.

Not wanting to be any different to the others, Division Five are keeping it tight at the top too!  The Bull Inn B travelled to the Fountain and came away with a 2-1 win, as did the Fox Souldern who went to the Royal Oak with just five players - well done gents.  Kevin Hicks for the Royal Oak and Johnny Green for the visitors starred with nine apiece.

Another team who were short of players but still travelled with just five players was the Plough Marsh Gibbon Casuals.  They took the long trip to Eight Bells, Long Crendon and also took a point.  Well done  

Sixers - Bobby Allen (White Lion) and Dave Munson (Brill S&SC A).

    Phil Allen


8th August 2018

The time has come to collect in the "annual" trophies - those which I need to get engraved.  I've attached a list showing the ones I'm chasing.  Could captains arrange to get them to me as soon as possible - before 22nd August, please.