BOWLS: Borough end long wait to regain crown

Banbury Borough (from left): George Schwab, AJ Docherty, John Brooks, Paul Hilton, Mark Sykes, Geoff Gray, Keith Holloway, Richard Redford

Banbury Borough (from left): George Schwab, AJ Docherty, John Brooks, Paul Hilton, Mark Sykes, Geoff Gray, Keith Holloway, Richard Redford

First published in Sport

BANBURY Borough won a tight Hawker Cup final against defending champions Headington to lift the trophy for the first time in 13 years.

Howard Watts boosted hopes of back-to-back titles for Headington, as his four, completed by Dean May, Alan Manger and Gary May, were always in control of their rink, played at Oxford City & County.

Borough’s Keith Holloway, John Brooks, George Schwab and skip Mark Sykes could not find a way back into the contest and went down 24-16.

Their other four, AJ Docherty, Paul Hilton, Geoff Gray and Richard Redford, started by dropping a five to Headington’s line-up of Kelvin Woodward, Paul Mabbutt, Nathan Lewis and Ian Snowdon.

But from then on the match belonged to Borough, as Redford’s rink took 15 of the next 20 ends.

It saw them steadily build a lead, finishing 25-13 up to complete a 41-37 win overall.

The play-off for third place was even closer.

West Witney, thrashed by Banbury 47-17 in the semi-final, took on Kidlington, who had gone down 44-34 to Headington.

Witney’s Kevin Alder led his side of Henry Beall, Brian Squires and Harry Williams into a ten-shot lead at the halfway stage against Chris Tomlins, Barry Willoughby, Paul McGrath and John Hardie.

Kidlington fought back to limit the damage in the closing stages, losing 23-19.

Their hopes rested on Chris Cox’s four of Alan Rowe, Joe Woodward and Melvin Brain, who led by seven shots after 15 ends.

But Jim Wells, Roger Thomas, Trevor Prew and Paul Skidmore responded to only lose 20-19, which gave West Witney a 42-39 win.

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