Archive | August, 2011

Match Reports 24th August 2011

Prem / A Section: Spread Eagle 4 Tandem 2, Abingdon United ‘A’ 4 Steventon Sports 2, Fox 4 Spread Eagle ‘B’ 2, Berinsfield S.C ‘A’ 6 Abingdon Legion 0, Waggon & horses 2 ABingdon United ‘B’ 4. B Section: Admiral Benbow 5 Harwell Legion 1, Abingdon United ‘D’ 4 Berisfield S.C ‘B’ 2, Red Lion 4 College Oak 2, Abingdon Con Club 6 White Horse 0, Barley Mow 2 Abingdon United ‘C’ 4. C Section: Flowing Well 5 Vine 1, Plough East Hendred 0 North Star 6, Wootton Legion 2 Plough Long Wittenham 4, Harwell Legion 6 Brewery Tap ‘A’ 0. D Section: Chequers Charney Bassett 4 Volunteer Grove 2, Fox 6 Crown 0, White Horse 5 Spread Eagle 1, North Star 4 Hatchett 2, Black Horse ‘A’ 6 Midget ‘A’ 0. E Section: Wheatsheaf Didcot 2 Crown Didcot 4, Bowyers Arms 0 Eight Bells 6, Abingdon Arms 4 Plough Sutton 2, Eight Bells ‘B’ 6 Red Lion 0. F Section: Old Anchor 2 Black Horse ‘B’ 4, Brewery Tap ‘B’ 0 North Star 6, Fleur De Lys 2 Plough Appleton 4, Didcot Con Club 2 Boundary House ‘A’ 4. G Section: College Oak ‘B’ 0 Plough Hanney 6, Midget 3 Cross Keys ‘B’ 3, North Star 2 Fairmile S.S 4, Bear North Morton 6 Didcot Labour Club 0. H Section: Royal Oak 2 Marlborough Club 4, Steventon Sports 6 Good Lake Arms 0, Railway Inn 1 Wheatsheaf Drayton 5. Sixes: P Song M Sheridan D Cross G Barguss Blobs: D Edwards A Latimer S Grant A Lallard D Higgerson G Fenton N Steele J Lewis O Goss

Match Results 17th August 2011

Prem / A Section: Steventon Sports 2 Fox 4, Abingdon United ‘B’ 2 Spread Eagle 4, Abingdon Legion 4 Waggon & Horses 2, Spread Eagle ‘B’ 4 Berinsfield S.C ‘A’ 2. B Section: Berinsfield S.C ‘B’ 4 Red Lion ‘A’ 2, Harwell Legion 6 Abingdon United ‘D’ 0, Abingdon United ‘C’ 4 Admiral Benbow 2, White Horse 2 Barley Mow 4, College Oak 6 Abingdon Con Club 0. C Section: North Star ‘B’ 6 Wotton Legion 0, Vine Cumnor 2 Plough East Hendred 4, Brewery Tap ‘A’ 2 Flowing Well 4, Pack Horse 4 Harwell Legion ‘A’ 2, Plough Long Wittenham 1 Steventon Sports ‘B’ 5. D Section: Crown Marcham 2 White Horse 4, Midget 3 Chequers Chareny Bassett 3, Hatchett 4 Black Horse ‘A’ 2, Spread Eagle ‘A’ 6 North Star ‘A’ 0. E Section: Eight Bells ‘A’ 6 Abingdon Arms 0, Crown Didcot 5 Bowyers Arms 1, Stanford F.C 3 Wheatsheaf Didcot 3, Red Lion ‘B’ 4 G.W.R S.C 2, Plough Sutton 4 Eight Bells ‘B’ 2. F Section: North Star ‘C’ 4 Fleur De Lys 2, Black Horse ‘B’ 2 Brewery Tap ‘B’ 4, Boundary House 4 Old Anchor 2, Bear & Ragged Staff 0 Didcot Con Club 6, Plough Appleton 2 Cross Keys ‘C’ 4. G Section: Plough Hanney 6 Midget 0, Didcot Labour Club 4 College Oak 2, Fairmile S.C 3 Bear North Morton 3, Cross Keys Wallingford 4 North Star 2. H Section: Challow Legion 1 Black Swan 5, Wheatsheaf Drayton 6 Royal Oak 0, Marlborough Club 6 Boundary House 0. Sixes: M Rusher N Weston Blobs: D Smith D Norton F Mackellor L Portor T Brown G Wheeler C Connolly S Grant A Wisdom M Mobbs S Barguss S Fenton M Sacco M Edmonds N Green K Dyba K Davies S Denman Taylor J Kendall C Webster M Francum G Pierpoint O Holloway

Blog 8

Blog 8

Apologies on the lateness of this blog I’ve been a little busy of late. This week’s blog is a little different. I was recently emailed by someone asking for my opinion and I thought I would make my thoughts this week’s blog. So thanks to Dave.

If anyone else needs an urgent query answering, if I can’t answer I do have access to someone who is even more knowledgeable than I. Though to be fair, that’s not hard.

1 – Advice on playing in the rain and keeping your average.

Playing in the rain is a great leveller. For players that throw the stick rather than let it slide through their hands it shouldn’t be a problem. Issues arise when the stick gets wet and sticks to your hand. Keep a beer towel in your bag at all times and as soon you’ve thrown give each one a proper dry even if they look OK. You will find that they should have dried enough to throw again. Of course once dried you should store them in the car or under the table not leave them in the rain.

If you are at home you should always have a dry bit of carpet to put on the floor for the match. This is so important. How many times do people complain that they don’t like playing in the rain but then neglect to provide a dry area in the shed. Surely, that’s common sense.

Some people get their sticks drenched and find that easier because then it’s uniformly wet through out the stick. Me? I use the beer towel works every time.

Keeping your average up is better answered in 2.

2 – Does practice make perfect, I threw 4 4 4 in practice and X 1 2 in the game. Is it all in the head?

Practice does indeed make perfect but not really on game night. If at all possible use another time, I like to throw on a Sunday afternoon if I can. Too much practice right before a match tires your arm a small amount and you either drop short or over compensate and go over or are wild. 3 practice throws on a new pitch is the maximum. 2 on a pitch you’ve already thrown on. Once to loosen the arm and another to get your eye in. NEVER EVER throw a 6 in practice I guarantee you a blob and a low score. If you get your first 3 throw the next 2 away and try for the 6th. You’re just wasting dolls here.

The reason you get more when practicing is because you are more relaxed, even if you think you’re doing everything the same, little things like not extending your arm as much or, letting go of the stick a fraction sooner than you would normally. Get someone you trust to stand behind you during practice and get them to watch, or better still get your digital camera and film your throw on Sunday afternoon that’s when you will be most relaxed, sounds silly but it will give you a good feedback.

I’ll use golf as an example.

Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros.

Both great players but Nick Faldo before playing would hit 500 balls to get his eye in and get his muscle memory in tune. Every time he played he did this. Seve Ballesteros never did anything like it, he was a natural and didn’t need to.

There is a good proportion of it in your head as well. Go out there and really concentrate on getting that first doll. Once you get the first your confidence goes up, it’s all about that first doll, I can’t stress that enough!

With respect to keeping up a decent average I would say the more time you think about it the worst your average will become. You end up putting too much pressure on yourself and as a result end up with a poor score. In fact the best way to score well is to be relaxed and concentrate on getting that first doll, then the second and so on. I never think with three in the bag I could get a 4 here. Rather I think, “I just want one more, just one more” Think of what you need now not what you need for a good average.

3 – Should I sand my sticks?

Sanding sticks is personal preference I never do unless I have splinters. From question 1 if you slide the stick in your hand then it needs to be smooth, if you throw the stick without sliding it at all then don’t bother. However, some players use the sand as a psychological tool to get them in the zone before they throw. It’s less about the actual sand and more about the focus it gives the player, a ritual if you like.

4 – I play well in the team but in the singles I go to bits

Singles competitions are the absolute pinnacle of what makes a good player a good player. Every player is nervous in the singles comp it’s just how they show it.

To get around it you need to put yourself in that position loads so that you feel at home there. And always try to be as relaxed as you can, even if you really aren’t. It’s no surprise that you see the same old faces in the singles competition. They’ve, literally in some cases, been doing it for years. It becomes second nature and they are able to play through the nerves, even use it to their advantage.



Match Results 10th August 2011

Prem / A Section: Spread Eagle 3 Abingdon Legion 3, Steventon Sports ‘A’ 3 Spread Eagle ‘B’ 3. B Section: Admiral Benbow 3 White Horse 3, Abingdon United ‘D’ 4 Abingdon United ‘C’ 2, Red Lion ‘A’ 4 Harwell Legion 2, Berinsfield S.C 6 College Oak 0, Barley Mow 4 ABingdon Con Club 2. C Section: Flowing Well 5 Pack Horse 1, Plough East Hendred 6 Brewery Tap 0, Wotton Legion 2 Vine Cumnor 4, North Star ‘B’ 6 Plough Long Wittenham 0, Harwell Legion 0 Steventon Sports 6. D Section: Chequers Charney Bassett 4 Hatchett Childrey 2, White Horse 3 Volunteer 3, Crown Marcham 6 Spread Eagle 0. E Section: Wheatsheaf 0 Red Lion 6, Bowyers Arms 4 Stanford F.C 2, Abingdon Arms 2 Crown Didcot 4, Eight Bells 6 Plough Sutton 0, G.W.R.S.A 5 Eight Bells 1. F Section: Brewery Tap 4 Boundary House 2, Fleur De Lys 6 Black Horse 0, North Star 1 Plough Appleton 5, Didcot Con Club 3 Cross Keys Abingdon 3, Old Anchor 4 Bear & Ragged Staff 2. G Section: College Oak 2 Morning Star 4, Good Lake Arms 3 Plough Hanney 3, Bear North Morton 5 North Star 1. H Section: Boundary House 0 Wheatsheaf 6, Railway Inn 0 Steventon Sports 6, Royal Oak 3 Good Lake Arms 3. Sixes: K Smith Blobs: J Handley M Einon R Normington N Steele B Dakin Norris F Kelly A Andrews D Hughes


Match Results 3 August 2011

Prem / A Section: Berinsfield S.C ‘A’ 0 Spread Eagle 6, Abingdon Legion 2 Abingdon United ‘A’ 4, Abingdon United ‘B’ 0 Fox Steventon 6, Tandem 6 Steventon Sports 0, Spread Eagle ‘B’ 3 Waggon & horses Southmoor 3. B Section: Abingdon Con Club 5 Admiral Benbow 1, White Horse 0 Abingdon United ‘D’ 6, Abingdon United ‘C’ 4 Red Lion ‘A’ 2, Harwell Legion 4 Berinsfield S.C ‘B’ 2, College Oak 2 Barley Mow 4. C Section: Steventon Sports ‘B’ 4 Floweing Well 2, Pack Horse 3 Plough East Hendred 3, Brewery Tap ‘A’ 5 Wotton Legion 1, Vine Cumnor 6 North Star ‘B’ 0, Plough Long Wittenham 6 Harwell Legion ‘A’ 0. D Section: North Star ‘A’ 2 Chequers Charney 4, Hatchett 2 Fox Denchworth 4, Midget ‘A’ 0 White Horse ‘A’ 6, Volunteer Grove 6 Crown Marcham 0. E Section: Eight Bells ‘B’ 1 Wheatsheaf Didcot 5, Red Lion ‘B’ 1 Bowyers Arms 5, Stanford F.C 4 Abingdon Arms 2, Crown Didcot 4 Eight Bells 2. F Section: Bear & Ragged Staff 2 Brewery Tap ‘B’ 4, Boundary House 2 Fleur De Lys 4, Black Horse ‘B’ 3 North Star ‘C’ 3, Plough Appleton 6 Didcot Con Club 0. G Section: North Star ‘D’ 6 College Oak ‘B’ 0, Fairmile S.S 2 Midget ‘B’ 4, Plough Hanney 0 Cross Keys ‘B’ 6, Cross Keys Wallingford 1 Bear North Morton 5. H Section: Steventon Sports ‘C’ 4 Royal Oak 2. Sixes: J Simmons D Bowler Blobs: J Lesiakowski A Cummings R Tyrrell C Butland B Humphries C Smith D Garrett D Fisher C Connolly D Lea N Jaggard B Gregory A Collins J Parman G Hutchingson R Norton A Dunhill O Goss

The Handicap System

The Handicap System

I’ve played a couple of games recently where the the extra dolls that teams get under the handicap system have allowed them to win a few points from us. That’s exactly what system is designed for. To allow teams that wouldn’t normally be competitive a chance to win games.

With the Premier and A sections being combined there is a massive difference between the averages of the top of the Premier and the bottom of the A. Taking a quick look the Waggon and Horses at Southmoor are averaging 15.85 a leg. Compare that to the Spread who are averaging 25.36 a leg. There is a need for some way of levelling up the scores so that there is a competitive edge to the league.

In an ideal world we would have evenly matched teams playing each other. But that’s just not possible with falling numbers and ranges in ability. The handicaps are created at the beginning of the season. Once all the registration forms have been returned the averages of the all the players are calculated. The best 8 are then added up to give an idea of what that team is capable of. This is where things can go a bit wrong. If you sign a player that has a relatively high average, more so than the section you are in, it will put you higher up or possibly the next section or give you less of a handicap than you otherwise might be entitled.

Once the averages are in the committee get together and discuss who’s moving up, going down or staying put. Then they take a look at how big a difference it is between the top and the bottom teams. The averages are then calculated to raise the scores and add a competitive edge.

That’s how it done. Not rocket science but it does take some time to do. I know from speaking to some of the Friday night Oxford league players that the handicap system there is even more brutal 6 dolls or more can be added to a teams score.

The system in place at the moment is pretty controversial and sometimes it doesn’t seem fair, but when is life ever. The thing is what could it be replaced by? I know that the committee are open to suggestions. Do you think it goes to far? or do you think it doesn’t go far enough. Leave some comments at the bottom or come along to the AGM in January to voice an opinion.

Finally should you carry the handicap over into the beer leg. It’s really up to the teams. There aren’t any hard and fast rules. If the team your playing has just won 6-0 without the handicap then clearly they don’t need it. If they haven’t then maybe they should be allowed to keep it.

If you have a team with 3 dolls and a team with 2 dolls then you take one from the other and the 3 doll is reduced to one doll with the other team getting no extras.

I hope this helps in understanding the system that’s in place. As ever comments at the bottom or email me at


Match Reports 27th July 2011

Prem / A Section: Spread Eagle 6 Waggon & Horses 0, Fox 6 Abingdon Legion 0, Steventon Sports ‘A’ 0 Abingdon United ‘A’ 6, Tandem 5 Spread Eagle ‘B’ 1. B Section: Red Lion ‘A’ 6 White Horse 0, Berinsfield S.C ‘B’ 3 Abingdon United ‘C’ 3, Harwell Legion 6 College Oak 0, Admiral Benbow 4 Barley Mow 2, Abingdon United ‘D’ 6 Abingdon Con Club 0. C Section: North Star ‘B’ 6 Brewery Tap ‘A’ 0, Plough East Hendred 2 Steventon Sports ‘B’ 4, Wootton Legion 3 Pack Horse 3, Flowing Well ‘A’ 2 Harwell Legion ‘A’ 4, Vine Cumnor 2 Plough Long Wittenham 4. D Section: Fox Denchworth 4 North Star ‘A’ 2, White Horse ‘A’ 2 The Hatchett 4, Crown Marcham 3 Midget ‘A’ 3, Volunteer Grove 6 Spread Eagle ‘A’ 0, Chequers Charney Bassett 2 Black Horse Hanney ‘A’ 4. E Section: Bowyers Arms 3 Eight Bells ‘B’ 3, Abingdon Arms 2 Red Lion 4, Eight Bells ‘A’ 2 Stanford F.C 4, Wheatseaf Didcot 3 G.W.R.S 3, Crown Didcot 2 Plough Sutton 4. F Section: Brewery Tap ‘B’ 2 Cross Keys ‘C’ 4, Old Anchor 3 Didcot Con Club 3, Black Horse ‘B’ 1 Plough Appleton 5, North Star ‘C’ 6 Boundary House 0. G Section: College Oak ‘B’ 0 Bear North Morton 6, Midget 2 North Star 4, Good Lake Arms 6 Fairmile S.C 0, Cross Keys ‘B’ 3 Didcot Labour Club 3, Plough Hanney 6 Cross Keys Wallingford 0. H Section: Royal Oak Didcot 0 Railway Inn 6, Boundary House 0 Steventon SPorts 6, Challow Legion 0 Wheatsheaf Drayton 6. Sixes: G Brown D Mott B Parker D Bowler Blobs: S Grant M Brown P Munns R Couch O Goss M Liddiard H Kitto L Wood F Mackellar M West