Archive | September, 2011

Interview with Graham Barguss

Interview with Graham Barguss G-Barguss.jpg

Some weeks I have no idea what I’m going to write about, others I have no trouble with. On one of the weeks I was struggling to think of something I was reading an interview with Jerry Burgess (Valentino Rossi’s Chief engineer) This gave me the idea to do something similar. I’ve sent the same set of questions to a couple of people to test the water and see how they go.

The first reply to arrive is from League Chairman Graham Barguss. If you don’t know who he is then this a golden opportunity. If it wasn’t for Graham Barguss or Graham Brown you would not be playing in the Abingdon Aunt Sally League at all. Such is the time and effort they put in.

1- When did you first begin playing and who was it for?

I started playing in 1974 for The Bystander B team in section D

2 – Can you give me a short biography of the teams/pubs you have played for and when you became chairman?

I played one season for the Bystander and then moved to the Flowing Well playing in the C section for a couple of seasons. I then went to RBL Wootton for a couple of years moving from there to the White Horse joining the team there which then moved as a team to the Crown Ock Street – when the Crown closed we moved as a team across the road to the Brewery Tap. I was then asked to join RBL Abingdon playing with them for 7 or 8 years during which time I was recruited onto the committee as Chairman by Basil Collins who came down to the shop to ask me to take the job on . As a player I returned then to RBL Wootton, the team then split up and I joined the team at the Saxton Arms moving on to Abingdon United after 3 seasons.

3 – What made you start playing and who would have been your influences when you first began?

At the time I first started to play I wasn’t of course, good enough to play in the A Team , they had the best team in the league, with Basil Collins, Phil Sallis, Sid Green, Tony Thompson, Frank Watson and Jimmy Dixey playing in the A team, adults I had known my whole life, and knew that they played, however I did not go to a game until I returned from the Army, so along with my brother John and Bob Wellman we started a B team at the Bystander .

My influences from day 1 were, in no particular order: Jimmy Dixey Sid Green and Ron Parker from Abingdon, Mickey Beane, Laurie Woods and Monty Greenaway from Oxford .

4 – You have obviously been involved with some very successful teams, The Abingdon Legion were a very dominant force as were Penlon. Are there any that stand out for you?

Abingdon RBL stands out above the rest for the number of trophies they won during my time with them. That team would have held its own against any of the era teams, Flowing Well 60-61, Bystander 70-74, Cross Keys 74-76 and the Fox 95-2004

5 – Your throw. Have you always thrown like that or has it developed. Did anyone help you initially with your throw? E.g. give advice etc.

My throw started feet apart, back to front holding 3 sticks, averaging 6 or 7 changing to left leg one step forward. Then developed slowly moving my hands further up the stick until a cross stick arrived without realising it. I have not always been confident of my throw changing and adjusting regularly. The one thing that has helped me is a good eye and being able to concentrate on my action.

6 – This for those just starting or new players. You are a very good player, particularly under pressure. How long would say it took from when you first took up Aunt Sally to when you were consistently getting 10 or more dolls per game.

About 5 years and playing the anchorman enabled me to handle the pressure

7 – You’ve won the singles competition and everything in-between. Do you have any special moments in competition or league which you look back on with pride?

I have won the singles competition once reached the finals 3 times and the semi finals twice Winning the league for the first time in section C with the Flowing Well the same for RBL Abingdon as Captain my sixes and man of the match award against the Oxford League, winning the Pairs Final with my son James, my highest dolls in any match 17 and getting 200 dolls in a season on only a few occasions .

8 – Recently I’ve mentioned some potentially controversial subjects in the blog. How do you see the game going with regard to the number of players in the team, perhaps reducing, Is that something you would agree with?

I would like to see the game continue in its original and present form of 8 in a team but the current financial climate may dictate otherwise. You only have to look at the number of pubs closing down every week to see the end of the pub as we know it. I think clubs are possibly the future they really appreciate the business midweek, because of this I can see, sooner rather than later, reducing the team member numbers. My ideal scenario would be name 8 players to play but only play 5 in a leg, playing maybe 5 legs but changing the lowest scorer each leg, your better players have a guaranteed 5 legs and the lesser one to 3 legs . Scoring would need some thought but would give all players and teams a chance every week.

9 – Do you agree with the handicap system in place at the moment?

I personally feel no handicap is necessary although the current system is working reasonably well. I would like to see a change to a handicap for individual players for example Captains would nominate their players , the opposing captain would check that player list against a list produced by the committee the idea being that the same average would apply – Team A have an average of 24 Team B an average of 20 a handicap of 4 dolls for Team B . If Team A have 2 players away bringing their average down to 21 they would only give one doll handicap this would cover holidays and weaker teams.

10 – In this game with so many characters and so many different types of throw and approach. What do you think makes a good player and do you have any advice for those starting out? How do they get as good as you? Is it practice or ability?

As you are aware the standard throw is standstill legs apart back and front to gain line and length, eye coordination is essential, some people can do it immediately others have no idea, you can liken it to learning to catch a tennis ball, some folk do it straight off others will never be able to achieve it. As your confidence grows your throw will change often as you experiment until you find something that suits and you are comfortable with. I never stop thinking what I can do to improve. You can see guys down in section C D and E who have played for 20-30 years and still throw the same as they did on day one, still getting the odd one or two but very pleased to be taking part in the game and socialising which really is the idea of the game.


Match Reports 7th September 2011

Prem / A Section: Spread Eagle 4 Fox 2, Abingdon United ‘A’ 2 Spread Eagle 4, Abingdon Legion 3 Abingdon United ‘B’ 3, Berinsfield S.C ‘A’ 4 Tandem 2, Waggon & Horses 4 Steventon Sports ‘A’ 2. B Section: Admiral Benbow 6 Red Lion Drayton ‘A’ 0, Abingdon United ‘D’ 4 College Oak 2, Abingdon Con Club 4 Harwell Legion 2, Barley Mow 1 Berinsfield S.C ‘B’ 5, White Horse 6 Abingdon United ‘C’ 0. C Section: Flowing Well 2 Wootton Legion 4, Plough East Hendred 4 Plough Long Wittenham 2, Pack Horse 6 Brewery Tap ‘A’ 0, Harwell Legion 1 North Star ‘B’ 5. D Section: Chequers Charney Bassett 3 White Horse ‘A’ 3, Fox Denchworth 6 Spread Eagle ‘A’ 0, Hatchett 2 The Midget 4, North Star ‘A’ 2 Volunteer Grove 4, Black Horse Hanney ‘A’ 4 Crown Marcham 2. E Section: Wheatsheaf Didcot 6 Abingdon Arms 0, Red Lion 4 Stanford F.C 2, Eight Bells ‘B’ 2 Crown Didcot 4, G.W.R.S 2 Eight Bells 4, Bowyers Arms 4 Plough Sutton 2. F Section: Old Anchor 2 Fleur De Lys 4, Brewery Tap ‘B’ 0 Plough Appleton 6, Bear & Ragged Staff 5 Boundary House ‘A’ 1, Cross Keys ‘C’ 6 Black Horse Hanney 0, Didcot Con Club 4 North Star 2. G Section: The Midget ‘B’ 0 Cross Keys Wallingford 6, Fairmile S.C 6 Didcot Labour Club 0, North Star ‘D’ 3 Plough Hanney 3, Bear North Morton 6 Cross Keys ‘B’ 0. H Section: Roysl Oak 0 Black Swan 6, Steventon Sports ‘C’ 1 Marlborough Club 5, Railway Inn 4 Challow Legion 2. Sixes: P Soden D Fletcher P Broad S Wilson Blobs: B Willoughby J Crick M weston C Walton S Day M Bishop J Black J Broome P Smith P Vanstone G Pierpoint N Lobo L Giles S Fenton R Cox J Heritage M Hancox S Reeve A Holmes M Ashmall T White

Blog 9 – The Winter League

Winter League

With our last few games of the summer season fast approaching I’ve seen that the Abingdon Winter Aunt Sally (WASL) sign on sheets are out and about.

Abingdon Winter Aunt Sally is extremely successful.

Run firstly by Brian Clapton and now by Tosh Wooloff it has 10 teams. Each team has 5 active players plus a few spare. The teams are split into A and B section with 5 teams in each. All the matches are indoors at the Abingdon United Football Club.

During the winter I play for a different team than I do in the summer and so do most of the other players. The teams are much more varied and the scores are much closer.

Playing begins at 19:45 SHARP!! With all 5 games lasting around 30 mins each.

Yes it’s pain being last on but that’s the price you pay for some good Aunt Sally.

I’d like to say that the winter league isn’t taken as seriously as the summer, but I’d be lying. It starts off that way. A bit of fun and a laugh, but as the season progresses that all changes and it’s just as competitive.

Is it better than summer? Well, it’s different. With only 5 players a bad leg is bad leg. Often you will see a good team only hitting 10 or 13. Without an 8 man team to raise that score everyone needs to be playing well. This keeps the league interesting right up the last game. For the last couple of years this has gone to the last game of the last night, gripping stuff if you like your Sally.

If you haven’t played perhaps you should consider coming down for our first practice session (I’m not sure when this is, keep an eye on the web site ED- there’s no friendly this year as the summer Wed Competitions had extended the season) A friendly between the teams. There are always spaces on teams and it gives you a chance to meet and play with different people.

There isn’t any practice though you can turn up before the 19:45 start time and have as many throws as you can get in.

Playing in the winter gives you the opportunity to modify your throw and get some practice in ready for summer. I can’t say this enough, the people there are super friendly and will help with advice on any part of your game.

Also there are a fair number of the summer committee playing there. Graham Barguss, Graham Brown, Terry Downes, James Barguss, John Simmonds and Paul Stone. This is a good time to approach (obviously not during the game) and discuss ideas or issues you may be having and give some advice as the best way to solve them.

The winter league doesn’t have a committee as such. Tosh runs it and what he says goes, although as teams we all vote on any decisions.

My next few blog posts I hope will be interviews with some of the better players within the league. Unless of course I don’t get any replies back!

Remember also we have finals night approaching (Wed 28th Sep) and ALL of the trophies need returning so that they can be engraved ready for presentation night (Fri 28th Oct).



Match Reports 31st August 2011

Prem / A Section: Steventon Sports 2 Spread Eagle 4, Fox 2 ABingdon United ‘A’ 4, Spread Eagle ‘B’ 6 Abingdon Legion 0, Abingdon United ‘B’ 6 Berinsfield S.C ‘A’ 0, Tandem 5 Waggon & Horses 1. B Section: Berinsfield S.C ‘B’ 2 Admiral Benbow 4, Red Lion ‘A’ 5 Abingdon United ‘D’ 1, ABingdon United ‘C’ 2 Abingdon Con Club 4, Harwell Legion 2 Barley Mow 4. C Section: North Star ‘B’ 2 Flowing Well 4, Wootton Legion 2 Plough East Hendred 4, Plough Long Wittenham 6 Packhorse 0, Brewery Tap ‘A’ 2 Steventon Sports 4, Vine Cumnor 4 Harwell Legion ‘A’ 2. D Section: Crown Marcham 2 Chequers Charney Bassett 4, White Horse ‘A’ 0 Fox Denchworth 6, Spread Eagle 2 The Hatchett 4, Midget ‘A’ 2 North Star ‘A’ 4, Volunteer 6 Black Horse ‘A’ 0. E Section: Eight Bells 6 Wheatsheaf Didcot 0, Abingdon Arms 0 Bowyers Arms 6, Plough Sutton 0 Red Lion 6, Stanford F.C 4 Eight Bells ‘B’ 2, Crown Didcot 3 G.W.R S.C 3. F Section: North Star ‘C’ 4 Old Anchor 2, Fleur De Lys 5 Brewery Tap ‘B’ 1, Plough Appleton 4 Bear & Ragged Staff 2, Boundary House ‘A’ 3 Cross Keys ‘C’ 3, Black Horse ‘B’ 2 Didcot Con Club 4. G Section: Cross Keys ‘B’ 6 College Oak ‘B’ 0, Cross Keys Wallingford 4 Fairmile S.S 2, Didcot Labour Club 0 North Star ‘D’ 6, Plough Hanney 5 Bear North Morton 1. H Section: Black Swan 6 Boundary House ‘B’ 0, Wheatsheaf Drayton 3 Steventon Sports 3, Marlborough Club 6 Railway Inn 0. Sixes: B Moody J Simmons M Phillips D Brown M Sheridan B Parker D Vanstone G Holder A Rolls Blobs: G Higgleston M Aghew J Broome W Holton P Allday J Warrell N Lobo D Duncan J Kendal P Oliver S Pearce I Barguss N Wilson E Taylor M Crook