Author Archive | Roger Nichols

Tomorrow Night is Finals Night (21st September0

Don’t forget tomorrow night is Finals night to be held at Abingdon united and, weather permitting, all finals will be held outside. The evening will feature 6 Finals and whilst both Abingdon United and Plum Pudding dominate the line- up both Abingdon Conservative Club and Geoff Lee from Berinsfield will have some say in the outcomes with Abingdon Con Club facing Abingdon United B in the final of the 8’s and Geoff Lee playing Terry Downes in the Captain’s final.

The other finals of the 5’s, the 4’s and the 3’s and the Secretaries will be won by either sides or individuals from either Abingdon United B or Plum Pudding which is consistent with their domination of the Premier section with these sides finishing as the 2022 winners and runners up respectively.


One thing is certain, we are sure to be entertained with some good Aunt Sally, and no doubt some excellent individual performances. so come along and support all of our finalists as we wrap up the final outdoor event of the Summer 2022 season. We will start with the 8’s at 7.30pm prompt.


The semi- finals and finals of both the pairs and the singles competitions will, as always, be played indoors on Presentation Night which will take place on Friday November 4th at Abingdon United where we hope to see many of you particularly those of you who are deserved Trophy winners or runners up.,


Thursday’s Founders & Legends Trophy and 8’s Update

Let’s start with an update on the 8’s semi=final between Berinsfield A,  fresh from topping the A section, and Abingdon Con Club from Section C. The game was played at Berinsfield and even with a 4 doll handicap in favour of the visitors  the home side looked favourites on paper, particularly as their final league game of the season, had seen them defeat Premier section runners up Plum Pudding 6-0.

The old adage “never take anything for granted” certainly proved true last night as Abingdon Con Club confounded most expectations (probably even their own) by defeating the home side 2 legs to nil to earn themselves a final place against Abingdon United B next Wednesday when as a Section C side they will benefit for a 6 doll handicap against the Premier Dsection champions. The final will take place at Abingdon United with a 7.30 start. 

Also last night 29 players competed for the Founders & Legends Trophy open to for registered players aged 50+ at Steventon Sports.

It was a great turnout on a chilly night and with an 8pm start. 26 games later and with quite a few legs going to 3 and 1 stick shoot outs we had more than a few surprises and deservedly both Nick Baldwin and Derek Fletcher competed for the title of the re-named and new trophy.  Nick’s excellent form unfortunately deserted him, a little in the final and the ever consistent on the night “Fletch” finally took the 2022 title on what was a long, but enjoyable night with a really good turnout. 

Thanks to all who took part and for taking their share of sticking up and calling and special  thanks to Steventon Sports for hosting a tournament which is really all about remembering and honouring both the Founders of our Association back in 1960 and the many legends of Aunt Sally past and present who have played the game over the years.

Their names and the many stories that they created are still revered and talked about fondly from those who knew and played with them. We should be grateful for their contribution which, in some cases, several of our most senior, senior players are still giving!




Big apology to Paul Barrett from Abingdon United who, for a few hours today, inadvertently became Paul Townsend. my senior moment, sorry Paul and congratulations on reaching the semi-finals of the singles competition.


They think it’s all over………………but not yet!

Well the League may have finished last week, but there’s still much more to come over the next couple of weeks. 

Firstly,  last week the Singles competition took place and the 4 semi- finalists who emerged from the two venues were Paul Townsend, David Sapey, David Butler and remarkably the legend that is Barrington Parker who has barely thrown a stick since the start of the season. So 2 former winners and 2 “newbies” will compete for the prestigious Singles title on Presentation Night which will take place on Friday November 4th at Abingdon United. There were some keen games with several legs going to 3 sticks.

So what’s to come. Tomorrow night at Steventon Sports it’s the first staging of the re-titled Founders & Legends Trophy, open to all registered players aged 50+. With registration at 7.30 followed by the draw entrants just need to turn up on the night and it would be good to see lots of you and not just from the top sections. There can be only 1 winner, but everyone can play a part in making this a good night.

Then next week it is Finals Night on Wednesday 21st at Abingdon United with the finals of then 8’s, the 5’s the 4’s and the 3’s with the finals of the Captains and Secretaries also scheduled to take place. All finalists will be reminded through their team Captains and, weather permitting, all games will be played outside (it is the Summer season finals! Should be some good Aunt Sally so if you can turn up and encourage all of those who have earned the right to be throwing on the night.

Tomorrow night the remaining semi final is taking place with Berinsfield A hosting Abingdon Conservative Club from the C section who have a 4 doll leg handicap advantage on the night.

Finally for those of us who haven’t had enough Aunt Sally, or those who want to maintain their season’s good form or, like me are still trying to throw a few decent sticks the Annual Frank Treacy Memorial Charity day is taking place at The Croft Bar on Saturday is open to everyone, it starts at 2pm with teams selected on the day and is guaranteed to be a good day with all monies raised on the day going to the late Frank Treacy’s favourite charity. Entry fees are £2 per person. The bar will be open all day, a giant raffle with lots of prizes will also raise funds in memory of a much loved and memorable character who loved his pubs and his pub sports.

So why not come along and enjoy the day and share the memories and stories of Frank with his family and friends over a beer or two!

I will, later this week, update the week 18 results and league outcomes  when we chase in the last few outstanding scores.





OPEN TO ALL REGISTERED PLAYERS AGED at least 50! (That’s most of us!)







Round up from weeks 15, 16 and 17 and a look forward to what’s left of the season

Due to my holiday absence I haven’t been able to update the past 3 weeks action so here is a condensed version of the highlights of the past 3 weeks. Let’s start by looking at the new highest individual 3 leg total recorded so far and that honour goes to Phil Adams of the Plum Pudding who hit 16 dolls against the Prince of Wales Veterans  16 dolls in week 16! Brilliant Phil!

Elsewhere Dave Dix has continued his amazingly consistent form of the Summer with scores of 13, 14 and 13 over the past 3 weeks contributing to Abingdon  United B’s 14 points from the 18 available over that 3 week period. Plum Pudding went one better over the same period with 15 points, but to pip Abingdon United to the Premier section title Plum Pudding would need a couple of  remarkable and unlikely results in their favour as they trail the league leaders by 5 points with only 3 legs remaining for both sides.

Terry Downes who has had a good season overall weighed in with 11 dolls including a 6 against POW and Barry Townsend  hitting double figures in the last 3 matches has helped Plum Pudding pull well clear of third placed Croft Nomads and ensure that the race for the Premier league title goes right to the last game of the season.

In the A section there is only 1 point separating the top 2 sides Berinsfield A and Red Lion A so winners and runners up will that be decided this week with Berinfield hosting the Plum Pudding and the Red Lion hosting The Vine. All to play for there!

In the other sections it is also pretty tight with Fleur de Leys and SIVFC still contesting top spot in Section B, Red Lion C are assured of the title in Section C, but the runner up spot is still to be decided  with Abingdon United facing the Croft Bar and The Bell meeting The Grapes A in their last fixtures. Section D has their Champions and Runners Up sorted already with Harwellian B heading Berinsfield B, but Berinsfield can narrow the gap when the two sides meet this week. In the E section The Midget have already claimed the title, but runners up is still to be determined between the 2 Hanney pub sides, with the Black Horse having a bye this week, The Plough only need to secure 1 point to pip Black Horse to the runners up spot. 

There is till healthy competition in the race to the top doll scorer honour particularly in Section B where individual scores on Wednesday will decide who claims that prize!

Next week we will give a full round up of all the highlights and learning points from the season. In the meantime I will be chasing some missing results (there appear to be about 8 outstanding) adjusting any scores necessary (no shows) and chasing outstanding league and competition registration fees from a few of you.

Enjoy your last league games and let’s hope the weather holds good as it has for most Wednesday’s this season.

Don’t forget next Wednesday (14th) it’s the inaugural Founders & Legends Trophy for over 50’s to be held at Steventon Sports Club with registration from 7.30 with and 8pm start. No need to pre- enter, just turn up on the night to compete for this brand new (smaller and lighter!) trophy which has been kindly donated by our Chairman Reg Couch in memory of all of the players who have graced our game in the past.

Also this week we have the eliminating rounds of the singles tournament to be held at Steventon Sports and Abingdon Conservative Club with an 8.15 start. The draw was made on Finals Day and is available on the website. Also Finals night for all of the Competitions (including 8’s but excluding pairs and singles) will be held at Abingdon United on September 21st, weather permitting outdoors, but in the event of poor weather indoors.


That’s about it until next week.





Holiday absence and Competitions

Over the next 2 weeks I will be on holiday and normal service from me  will be even worse than normal!!

This means there will be no weekly ramblings from me, (don’t cheer to loudly) and I will not be forced into mentioning the achievements of Dave Dix or the rest of his Abingdon United B team mates for 2 whole weeks! 

In my absence everything carries on as normal and my capable  committee colleagues will not only organise and run the Competitions day at Abingdon United on Sunday 21st  starting at 1pm, but they will also take care of any questions and issues should any arise during the next couple of weeks. I will be back on September 1st and will catch up with everything just as soon as I can. Can’t really believe that when  I come back it’s week 18, the last league games of the season!

It’s the height of the holiday season and if anyone requires to add newly registered players to manage team shortages you can do that by contacting Paul Stone via the team support facility on our website mail who has generously agreed to be co-opted to help out over the next couple of weeks. Please don’t contact Paul unless you really need to, but he is best placed to deal with any website issues including match card entries which I know have caused a few of you with problems throughout the season.

Just  a reminder that our other Committee members are  Chairman Reg Couch, Secretary Claire Foster and Committee member Roy Taylor. They will all be at Abingdon United on Sunday busily sorting out all of the Competitions and even if you are not entered it should be a good afternoon of Aunt Sally at the best level to enjoy and perhaps have a beer or two with your friends and teammates.

Tomorrow night the next round of the 8’s Competition takes place with The Vine taking on Abingdon United B in the first semi final and Abingdon Conservative Club taking on Abingdon RBL in the quarter final with the winners taking on Berinsfield in the other  semi final. The final of the 8’s will take place on September 21st along with several of the other finals which will be decided on Sunday.

Have a good couple of weeks and hopefully the weather will stay kind as it has been brilliant for  both Aunt Sally and pub garden enjoyment for weeks now!

Best of luck to all Competition entrants on Sunday




Weeks 13 and 14 Round up

As all the week 14 results are in I thought I would round up the highs and lows of the last two weeks in one update so apologies if many of the same names  mentioned  (like Dave Dix and Abingdon United B) get  even more mentions this week!

Well let’s start with them. 6-0 victories against Berinsfield A and College Oak A in the past 2 weeks have seen them go 6 points clear of their nearest rivals Plum Pudding who themselves have climbed clear of 3rd placed Croft Nomads whom they beat 4-2 last week.

Inevitably “magic arm” Dix led the way with 29 dolls over the two weeks, in simple terms that’s a strike rate of 81%, his average for the season is now over 4.5 dolls per throw. Question? Can he ever get any better?

Answer ………….Probably!!

His team mates are not slow in supporting him with Alec Chamberlain consistently in double figures and last week adding another 6  in his total of 12 dolls and the previous week Leigh Clapton hit 11 dolls and last week both Nick Baldwin and Bob Duff hit 10 apiece! That’s it no more about Abingdon United, well at least until next week!

Elsewhere in the Premier Croft Nomads had 3 players contributing double figure scores Steve Enock and Alan Bell with 12 apiece and not to mention Paul Stone cajoled out of “retirement” this year with his first double figures of the season scoring 11 . POW veterans though denied Croft all 6 points with a second leg score of 24 being the best of the match

Other “sixers” to mention and with their first of the season for Dean Bowler, Graham Brind and Dave Sapey who all joined the still relatively exclusive “sixers” club. Lots of commendable double figures scores registered in the past 2 weeks across all sections and lots of individual leg scores of 5’s although for Lloyd Woodrington his 5 was sandwiched between 2 blobs so a mixed night for him!

In week 14, the best individual scores matched the week number with both Terry Downes and  Dean Bowler of the Plum Pudding and Red Lion A respectively  both hitting 14. as we get towards the end of the season I wonder whether we will get any more individual scores matching the week number, maybe Dixie in week 18! No pressure Dave! Terry’s 14 dolls made a major contribution to Plum Pudding’s 4-2 victory over Croft Nomads which widened the gap between the second and third placed Premier sides. It was amixed night with Croft “gifting” the first leg by only setting 14 which included the handicap of 3! and then Plum fell well short of their usual high standard with a set of just 17 in the final leg which Croft just managed to squeeze by!

In Section B Royal Oak seem to be enjoying a late run winning their last 4 after failing to win any of their previous 6, whilst in the A section the good early season form of The Vine appears to have faltered as they have only collected 5 points from a possible 18. Maybe all of the good Wednesday evening weather is getting to them! They will be hoping for better this week when they take on Abingdon United in the first semi final of the 8’s competition! Damn, I said I wasn’t going to mention Abingdon United again, but it’s just not possible is it?

In the A section the race for the top spot appears  now to be between Berinsfield and Red Lion A who are due to meet on August 24th and at the moment are separated by just 3 points.

In the B section Stanford in the Vale FC are 9 points clear with 24 points still to play for, C section sees Red Lion C heading the table 6 points clear whilst the Flying Feathers in that section are still seeking  to “spread their wings” with a first win of the season, but they are just  a handful of points away from the two teams immediately above them who they still have to play! All to play for! I  know Mark Newman will be delighted if he is has to enter a match card as a winning captain before the end of the season!

In the D section it looks like it’s HarwellianB’s title to lose as they are 14 points clear and Andy Shipman has been in fine individual form for them with his doll  average in excess of 3 the best outside of the top section.

The E section has featured many of our new and returning teams and lots of players new to the game and although scoring is not always remarkable at team or individual level the enthusiasm, competitiveness and fun don’t seem to be in short supply and that really is what our game is all about! Midget look title favourites here, but you know what they say ” it’s not over until the fat lady sings”











Week 12 Round up and some examples of how and why the handicap system worksPremier and A ZSections

Firstly let’s start with the results from last week and there was a lot of good scoring in all sections as we complete week 12 which means two thirds of the league season is now behind us, but as there are still 6 matches remaining for most sides it’s still all to play for in terms of league and section winners and runners up and for some sides how to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon!

In the Premier section Abingdon United and Plum Pudding are still going head to head with Croft Nomads hanging on their tails and having played each other twice it’s all about their respective results in their remaining fixtures so it is still up for grabs with United and Plum playing Croft in the next couple of weeks. United look favourites at the moment, but Plum will chase them all the way and last week Phil Adams was the top doll scorer hitting 15 dolls his best of the season including a first leg 6, there was also a long awaited and welcome return to form for Dave Butler who hit 11 , his first double figure score of the season.

Abingdon United though were also in fine form with Alec Chamberlain hitting 13 dolls and Dave Dix and Scott Humphries 12 apiece in their win at the Red Lion.

Elsewhere in the Premier/A section Croft were a little fortunate to escape with a 3-3 result at the C0llege Oak who only needed 2 dolls from Paul Kelsey their anchor with the final throw of thee 3rd leg for a 4-2 win,, but unfortunately (or fortunately for The Croft) he only managed 1 to level the leg. College with a few regulars missing hit a credible 21 dolls in the second leg which with their handicap gave them a leg score of 26 easily their best of the season.

Prince of Wales Veterans secured their first 6-0 victory of the season against The Hart Harwell and there was a welcome double figure return from Dave Hudson and another 10 from the consistent  Jumbo Mott. 

Overall there were 18 individual scores of 10 or better including a first of the season 6 for Dave Sapey in his 13 dolls for Abingdon RBL and although not hitting double figures last week Steve Enock became the 8th player to pass 100 dolls for the season so far.

Determining handicaps and who plays in which section

Now, it’s probably time to try to explain how the handicap system in the Premier and A sections established are  and indeed how the whole section composition is determined at the start of the season. Firstly the intent of both is to try to make each of the sections as competitive as possible so sides have a reasonable opportunity every time they play and it is all based on previous “form” of the registered players from the previous year (this year it had to be based on 2019!). The top 8 players from thos registered is added together and then a handicap set for all of the teams which make the respective average scores competitive.

The handicap assumes that the top 8 regular players continue to score similarly in the following season and those with lowest aggregate scores are given the maximum handicap against those with the highest to make each of the legs competitive and hopefully more enjoyable  and challenging for both sides.

The other sections are determined in the same way although this can be more difficult as more players who are new to the game cannot be included in the top 8 from the previous season. But overall we try to achieve the same objective sometimes it works well, sometimes not so well and that is mostly determined by some individuals registered, but not playing regularly, losing form, not playing at all or suddenly hitting a lot more dolls than they have previously did! There are, lots of evidence of these this year and a couple are identifiable in last weeks results.

It will always be a bone of contention, but it seems the best way to try to make games as competitive as possible.

Out of interest after 12 games this season in the Premier/A sections on total doll count the league order would look like this (based solely on dolls scored and with all handicap dolls removed.

Premier                                                             A Section

  1. Abingdon United         814                 Berinsfield        611
  2. Plum Pudding               765                 The Vine           514
  3. 3. Croft Nomads           629                 Red Lion           487         
  4. POW Veterans              597                  College Oak      487
  5. SSSC                               579                   The Hart           463

In reality the difference in dolls scored each leg  at this stage of the season between the top team in the Premier and the bottom side in the A section is over 10.5 dolls per leg, that’s why we need and have a handicap system. We haven’t and will not get it right every time and this year was more difficult as we hadn’t played for 2 years, teams have disappeared, players have moved between teams  but probably without a handicap system in place we would struggle to have anything other than a “super league” with the top 2 sides playing each other every week!

Based on the team results so far this season next year there would be minimal change next year to the composition of both the Premier and A Sections with only 2 or 3 sides outside of the current Premier/A sections scoring collectively more dolls than the current Premier/A sections!

To show we do get some things right…… in the B section after 12 weeks there is only a 47 doll difference in dolls scored between the side at the top and the side currently at the bottom of the section!

So for those sides who average over 20 dolls leg playing sides who average 12 or 13 dolls per leg that’s why we give them a 4 or 5 doll advantage per leg.

Sorry if this sound like a whinge, it’s not meant to but it is intended to explain how and why the sections are constructed and handicaps are determined.


Have a good night everyone!