Author Archive | Roger Nichols

Important – Change of day/date for 2024 Annual General Meeting

 The Association’s Annual General Meeting will now be held on Tuesday 16th January a day later than originally planned and advised. The time and venue remains unchanged, 7.30pm at The Croft Bar, Peachcroft, Abingdon.

On Monday 15th, the original date, the funeral service of  Steventon Sports Michael Jarvis is taking place at St Michaels Church Steventon and many of his friends and Aunt Sally colleagues are expected to attend to pay  respects and share our memories of Jarv who was Steventon Sports Captain and a consistently good top Premier section player.

It would seem appropriate therefore to delay the AGM by 24 hours out of respect to his family, team mates and friends.

All team secretaries and captains will be e mailed  to advise of the delay and we are hoping that there will be a bumper turn out on the night, as the Abingdon & District League belongs to you, the clubs, pubs and players without whom the league wouldn’t exist so do come along and have your say. Our hope for 2Summer 2024 is that we can attract more sides, encourage new players and have another successful Summer season.



As we move from 2023 into 2024

We just wanted to say that we  hope that all  of our Aunt Sally family had a very happy Christmas and we wish all our clubs, pubs, players and their families a very happy and successful New Year.

Obviously our thoughts are with those for whom the festive period has been overshadowed by family issues and we remember with fondness those we lost from our community during 2023.

2024 will present more challenges, but from your Committee our hope is that we can secure enough entries for Summer 2024 to get our league back up to 6 sections all with 10 teams, that will require some more entrants and between now and March we will be actively  trying to recruit the additional pubs, clubs and teams to achieve that goal.

Best wishes from

Your Abingdon & District League 2023 Committee







Sad News I am afraid

As we are all preparing for the festive season I am sorry to pass some sad news to our Aunt sally community. Michael (Mick) Jarvis passed away on Monday. Jarv was a long serving and much liked character who was an almost ever present player with Steventon Sports over many years. His sense of humour and his banter with team mates and opponents alike were always evident and appreciated.

Jarv will be sadly missed and Wednesday nights on the green in the Summer will not be the same without him. He will be sorely missed in Aunt Sally circles not only by his teammates, but equally by his opponents and all who knew him. Equally his many friends and colleagues who played golf with Jarv will be saddened by his passing.

In Steventon the whole Jarvis family have always been an integral part of the village life through sport, business and the church for generations. Steventon, his friends and his many customers past and present and local residents will all miss Jarv as much as those of us who knew him well will.

He battled his illness over many months so bravely and asked for no sympathy or sadness and he completed the 2024 summer season as the Captain of the Premier section runners up Steventon Sports A.

Our thoughts  are so obviously with all of Jarv’s immediate and extended family as we offer our sincere condolences to them all at this not unexpected but still a very tough  time for them all.










A Presentation Night at Abingdon United FC (+Photos)

Well, the Summer 2023  season has finally come to an end yes I know it’s November, but it was the Finals of 3 of our Summer Competitions followed by the Presentation of Trophies for all of our League, team and individual winners and runners up!

The presentation Night was well attended and kicked off with the final of the Captains competition which had been held over from Finals Night back in September. Participants were Mick Greenaway for Berinsfield SC A and Dave Sapey representing Abingdon RBL. It was surprisingly a low scoring contest which Mick won 2 legs to 0 setting 2 in the first leg which was matched by Dave, but then set another 2 with his 3 sticks and Dave could only manage 1 in reply, so first leg to Mick who also took the second leg by 2 dolls to 1 to clinch the title.

Photos available here

Next up were the Pairs semi final and the first of these featured Ken Fisher and Barry Townsend of the Plum Pudding pitched against Scott Humphries and Leigh Clapton from the Abingdon United @Con Club side. Again this first semi final was won in 2 straight legs, the first leg saw all 4 players hit 3 dolls each, but Ken and Barry clinched the leg with 2 dolls apiece with their 3 sticks and  Scott and Leigh’s efforts fell short by 1 doll. The second leg was a 5 doll to 4 clincher by Ken and Barry to take the first semi. Barry incidentally was replacing Phil Adams who despite qualifying for both the Pairs and Singles semi finals was unable to take part due to a recent operation, but he was there supporting both his team mates and the evening.

The second semi final featured Tony Beechers and Martin Rawlings  from the Berinsfied B side who did great to reach this stage against the second Plum Pudding semi finalists Dave Butler and Paul Longford. This was the first game of the evening to go to 3 legs and in another low scoring first 2 legs which were shared 1 apiece, a first 5 doll haul of the evening from DLB supported by a 2 from his partner Paul Longford secured a place in what was to be an all Plum Pudding final.

Next up was the scheduled singles semi finals which actually due to Phil Adam’s unavailability presented a bye straight to the final for Leigh Clapton with the other semi final contested between Steve Enock from Croft Nomads and Paul Longford. Another disappointing low scoring game with the first leg being won on a 3 stick shoot out Paul edged Steve, who had been in really good form throughout the Summer and in the early days of the Winter season, but couldn’t find that form on the night and Paul reached the final, winning in 2 straight legs.

So to the Finals, first up it was the Pairs final featuring the 2 Plum Pudding teams. This was probably the closest game of the evening even though it was won in 2 straight legs. It was also the best scoring game of the night featuring  another 5 doll hit from Ken Fisher and a pair of 4’s from Dave Butler in response, but Dave’s efforts were in vain as Ken and Barry emerged victors winning the first leg 7-6 and the second leg 6-5.

Then it was the last game of the evening, with the coveted Singles title up for grabs Paul Longford taking on Leigh Clapton. This went to 3 legs with Paul Longford winning the first after a 3 stick shoot out both players hitting 2 dolls with their first 6 sticks and then Paul’s 1 doll with 3 sticks clinching the opening leg. In the second leg both players improved and both hit 3 dolls so again it was a 3 sticker, and they still couldn’t be separated hitting 1 doll apiece and then it was down to 1 stick each and this time Leigh secured the leg by scoring with his 1 doll and with the pressure on Paul he just failed to make a doll with his 1 stick. The 3rd leg was another close affair, but Leigh secured the 2023 Singles title with a 3-2  success.

Congratulations to all who played on the night as well as the will to progress and win one of the titles on offer they had to do it against the backcloth of a large and sometimes noisy, but always supportive group of the wider Aunt Sally family.


So it was then onto the Presentations of all of the Trophies which our President John Simmons duly presented. I imagine John’s right arm was aching by the end of the night as there were not only the trophies to hand over, but also the shaking of so many hands as so many of us were so pleased to see John back amongst us. The night also featured our usual grand raffle which saw The Vine scoop many of the prizes including two mystery cash prizes of £50 and £25. 


A final thank you to everyone who attended and made the night a successful one to close our 2023 Summer season. A special thanks to Mick Samways and Kevin Lewis for taking responsibility for selling raffle tickets  on our behalf, the proceeds of which paid for most of the evening’s expenses. Thanks also to Ellie once again for taking all of the photographs on the night,(Photos available here) and to all the bar staff at Abingdon United who made sure that empty glasses didn’t stay empty for long!

Merry Xmas!!!!!





Founders & Legends 2023 Trophy

Despite the fact that it’s the month of October next week we are going to take a chance on the weather (which is forecast to be OK) on Tuesday next week and have another attempt to play the Founders & Legends Trophy which is open to all registered players aged 50+!

We have considered a number of options including indoor, outdoor, holding over until next year, but on balance we have decided to give it a go next Tuesday 3rd October at the original scheduled venue Abingdon Conservative Club with registration from 7pm until 7.20 when the draw will take place and play will commence at 7.30pm. As always entry is on the night, but once registration is complete the draw will take place  and no late entries will be possible.

This is a long  established Competition and we hope that many players will want to compete for this  trophy which was new and kindly donated by our former Chairman, Reg Couch and replaced the former Founders shield which many will know was rather large and one which was probably not suitable for any trophy cabinet or mantlepiece! The holder of the trophy currently is Steventon Sports  Derek Fletcher who beat  Abingdon United’s Nick Baldwin in last year’s final. Which was well attended with over 27 players taking part!

Please make sure all of your eligible team mates know of the date, time and registration details and let’s try to make this, the last outdoor competition of the 2023 season, a good finish with lots of competitive Aunt Sally played in the right spirit and with all the usual Aunt Sally banter!  



Summer League Play Off Results

Well the 2023 league season has finally come to an end with the  two play offs last night for the Runners Up spots in both the C and D sections. 

At Steventon Sports the Royal Oak Didcot faced The Bell Grove who were the recent finalists in the Team 8’s competition only to be defeated in that by Abingdon Utd/Con Club.

Last night it was The Bell’s chance to be victorious and they secured the  runners up spot in a 2-0 victory over the Oak. Scores were 10-8 and 11-7.

The other play off was held at the Croft and featured 3 sides who had all finished level on 49 points. College Oak B, Bystander B and the Grapes A therefore a one leg eliminator was needed to determine who progressed to the final best of 3 leg play off final. The eliminator saw both The Grapes and College Oak hit 11 dolls each before the Bystander took their place at the oche.

Unfortunately the Bystander had suffered a number of late withdrawals on the day and were only able to field 6 players and the total of 11 proved too much for them so it was College Oak and The Grapes contesting the runners up spot. It was “nip and tuck” between the two and went to three legs after College won the first, the Grapes had a subline 6 from Danny McArdle in their 17 dolls to take the second leg.

So it went down to the third and final leg and with College setting a 11 doll target it went right to the wire and with the Grapes last man at the oche 2 dolls were still needed and his first and last sticks were just enough to clinch the leg 12-11 and the runners up spot for The Grapes who incidentally had the highest doll count of the 3 play off contenders so probably had dolls scored through the season counted (which it doesn’t!) they would have finished runners up on that count!

Thanks to Dave at the Croft for hosting, to Andy Hallen for helping set up the throw and helping out with the calling and to players from all 3 sides for providing the “stickers up”, and  enough banter and friendly abuse to make it a fitting end to the league season!!




Frank Treacey Memorial day

Very short notice, but if anyone has time on their hands today The Croft Bar are once again hosting an afternoon of Aunt Sally in memory of Frank a much loved individual and long time Aunt Sally player and darts player in and around Abingdon.

Anyone who knew Frank will have lots of memories of him, he was a memorable character and if you can join his family and friends today all proceeds will go to Cancer Research and for £2 you get to play Aunt sally with the randomly selected teams competing for the Memorial Trophy and a barbeque will be available throughout the afternoon, as well as the Croft’s well stocked and much used bar! Start is at 2pm, but will be open to all all day!


Wednesday evening, a soggy mess.

Well, Wednesday evening certainly exceeded our worst expectations in terms of the weather and we had no option other than to call off the planned Captain’s Cup Final  and the Founders and legends competition for the over 50’s.


Most people had the common sense to stay at home, but both the Captain’s finalist and Mickey Neal our  host at Abingdon Conservative Club all turned up together with Paul Stone and myself and a couple of potential entrants, but the weather was so atrocious that there was never any chance to play so all present took the joint decision to call it a day and retire to the bar!

We now have a dilemma as to whether we can re-arrange the Founders & Legends which within the next week or so or outside or alternatively,we could  play the competition indoors a little later if we can find a suitable date and venue. The Captains final which has already been re-arranged is a little less challenging as we can possibly fit that in before the start of the Presentation Night in November or on a Wednesday evening before the scheduled winter league fixtures which start this week .

Whatever we will explore all of  the options and make a decision as soon as possible and let you know by early next week.


Apologies, but we all know what they say about best laid plans………………..




Late News-Tonight’s Founders & Legends Competition and Captains Final

Despite the appalling weather today. the likes that we haven’t seen since week 12 the Committee has agreed that tonight’s Competitions taking place at Abingdon Conservative Club will go ahead. 

other options have been considered in the last couple of hours including switching the Competition indoors, postponing, cancelling and holding over the 2023 Founders & Legends Trophy until early 2024.

For one reason or another none of these options were either possible or considered feasible so in the best of Aunt Sally traditions we have decided to “grin and bear it” so bring along your waterproofs and umbrellas and make the most of the final Competition of the season!

We appreciate that today’s weather will affect entries, but we are a hardy lot and maybe there will be enough entries to make tonight’s Competition, as always, a really competitive evening.

Timescales will be as already stated with the re-arranged Captains Final first on at 7.15pm after the draw has been made for the Founders.

Where necessary (and assuming possible) we will take a break between games if the rain is too heavy, but come what may we will get the Competition completed tonight!





Finals Night Results and Summary

Well, Wednesday Night saw the finals of the team competitions take place plus the Secretaries trophy, also on Wednesday the final of the scheduled league fixtures took place when The Vine and Berinsfield SC A met in a re-arranged game postponed from Week 12. That last  league game of the season saw the completion of a remarkable  turnaround, but more of that later!

For now, I will focus solely on Wednesday’s Finals.

The Finals saw some entertaining and close encounters and some excellent scoring. We kicked off with the final of the 8’s where Premier league champions faced C section The Bell, Grove who, for the second successive season showed that with the handicap system working teams from outside the top sections can progress to the final of this team knockout competition.

On their route to the final The Bell had seen off Abingdon Conservative Club, also from the C section, in their semi final who had been finalists in 2022.

The Bell Grove did themselves proud, but succumbed to a 2-0  defeat against the mighty United/Con Club who were represented in all of the Finals on the night. The Bell chose to set in the first leg and despite missing a couple of their regular players hit a very creditable 18 dolls which, with their handicap of 6 dolls and a top score of 4 from Tony Hetherington set a challenging target of 24 for United.  For United both Dave Dix(more about his night later!) and the resurgent Bob Duff both hit 5 dolls and with Scott Humphries, Barry Parker and Leigh Clapton all adding 4 dolls each to see United home in that first leg by 29 dolls to 26.

The second leg saw The Bell set again and once again they set a challenging target hitting 19 dolls, which with their handicap gave them a set of 25. Top scorer for The Bell in this leg was Steve Weeks with 4 dolls. United were again chasing a challenging total and didn’t get off to the best of starts when their opening 2 players only managed 3 dolls between them, but then along came Dixie and his 6 put United back on track, 10 dolls  from their next 3 throwers still made the target challenging with 2 to throw and 7 dolls still needed. When a score is needed and even with his ongoing health problems you can normally rely on Barry Parker and he didn’t let his side down with a cracking 5 dolls leaving Leigh Clapton as anchor needing just 2 to secure the win. To keep the suspense going leigh hit the doll with his first stick, missed with his next 4 and then clinched the leg with his last stick enabling United to win the leg 26-25

A cracking final which included a first 6 on Finals night for Dave Dix, which subsequently wasn’t to be his last!

The next final was for the Secretaries Cup and was between Bob Duff and Martin Rawlings representing Berinsfield SC B from the B section. No handicap here and another very close f1rst leg contest with both players setting 2 dolls apiece with Bob eventually clinching the leg 3-2 after 3 sticks. The second leg saw Bob set 5 dolls which was too many for Martin so Bob retained his 2022 title.

Next up was the 5’s Final with Plum Pudding facing Abingdon United and the Abingdon United team going after their 3rd win of the evening.  United threw first and scored 11 dolls which didn’t prove to be enough as a 5 from Ken Fisher and a 4 from Paul Longford meant that with Phil Adams and Barry Townsend still to throw Plum Pudding only needed 2 dolls to win the leg and Phil duly obliged with 2 dolls from his first 3 sticks. The second leg produced a couple of 6’s with Phil Adams registering one for Plum Pudding and inevitably Dave Dix for United matching that. Overall though it was Plum Pudding with 18 dolls against United’s 14 were victors in 2 legs!

The 4’s final between Croft Nomads and Abingdon United was a bit of a one sided affair with United needing only 3 players to win the first leg 10-7 and Croft only using 2 players before falling to a straight 2 leg defeat in chasing United’s 16 dolls. In United’s 16 Dave Dix hit his 3rd six of the evening and he was well supported with a 5 from Scott Humphries with a 5 doll haul having hit a very unusual (for him) blob in the earlier 5’s final.

The last final of the night was another close encounter again involving Abingdon United/Con Club and the Plum Pudding. It was the last final of the night and the only one to go to 3 legs. Plum Pudding came through 2-1 with a 5 from Barry Townsend in the 3rd leg securing a 9-8 leg win. Phil Adams hit successive 5’s in the first 2 legs. Leg scores were Abingdon United/Con Club 12,8 and 8, Plum Pudding 10,11, and 9. It was the only final of the night featuring Dave Dix where he failed to hit a maximum, but his average le score for the night was a remarkable 4.56!

Finally many thanks to everyone who took part in the Competitions this year, not just to the winners and runners up, but to everyone who took part and gave up their Sunday afternoon in both June and again in August to enter. Thanks to our Committee for their time and effort which is necessary to arrange plan and oversee the many Competitions and finally thanks to Abingdon United FC for hosting the 2 days and 1 evening of Competitions again this year.

A special mention also for our own  Mr Doll provider Brian Clapton who never let’s us down and to Kate, Abingdon United’s bar manager and her team for the excellent service and for kindly preparing food for us back in August and again on Wednesday. Also thank you to all of the callers and “stickers up” who play an essential role in holding competitions and who rarely get thanked!