Banbury Invitation Inter-League 8s Knockout 2024

Only a couple of weeks ago James Barguss, ex chairman of AASL and now a committee member for the Banbury league invited us to take part in their 8s interleague competition. One league had dropped out so we were given the opportunity.

I assembled a team as best I could with some of the Winter and Summer league players trying to select some of the best to give us a good show.


With the event at Banbury’s General Foods Sports and Social Club on a Friday night at 7pm the logistics of getting the team there from Abingdon and beyond and hoping the A34/M40 was clear was a concern. 

It turned out to be a fine evening and the motorway was busy but thankfully clear and we all got there in 3 cars in good time.

The venue is right by the canal so would be nice to explore if earlier in the evening!

Banbury has an indoor Winter League and this kit was used with a venue that could cope with 4 pitches side by side, albeit a little cramped for the yard officials. The kit they have for the yard would make a great portable pitch and of such simple design that the pitches were all in place within a few minutes – see photos below. The oches were fixed to the wooden floor by simple sticky pads.

Practice ensued and this was our first challenge – the pitch is 6 inches longer in Banbury! Some got to grips with this and some struggled. Next year we might have to practice with a reversed swivel!

While the team practised we were briefed with the other subtleties of the Banbury rules (see below) and the draw for round 1 was made.

We drew Eynsham, I’ll be honest I didn’t know they had a league but they turned out to be a worthy competitor and their Captain, known as Rev took the Secretaries trophy with a straight 5-5-5 against all comers – you can’t argue much with that!

A few of our players have previous historical connections with some of the other leagues and it was notable how many came over to greet and connect again so that was a good thing just to be there.

Drawing host and home advantage side Banbury was going to be tough. Even Oxford only got low 20s in their first round but Banbury smashed 27 and 28. Could they do it again?

Well yes they did and set 28 for us to be unable to catch needing a 6&5 from our tailenders. We set 21 in the second leg and Banbury breezed past it with one player in hand and it being James Barguss (our ex-Chairman) getting the final winning doll it might have been a lesson or revenge?

We’ll be back as all our players said they’d enjoyed it so maybe next year practice makes a trophy!

Even though we left early, had to really, and missed the final it was nearly midnight before we got home, partly due to the A34 being closed off, had we stayed for the final it would have been later still.

But had we been IN the final I’m sure the euphoria would have carried us home whatever the hour.

(pictures below by Paul Stone – click to enlarge)

Ex Abingdon Chairman James Barguss (note the t-shirt doll motif!) exchanges memories with Scott Humphries (Team Captain)

The pitch went from this 

 to this

in a few minutes with an organised team of helpers.

Banbury rules…. the iron is 30ft and 6″ away and that 6″ made a difference.

Alec Chamberlain on the oche (secured by sticky pads, the oche not Alec)

The ‘A’ Team (cue the theme tune, there was no B team!).

Alec Chamberlain 3.65 Abingdon United B 2022
Mick Greenaway 2.28 Berinsfield SC A
Geoffrey Lee 2.38 Berinsfield SC A
Stuart Wilson 2.59 Berinsfield SC A
Steve Enock 2.81 Croft Nomads
Scott Humphries 2.87 Abingdon United @Con Club
Phil Adams 3.61 Plum Pudding
Leigh Clapton 2.86 Abingdon United @Con Club

In theory an average of 23.05…..

In support Paul Stone, Tosh Woolloff and Alan Humphries and Alec’s Rhiana.

1st Round draw with the leagues represented

First draw was against Eynsham. Lost the first leg, drew the second. That meant a 3 stick shootout. Banbury rules are played 3 sticks repeating until there’s a winner of that leg which we did with 2 players spare.

3rd leg we won with Phil Adams getting the necessary 4 with Leigh spare. Scores of 19 and 17 legs we knew were not going to be enough with the next draw against “home advantage” team Banbury who’d set 27 and 28 in the first round match.



The final game – we came we fought and we lost.

Alec played as our Secretary in an all team scoring leg game – a bit like killer i.e. keep up with the best scorer. In this case it was Rev from Eynsham who took out most of the opposition when he got a second 5! And a 3rd 5 secured his trophy. 

Banbury rules quirks….

Oche is 30ft 6″ from the iron…I.e. 30ft from the end of the swivel (not the iron as in other leagues).

In this competition each team calls for the other when throwing and the other sticks up. I.e.the other team calls for you when you play.

If a leg is drawn its on 3 sticks repeating not 3-1-6  repeating as we do.

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