Singles World Championship 2024

The intrepid 8 from AASL


Glasses at the ready! Half pint souvenir glasses complete with beer vouchers.





Someone thought we ought to enter into the World Open Singles Aunt Sally Championship which is held each year at the Charlbury Beer Festival held at the Cricket Club. 

So Paul Barrett organised our entrance, registration for the Aunt Sally and a mini-bus to get us there and, more importantly, back.  We started off with breakfast at the Beans and Blends cafe at Peachcroft at 9.30 and the bus came for us at 11am getting us to the Charlbury Cricket Club just before opening at noon. This early entry allowed us to bag some of the covered seating next to the no.1 pitch, which was nice, as the draw for the matches would take place at 1pm.

This festival is in its 26th year and the Singles competition has been going since 2011 so this was the 12th year (due to covid omissions). Of course we were following in the footsteps of the greats of Barry Parker (2016) and Phil Adams (2019) as champions from the Abingdon league and other league winners like Trevor Dyer, Steve McAteer, Henry Johnson, Roger Goodall, Kevin Powney and latest champion for the last two years Rod Bradford. 

League Players in capitals

Our contestants were Bob Duff, Ian Brook, John Miles, Micky Neal, Paul Barrett, Paul Stone, Steve Enoch & Tom Baldwin. 

With the League players and walk-ins we got to the magic 64 contenders for the challenge.

The draw allocated 32 each side of the ‘board’ – this allowed the organiser (Nick) to split the sides of the board over the two pitches.            

(The league players are in capitals the tryers in lower case)

We were the furthest away from the Beer tent which wasn’t such a bad thing as we still had to be able to see the doll! Beer vouchers were £10 for 4 halves and the bartender just crossed off your sheet.  You can take your own pint glass but the half pint must be used to it fill up.

We were also farthest away from the music tent – one band was ‘giving it all’ in my first game and it made me stop and concentrate! There was a wide variety of performers playing through the day. There must have been 70+ beers available so don’t try testing every one. The free programme listed them all with tasting notes and Cider and Wine drinkers weren’t forgotten.

Anyway back to Aunt Sally and Paul Barrett was first up on pitch 2 drawing Tracey Denton and losing a straight 2 legs (2-1, 3-2). Not a great start and one which he got a ribbing for on the bus home. At this point previous champ Henry Johnson had gone through to be beaten by Semifinalist Alan Goodgame who ended up beating his brother Ian Goodgame to get into the final who’d beat me in the last 32 after one of the lowest scoring tight games! Legs 2-2, 1-1, 2-2 and a 3sticker 1-1 then 1 stick 1-1 then 0-1 in what I thought was back to 6 sticks but it was Oxford rules 1 stick! Never mind – I went out to a solid player on sudden death.

I can tell you its SO much different to a league match when its just you, the sticks and the doll and if you don’t enter competitions you’ll never be able to understand how to control your nerves. 

Steve Enock couldn’t find form but strung it out against Luke Manning with 1 stick killer – legs (0-1, 1-1, 2-1 3 stick 1-1 1 stick 0-1) so another one bit the dust. 

With the luck of the draw Tom Baldwin played Ian Brook in the first round – so we were guaranteed someone in the next 32! However Tom played his socks off with a straight 2 leg win 3-1 and 4-0! I’ll be honest I wouldn’t have put money on that given Ian’s pedigree. Just shows anything can happen in singles. It was just before this game that I got interviewed live on BBC Radio Oxford who were there reporting on all the proceedings with regular ‘updates’ on Aunt Sally. 

John Miles went out to Mark Poulter (1-3, 1-2) who was eventually taken out by Roger Goodall. Micky Neal was also taken out in the first round by Dick Walsh over 3 legs (1-2, 3-3, 1-1). Dick was recounting the Black Prince trophy (Woodstock) which is no longer played due to the pub closing last year. Dick eventually went out to Ian McAteer. 

Meanwhile on Pitch 1 Bob Duff took out Darren Grant (2-1, 1-3, 2-1) and then John Bradshaw again over 3 legs (1-1, 3-0, 2-1) and then into the quarter final after taking out Dave Fry (3-3, 2-1, 1-1).  Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Bob play last year’s champion Rob Bradford as I was queuing for food (for a good 20 mins!) and as you can see I didn’t get a snap of the scores on the board. Suffice to say that Bob did his best and it, as it goes sometimes, was not his best.

World Champion Trophies

Roger Goodall’s winners trophy, sticks and his trademark bottle of talcum powder used on his sticks.

So the final was between Roger Goodall and Alan Goodgame. I did record the event and it’ll be on AuntSallyTV

Roger became the champion once again (previously 2017) so deserved congratulations to him and a big thanks to the organiser Nick and his team and the bricky (Rob Tudge) who stuck up what seemed like most of the time in the sunshine and set out the pitches!

The Abingdon Eight can certainly recommend going if not for the beer and entertainment then for the Aunt Sally, after all anyone of us COULD have been a winner!

Paul Stone

One Response to Singles World Championship 2024

  1. The Bell Grove 3rd July 2024 at 12:39 #

    Listed #09, Jack Wrigglesworth Bell Grove B made it to the second round so we are very proud to have a player in the top 32 in the world playing at The Bell!

Leave a Reply