Despite Barry Townsend clanging off 15 dolls and Den Sellar 14, Premier Division leaders Cricketers B lost at home to Section 1 side Red Lion B Eynsham 2-1, writes Andy Beal.
In a low-scoring game, Cricketers won the opening leg 26-22, but lost the next two 25-23, 24-22.
Mark Revill top-scored for the Lion with ten dolls (3-3-4), but Townsend (6-4-5) and Sellar (4-6-4) can feel unlucky that their efforts proved in vain.
Kevin Giles (6-5-4) and Neil Lyon (5-5-5) were in fine form, both hitting 15 dolls as Three Pigeons romped home 3-0 at Red Lion A Eynsham.
Pigeons won the first leg 33-28, but set only 24 in the next.
Red Lion were well-placed on 17 after five players, but their remaining three players failed miserably, mustering only four dolls between them to give Pigeons a 2-0 lead.
The final leg had a one-sided 31-20 scoreline.
Section 1 leaders Gladiators A lost 2-1 at home to Vikings Sports C.
With the first two legs shared, Gladiators set 25 in the decider.
After a steady reply, Vikings’ anchor man Robin Charlton was left needing five to win, which he hit – the winning doll coming from his final stick. Gladiators’ Kevin Neal bagged himself a six in an 11-doll haul.
Unvbeaten Section 2 leaders Rose Hill A were given a scare in their clash against bottom team Cowley Workers, who are still seeking their first win.
Workers took the first leg 21-18 and only just lost the next by the odd doll 18-17.
Rose Hill, however, secured a 19-15 victory in the final leg. James Bennett whipped off a baker’s dozen (5-4-4) and put a dent in Black Prince A’s title ambitions by helping Six Bells A Quarry to a 2-1 victory. Black Prince started well, winning the opening leg 21-20.
They lost the second 23-20 and after the deciding leg was tied 17-17, Six Bells won on a three-stick shoot-out.
In Section 3, Adrian Lewis threw well for his 13 dolls (5-5-3) to help Red Lion B Yarnton remain one of three teams in the league to stay unbeaten.
Leg scores of 17-15, 26-18, 25-18 gave Red Lion a 3-0 win over Kennington.
Second placed Chequers C fell further behind after they crashed 3-0 at home to Six Bells A Kidlington. Alan Wood top-scored for the Bells with 11 dolls (3-4-4) as they won all three legs 20-15, 18-14, 22-21.
Barry Gilding was in sparkling form for New Club in Section 4 – but his 14 dolls (4-6-4), including a six, was to no avail as his side lost 2-1 at Garsington Sports Club B 2-1.
Stephen Wyatt was top dog for Garsington with 4-3-5.
In Section 6, George A’s Monty Morgan hit 14 dolls (5-5-4) to lead his team to a 3-0 home win over Chequers B with leg scores of 19-16, 19-13, 20-14.
Leaders Donnington C scraped home 2-1 against Kidlington Sports Club. After losing the first leg 17-14, they had to hold their nerve to claim the second on a three-stick shoot-out after the scores finished level at 14-14.
The leaders took the last 14-11. Only one point separates the top five in Section 8, and the two of the joint leaders, Red Lion A Yarnton and Bullnose Morris B clashed in a thriller.
The first two legs were tied 13-13 and 12-12 with Lion winning them both on three sticks.
Bullnose grabbed a point in the final leg with a 13-11 win. Northway Club B also join them at the top after they beat Donnington Arms 2-1. Rose Hill Club B scored more dolls then their hosts Six Bells B Kidlington, but still ended up losing 2-1.
Robin Cooper top-scored for Rose Hill with 11 dolls (3-3-5).
In Section 9, Neville Williams became the first Blackbirds player to hit double figures this season with ten dolls (4-3-3) in their 3-0 win over Red Lion A Cassington thanks to leg scores of 18-12, 14-11 and 15-10.