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By Spencer Kerley Oakley Bowling Club

Sunday, 15 May 2022

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This morning Ashley Nethercliffe and Nick Hardy, as the 2021 County Pairs Champions were representing Hampshire in the Home Counties Championships. The day did not begin well, a, in steady rain, they failed to score in the first 5 ends and were soon losing 10-0 to the champions of Oxfordshire. By 10 ends they still trailed 14-9 but scores of 4 and 3 put Ash and Nic in front for the first time. At 15 ends it was still anyone's game but a 3 on the 16th and a 5 on the 18th end put the Oakley boys in full control and they won 28-19.

The afternoon final saw Oakley facing Kent's Tom Bishop, the World Champion of Champions winner and Michael Cheesman. The Kent players have, in the past represented Hampshire at Under 25 level so were well known to our players. Oakley began well taking a 6-0 lead but struggled on long ends and at 16-9 down they had been stuck on 9 for 8 ends. They pulled back within 3 but Kent saw out the match to record a deserved 20-13 win. Ashley and Nick will be disappointed to fall at the final hurdle but it was a fine achievement to finish runners up when they have played together for only a year.

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Spencer Kerley

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