21 Aug 2022
Hot on the heels of OPBC's Mixed League win, our Men's Division 1 team have triumphed too. Back on July 15th, the team looked in an unassailable league position, having won six and drawn one of their first seven matches. However, they had have difficult remaining fixtures, all four of which were to be played away. They lost three consecutive matches and arrived at their last, still needing a win to secure the Division 1 title. This last game was away to Hersham, a team they had narrowly beaten at home earlier in the season. However, there are no easy fixtures in the league, especially in Division 1 - and so it proved. With a five shot lead and the ends running out, the OPBC team were on course to lift the title. Hersham had other ideas though: back they came and the match ended in a 17-17 draw. A somewhat dejected squad journeyed home not knowing their fate. Their nearest rivals, West End, had themselves a difficult away fixture at Hook & Southborough and also needed to win. Early next morning texts were flying about amongst the OPBC members: news had just arrived that West End had lost and OPBC had secured the Division 1 Men's Title by a single point. The last time OPBC had won a Men's Division 1 league title was in 2016, with a squad including two aspiring Surrey Badge bowlers. These players have since left to seek pastures new and the current squad deserve real credit for coming out on top. Of the twelve games played OPBC won seven, drew two and lost three, with a shot aggregate of 200 to 201, winning the league with sixteen points.
Members who represented OPBC in this season title win are: Barry Judd, Chris Koehli, Geoff O'Dell, Keith Pollington, Gus Romero and Paul Stickney. The squad was skippered by Tony Pollington.