Some regulars were missing this year, severely depleting the number of Davids but attracting an equal number of Chrises. One West Country player got half way to Surbiton before remembering that he was heading for Eastbourne, and even then detoured via Southwick! The first day was mostly overcast with an unpleasantly cold and gusty north wind to which some seemed entirely oblivious while others donned arctic exploration gear. Only three matches went to three games. Marcus Evans won through after losing the first to Roger Tribe. Newcomer James Tuttiett took a game off Ed Duckworth in a somewhat protracted match which looked like extending into day 2; but Ed rallied in the third to complete a swift triple by the light of the rising moon. A little earlier ominous black clouds appeared but the rain only lasted a short while and we were treated to the magnificent sight of a double rainbow.
Cloudless and calm conditions on Saturday saw Marcus Evans, Ed Duckworth and Rutger Beijderwellen win through to the semi-finals, with another newcomer Richard Dickson having taken the first game against Rutger +26(TP) and David Magee only denied victory over Marcus by failing 4-back in the third game with all peels completed. Meanwhile Pete Trimmer (waiting for Tim Wilkins and David Harrison-Wood to finish), having been TPOd by Chris Dent in an extra Swiss game, hit three wonderful long shots in succession (the final one 40 yards) to win from hoop 1. Having lost to Tim Wilkins in the knock out, David Harrison-Wood met Jerry Guest in the Swiss. David made the first break but stuck in 2-back whereupon Jerry completed all five peels on David's ball and pegged it out - sadly for Jerry David went on to win. The 4th quarter final began after lunch: Pete Trimmer won the first +25; Tim Wilkins replied +15(TP) and all seemed settled in favour of Pete in the third when, following a straight rover peel, his jump through the hoop to miss partner hit! The peg out attempt missed leaving partner NNW of the peg. Tim's blue was sent towards C4 but then, sending black to C2, Pete ran his own ball heavily into rover from the South. Faced with ending up near black if he shot hard, Pete trickled to peg out, narrowly missed, and presented Tim with a double from C2. Tim duly hit and finished with what Pete described as a "perfect break and leave (un-rushable to peg), followed by a text-book delayed TP". Chris Farthing sought to confuse the manager (not too difficult at any time!) by reporting a +35(TP) victory over Chris Patmore - after a short pause it was revealed that he had a break to 4-back with the wrong ball (possibly distracted while wondering which knot is optimal for worm eradication!). Ed and Rutger had levelled at game all in their semi-final; Tim and Marcus only had time for one break of theirs before dark.
Sunday morning dawned beautifully bright and clear but hoops had been removed the night before to facilitate mowing and repairs were required to the sites of 3 hoops where birds had dug out craters, scattering soil and grass all around. Ed clinched his semi-final match with a +26 win over Rutger but was then faced with the prospect of a long wait for an opponent in the final. He whiled away the time with a game against Chris Dent in which Chris again TPOd but failed to capitalise. Marcus and Tim fought most of the morning to finish their first game in which Marcus had pegged out two balls with himself on 3-back and Tim on hoop 3. Tim got in, took his ball to the peg but was unable to finish that turn but, with Marcus in position for rover, trickled from the North boundary and hit the peg next turn. Time limits were imposed, but not needed since Tim won the next game in short order +17(TP). The first game of the final saw much sparring to start with and not many hoops scored. Eventually Ed went to 4-back with a reverse NSL, Tim missed the lift and Ed finished. Ed was first to 4-back again in the second game, in the 5th turn, but the leave was poor, Tim hit and also went to 4-back with a less than perfect diagonal spread. After some indifferent play in which both players failed hoops, Tim got going and finished with a triple. Ed then took game three +26 with few frills to become South of England champion after three consecutive semi-final defeats in the preceding years - a popular win and persistence rewarded. The third place playoff was decided by best-of-3 14 point games. In the first Rutger made a cross-wired leave at H3 and retired to the south boundary. Marcus's lift claim was disallowed after 10 minutes of deliberation, appeal to two referees and the ball being adjudicated upon being hit by a double-banker! Later Rutger failed H4, Marcus's second appeal for a wiring lift was dismissed, his triple attempt came to grief and Rutger won +7. Game 2: Marcus third turn to peg and pegged out; Rutger sixth turn to peg and pegged out. Later Rutger fails H1, Marcus hit and finished. Game 3: Marcus completed what he described as "a rough TP after hitting the suicide shot at Rutger's QP leave", finishing with a straight double peel.
In the plate, played as a flexible Swiss (which some preferred to characterise as Grecian since it seemed to them to be half way to an Egyptian), Samir Patel worked his way steadily to the top of the card by winning eight consecutive games, only to fall in the final round to Pete Trimmer's +17(STP). Not far behind were David Harrison-Wood and Chris Patmore; and Patrick Hort (taking time off from his studied concentration of a tome entitled "Tournament Poker") finished the weekend with a flourish: +17(TP), +26(TP), +25(TP). However, no-one could match Tim Wilkins's tally of 6 triples and he took the peeling prize.
Knockout for the O'Callaghan Gold Cup
Tim Wilkins beat Chris Farthing +14tp +9
David Harrison-Wood beat Paul Castell +23 +13
Chris Patmore beat Samir Patel +11 +5tp
Jerry Guest beat Patrick Hort +9tp +10
David Magee beat Tom Weston +25 +15
Marcus Evans beat Roger Tribe -19 +11 +11tp
Peter Trimmer beat Lionel Tibble +11 +15
Tim Wilkins beat David Harrison-Wood +15tp -26tp +5
Chris Patmore beat Jerry Guest +16 +26tp
Ed Duckworth beat James Tuttiett +3 -5 +24tp
Richard Dickson beat David Hopkins -7 +4 +12
Rutger Beijderwellen beat Chris Dent +15tp +13
Marcus Evans beat David Magee +7tp -24tp +3
Tim Wilkins beat Peter Trimmer -25 +15tp +2tp
Ed Duckworth beat Chris Patmore +15tp +11
Rutger Beijderwellen beat Richard Dickson -26tp +26tp +23tp
Tim Wilkins beat Marcus Evans +2 +17tp
Ed Duckworth beat Rutger Beijderwellen +22 -26tp +26
Ed Duckworth beat Tim Wilkins +23tp -13tp +26
Marcus Evans beat Rutger Beijderwellen -7 +7 +11tp
Winner: Peter Trimmer
|Richard Dickson, Chris Farthing, Roger Tribe||5/10|
|Jerry Guest, James Tuttiett||4/9|
Peeling prize: Tim Wilkins (Runner up: Jerry Guest)