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Richard Huxley won the Nottingham B-Level Tournament

[<<] [>>] by Richard White at Nottingham
1 June 2008 (AC)

The Nottingham B-level was won by Richard Huxley, who played strong, solid, croquet throughout both days.

Twenty players were whittled to four for Sunday morning's semi-finals, two of whom were undefeated - Richard Huxley and Dean Bennison. Three players had a 75% record - Ian Parkinson, Alan Mayne and Rob Edlin-White. A tie-break was played between these three to the delight of the assembled players and some notable and unusually early-rising locals. In rotation, each placed a striker's ball in corner 4 and set another ball with a rush to hoop 4. The idea being to run as many hoops as possible on a two-ball break with the worst performer eliminated. One round was not enough to separate Rob from Ian both bouncing off hoop 5. Alan was through, a hampered rush was his stopping point before 2-back. In the second round Ian was slightly hampered after 5, but Rob was completely hampered after hoop 4.

The semi-final line up was Richard against Ian which was a one-sided affair with Richard pegging out in three clinical turns +26. Dean was in command of his game almost throughout, but a missed peg out after three peels completed gave Alan a lifeline with which he almost turned the match. Dean, some said rather luckily, ran out +3. A small assembly of die hard club members, relatives, people waiting for lifts and drivers hiding from the police Tax, MOT, speeding and general driver persecution check point set up outside the club, were treated to the best B level final this tournament had experienced. Accurate, aggressive and determined croquet was played by both players. The eventual score was +24, -25 ,+17 in Richard's favour.

The 'other' prize was won by Melanie Forster. She was completely surprised, so was everyone else, as no one seemed to know any thing about the 'other' block. Try as he might, the manager could not find a tie with any other player, other than one desperate to catch a train. So a suitable tie-break could not be engineered.

Only one TP was completed over the weekend, despite trying one in every turn possible, by Dean Bennison - the one with the Brokeback Mountain pink Stetson. Barracking was in evidence from a nameless couple who had brought back two signs from the recent NZ world championships. Unsuspecting players were treated with advisory waves of 'Shot!' and 'I'm a fan' slogans............... Well they were when Ailsa allowed Keith to.

Entries came from all over this year - Southport, Chester, Pendle, Watford, Colchester and of course Uruguay.

In summary, loose format, tight hoops, big food, small cost, great prizes and larger surprises - Be there next year!!!


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