Given the mayhem of tempest and flooding at the invitation eights earlier in the month, and the dire forecasts on the Wednesday before the weekend, the weather omens were distinctly pessimistic and players arriving on a rather dreary Friday morning could easily be forgiven for expecting more of the same. However, skies brightened by lunchtime and, apart from a chilly spell on Saturday afternoon, warmth returned and Sunday actually witnessed the application of sun cream. Even though the hoops were freshly moved, they were moderately forgiving in the damp ground and peeling finishes (and attempts thereat) were plentiful. Aspects of the recent Nottingham board discussion on how to make hoop running a greater challenge by fixing hoops more firmly in the ground were given practical substance when Rutger Beijderwellen produced a number of metal contrivances which looked to the casual observer like a disassembled mantrap or instrument of torture! They proved to be his experimental devices for preventing hoop movement and were duly installed just outside the boundary of lawn 3 for tests. After a number of trials running straight and angled hoops the general consensus was that they were somewhat more demanding to run, but not sufficiently so to justify the cost or the potential damage to the lawn in inserting and removing them. Perhaps a mark 2 version will prove more testing?
On the field of play the top two seeds each produced a sextuple peel to win his first match, with newcomer Jonathan Hills taking the second game off David Maugham. Kristian Chambers was an early casualty falling in straight games to a determined Jerry Guest; while Roger Tribe, having dispatched Tim Wilkins in the first round, came back from one game down to beat fifth seed Chris Farthing in the second. Keith Aiton's run of five consecutive wins with triples was notable for the unusual score line +26 +26 +1 +26 +26! In the third game between Keith and Chris Patmore, Chris TPOd and pegged out both balls leaving Keith for H2 and himself for 2-back. Each made cautious progress with Chris emerging victorious when Keith was still for 4-back. In the absence of time limits the eventual semi-finalists got there at rather difference paces. David Maugham had already booked his place by Friday evening; but opponent Ed Duckworth had to wait for the outcome of the Farthing/Tribe match and then contest three hard-fought games with Roger Tribe to claim his place over 24 hours later! Meanwhile the other semi-final between Chris Patmore and Rutger Beijderwellen had begun at 4 o'clock and was completed in just over two hours. The first game saw Rutger lay a supershot, Chris trickle and miss, Rutger hit and go to 4-back. Chris hit the lift, TPOd leaving one ball in C2 and the other east of H4. Rutger took contact from the ball at H4, scooped to H1 and ran it well to bounce off H2 from where he hit the C2 ball and went out on a 3-ball break to win in the fifth turn.
Much to the manager's relief the Maugham/Duckworth semi-final finished by lunchtime on Sunday and the final itself was then resolved in Rutger's favour by tea-time. In the first game David laid a supershot, Rutger replied just south of peg high on the east boundary. Shooting from B-baulk David missed to about 5 yards south of Rutger's ball whereupon Rutger hit the double and went to 4-back with an NSL. David lifted to B-baulk and hit the boundary ball, made H1 but missed the return roquet. Rutger hit the ball at
H2 from the east boundary and finished +25(TP). In the second game David missed Rutger's supershot opening but Rutger hit and went to 4-back leaving black at the maximum length position on the east boundary with a rush on yellow to his blue ball at the maximum length position on the west boundary. David missed from C3 to C4 allowing Rutger to embark on his triple. All went well until both balls were for rover when Rutger broke down leaving David all four balls and a break to 4-back with a reverse MSL. Rutger missed into C2 but unaccountably David bounced off H1 to end up near H5. Rutger then hit from H1 to H3, laid a cross-wire at rover and retired to the north boundary. David narrowly missed and Rutger finished to win his first South on England title and his second regional championship (West of England 2006), having lost only one game over the weekend.
On Sunday morning there were six contenders for the Swiss with Kristian Chambers and Chris Farthing leading the field. They each won their first game thereby ensuring that the winner of a game between them could not be caught by any of the others. In a close match Kristian proved the stronger ending up as the only player not to have lost any of his Swiss games. However a late afternoon win by Phil Cordingley just enabled him to outscore Chris Farthing as runner up.
This is the 24th year of the championship in its present format during which time 125 separate players have competed producing 12 different winners. Chris Patmore has been the most frequent visitor with 14 appearances followed by Keith Aiton and Dennis Shaw with
12 each. In this year's field of 23 only Jonathan Hills has not played before and the remainder can claim 165 appearances between them, an average of more than 7 each. The four previous winners playing this year have 8 South of England titles in total.
Knock-out for the O'Callaghan Gold Cup (presented 1907)
Roger Tribe beat Tim Wilkins +17 +7.
Martin French beat Louise Bradforth +7 +18.
Ed Duckworth beat Mark Hamilton +18(TP) +24.
Keith Aiton beat Phil Cordingley +26(TP) +26(TP).
David Trimmer beat David Kibble +18 -27(TP) +5.
Debbie Cornelius beat Jack Davies +25 -3 +21.
Chris Patmore beat John Walters +25 +26(TP).
David Maugham beat Jonathan Hills +26(SXP) -26 +15(TP).
Peter Trimmer beat Paul Castell +15(TP) +25.
Roger Tribe beat Martin French +18(TP) +18.
Keith Aiton beat David Trimmer +1(TP) +26(TP).
Chris Patmore beat Debbie Cornelius +9(TP) +26(TP).
Jerry Guest beat Kristian Chambers +16 +25.
Rutger Beijderwellen beat Andrew Gregory +26(TP) +26(SXP),
David Maugham beat Peter Trimmer +12(TP) +12(TPO).
Ed Duckworth beat Roger Tribe +17 -4 +5(TP).
Chris Patmore beat Keith Aiton -26(TP) +26(TP) +4(TPO).
Rutger Beijderwellen beat Jerry Guest +26(TP) -11 +26.
David Maugham beat Ed Duckworth +8(TPO) +18(TP)
Rutger Beijderwellen beat Chris Patmore +14(OTP) +18
Rutger Beijderwellen beat David Maugham +25(TP) +17
Ed Duckworth beat Chris Patmore +17(TP)
Winner: Kristian Chambers 7 wins from 9 games (78%).
|5/10||50%||Paul Castell, Martin French, Jerry Guest, Roger Tribe|
|4/10||40%||Jonathan Hills, David Trimmer|
|3/8||37%||Louise Bradforth, Debbie Cornelius, Andrew Gregory|
Peeling prize: David Maugham;
Runner Up: Rutger Beijderwellen