Due to the World Championships and various other commitments for several of our regular visitors, numbers were rather down this year. However, some last-minute phone calls produced a good quality field of 8 (well, 7 plus two "halves" playing one day each). Nailsea's lawns are rarely quick, even though the usual hot sunshine prevailed throughout the weekend, so the manager (me) decided an all-play-all block of eight to be perfectly feasible.
Nailsea's entirely voluntary groundstaff (drawn from club members) had done a superb job moving the hoops and preparing the lawns, and while the hoops were of course not as tough to run as Florida "superhoops", they demanded some respect. Some local gradients around them, coupled with the baking sun, caused conditions to be rather more testing than anticipated, and with short time limits of 2.5 hours, several games went to time, with a few more almost doing so.
Fresh from his successful Inter-Counties debut, Jim Field (0.5, Bath) continued to impress with some good shooting and break-play, having one win on the first day and some close results in his other 3 games, all against experienced minus-handicap opponents.
Day 1 ended with two games pegged down, both involving Nick Saxton (0.5, Cheltenham), partly because his opponent in the final round David Mundy (-1, Cheltenham) had to leave to entertain some visitors. The manager did not ask them to arrive early the following morning but they both did so anyway, which allowed them to catch up, Nick eventually clawing back some of the points he had lost the day before to Peter Dyke (7, Nailsea).
Day 2 saw David Hunt (9, Nailsea) step in for Peter who had a prior engagement. David claims to have enjoyed the experience and had some good turns against quality opposition. Meanwhile, Nick's other pegged-down game against the eventual winner was finished over Sunday lunchtime, while some of the other players enjoyed a disposable barbecue courtesy of player-chef Dave Kibble (-0.5, Bristol).
Nick also won this one, which set up an interesting finale with three players in contention on one loss each: Don Gaunt (-1, Cheltenham), Lionel Tibble (-1, Northampton), and Marcus Evans (-2, Nailsea). In the sixth round, Marcus beat Lionel, and Don beat David Mundy (by his book title score), finishing at around 4.30. The final round was to pit Lionel against Don and Marcus against David, but at this point there was some discussion as to whether or not to actually play it, as all competitors were somewhat drained. The problem was that yours truly had stated at the start of the event that (in the spirit of recent discussions on the Nottingham List) neither net points nor who-beat-whom would be used as a tie-breaker - ties on number of wins to be decided by a play-off (1-ball if time was short).
At this point in proceedings, no-one felt much like even a 1-ball play-off if it was to start at 7pm, but unfortunately if this idea was discarded, it was impossible for Lionel to win. After some A-class dithering, the manager therefore stuck to Plan A and the final round commenced. If Marcus beat David, he was guaranteed a play-off against the winner of Don v Lionel; if not, the winner of that game would take the trophy. Obligingly, with the incentive of a choc ice offered by Lionel, David despatched Marcus +26, leaving Don and Lionel to battle it out in the "final", Don winning +9 to secure the trophy and a bottle of wine. Lionel was awarded the bottle of wine for runner-up on the basis of being the only person to successfully complete a triple peel in the event.
My thanks to Peter Dyke for his assistance with the management of the event and preparing the lawns on Saturday, the Nailsea members for preparation and use of the lawns, and Dave Kibble for his excellent ad hoc catering.
Don Gaunt 6/7
Lionel Tibble 5/7 (1 TP)
Marcus Evans 5/7
David Mundy 4/7
Jim Field 3/7
Nick Saxton 2/7
Dave Kibble 1/6
Peter Dyke 1/4
David Hunt 0/2
Lionel Tibble bt Nick Saxton +21
Don Gaunt bt Jim Field +13
Marcus Evans bt Dave Kibble +12
David Mundy bt Peter Dyke +20
Peter Dyke bt Nick Saxton +3(T)
Don Gaunt bt Marcus Evans +12
Jim Field bt Dave Kibble +24
Lionel Tibble bt David Mundy +11
David Mundy bt Dave Kibble +17
Marcus Evans bt Peter Dyke +19
Lionel Tibble bt Jim Field +14TP
Nick Saxton bt Don Gaunt +11(T)
Lionel Tibble bt Peter Dyke +18
Marcus Evans bt Jim Field +5
Don Gaunt bt Dave Kibble +17
Nick Saxton bt David Mundy +6(T)
Marcus Evans bt Nick Saxton +18
Don Gaunt bt David Hunt +18
David Mundy bt Jim Field +12
Lionel Tibble bt Dave Kibble +5
Don Gaunt bt David Mundy +1(T)
Dave Kibble bt Nick Saxton +3(T)
Marcus Evans bt Lionel Tibble +4
Jim Field bt David Hunt +9(T)
Don Gaunt bt Lionel Tibble +9