Parkstone 50+ Mid-week Tournament
David Nicholson triumphed with an unbeaten record. Two local players David Nicholson and Peggy Nutland plus visitor David Bourne emerged quite early as potential winners with Peggy and David Bourne only dropping a single game. The seventh round produced a meeting between David Nicholson and David Bourne which was effectively a final. A win for Nicholson would give him the title with seven out of seven but a win for Bourne would have given him the title on a 'Who beats whom' basis.
The popularity of the over 50s tournaments continues to increase and this event was over subscribed well in advance. It was arranged as a seven round Swiss and a full field of 20 players competed. After the recent hot and dry spell, the lawns were extremely fast and Manager Bill Arliss had requested the higher hoop tolerances to assist in completion of the games. Three games were played on the first day with reduced time limits of 2.75 hour and the number of hoops played reduced by the Bray system. This arrangement appeared to work quite well as the majority of games were finished on time. Two full games were played on the following days.
David Nicholson only started croquet last year after an horrific car accident and even now has to use a walking stick on court. He came down from 20 to 9 last season and is still on his way down being reduced from 8 to 6 at the end of this tournament. I am sure that with his high accuracy and thoughtful play, more handicap reductions are on the cards before the end of the season.
Second place was still not settled until Peggy Nutland successfully finished a sudden death finish against Pam Arliss. There were three players with five wins but John Lonsdale was awarded third with his very high net points.
Competition in the over 50 events may be keen but the atmosphere is usually very relaxed.