Budleigh Salterton's major long tournament of the year began last Monday with the opening of the Doubles competition. Thirteen pairs began their quest for the Daldry Cups in a knock-out format involving low and high handicap players in partnership. Local players did well with Elaine Norsworthy and Sam Watts reaching the final to meet Chris Donovan and Ian Friedlander (of Sidmouth) where a close result saw the latter winning by just two points. The Y Final (for first round losers) was won by Jeannette Pollock and Charles Townshend in a tight finish (just one point) against Richard and Pat Jackson of Sussex.
The knockout Handicap event involved 32 players and produced a final where it was good to have two of the lower handicapped players pitted against each other. Both finalists had their chances (plenty of them) after a start where Mike Hammelev (3.5) took both his bisques at the start to set up a break only to come to grief at the third hoop. Ed Dymock (1.5) was less accurate then usual but eventually struck form and finished a clear winner +9.
With Courts 1 and 2 out of service until June following last year's levelling work the numbers for the main competition were limited to forty with players arranged in six blocks with each person matched against others of similar handicap. The A block (all below or just above scratch) produced some good play with three triple peels achieved and several near misses. The finalists were Cliff Jones and Alan Pidcock who met in a best-of-three final on Saturday. Each had won five games out of six and had a close match with many spectators braving the chilly NW wind to appreciate the play. Cliff took the first game +6 and seemed on course for a standard triple in the second until he failed to peel at the penultimate hoop. Alan gained the innings and was progressing well until he broke down at the ninth hoop allowing Cliff to complete the match +12 and claim the Godfrey Turner Cup.
Competition for the Woodlands Quaich saw 12 players in 2 blocks giving everyone five level games to play with the block winners meeting in a best of three final. Nigel Amos (4) had a clean sweep of wins in B Block closely followed by Adam Wimshurst (4.5) with four out of five.
In the C block Richard Jackson (4) managed to win all his games too with no close challenger so that the final promised a tight and tense contest. Both players made some good breaks in the two games needed to give a result and both went to the time limit giving Nigel victory by +3 and +4.
Mike Taylor, of Sidmouth, successfully retained his hold on the J.K Brown cup against the challenge from others in Blocks D and E and overcoming Sue Rogers in the final. The higher handicap players in Block F battled hard in what was sometimes an endurance test and in the end Philip Harris of Sidmouth with six wins out of seven won the Pat Tunmer Cup just ahead of Jackie Hardcastle of Budleigh..
Julie Horsley's skilled management brought events to a conclusion by teatime and the trophies were handed over to the winners by Tim Liles the Croquet Chairman. Cliff Jones thanked all at the club for the work behind the scenes that produced such a pleasant and enjoyable week and was particularly complimentary on the continuing improvement of the courts in recent years and the well-set hoops. The flag duly came down at the end of an excellent week.