Qualifiers from All England GC Handicap Area Final South
There will be a strong Dulwich element for All England GC Handicap Competition National Final with all four of their Area Finalists qualifying successfully.
Andrew Dymond, Farooq Malik and Robert Laver all qualified from this second Area Final and join clubmate David Whyte who qualified from the first Area Final (North).
And there is more.... well sort of.... Representing Sydenham (but also a Dulwich member) is 'scratch' player Simon Carter, who is currently at no.22 on the UK Rankings List, and he heads the entire 16 strong National Final line-up.
For this Area Final South, Hamptworth CC laid on a glorious day which was possibly the hottest of the summer so far.
Twenty one players battled away to find out the top eight for qualification, from the three blocks of seven, with the winners and runners-up qualifying, along with the best two third placed players.
With Hamptworth's fifth court seeded but not yet playable, and with 21 players to accommodate, there were sit-outs for all players at some stage but most found this a blessing in the energy sapping sun. Time and staminas worked in tandem to scupper planned games beyond those necessary to establish qualification and in the end, the blocks were headed by Carter, Dymond & Malik. There will be harmony in the Cobbold household as both Jean and Ian (Reigate) finished runners-up, as did the delighted Susan Tilbrook (Blewbury) who was the day's 'surprise package'. Susan really caught the eye playing off 7 and both CA handicappers present, Simon Carter and manager Chris Roberts rewarded her with a handicap reduction to 5 at the end of play.
Final qualifiers were the two best thirds in the blocks; Robert Laver (Dulwich) and Colin Britt (Camerton & Peasdown) with the unlucky other third Tom Kavanagh (Merton) missing out on net hoops count.
Thank you to Hamptworth for use of their super fast lawns, the host's President Richard Stevens, and committee members Janet Trueman and Richard Jenkins for their liaison and Vic Stillwell for setting up the courts and warm welcome.
Thanks also, to Frances Colman for her refereeing and co-management and I am delighted that she has agreed to fully manage the National Final too.
Simon Carter (0) - Sydenham
Andrew Diamond (2) - Dulwich
Farooq Malik (4) - Dulwich
Ian Cobbold (3) - Reigate
Jean Cobbold (5) - Reigate
Susan Tilbrook (5*) - Blewbury
Colin Britt (7) - Camerton & Peasdown
Robert Laver (6) - Dulwich
Non-Qualifiers (South reserves in order):
Tom Kavanagh (8) - Merton
Robin Oldland (7) - Camerton & Peasdown
Dave Grinstead (7) - Blewbury
Valerie Jackson (10) - Nailsea
Heather Masheter (6) - Phyllis Court
John Knight ( 7) - Reigate
Rosie Richardson (6) - Phyllis Court
Chris Jackson (5) - Nailsea
Graham Witherington (4) - Merton
Paul Wolff (5) - Blewbury
Gavin Taylor (4) - Merton
Bill Bentham (4) - Sydenham
Liz Farrow (4) - Sussex County