Brian Havill won the Inaugural Blewbury & Harwell Handicap Weekend
Sixteen players with handicaps ranging from 16 down to -1, seven from the two host clubs and nine visitors, assembled in dry and sometimes sunny conditions for the first Blewbury & Harwell handicap tournament. The two small clubs are ideally situated, just 4 miles apart, for combining to provide a 4-lawn venue suitable for larger tournaments.
Saturday saw the players split into 4 blocks, 2 being played at each venue with very different results. Those games at Blewbury, where the lawns were easy paced and hoops fairly forgiving, mostly finished with a peg-out, whereas players on the faster, bumpier lawns at Harwell found the going much more challenging. The winners from each block went into the semi-finals at Blewbury on Sunday and in each case the higher handicap player used their bisques very well to build breaks and keep their opponents out of the game, both winning comfortably. After a leisurely lunch at a pub halfway between the two clubs, the final was played between Brian Havill of Watford and John Reynolds of Ealing. This was a much more cagey affair then the semis, mainly due to the lack of bisques; John took an early lead but Brian fought back and then kept him at arm's length to become the first holder of the trophy.
Local player David Spear (Blewbury) took home the consolation "I'd rather be playing croquet" mug, narrowly beating Peter Balchin of Dyffryn +4 in the decider of the Swiss.
Brian Havill (9, Watford) bt Alan Clark (6, Watford) +17
John Reynolds (9, Ealing) bt Deirdre Cochrane (6, Blewbury) +16
Brian Havill bt John Reynolds +6t