David Goacher won the Nailsea Advanced Weekend
For the first time in many years this event attracted a full entry of 16, albeit with 2 players only playing one day each. As such the manager (yours truly) decided to attempt a flexible Swiss, with additional prizes on offer for those in higher handicap ranges as well as the main trophy. It quickly became clear there were only three or four likely contenders for the latter, so for the second round an "anti-Swiss" policy was adopted (pairing winners with losers) in order to avoid all the crucial games being over by the end of the first day. This seemed reasonably successful at all levels of the event, though whether this was through good fortune or good management was hard to say.
Nailsea's lawns continue to improve under the stewardship of club member John Wallace, guided by turf expert Duncan Hector, with the playing surface noticeably smoother than in previous years. The lawns were running at around 11 seconds most of the time, a good pace for so early in the season, just fast enough for the hills near hoops to be troublesome. The hoops themselves were firmly set as ever, and this led to several interactive games with few peeling finishes, indeed your reporter was sufficiently confident of this to drink the peeling prize himself on Sunday lunchtime.
Upset of the first round was first-time visitor Andy Myers defeating Dave Kibble, and although Andy later lost a long tussle (pegged down overnight) with Nick Saxton, the former was the clear winner of the best performance for handicaps -0.5 to 0.5, finishing on 5/7 with a convincing final-round win against Robert Wilkinson and earning himself a handicap reduction to -0.5 in the process. Robert was struggling to get to grips with a new mallet and spent much of Sunday practising various techniques, including using an old mallet of Matt Burrow's - though this turned out to have a misaligned shaft, which probably didn't help matters.
Jonathan Wolfe of Taunton was the deserving winner of the "2+" prize, finishing on 3/5 including a good win over clubmate Tim Jolliff. He had to leave before this was certain, so was presented with his prize (and his lost hat) at the Inter-Counties.
The clear winner of the trophy (for the first time) was David Goacher who finished on 5 out of 5, including wins against all his closest opposition, which also gained him enough handicap points to reach -2. As usual, the players were kept well fed by the excellent home-cooked lunches served by Nailsea members.
David Goacher 5/5 (1 tp, 1 tpo)
Marcus Evans 7/8 (4 tps, 1 tpo)
Kriss Chambers 3/4 (1 tp)
Andy Myers 5/7
Roger Tribe 3/5 (1 tp)
Nick Steiner 3/5
Jonathan Wolfe 3/5
Nick Saxton 3/6
Pat Long 2/4
Dave Kibble 2/5
Tim Jolliff 2/5
Steve Woolnough 2/7
Kate Apperley 1/4
Keith Apperley 1/5
Geoff Hughes 0/2
Robert Wilkinson 0/2
Frances Ransom 0/5