Once again the Sidmouth B-level advanced tournament was very popular and highly successful. Entry was oversubscribed. Players came from various parts of the UK. The tournament was held on Thurs 13th/Fri 14th/Sat 15th August and was managed by Nancy Temple for the sixth successive year. The weather was very unsettled and on the Friday morning, after a night and early morning of torrential rain, we found the lawns flooded and the rain still coming down. The morning's play had to be abandoned. However, the rain slackened off quite quickly and the lawns drained rapidly. The players took an early lunch and the games were shortened to 2.5 hours and play continued at 1.00pm and into the evening and so the programme was not affected as much as had been feared. As it happened, by lunch time on the third day (Saturday), it became clear that the winner of each block was obvious and neither could be caught by others in their respective blocks. Therefore we were able to play the final that afternoon despite Friday's rain.
Andrew Webb (Pendle and Craven) was the winner of one block with five wins and one defeat. Howard Bowron (Penrith) won the other block similarly.
In the final, each player started cautiously and defensively. A few hoops were made by each. There was an interesting contrast in roqueting styles. Howard used a straight arm action concentrating on the striker's ball by looking down between his arms. Andrew used a more direct approach with two or three swings over the striker's ball and then putting the mallet on the ground, lining it up with object ball and and hitting the striker's ball hard and fast.
Howard soon took control with a break to four back. He then took advantage of Andrew's sudden loss of roqueting form and took his second ball to peg. The same thing happened again and Howard took his first ball to peg. He failed to get a rush to peg and Andrew hit in on the east boundary with the lift shot. Andrew then took his ball from hoop 1 to four back. Howard missed the lift roquet and Andrew took his other ball from hoop six to three back. Howard hit in. Time was called and he pegged out one of his balls. Andrew made a three ball break from hoop six to three back on his last turn, and we all started to think he might have had a chance against all the odds but he missed the hoop.
Howard's remaining ball was nearby. He made the roquet and pegged out.
Howard Bowron (Penrith) therefore won the game and the tournament.
Congratulations to him. He has been coming to this tournament for several years and now has been rewarded.