This year's Nottingham B Level was won by Kevin Carter. He swept all aside all competition until the Final where he lost his first game to local 'lad' Michael Finnigan. Michael had an outstanding tournament, playing off 3.5, beating two 0.5s in the quarter and semi final. The first game in the final was a bloodless 26 to Kevin and the second looked to be going a similar way, when Kevin started a tp. A little later Michael hit some fantastic shots and after a prolonged game where the innings swapped hands almost every turn Michael came through +2.
The decider was possibly even better where Michael scrambled back into the game only to miss a short roquet by the peg to allow Kevin to run his remaining hoops and peg out +5. I think this was the most entertaining final we have had at the B Level.
Kevin took the Sage Bowl and, the now required, Sage headgear. Michael went away with a new Handicap and something to drink a secret celebratory snifter in or mug if you prefer.
It was great to see John-Paul Moberly playing some AC and to witness his first tp. Kevin Carter also had a tp in an earlier round.
The lower block was contested between Jim Allcock, James Brind and Mike and Sylvia Steer. With James beating Mike in the final. Not bad for a 9 handicap. I'm pretty sure he won't have much of a future in B Level croquet.
Nottingham's lawns were in great condition and most players made comment. They were running very even with well set (but not tight) hoops. Time was only an issue in a few games. Ideal conditions for a B Level.
The interest in National Croquet day was such that we had to concede the lawn we had planned the 3/4 play-off for. The visitors took all 3 lawns on the bowling side and looked an excellent sight with so many newcomers wielding mallets.
Back on the 'other side' J-P, as he was known by then, overcame Clive Goode in the third place play-off
The sun shone pretty much throughout with the heavy rain forecast over the Sunday afternoon finals turning out to be just light showers.
I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all. I know I did.