Callum Johnson won the National Forest GC Championship at Ashby 29-30 June
On Saturday, the players were divided into two blocks of eight, all play all in each block. Despite the blistering heat, all 56 matches were finished well in time thanks to excellent co-operation from all the players. Out of the 56 matches no fewer than 19 went to the thirteenth hoop and another 12 finished 7-5 or 7-4. When the dust had settled, Callum Johnson was the clear winner of block A with six wins. Four players came equal second with four wins so after some number crunching, John Noble and Noel Gill had to play off for second place.
Tim King won block B with six wins with Jonathan Lamb and Mike O'Brian tied for second on five wins. Unfortunately, Jonathan had to retire hurt so Mike had an easy ride to the semi-finals
On Sunday, the schedule was far less punishing, as was the temperature. The block A play-off was won by John Noble 7-3.
Mike played well in the first semi-final but Callum was on fantastic form and won 7-5, 7-3.
The other semi final was a different story. In the first game there were excellent clearances by both players, John took a 4-0 lead but Tim recovered to level at 6-6 but then lost hoop 13 to John. In the second game, Tim missed nothing and whitewashed John 7-0. John was far from demoralised by this and game three was another ding-dong battle with John finally winning 7-5.
In the first game of the final, Callum continued with his fine form and won 7-3 quite comfortably. When he reached 6-2 in the second game it looked all over but John made a great comeback, won the next four hoops and had a tricky shot at hoop 13 which just failed. Callum, who had missed chances to win the match at the previous three hoops, finally ran hoop 13, much to his relief.
This was Callum's first GC competition as he's been concentrating on AC, including being fresh from winning the Middlesbrough B-Level AC Tournament. Had he taken up GC a little earlier there's no doubt that he would have easily qualified for the World under 21 GC championship later this month.
On Sunday the plate was won by Richard Brooks with a 100% record. David Bell and Michael Hills were joint second with 75%.
Special mentions go to Ray Mounfield who was the only player to take a game off Callum and to Noel Gill who lost his first three games 6-7 but still made the play-off for second in block A.
Our thanks go to Lynda and George Allen for their excellent catering, to Martin Wroughton for preparing the lawns and to Tim King for setting the hoops.