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James Thomas won the Fylde Jubilee Handicap Trophy

[<<] [>>] by Peter Wilson at Fylde
29 Jul 2019 (AC - Handicap)

The club was delighted to offer two players a place in their first CA tournament, James Thomas from Llanfairfechan and Benedict O'Connor a teacher from Stonyhurst College. Benedict, under the wing of the NW Federation, is developing the game for the students. The other returning players showed their class in offering support and encouragement to these new tournament players. Tournament Referee Ken Jones did a great job helping them with the finer points as they came up.

As usual it was a strict Swiss event of 5 rounds the draw being made with numbered sticks of Blackpool Rock. Light drizzle fell slowly all day but the new drainage system, partially funded by the CA kept the lawns unpuddled and entirely playable all day.

An early lawn inspection took place on Sunday due to constant overnight rain. Despite the nearby Seniors Open Golf at Royal Lytham being postponed until 1pm The Fylde Lawns were entirely playable, and with the rain relentlessly falling we started round four with James and Philip Bass both on 3/3. Even the most optimistic of us thought this could be the final round. The ending of that game is worth a few words. Six minutes remaining, Philip's turn started on 4b and Rover, James on Penult and Rover. Philip was forced to play his Rover ball and levelled the scores by running it. He lined up a take-off from the reception ball to set a leave but in this croquet stroke failed to shake the ball. Instantly he called the fault and James was able to secure a plus 2 win from there.

During the lunch break the rain stopped and the drainage worked so round five was able to proceed in what turned out to be the best session of the tournament

John Henderson put in a solid 4/5 as runner up.

James won his final game 26 - 0 with some bisques remaining throwing in a well organised Rover peel while running 5. James also received the tournament handicapper's reduction with delight.

By Peter Wilson


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