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Les Heard wins Wrest Park GC A-Level

[<<] [>>] by Richard Keighley at Wrest Park
7th September 2020 (GC)

Les Heard won the Tournament by beating Paul Durkin in the Final 7-5,6-7.7-5.

Fingers had been crossed that days of fickle weather would culminate in a fine weekend. We were in luck as on both days we were blessed with dry, bright and breezy conditions.

The full field of 16 players was divided into 2 blocks of 8, with bases of 4 players established at each lawn for the opening session and then re-allocated for two further sessions to comply with Covid-19 precautions.

Block A was closely contested all day and it was no surprise when 3 players finished with 5 wins each. Stephen Custance -Baker (-1) emerged as the block winner on hoop count, followed by David Widdison (-1) and Jane Tewson (1). The remaining place for the quarter-finals was taken by Mike Hills (-1) with 4 wins. He pipped Roger Goldring (-1) who had also recorded 4 wins but with an inferior hoop count.

Block B proved to be more straightforward with an unbeaten John Noble (-2) and Paul Durkin (0) with 5 wins leading the way. Les Heard (-1) and Paul Gunn (1), who was making a welcome return to tournament action, both also qualified with 4 wins each.

The quarter finals comprised one 19 point game. Stephen beat Paul Gunn 10-6 and John prevailed over Mike by the same score. Les also beat David 10-6 and the drama was of a domestic nature with Paul Durkin defeating Jane 10-9.

The first real shock came in the first of the semi-finals (best of 3 x 13 point games) with Les Heard beating tournament favourite John Noble in straight games 7-3,7-3. Likewise, it came as a surprise when Paul Durkin played exceptionally well to beat Stephen 7-5.7-1.

The Final (also best of 3 x 13 point games) was staged before a large and socially distanced audience. Paul started brightly and went into a 4-1 lead in the 1st game but Les pegged him back and eventually won that game 7-5. The 2nd game was nip and tuck but Paul clinched it at the golden hoop (7-6). In the decider, Les lifted his game again to win 7-5.

Prizes were presented to both Finalists, and also to Mike Hills for winning the Bowl and Roger Goldring the Plate.

The Manager thanked George Collin, who was present, and John Bevington for lawn mowing and preparation. He also appreciated the help of Peter Aspinall for his cleaning of hoops, balls and chairs and of Terry Collis and Ross Bagni in setting up each day.

Finishing Order: Les Heard, Paul Durkin, Stephen-Custance Baker, John Noble.


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