Newcomer (and star in the making) Aston Wade wins the Roehampton End of Season AC Handicap Tournament.
The Tournament was played over the weekend of 12 & 13 September in fine, sunny weather (particularly on the Sunday) on fast lawns with tight (and firm) hoops. The field was reduced to 12 by covid and late withdrawals, with the great majority of entrants having played in previous years, but we were glad to welcome two newcomers to Roehampton events. One of these (Aston Wade, aged only 18, from Hamptworth), having had plenty of leisure in this glorious summer, arrived having had his AC handicap reduced from 8 to 4. The reduction caused him little trouble however and he always looked the likely winner. He won all his 5 matches comfortably, though fittingly was given his hardest task in the last match against Barry Holland (Surbiton), who finished runner-up for the 3rd year running - with 4 wins. Andre Machell (Watford), a former winner, also finished with 4 wins, having lost to Aston in round 4, but lost out to Barry on net points for the runner's-up spot.
The event was also notable as being the last event perennial entrant, Gina Pellegrini (Surbiton), says she will ever play in after 25 years. She had won the tournament in 2000, 2008 and 2009, following such luminaries as Bernard Neal, Nigel Aspinall and Stephen Mulliner, and recorded 3 good wins this time. We all wished her well in her croquet retirement.