Wrest Park AC handicap report
Wrest Park AC Handicap tournament 22-23 May
Ignacio Gross Ariza won the Wrest Park AC Handicap Tournament.
This was a tournament of extremes: the handicap range went from -1½ to 20, the weather included sunshine, high winds and lashing rain, and playing experience ran from seasoned veterans to relative beginners. Manager Eric Audsley also had to contend with the news that Stuart Stafford would be unavailable on the second day having thought it was a one-day tournament. Geoff Strutt played on Saturday to give an even number.
The lawns were in good condition, three of them having been mown early on Saturday morning. It was agreed that the first trained mower to finish would cut the remaining lawn, and as John Bevington failed to take croquet when losing in short order to Tony Elliott he found himself back in the driving seat. At the end of the first day Annabel McDiarmid, Hugh Manson, Stuart and Mel Christie were undefeated. Mel's win against Geoff was hastened by his being forcibly reminded in the final stages of a long encounter that he still had several bisques available.
On Sunday Annabel and Ignacio both won their first games and then played each other with Ignacio winning +26, leaving them both on four wins. Annabel then lost a very close game against George Collin when she stuck in rover when trying for enough control to be able to rush partner back to the peg, and Ignacio lost to Eric. Away on lawn four, in the last game to finish, John Bevington and Richard Keighley were both trying to break their ducks, and Richard was the one to succeed.
Eric was left with four players with more than 50% wins from six, five and four games. After crediting one point for a win against one of the others, and half a point if they hadn't played each other, this left Ignacio as the overall winner and Annabel as the winner from the lower handicap group.
After clearing up we spotted three red kites on the lawns. If they can help to pick off the worms, not to mention the rabbits, we will happily grant them honorary membership.
Ignacio Gross Ariza (11) 4/6
Annabel McDiarmid (-1½) 4/6
Hugh Manson (6) 3/4
Tony Elliott (4½) 3/5
Stuart Stafford (14) 3/3
Eric Audsley (2) 2/4
Noel Harris (9) 2/4
Mel Christie (20) 2/4
George Collin (1½) 2/5
Richard Keighley (11) 1/5
Geoff Strutt (9) 0/2
John Bevington (½) 0/5