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Sam Murray wins Watford Midweek Advanced

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pictureSam Murray with the Cassiobury Cup Watford (Photo: Chris Roberts)

by Simon Hathrell at Watford
2 Jun 2021 (AC)

19-20 May 2021

It was a chilly day that saw the arrival of a strong entry for the second 2-day
AC Midweek Advanced tournament to be staged at Watford, after the cancellation
of the 2020 event. It was also the first to be able to take advantage of the
new pavilion, albeit in a socially distanced way that still required food and
beverages to be consumed al fresco outdoors.

The entry was split by handicap into two independent blocks, with the winners
in each block determined by the highest percentage from a minimum of 5 games.
In the 'A' block Sam Murray proved to be on top form, stamping his mark in the
first round with a tpo and following up with two more tps in his next five
games to win the tournament and the Cassiobury Cup with a 100% record. Stephen
Wright also played well, showing some of the form from his heyday some decades
earlier, and his only defeat was at the hands of Sam.

Unfortunately in the 'B' block one of the entrants had cancelled at short
notice the day before to leave an odd number of players on the first day, but
Geoff Johnson was co-opted to stand in to play on the second day to even up the
numbers. The pace was also somewhat slower in this block with a couple of games
that dragged on for over 4 hours, requiring the imposition of time-limits. So
nobody in the block managed to play more than 3 games on the first day, and
some only managed two. Brian Havill had emerged as the overnight leader with
3/3, including a narrow win over Richard Peperell, but was unable to capitalise
on that on the second day, losing both his games. Meanwhile Richard Peperell won
both his last two to overhaul Brian and take the 'B' block title and the
Cassiobury Salver with 4/5 in spite of his loss to Brian on the first day.
The weather deteriorated further in mid-afternoon of the second day, and reached
the point where there was no enthusiasm from any of the players to carry on, and
as the outcome had by then been determined the final round of play in both
blocks was abandoned.


Block A
Handicaps and wins:
Sam Murray (-2) 6/6
Stephen Wright (-.5) 5/6
Phil Cordingley (-1) 3/5
Chris Roberts (0) 3/6
Nigel Polhill (-1.5) 2/5
Simon Hathrell (-1.5) 2/6
Tim Russell (-1) 1/6
David Marsh (-1) 1/6

Sam Murray beat Phil Cordingley +12tpo
Nigel Polhill beat Chris Roberts +3
David Marsh beat Simon Hathrell +13
Stephen Wright beat Tim Russell +24
Sam Murray beat Nigel Polhill +9
Simon Hathrell beat Tim Russell +17
Stephen Wright beat David Marsh +15
Chris Roberts beat Phil Cordingley +6
Sam Murray beat Stephen Wright +26tp
Phil Cordingley beat Nigel Polhill +9
Simon Hathrell beat Chris Roberts +5
Tim Russell beat David Marsh +24
Sam Murray beat Tim Russell +22
Stephen Wright beat Simon Hathrell +17
Chris Roberts beat David Marsh +13
Sam Murray beat Simon Hathrell +17
Nigel Polhill beat Tim Russell +16
Phil Cordingley beat David Marsh +8
Stephen Wright beat Chris Roberts +1
Sam Murray beat David Marsh +26tp
Stephen Wright beat Nigel Polhill +15
Phil Cordingley beat Simon Hathrell +2
Chris Roberts beat Tim Russell +2

Block B
Handicaps and wins:
Richard Peperell (3) 4/5
Brian Havill (.5) 3/5
Gary Bennett (.5) 3/5
Arthur Reed (3) 2/3
Mike Hills (1.5) 2/5
John Wells (3.5) 1/4
Alan Clark (2.5) 1/4
Geoff Johnson (3) 0/1*

Brian Havill beat Gary Bennett +19
Richard Peperell beat Mike Hills +19
John Wells beat Alan Clark +4(T)
Brian Havill beat Richard Peperell +3
Arthur Reed beat Mike Hills +11
Gary Bennett beat Arthur Reed +1
Brian Havill beat John Wells +7
Mike Hills beat Alan Clark +3
Richard Peperell beat Gary Bennett +5
Gary Bennett beat Mike Hills +18
Arthur Reed beat Brian Havill +2
Alan Clark beat Geoff Johnson +7
Richard Peperell beat John Wells +6
Gary Bennett beat John Wells +22
Mike Hills beat Brian Havill +16
Richard Peperell beat Alan Clark +25

*Geoff Johnson was a late stand-in playing on the second day only, after one of the original entrants
in block B withdrew at short notice because of injury.

Tournament winners: Sam Murray, Richard Peperell
Handicap changes: Richard Peperell 3 to 2.5; Gary Bennett .5 to 1; Alan Clark 2.5 to 3


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