Nick Archer won Ryde GC Open
Nick Archer's consistency throughout the two days was the outstanding feature of his inaugural visit to Ryde and his well-deserved award of the Centenary Cup.
Ryde's first ever mid-week Open Series GC tournament eventually got under way with two rain-free days just 24 hours after a heavy overnight downpour had flooded the lawns. Although a little slow in places, the lawns had recovered well from a disastrous winter aided by a considerable amount of manual labour over recent weeks.
Day one's block play went largely to form although Raouf Allim's three wins using an adjusted grip were insufficient to make the cut. Archer went through to the knock-out undefeated, elsewhere four wins were sufficient.
In the quarters Archer beat Stephen Custance-Baker and Chris Roberts beat David Bell, both in two games, whilst Roger Goldring beat Neil Humphreys and Ian Shore beat John Noble in three. In the semis Shore took the first game against Goldring but it was the latter who prevailed to take his place in the final for the second successive year.
Roberts beat Archer in their second game to set up an enthralling decider. In a match worthy of the final neither player could gain a significant advantage until the inevitable hoop 13. With Archer two feet in front and Roberts clearing from behind only one thing could go wrong. It did. As Archer's next ball was peeled into the jaws Roberts' painful disbelief echoed through the watching crowd. Hopes of a possible Phyllis Court one-two had been extinguished.
The final was switched to the superior lawn 1 with temporary seating set up in the car park for spectators. When game one went to Goldring at hoop 13 an upset looked possible but Archer fought back strongly and around 7pm, in Goldring's ninth game of the day, his hopes were finally dashed.
A remarkable run of six successive 13th hoop victories confirmed Pamela Sim as winner of the Ryde Plate.
Thanks undoubtedly must go to the lawn maintenance team for their concerted efforts, as well as to other volunteers who were able to put on simple but effective catering despite closure of the Clubhouse due to Covid.
We are grateful for the enthusiastic entry for this oversubscribed tournament and hope to be able to repeat a similar scheduling next year.
1st Nick Archer
2nd Roger Goldring
3rd Chris Roberts
4th Ian Shore
(Full results available on CroquetScores)