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James Thomas won GC A-Level (0+) Series Tournament at Chester

[<<] [>>] by David Crawford at Chester
17th August 2021 (GC)

During a weekend of heavy rain the schedule of play was disrupted but not abandoned. The lawns, though extremely wet, drained very quickly after each deluge. The ten players are greatly thanked for their patience and flexibility as the manager was compelled to change formats several times in accordance with the weather.

Relative newcomers made an impact with the tournament winner being James Thomas, an up and coming under-25 from Llanfairfechan CC. It was not plain sailing for James though, since he faced surprising opposition from John Hampson of Chester. This was John's first major tournament and he entered on a handicap of 6 as an improving beginner. In the final critical round of play John beat James in a thrilling best-of-19 ending in 10-8 to John. In sunshine, neither player could be left with a hoop shot since both were unerringly accurate. So the play was very open with long clearances and many shots being taken from all boundaries. John's nerves of steel escaped him on the final hoop as he blobbed twice, accompanied by 'oohs and ahs' from the lookers-on. This was a game to be savoured by the spectators. However, James' points difference on the final day saw him lift the Maggie Cowman Trophy, a keepsake medallion, and a prize bottle of 'Sloping Lawn', the speciality wine from Chester CC.

In the Plate, Tom Grievson of Chester, another newcomer to A-level golf croquet, prevailed after five wins and a count back to who-beat-who. Tom, also on five wins, had beaten Martyn (Sam) Seal of Llanfairfechan, 7-3. Sam is also a new recruit to A-level croquet. With all these foremost players coming from the North West and North Wales, and being well-used to the odd deluge, one wonders if it was rain on the tournament that had presented them with a slight advantage?


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