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Challenge and Gilbey

[<<] [>>] by John Low at Southwick
6th September 2021 (AC - Mixed)

A small field contested the Gilbey Goblet and two of the four Challenge Cups at Sussex County Croquet Club this year. Hopefully someone is considering why some tournaments do not attract the numbers of players they might.

The competition continued to separate the Gilbey Goblet from the Cups (Thursday - Friday and Saturday - Sunday) in the hope (not wholly realised) that more would be available for the weekend event.

Fourteen players contested the Gilbey Goblet with a handicap range of 20 to -1, organised as a five round Swiss. The competition provided for an interesting ending: the start of the final round saw Phil Cordingley on 4 wins, having beaten off his opponents with some impressive hitting in and break work, and three other contestants on 3 wins: David Gillett (6), Clive Grimley (9) and Wendy Spencer-Smith (20); possible outcomes 5, 4, 3 & 3 or 4, 4, 4 & 3.

In the event, Phil lost to David Gillet and Wendy Spencer-Smith lost to Clive Grimley. There being no other means to distinguish the three players with four wins, the winner - Phil Cordingley - was chosen on quality of wins (best scoring opponents).

Sad for Wendy Spencer-Smith as, had she won her final game (lost by only one point) she would have had far the best quality of wins by beating far better opponents - for which she deserves congratulations.

Sadly, the Roehampton Cup only attracted 4 contestants and they decided to play a ranking block followed by knockout with a best of three final. Phil Cordingley triumphed here too beating Andrew Willis +7 and +26tp.

Eight players contested the Council Cup, arranged as two blocks with crossover semi-finals and final. David Houston (3.5) and Peter Thompson (1.5) won the blocks and semi-finals; Peter went on to beat David in a tense final ending +2.

The competition was played in warm sunny conditions - even hot at the weekend; the lawns played beautifully, so it was a pleasant way to spend four days.


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