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Andrew Killick won the Middlesborough AC Handicap

[<<] [>>] by Andrew Killick at Middlesborough
9th May 2023 (AC - Handicap)

On the last weekend in April fourteen intrepid players gathered for our AC handicap competition.

Fiona & John Crompton (York), Jim Gillespie (Beverley), Stephen Harbron (Ealing), Anthony Miller,

Mark Simmerson (Sheffield), Terry Vernazza (Tyneside), Derek Johnson (Tyneside),

All from Middlesbrough:

Andrew Killick, Nigel Durie, Julian Gibson, Nigel Roberts, Roger Staples, Charles Waterfield

This was my first tournament as manager, and I had a few worries; for example, "Will anyone cry off at the last minute?", "Will I have to rewrite the pairings for the entire tournament?", "How will I cope with all my opponents having a forest of bisques?", "Do we have enough coffee and biscuits?" I was grateful for a lot of assistance, throughout, from Julian Gibson.

Those concerns were trivial. Far more important was the state of the lawns: they were awful, and we can only apologise to the players. Middlesbrough Council has done wonders in putting up new, stronger and higher fencing round the lawns, but the damage done by the local footballer kids over the past two years is still very much in evidence. Worse still, the mower broke down, and no mowing at all was done in the week before the tournament.

Saturday started cold and damp, and I don't recall seeing the sun for the whole weekend! But games were played in a friendly and competitive spirit. It was not always easy to make good use of bisques: sometimes there was a pause for thought, recalling those apocryphal words of the Bard:

"To bisque, or not to bisque: that is the question:

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous hit-ins,

Or to take bisques forestalling oppo's break…"

Some people had to withdraw from the second day rounds, because of health or unforeseen family reasons, but for those completing five rounds the top spots were as follows:

1st Andrew Killick (5 wins)

2nd Mark Simmerson (4 wins)

3rd Julian Gibson (3 wins and a tie)

4th Nigel Durie, Stephen Harbron, Anthony Miller (3 wins each).

Handicap changes: Andrew Killick from -1 to -1.5; Mark Simmerson from 5 to 4.5.

Thank you to six visitors for coming so far north. Next time I am confident that we shall have the lawns in a much better state!


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