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Watford Open AC Midweek Advanced

[<<] [>>] by Simon Hathrell at Watford
22nd May 2023 (AC)

As a consequence of a late cancellation there was an odd number of players, so
it was decided to split the entry into two blocks, with a lower handicap group
of 9 playing in the 'A' block in a Flexible Swiss format and a higher handicap
group of 6 playing 5 rounds in a standard all-play-all 'B' block.

In the 'A' block Sam Murray and Nigel Polhill - both previous winners of this
tournament, and both playing off a -1½ handicap - each won their first game
quite quickly, and then faced each other in the second round, with Nigel
emerging the winner. Meanwhile the other -1½ handicapper in the tournament,
David Marsh, faced Mike Hedge. Mike turned out to be on top form, beating
first David followed by Bryan Harral and then Sam Murray to end the first
day's play undefeated and a net gain of 49 handicap index points. The only
other undefeated player was Nigel, so next day Mike and Nigel met in the
first game of the day in what was effectively the deciding match, which Nigel
managed to win fairly comfortably. Meanwhile Sam Murray was busy adding to his
tally of triple peels, completing one on the first day and then a tpo followed
by a tp on the second day to finish the competition with three of them.

In the 'B' block, which was played with 3-hour time-limits per game, Gary
Bennett used his many years of experience to stem the tide of a recent rather
poor run of results, and ended the first day as the only player with 3/3. Of
the others, only the defending 'B' block champion Alan Clark had scored 2/3
with the other four players all on 1/3. On the second day Geoff Johnson
emerged as the player on form, scoring convincing +22 wins against both Gary
and then John Noble; but Gary managed to win his last game on time against
Richard Peperell to retain his overall lead with a final 4/5. Geoff finished
second on 3/5, and the other four all on 2/5. Perhaps the most notable event
was at the end of the very last game to finish, when in his final turn
after the time-limit had been called, Arthur Reed tried to finish by pegging
both his balls out with a cut rush from about 8 yards, and succeeded in
rushing his partner into the peg for a 'grievous' and thus ended up a point
short, winning on time instead!

Players & handicaps:

Alex McIntyre (0)
Bryan Harral (-.5)
David Marsh (-1.5)
Heather Bennett (2)
Ian Draper (1.5)
Mike Hedge (0.5)
Nigel Polhill (-1.5)
Sam Murray (-1.5)
Simon Hathrell (-1)

Alan Clark (3)
Arthur Reed (3.5)
Gary Bennett (2.5)
Geoff Johnson (3)
John Noble (3.5)
Richard Peperell (2.5)


Block A
Sam Murray vs. Heather Bennett +26
Nigel Polhill vs. Ian Draper +6
Bryan Harral vs. Alex McIntyre +1(T)
Mike Hedge vs. David Marsh +8
Nigel Polhill vs. Sam Murray +17
Simon Hathrell vs. Heather Bennett +11
Alex McIntyre vs. Ian Draper +20
Mike Hedge vs. Bryan Harral +21
Sam Murray vs. Simon Hathrell +25tp
Nigel Polhill vs. Alex McIntyre +3
David Marsh vs. Heather Bennett +3
Bryan Harral vs. Ian Draper +11
Simon Hathrell vs. David Marsh +17
Mike Hedge vs. Sam Murray +5
Sam Murray vs. Bryan Harral +12tpo
Nigel Polhill vs. Mike Hedge +17
David Marsh vs. Alex McIntyre +18
Heather Bennett vs. Ian Draper +11
Sam Murray vs. David Marsh +17tp
Nigel Polhill vs. Bryan Harral +3
Alex McIntyre vs. Heather Bennett +16
Mike Hedge vs. Ian Draper +13
Block B
Gary Bennett vs. John Noble +3(T)
Alan Clark vs. Geoff Johnson +15
Arthur Reed vs. Richard Peperell +10
Gary Bennett vs. Alan Clark +9
Geoff Johnson vs. Arthur Reed +8(T)
John Noble vs. Richard Peperell +12
Richard Peperell vs. Geoff Johnson +14
Gary Bennett vs. Arthur Reed +9
Alan Clark vs. John Noble +6
Richard Peperell vs. Alan Clark +23
Geoff Johnson vs. Gary Bennett +22
John Noble vs. Arthur Reed +14
Gary Bennett vs. Richard Peperell +4(T)
Geoff Johnson vs. John Noble +22
Arthur Reed vs. Alan Clark +14(T)

Tournament winners: Nigel Polhill, Gary Bennett


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