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Nailsea May Tournament

[<<] [>>] by Kathy Wallace at Nailsea
26th May 2023 (AC)

The May Nailsea Advanced Play Class tournament at Nailsea attracted players from far and wide, from Lincolnshire, to East Dorset and Glamorgan but also a good contingent from the Nailsea and Bristol Clubs. One player even travelled from France.

The club members worked hard to provide great playing conditions and friendly hospitality. The visitors were very complimentary about the club with one of them saying that it was his favourite club on the tournament circuit. Although some players found the hoops tough to run, they appreciated the accuracy and consistency which Nailsea is renowned for. They had quickly discovered that accurate breaks with good position in front of the hoops were the key to success.

Time limits of 2h45min were used and worked well. We were all less weary and there was time for three rounds and a tie break and to be all packed away by 7.30pm on the Saturday.

The players were divided into two classes of eight, according to their ranking grade. The players in the low handicap class were competing for the Peter Dyke Ruby Shield. Keith Ross made his trip from France worthwhile by winning his block of 4 comfortably and gaining a semi-final place, along with Adam Moliver (Cheltenham). In the other block, a tie-break (two-ball break from Hoop 4) was needed before David Fuller (East Dorset) and Peter Allan (Blewbury won through. In the semi finals, David Fuller beat Keith Ross, and Adam Moliver beat Peter Allan. After a few arguments with rover, David Fuller then beat Adam to claim the shield.

In the higher handicap class, the trophy was the Michael Poole Cup. The block winners were Bob Whiffen and Kathy Wallace. In the semi-finals, Eric Soakell (Bristol) beat Kathy Wallace (Nailsea) and Dom Aarvold (Bristol) beat club-mate Bob Whiffen. The all-Bristol Final saw Eric triumphing over Dom to win the Cup. Dom is definitely a young player to watch. He has a lovely style and a great, positive and sporting attitude.

The prize for the biggest upset went to Peter Allan who took 14 index points from David Fuller while the fastest game was won by Keith Ross - 2h 25 min against Adam Moliver.

It's satisfying to see the names of Michael Poole and Peter Dyke on trophies as they were both there right from the outset of the Club with Peter, in particular, being the driving force in getting a new club set up.

It was interesting (well, it was to the manager) that in the block where a tie-break was needed, the use of net points between the tied players would have given the same result. This was also true in the block where one player couldn't stay for the tie-break on the Saturday evening so retired. The tie-break provided more fun for the spectators!

The weather was perfect. The croquet wasn't but it was entertaining, on the whole. The new bespoke feeler gauges supplied by Andrew Dutton, were a great success. The 1/64 gauge was great for fine tuning to make the hoops close to 1/16 but generous enough, in a super-firm setting, for 2+ players. We might not be so kind when it's 0+ in June or Open in August. In spite of David Fuller's best efforts and determination, there were no TPs so the special prize bought in readiness will have to wait a few weeks. David Fuller was outside the handicap range but had entered before the Allocation date, when he was a 2. He was subsequently slashed by Alison Maugham after taking a game off another David recently.

The relatively new Nailsea class tournaments have proved very popular, as even with only four lawns, we can attract a wide handicap range but avoid matches between too disparate handicaps.


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