Ealing GC C-Level tournament
Helen Essa was sitting on a bench enjoying watching a croquet tournament at her club Phyllis Court when she was asked whether she minded being put on the reserve list for the upcoming Ealing C Series as the tournament manager was fearful of late withdrawals.
Helen kindly agreed and soon found herself in the 12-strong Ealing starting line-up after those late pull-outs materialised.
But Helen, rather than just making up the field, ended up as the worthy winner in the sunshine at Lammas Park. She powered through her block winning four out of five games before proving too strong in the final for Edgbaston's Merryn Lloyd, who had also done well to win the other block in her first competitive tournament. Both the finalists look like fast improvers who will quickly climb the rankings.
Ealing relaxed the dress code for this tournament to attract more entries, but, interestingly, the majority of players still preferred to play in white clothing.