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Watford One Day AC tournament

[<<] [>>] by Simon Hathrell at Watford
19th June 2023 (AC)

The June heat-wave provided hot, dry and mostly sunny conditions for the day's
play. All the players arrived early except for Jon Palin, who marked his return
to ranking AC games after an absence of 10 years by arriving hot and a little
breathless at exactly 9:30, having just finished the 5km Saturday morning Park
Run in Cassiobury Park.

In order to avoid play running into the early evening the initial plan was for
all games to be played with a 2½ hour time-limit, with the B block playing 18-
point games in order to increase the chances of games finishing within time.
However, in the event play proceeded at a healthy pace in all games, and all
the round 1 games in both blocks were completed in under 2 hours, so it was
agreed by the players that the remaining games in B block could all be played
as 26-point games instead.

In the A block it only took a few minutes of the first game for Jon Palin to
shake off the cobwebs of his 10-year absence, after which he showed a confident
flowing style with a level of consistent accuracy that would be the envy of
many players with a minus handicap. Long and angled hoops were run without any
hint of difficulty, long-range rushes went in the intended direction, medium-
length roquets were almost invariably struck centre-ball, and long roquets were
hit more often than his opponents would normally expect. It was therefore no
surprise to see him seal the tournament title with a convincing +24 win against
Gary Bennett in the last round.

In the B block birthday boy David Robinson played consistently well in his
first two games, and he was the only player to start the third round with two
wins under his belt. But after five consecutive days of sport (one day of
cricket, one of golf and the three of croquet - at least his priorities
appeared to be right!) he then ran out of steam in the last round and lost to
Stephen Mills, so that Stephen ended up matching David on wins and finished as
the block winner on the 'who-beat-whom' tie-breaker.

Players & handicaps:

Gary Bennett (2)
Heather Bennett (2)
John Smallbone (3.5)
Jon Palin (1.5)

Andre Machell (5)
David Robinson (10)
Mark Homan (5)
Stephen Mills (4)


Block A: Level Advanced
Jon Palin beat John Smallbone +15
Gary Bennett beat Heather Bennett +19
Jon Palin beat Heather Bennett +8(T)
Gary Bennett beat John Smallbone +17
Jon Palin beat Gary Bennett +24
John Smallbone beat Heather Bennett +4

Block B: Handicap Advanced
Stephen Mills beat Andre Machell +4
David Robinson beat Mark Homan +14
Mark Homan beat Stephen Mills +3(T)
David Robinson beat Andre Machell +7
Stephen Mills beat David Robinson +15
Andre Machell beat Mark Homan +7

Tournament winners: Jon Palin, Stephen Mills

Handicap change: David Robinson 10 to 9.


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