Cheltenham's inaugural B-Level Qualifier where local talent excels!!!
Manager presenting and I quote 'two worthy finalists who rose to the top' with their awards.by Ivor Brand (manager) at Cheltenham CC
3rd July 2023 (GC)
Despite the title there were only two members from the home club which attracted a full capacity crowd for Cheltenham's first B level tournament for GC players. As this was a one day event, time limits were used with only the block winner going through to their knock out finals. All other competitors were also put through to their respective block position knock out finals.
The general standard was high and this was no more evident than in block A where Graham McCausland had to win his final game against Giles Pepperell to go through as the only undefeated block winner. This he did by using his experience with timed games which allowed Jon Carrington to finish as runner up over Giles. Block B was another tight affair which saw Naomi Whitehead and Peter Tofield only being separated by net points for the top two positions. Block C saw Fran Wall secure his position as block winner in the last round, leaving Ray Bassett and Gill Hindshaw being only separated for the runner up place on net points again. Block D saw the top two places again being decided on net points between Simon Turner and Jim Beach respectively.
All the knock outs got underway after tea with only a brief shower damping down the competitor's enthusiasm to play. All the results can be found on Croquet Scores, however I will mention once again the 'high' standard which was evident in the close matches in the knockout finals for the top four positions. Graham M and Naomi W both came through their games 7-5 to reach the final which also finished 7-5 in Naomi's favour. Meanwhile, Fran Wall squeezed past Simon T for third place.
My overall memory of this new tournament to Cheltenham was the friendly positive approach that the competitors had, which was epitomised to me by not only Elizabeth Bulbeck's skipping on the lawns but by 'honest' Ian Rees correcting his 7-6 win to a loss despite his opponent writing it in as a win!
Finally, my gratitude to the catering staff and groundsman as always for helping to create a positive experience on what was largly a sunny day.