Nailsea AC Advanced Weekend
Eight players gathered at Nailsea last weekend to dodge the (surprisingly few) showers and enjoy the good food, good wine/beer, and often indifferent croquet that are typical features of this event. With the promise of 4 prizes on offer, the odds of taking something nice home were good, too.
Ever ambitious, the manager (me) decided on an all-play-all block with no time limits, past experience notwithstanding. Happily, only 3 games remained incomplete at the end, albeit most of the field was still hard at it well past 7pm on the Saturday, and a couple played until the same time on the Sunday - good value for money in my view.
The winner of the main event was David Goacher with 6 wins from 7 games. Rather surprisingly, his only loss came against the tournament's lowest-ranked player, Bristol clubmate Dominic Aarvold, who by virtue of that plus another good win took the prize for best performance by a non-minus player. Has anyone else lost to a 3 handicap between being selected for the President's Cup and playing in it? Answers on an email...
Had Robert Wilkinson beaten Goacher in the final round, there would have been a three-way tie for first between those 2 and yours truly, but as it was I took the runner-up spot with Rob having to settle for joint third alongside rapid improver David Fuller, and local stalwart Dave Kibble. Andrew Gregory and Jonathan Wolfe both had some excellent patches of play and were unlucky not to come away with more wins.
As in previous years, the peeling prize was calculated based on number of peels (including single and double peel finishes) plus the peeler's handicap. Unfortunately, I neglected to stipulate a minimum score of zero, and thus started my campaign with a -1 having finished with a rover peel in the first round. However, following this with a rare sextuple (my first at Nailsea, even in practice, despite many attempts) put me back in contention and with a couple of triples proved enough to finish on top.
Many thanks to all who contributed to the event, in particular the club members who kept us well fed and watered throughout, and the grounds team for preparing the usual challenging hoops. Do come and check us out next year if you can.
Full results can be found here: https://croquetscores.com/2023/ac/nailsea-massive-jamboree/main-event