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Watford Midweek B-Level

[<<] [>>] by Simon Hathrell at Watford
21st August 2023 (AC)

This year's Midweek Open B-Level Advanced tournament attracted a full entry, though when the date actually arrived there was some anxiety about the prospect of a rain-soaked first day. In the event the morning session was largely dry with some sunny intervals, but the rain arrived after lunch and persisted through a wet second session. So at tea-time there was some debate amongst the players about the possibility of postponing the third session and playing three sessions instead of two the following day. The manager insisted that whateverthe choice within a block it had to apply to everyone in that block, though the two blocks could choose differently. A small majority of the 'A' block preferred to brave the weather and carry on, while a small majority of the 'B' block opted for postponement. Then just as the 'B' block players were preparing to depart the rain abruptly stopped and the sun emerged, and stayed out for the rest of the day! So the 'B' block mutiny was abandoned after all and the schedule continued as originally planned.

At the end of the first day the defending champion Brian Havill emerged as the only player in the 'A' block to have won all his 3 games, and was a clear favourite to retain his title, having also beaten two of the four players on 2/3 wins. Likewise in the 'B' block Stephen Mills also had a clear lead with
3/3, chased by three others with 2/3. But fortunes can change quite quickly!

On the second day Brian lost both of his two games quite heavily, while Andrew Dutton and Jonathan Smith both won both of theirs to end up with 4 wins apiece - the manager's nightmare, as they had not yet played each other under the Swiss format scheduling, and it was the one outcome that would not be resolved by the next tournament tie-breaker ('Match points', as defined in CA
tournament regulations.). For the sake of brevity Andrew and Jonathan preferred to avoid even the shortest of play-off games (the suggestion was just one hoop and the peg, with all 4 clips starting on rover) and opted to settle the contest by each playing a single ball at the peg from the boundary to see who would end up closest. Andrew won the challenge by a few inches to take the title.

Meanwhile in the 'B' block the final round saw a game between Stephen Mills on 4/4 against Arthur Reed on 3/4, and all the others on 2 wins or less. Arthurhad won two of his three games by the narrowest margin - +1 on time - but they all count! The winner of the game between Stephen and Arthur would therefore win the block: effectively a final. Arthur's considerable experience proved to
be decisive, and he emerged a comfortable winner +20, pegging out in his last turn after time was called.

Players & handicaps:

Adam Moliver (1.5)
Andrew Dutton (1)
Brian Havill (.5)
Christopher Crowcroft (3)
Cliff Jones (1.5)
Don Beck (2)
Gary Bennett (2)
Heather Bennett (2.5)
Jonathan Smith (-.5)
Richard Peperell (2)

Andre Machell (5)
Arthur Reed (3.5)
Gordon Mills (3.5)
Neil Kingston (3)
Paul Wolff (6)
Stephen Mills (4)


Block A
Brian Havill beat Richard Peperell +11(T)
Andrew Dutton beat Adam Moliver +5
Cliff Jones beat Jonathan Smith +23
Gary Bennett beat Heather Bennett +1
Don Beck beat Christopher Crowcroft +18
Jonathan Smith beat Gary Bennett +12
Brian Havill beat Don Beck +1(T)
Andrew Dutton beat Cliff Jones +26
Adam Moliver beat Richard Peperell +6
Christopher Crowcroft beat Heather Bennett +3
Jonathan Smith beat Adam Moliver +19
Brian Havill beat Andrew Dutton +8(T)
Don Beck beat Gary Bennett +6
Richard Peperell beat Heather Bennett +11
Christopher Crowcroft beat Cliff Jones +11
Jonathan Smith beat Don Beck +15
Andrew Dutton beat Richard Peperell +12
Cliff Jones beat Heather Bennett +8
Gary Bennett beat Adam Moliver +5
Christopher Crowcroft beat Brian Havill +22
Jonathan Smith beat Brian Havill +19
Andrew Dutton beat Christopher Crowcroft +9
Adam Moliver beat Heather Bennett +2
Gary Bennett beat Cliff Jones +13
Don Beck beat Richard Peperell +3(T)

Block B
Arthur Reed beat Paul Wolff +18
Gordon Mills beat Neil Kingston +4
Stephen Mills beat Andre Machell +16
Neil Kingston beat Arthur Reed +3
Gordon Mills beat Andre Machell +14
Stephen Mills beat Paul Wolff +20
Neil Kingston beat Paul Wolff +3(T)
Arthur Reed beat Andre Machell +1(T)
Stephen Mills beat Gordon Mills +3
Arthur Reed beat Gordon Mills +1(T)
Stephen Mills beat Neil Kingston +1(T)
Paul Wolff beat Andre Machell +1(T)
Arthur Reed beat Stephen Mills +20
Gordon Mills beat Paul Wolff +20
Andre Machell beat Neil Kingston +9

Tournament winners: Andrew Dutton, Arthur Reed

Handicap change: Don Beck 2 to 1.5


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