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GC C-Level National Final

[<<] [>>] by Andrea Huxley at Guildford & Godalming
19th September 2023 (GC)

It was definitely a tournament of two halves. Day one, Saturday 16th September: 16 hopeful players who had won a place in the GC C level final met at Guildford and Godalming CC. The weather was fine, and play commenced. Three rounds were played before lunch at which point Paul Green and Kevin Ward each had three wins and another 4 players each had two wins.

For the afternoon games a time limit was imposed in an attempt to play a further 5 games. It didn't quite work to plan as double banking and some slow play meant that we ran out of daylight at the end of game 7. At close of play Paul Green still had a clean sheet and Patrick Coulter, Paul Rockall and Robert Strover were close on his heals with 5 wins apiece.

The weather forecast for Sunday was dire, with thunderstorms and heavy rain predicted. The manager suggested an early start to beat the rain, and all arrived to play at 8.30 am. Four rounds were completed before the rains came and a very long lunch break followed! Fortunately, the thunder did not materialise, but the rain was as predicted. The lawns at GGCC normally drain very quickly but even so it took several hours before play could restart and the conditions had changed from play on lightning-fast lawns to ones that were slow and sluggish - a real challenge to all.

The players worked hard in difficult conditions to finish the games, but rain and sunset defeated us! In all, 13 rounds were completed and time was called. Two players finished on 9 wins with Paul Rockall (+22 net points) beating Robert Strover (+19 net points) for second place. The winner was Paul Green who continued his excellent run of play winning 11 out of the 13 games.

Thanks go to GGCC members for hosting the tournament and to Steven Custance-Baker, Jason Carley and Mike Huxley, who was also scorer, for acting as referees for the two days.


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