Dennis Scarr (Manager) reporting from Middlesbrough.
Our eleventh B level tournament in Albert Park had a full field of 16 competitors drawn from England and Scotland, including a few first timers at this tournament.
Handicaps showed a good, even spread from a very recently achieved 0.5 to 8. The weather was good for the entire two days which brought the best out of our 4 lawns.
On Saturday we had four seeded blocks‑of‑4 with block winners going forward to their respective Sunday blocks comprising those players who on Saturday had come 1st in each block, those who came 2nd, etc, etc.
Order of play in each block was 1v3 & 2v4, 1v4 & 2v3, 1v2 & 3v4.
In the event of players achieving the same number of wins, block positions were determined by Net Hoops and, if necessary, head to head results.
Time-limits of 2¾ hr on day one were reduced to 2½ hr the next day, with three rounds each day. All lawns were double-banked.
At close of play on Saturday many of those taking part in the tournament gathered at a local Italian restaurant prior to the Manager returning home to do the block calculations for day two.
Top seeds in 3 of the 4 Saturday blocks failed to make it to the top Sunday block with the second seed in all 3 cases winning out; in one block by winning all 3 games and in 2 other blocks on net hoops.
The top block for day 2 started with an impressive display from Derek Knight keeping Peter Wilson off the lawn in a 26–7 win. In the other game after Dennis Scarr stalled with both balls at 1back, Callum Johnson took control winning 26–12 TP.
In the second round of games Callum Johnson dominated his match against Peter Wilson winning 26–0 TP with Peter not taking croquet. The other game in the second round was more interactive with Dennis Scarr running out winner 26–13 against Derek Knight.
The final round in block 1 saw Dennis Scarr win a close match against Peter Wilson 26 – 20 to finish overall second in the tournament.
Derek Knight was in a must win encounter with Callum Johnson in the final match however, Callum was to run out winner 26–14 to become a very worthy winner of the tournament.
6 games went to time on day 1 and with a reduced time limit on day 2, 7 games went to time.
Honorable mentions go to
David Warhurst who despite not winning his day 1 block managed an overall 5 wins from 6.
Ian Hall who was the only player to beat Callum in the tournament and that on a Golden Hoop!
George Plant on his first visit to Middlesbrough Croquet Club came away with 4 wins from 6 including a veritable drubbing of David Warhurst!
Nigel Roberts who stepped in at the last minute following a withdrawal. Only managed one win but it was a good one!
Peter Wilson who makes the role of Referee in Charge look effortless!
Catering was provided by Joan Scarr assisted by family members and Roger Staples from the Middlesbrough Club. Participants have confirmed that the catering was a highlight of the tournament!
Callum Johnson 1.5 to 1 (I recall that at this event last year Callum’s handicap reduced from 6 to 5. I suspect he may not qualify to play in a B level tournament for much longer!).
Liz Wilson 0.,5 to 1; Howard Bowron 2.5 to 3; George Plant 6 to 5.
David Warhurst bt. Howard Bowron 16-6 (T) Dennis Scarr bt. George Plant 25-18 (T) George Plant bt. David Warhurst 26-3 Dennis Scarr bt. Howard Bowron 26-12 David Warhurst bt. Dennis Scarr 26-13 Howard Bowron bt. George Plant 22-16 (T)
Andrew Killick bt. Anthony Miller 26-14 Derek Knight bt. Steve Skelton 26-6 Andrew Killick bt. Steve Skelton 26-1 Derek Knight bt. Anthony Miller 26-14 Derek Knight bt. Andrew Killick 26-10 Anthony Miller bt. Steve Skelton 26-6
Liz Wilson bt. Ian Hall 26-11 Callum Johnson bt. Rosemary S Robertson 26-3 Liz Wilson bt. Rosemary S Robertson 22-20 (T) Callum Johnson bt. Ian Hall 21-22 (GH) Callum Johnson bt. Liz Wilson 26-2 Ian Hall bt. Rosemary S Robertson 24-22 (T)
Peter Wilson bt. Lorna Dewer 26-13 Terry Vernazza bt. Nigel Roberts 26-12 Peter Wilson bt. Nigel Roberts 26-2 Terry Vernazza bt. Lorna Dewer 26-10 Terry Vernazza bt. Peter Wilson 26-14 Lorna Dewer bt. Nigel Roberts 26-11
Derek Knight bt. Peter Wilson 26-7 Callum Johnson bt. Dennis Scarr 26-12 TP Dennis Scarr bt. Derek Knight 26-13 Callum Johnson bt. Peter Wilson 26-0 TP Callum Johnson bt. Derek Knight 26-14 Peter Wilson bt. Dennis Scarr 20-26
David Warhurst bt. Andrew Killick 26-5 Lorna Dewer bt. Liz Wilson 21-19 (T) Andrew Killick bt. Liz Wilson 26-4 David Warhurst bt. Lorna Dewer 26-22 Andrew Killick bt. Lorna Dewer 26-0 David Warhurst bt. Liz Wilson 26-4
George Plant bt. Terry Vernazza 26-14 Ian Hall bt. Anthony Miller 24-25 (T) Anthony Miller bt. Terry Vernazza 26-21 George Plant bt. Ian Hall 23-20 (T) Ian Hall bt. Terry Vernazza 26-8 George Plant bt. Anthony Miller 25-22 (T)
Nigel Roberts bt. Howard Bowron 24-16 (T) Rosemary S Robertson bt. Steve Skelton 26-4 Steve Skelton bt. Howard Bowron 15-8 (T) Rosemary S Robertson bt. Nigel Roberts 26-11 Howard Bowron bt. Rosemary S Robertson 23-19 (T) Steve Skelton bt. Nigel Roberts 21-5 (T)
The visiting competitors came from Crake Valley, Keswick, Glasgow, Sheffield and Tyneside, with five from Middlesbrough (including newly joined Anthony Miller). Handicaps ranged from 0 up to 12.
The tournament involved two blocks of six players, with five pre-drawn rounds played as 18‑point games, with 2‑hour time‑limits; four on the Saturday and one more the next morning. The resulting ‘rankings’ in each block put competitors in the following order:
A. Joe Lennon (Glasgow), Nigel Roberts (Mbro), David Millener (Tyneside), Derek Johnson (Tyneside), Jim Allcock (Crake), Dennis Scarr (Mbro)
B. Andrew Carpenter (Tyneside), Steve Skelton (Keswick), Mark Simmerson (Sheffield), Andrew Killick (Mbro), Anthony Miller (now Mbro), Julian Gibson (Mbro)
On a much sunnier Sunday afternoon there were six play-off games (26-point, 3 hour) between the corresponding Block A and Block B places, with the following results:
Joe Lennon beatAndrew Carpenter +5 Nigel Roberts beat Steve Skelton +3 Mark Simmerson beat David Millener +9 Derek Johnson beat Andrew Killick +13 Jim Allcock beat Anthony Miller +17 Dennis Scarr beat Julian Gibson +9
Joe has now won the trophy three times (every other year since 2015)!
Handicap changes: Steve (7 to 6), Nigel (9 to 8), Julian (12 to 14), Mark (9 to 8)
The early season One Day B Level A.C. Advanced Tournament, for many years managed by Peter McDermott, was held on Sat 13th April at Albert Park, Middlesbrough under new tournament manager Dennis Scarr.
The usual 8 player entry was reduced to 5 this year with handicaps ranging from 0 to 3.5.
The tournament is known to be fast moving with quite testing time limits of two and a quarter hours with no programmed break for lunch. Despite the relatively tight time allowance only 2 games went to time.
Those taking part were Andrew Killick ( 0 ) Dennis Scarr ( 1 ) and Roger Staples ( 2.5 ) – all Middlesbrough, Terry Vernazza ( 2.5 ) from Tyneside and Ian Hall ( 3.5 ) from Keswick.
The weather was dry however a chilly breeze hung around from much of the day. In keeping with weather locally over recent days, tea time provided the best weather conditions. The lawns at Middlesbrough were, as ever, excellent.
This year’s event, our twelfth, involved ten players from CN clubs, mainly Middlesbrough but also Tyneside, Belsay and Durham. The tournament was as usual a heat in the national charity One-ball, this year the Alzheimer’s Society. The weather was cool, to say the least, but the lawns were in good shape for so early in the season.
Handicaps ranged from 0.5 to 18 (those below 2 played off further‑reduced HCs) and one‑third the bisque difference was used. Time-limits of 40 minutes were never reached. Round‑robin draws were selected by the manager.
As we were reduced from the original 12 entries after last-minute cancellations, it was easily possible to play the 9 rounds needed to complete the block. Nigel won allhis games and was clear victor (having also won last year’s event). Stumps were drawn shortly after 3pm, allowing people to return home for a warming cup of tea!