Friday night – 12 players are entered with two blocks of six planed leading to semi-finals and final. What can go wrong? Answer – a telephone call at 8.30pm with two cry-offs due to predicted stormy weather and advice from fellow club members regarding potential poor travel conditions.
Saturday morning – with the paperwork re-worked to allow cross-block (5 games), 10 players from (Chester, Crake, Fylde and Westmorland) arrived for the early morning briefing. Play throughout the day was very competitive despite the persistent drizzle falling from the Lake District clouds.
At the end of the block stage we were faced with a bizarre situation. Despite the total handicap of players being very similar in each block (47 to 49), the majority of wins came from the same block! In Group A – Jude Acda (Fylde), Karen Bowes (Crake), Kerry Dadson (Chester) and Paul Galley (Crake) all had 4 wins out of five with the fifth player, Mark Hutchinson (Westmorland), with 3 wins. In Group B – John Bowes (Crake) and Sue Clarke (Fylde) were the only winners with 3 out of 5 wins each.
A decision was needed as to who progressed. This was difficult because under advantage rules you do not take into account hoop difference and there was no “who beat who” due to the cross-block situation. The percentage of hoops scored to the maximum available for each player was considered but this was too close to call between all the players involved.
The drizzle continued but the lawns remained playable (with some assistance from the BowDry equipment) all 4 players from Group A went into a “mini” KO to determine the group winner, with the first games being 7-point and the others 13-point. The two players from Group B went straight to a play-off to decide their group winner.
In Group A – Paul beat Kerry 4-3 and Karen beat Jude 4-0. Paul then overwhelmed Karen 7-1. In Group B Sue beat John 7-4 to set up the final pair.
The final was a 19-point game with the start scores equal at 0-0. Paul took an early lead from which Sue could not recover despite her courageous determination. In the end Paul triumphed 10-5 to ensure the trophy stays at Crake following Frank Sharps win in 2022.
Handicap reductions achieved were Kerry Dadson, now 5: Paul Galley and Sue Clarke, both now 7. A huge thank you to all players who made the day possible.