Author Archive | Paul Stone

Founder and Legends Trophy – 20th Sept @ Abingdon Con Club

The Founders and Legends Trophy is a knockout non-handicap competition for registered players over 50.

VENUE: Abingdon Conservative Club

START: 7 pm for Registrations – Practice from 6.45pm

Practice from 6.45pm to 7.15pm when the Captains final will be played before this competition.

POTTED HISTORY…..

Previously we had the Founder Members Trophy Sheild and in 1990’s Finals Programme we had this picture below of most of the participants of that year. 

This competition was revamped in 2022 to recognize that as work of the original founders of the Abingdon Aunt Sally League back in 1960
a considerable number of players have made a significant contribution and impact both on the Association and the legacy they have left to the game over the past decades. 

It is right to recognize all of those whose performances and memories are still recalled and spoken of fondly by those who played with and against them.

This shield was replaced* with new trophies kindly donated by our previous Chairman Reg Couch and entrance updated in 2022 to involve more players (under 50’s instead of 55!)

Click on the image to enlarge. 

* it was very large and would be too heavy with another layer of wood to expand it’s capacity.

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Finals Night TONIGHT

It’s Finals Night tonight at Abingdon Utd FC. 

Practice starts at 7pm and games at 7.30pm.

Games are:-

7.00pm  Practice for the 8’s finalists only

7.30 Eights Knockout Handicap Final between Abingdon Utd@Con Club and The Bell Grove who will have a 6 doll advantage!

8.15 Practice for all other finalists (excluding those who have played in the 8’s)

Matches starting at 8.30pm

  •  Secretary’s Final Bob Duff v Martin Rawlings
  • 5’s Final between Plum Pudding and Abingdon Utd@Con Club
  • 4’s  Final between Croft Nomads and Abingdon Utd@Con Club A
  • 3’s  Final between Abingdon Utd@Con Club A and Plum Pudding

Captain’s Final – Due to an outstanding league match the Captain’s final will be played before the Founders & Legends Competition (open to all over 50 registered players) on the Wed 20th September @ Abingdon Con Club.

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Competition Sunday Part 2

With the threat of a shower (or 2 in reality) most of Sunday was fine and not plagued like the previous competition event with a gusty side wind. The sun did shine and at times that doll was very bright when the clouds cleared!

We had 15 pairs entered, 6 Captains, 6 Secretaries, and 27 Singles.  Kicking off with the pairs draw at 1pm we actually finished playing around 7.30pm not bad for 48 matches on one pitch. A shower caused a slight pause twice.

A special thank you to all entrants for both their participation and patience as the afternoon developed into quite a long, but for most I think and enjoyable one! We know that Sundays are not ideal for many so entries may be affected, but those who did enter seemed to enjoy the afternoon and the standard of play, the sportsmanship and the banter and humour was, as usual, evident of the way our game is so popular.

You may know that in the Summer League Competition rules if a leg is drawn we play 3 sticks then if that’s drawn 1 stick then back to a 6 stick leg and repeat until someone wins. (In the Winter league if the match is still a draw AFTER 3 legs then the 3 stick rule is applied – it means it’s less variable in match time). Well, we had quite a few games which would have seen a bookie getting nervous for the favourite and the committee were starting to worry we were going to be playing until sunset! Roy Taylor’s singles game against Dave Butler was one of those – we’d asked Roy to have a go to help even up the numbers and it turned into a tense crowd pleaser! To be honest this is one of the most exciting aspects of the knock out competitions and it almost doesn’t matter how good or bad a player you are because everyone can have a bad day and succumb to the match nerves. 

We had a couple of 5’s notably when Terry Downes set a 5 and Barry Parker hit a 6 in response! (the only maximum of the afternoon) I had warmed Barry up in the previous round by going to 3 sticks etc – I’m sure he was toying with me! Unfortunately it wasn’t Barry’s day and Terry bested him in the later legs only to go out himself against Steve Enock. This is why we love the competitions. You need to put in your best performance but its easy to go astray under the pressure. 

Unfortunately in all the excitement (you had to be there) we didn’t record all the leg scores so you’ll have to make do with the images attached which show the final placings and who played who. You’ll have to ask the players how they got on and what were their memorable moments. It was good to see a few new faces too from Berinsfield, two of which got through to the pairs and secretaries – just proving you don’t have to be Premier to have a chance in the competitions.

Once again I need to thank Brian Clapton for preparing the dolls etc, our Doll Secretary Roger Nichols for making it back from holiday to join us with the lists of entrants and for Claire Foster with the PA equipment and doing all the recording of matches and Roy Taylor (for being the extra pair of hands you always need).  A special mention is due to Matt Ashmall who liaised with the bar staff to put on some sandwiches and suggested using the 2nd pitch portable scoreboard.

Congratulations to all of those who came through the afternoon to earn their place either on Finals night or in the case of the Pairs and Singles competitions on Presentation Night.

So the Finalists for Finals Night on Wednesday 13th September at Abingdon United FC :-

Captains – Mike Greenaway  vs  Dave Sapey

Secretaries – Bob Duff  vs  Martin Rawlings

For Presentation Night on Friday 3rd November at Abingdon United FC where we play the semi finals and finals:

Pairs -Tony Beecher & Martin Rawlings, Paul Longford & Dave Butler, Ken Fisher & Phil Adams, Scott Humphries & Leigh Clapton.

Singles – Phil Adams, Leigh Clapton, Steve Enock, Paul Longford.

 


2023 Competition results

To enlarge the images

  1. Click on the image to view then at to top right click on the 4 way arrow to enlarge full size.
  2. Click on the X at bottom right to close – you’ll have to scroll if you’ve enlarged the image.

2023 Pairs

2023 Secretaries

2023 Captains

2023 Singles

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Week 12 Roundup

Well, that was a wet one. I think we’ve been lucky that this was the first really wet Wednesday of the season. Ask any seasoned player and they’ll tell you a time that it was raining even harder etc. It’s all part of the charm of this game we love. And it definitely affected some players scores, I find it’s a great leveller for the teams ! And yet there are other players who can just hit dolls in the rain just the same as the dry. 

So this is reflected in that there were NO SIXERS this week and more blobbers, 10 to be precise, including myself! I’ll have a rest next week Captain Roger! Sometimes trying harder doesn’t help in this game.

So the total player scores maxed out at 12 dolls and those worth a mention with double digit scores are:-

12 Barry Townsend 2-5-5 (Plum Pudding) – Week 12
12 David Dix 4-5-3 (Abingdon United @Con Club) – Week 12
11 Leigh Clapton 4-5-2 (Abingdon United @Con Club) – Week 12
11 Mick Christopher 2-5-4 (The Grapes B) – Week 12
10 Dean Bowler 3-3-4 (Red Lion A) – Week 12
10 Derek Fletcher 3-4-3 (Steventon Sports A) – Week 12
10 Kenny Moore 4-3-3 (The Brewery Tap B) – Week 12
10 Mark Brind 4-4-2 (Hanney Plough A (W.Hanney)) – Week 12
10 Martin Rawlings 3-3-4 (Berinsfield B/C) – Week 12
10 Martin Robinson 4-4-2 (Croft Nomads) – Week 12
10 Michael Jarvis 4-3-3 (Steventon Sports A) – Week 12
10 Scott Humphries 4-4-2 (Abingdon United @Con Club) – Week 12

You see what I mean by those that can play in the rain, Barry Townsend (Plum Pudding) AGAIN getting two 5s and the next three top scores with a 5 in theirs. The fact there’s lower section players in that list is a great thing to see. 

Now we may be missing some scores because some teams might have elected to play on another night under Rule 14 – some might have been spared the rain with a fortunate bye of course.  Any reschedule should take place before the next Wednesdays match- not least because you know the mess it makes with the score card and week numbers! SO any teams that have rescheduled drop an email to Team Support so we know we are awaiting a card (or attach the card and I’ll put it in). I’ll be changing the week number on Wednesday night so if you play on Tuesday get that card online before 7pm Wednesday.

Because of this, and the byes, it’s a little difficult to judge the table positions. Premier is still possible for any of Ab Utd/Steventon Sports or Berinsfield to take the top spot. Ditto the A section top 3 still neck and neck. B section has College Oak extending the lead to 8 points ahead of Fleur de Lys making it harder for them and The Plough LW to catch them. C Section again it’s within the grasp of the top 3, D Section top 4, E Section top 3 and F Section seem to be a few missing but Abingdon Arms A look strong with 40 points although Wheatsheaf Didcot with 29 and seemingly a game in hand will need to go some to take top spot. 

ABOUT THE BYES – As you know we took the decision at the start of the season NOT to throw out 2 teams to make 50 teams hence 5x 10 team sections but be inclusive and this meant the only sensible way to do that is with some sections with byes to spread the teams out over 6 sections. This is the only sustainable approach because unless we change the section size (9 or 8 team fixtures) or we wait until we have 60 teams exactly we can’t field the same fixtures. Byes are a way to get people playing albeit with a few weeks off when of course you could arrange a friendly.  We already have some interest for few new teams for next year so I think this is the right way to go to get more people playing. Of course, at the AGM in January you might feel different – do let us know after Christmas. The other thing is why not a 2nd team (or 3rd/4th if you have 2 pitches) at your venue – we always get some teams signing on lots of players and it might be possible to get another team on the books. 

REMINDER COMPETITION SUNDAY – 6th August at Abingdon Utd FC starting at 1pm. Do come along even if you’re not playing because we are all hoping for some great games. You know there’s nothing quite like the pressure of a competition match, as Phil “The Power” Taylor of darts fame once said “You can’t practice sh*****g yourself”. It really is in the taking part under pressure.

Roger should be back in the Roundup chair next week. Thanks for reading this far!

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Week 11 roundup

Roger is on 2 weeks much deserved and needed given last weeks issues 😉 holiday so this week’s round up won’t necesarily be in the same flavour. As they say, a change is as good as a rest.

Blobbers and Sixers

This week we’ve had only eight blobbers – I won’t name them because I know they’ll be trying better next week (or be dropped for one)! Overall we’ve had 86 blobbers so far this season with 69 players so some are making a habit of it as repeat offenders. We all started there so give them some encouragement next match. Last year we had 200 over the whole season with 147 players so that means we’re doing a lot, lot better this year but we are only half way !

Four Sixers this week and some of the usual suspects … Barry Parker (Abingdon United @Con Club), Bob Beasant (Chequers Charney), David Dix (Abingdon United @Con Club), Phil Soden (College Oak A). That makes 17 sixes scored so far this season. I’m just waiting for Kevin Regan to make good (see below) as he had 2 fives this week.

High scores this week

13 – Barry Parker 4-6-3 (Abingdon United @Con Club) 

12 – David Dix 6-2-4 (Abingdon United @Con Club), Dean Bowler 5-3-4 (Red Lion A), Kevin Regan 2-5-5 (Red Lion A)

11 – Andy Phelps 5-4-2 (Berinsfield SC A), Dave Butler 3-5-3 (Plum Pudding), Jumbo Mott 5-4-2 (Bystander A), Leigh Clapton 2-5-4 (Abingdon United @Con Club), Mike James 4-3-4 (Abingdon United C), Phil Soden 3-6-2 (College Oak A)

10 – Barry Townsend 2-3-5 (Plum Pudding), Colin Brind 4-3-3 (Steventon Sports A), Doug Bolton 3-4-3 (Steventon Sports A), Malc Jones 4-4-2 (Berinsfield SC A), Mick Greenaway 4-3-3 (Berinsfield SC A), Scott Humphries 4-3-3 (Abingdon United @Con Club), Simon Reeve 5-1-4 (The Hart, Harwell), Tyler Rawlings 4-4-2 (Berinsfield B/C)

There’s a lot of 5’s in those scores which probably could have been 6’s if the gods of Aunt Sally (and the wind) were with them. Over the whole season we’ve had 141 scores from 92 different players with at least one 5 in the score. You only need one doll to win and some of you are so close to a 6!

Talking if individual performance don’t forget to check out your ‘ranking’ in the ‘Player Rank by Average‘ report and get some competition going between your mates. After all, if low ranking players can win Wimbledon who knows what you could achieve!

The Tables

So where are we on the Sections?

Well, Ab Utd have squeezed past Steventon Sports by 1 point with Berinsfield on their tail just 3 points below Stivie in the Premier. Croft Nomads has sunk to the bottom of the Premier with Plum Pudding inching by 2 points above them.  In the A section we’ve got Red Lion and Stanford i-t-V FC jockeying for the top spot level on 34 points with the Bystander A in with a chance to better them both in the last half of the season. In the B Section,  it feels like the College Oak A and the Fleur are leaving the rest behind with at least 7 points ahead. In C Section it’s still tight at the top with only a point between The Grapes B and Boundary House. In D Section it’s up for all 4 of the top teams to prove themselves worthy of the silverware with only 3 points between them. E Section shows the Midget only 4 points away from the Harwellian A. In F Section it’s possibly a hard task for Fox Boars Hill to catch Abingdon Arms B with a 7 point lead but it’s not impossible. Talking of the impossible, or so they thought, the Bystander C won their first game 6-0 against North Star B so stranger things can happen in this game!

COMPETITION SUNDAY

Don’t forget the Pairs, Singles, Captains and Secretaries Competitions are being played at Abingdon Utd FC on Sunday 6th August at 1pm. Even if you’re not playing come along and see some great Aunt Sally.


And Finally… There’s a lot of talk about AI, Artificial Intelligence going to take over the world. Here’s what ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence engine made of the tables report……just for fun, you can draw your own conclusions about it’s emphasis and accuracy! I’ll be happy when Roger returns with his reports!

Let’s dive into the thrilling world of Aunt Sally and the Sections!

In the Premier Section, the competition is fierce, and Ab Utd managed to secure a nail-biting victory, edging past Steventon Sports by a mere 1 point! But they better watch their backs, as Berinsfield is closing in just 3 points behind Stivie, ready to challenge for the top spot. On the flip side, Croft Nomads finds themselves at the bottom of the table, while Plum Pudding inches ahead by 2 points, trying to escape the relegation zone.

Over in the A Section, the race for supremacy is a neck-and-neck affair! Red Lion and Stanford i-t-V FC are locked in a thrilling battle, level on 34 points each. But hold on, the Bystander A is lurking close behind, with their eyes set on snatching the top spot in the latter half of the season. It’s anyone’s game, and the excitement is palpable!

The B Section is witnessing a stunning display of dominance from College Oak A and the Fleur. These powerhouses are leaving the rest of the competition trailing in their wake, with a commanding lead of at least 7 points! Can anyone catch up to this dynamic duo?

In the C Section, the competition is as tight as it gets, with just a single point separating The Grapes B and Boundary House at the top. Every match becomes a crucial battle for supremacy, and teams are giving it their all to claim the coveted position!

Over in the D Section, it’s an all-out war for the silverware! The top four teams are locked in an intense battle, with only 3 points separating them. Each point earned or lost carries immense significance in this heated pursuit for glory!

In E Section, the Midget is hot on the heels of the Harwellian A, a mere 4 points away! The tension is building as they try to narrow the gap and potentially seize the top spot.

And finally, in the F Section, Fox Boars Hill faces a daunting challenge as they aim to catch up to Abingdon Arms B, who boast a commanding 7-point lead. It may be a difficult task, but in this game of surprises, anything is possible!

Speaking of surprises, the Bystander C defied all expectations by securing an astonishing 6-0 victory against North Star B in their first game. It’s a vivid reminder that Aunt Sally is a game full of unexpected twists and turns, and every team has the potential to rise and shine!

So, as the battle continues in each section, the stage is set for more thrilling encounters, heart-stopping moments, and triumphant celebrations. The world of Aunt Sally never fails to amaze, and fans can’t wait to witness the captivating drama that lies ahead!

 

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8s Handicap Knockout Competition Semi Finalists

Congratulations to the teams through to the semi finals of the 8s Handicap Knockout Competition and thank you for the others who took part.

The semi final draw was done tonight at the Committee meeting and the result is:-

Abingdon Con Club  vs  The Bell @ Grove

Abingdon Utd@Con Club  vs  Plum Pudding

The teams will play at the ‘home’ venue above and matches need to be completed as agreed by both teams before Finals Night on 13th Sept. (Ed:  Founders is on the 20th)

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Competition Sunday – 3s/4s/5s Results

The scorching hot and breezy Sunday afternoon saw the 3’s, 4’s, 5’s Competitions take place at Abingdon United Football Club.

The Chairman proudly announced that with the Honorary President role agreed at the AGM in January Mr John Simmons accepted the appointment. John’s deep-rooted connection to Aunt Sally, much like his father Tom Simmons before him, added a touch of legacy to the event.  The Tom Simmons trophy for the 5’s competition is the one that we were playing for today.

With four teams bringing 18 sides to the competitions we kicked off with the 3’s.

3’s Competition

With 8 sides in the 3’s a straight 4 games got us to the semifinalists. Kicking off with a luck of the draw Plum Pudding A vs Plum Pudding B the A side won 9-6, 7-6.

Next Abingdon United B saw off a hard fighting Berinsfield A to 3 legs and a 3 stick decider with scores 6-5, 4-6, 7-7 and 4-3 in 3 sticks.

Croft Nomads also got themselves to play with and the A side winning 7-3, 3-2.

Abingdon Utd A side also took out Berinsfield B with straight 7-1, 2-1.

On to the semifinals and Plum A took Ab Utd B a straight 2 legs with 8-7, 9-2.

Ab Utd A then took the Croft A to 3 legs to win 7-9, 5-4, 7-6.

The Summer Breeze, unlike the song, provided an unexpected challenge for players. The gusts played tricks on even the most precise sticks, sometimes veering a whole foot or more to the left during doll approach. It added an extra dimension of excitement to the proceedings you could say.

4’s Competition

On to the 4’s and 6 teams meant 2 preliminary games first of which was Croft vs Plum B which Croft won 4-3, 8-5. Second prelim saw Ab Utd A beat Plum A 12-10, 8-7.

Croft Nomads then went on to secure their final place beating Ab Utd B over 3 legs 6-5,9-10,12-10. Utd were not out to though with their A side seeing off Berinsfield A with a 2 leg 3 stick decider of 7-6,12-12, and 6-5 in 3 sticks.

5’s Competition

With a short break to refuel with scrumptous pizza (thanks Roger) the 5’s had 4 teams to go straight into semi finals.

First off Plum Pudding beat the Croft 11-3, 18-11 and just when we thought we only have a couple of fives as the highest individual score, like buses, two 6’s arrived by Plum’s Phil Adams and Barry Townsend in the second leg leaving the crowd in awe and delight.

Ab Utd then saw off Berinsfield 14-13, 11-10 to get their place in the final.

NEXT COMPETITIONS – MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

So the next competitions are the Captains, Secretaries, Singles and Pairs which are on the Sunday 6th August.

Finals Night on the Wednesday 13th Sept will therefore have the following teams.

3’s – Plum Pudding A vs Abingdon Utd A

4’s – Croft Nomads vs Abingdon Utd A

5’s – Plum Pudding vs Abingdon Utd A

8’s – still all to play for.

And the finalists from the Captains and Secretaries being played this month.

The pairs and singles semis/final will be played on Presentation Night in November promising an unforgettable evening of sporting excellence.

And finally, Thank You…

In the world of Aunt Sally, where remarkable shots and near-impossible feats unfold, we encountered today dolls lying flat on the swivel and even one that seemed to defy gravity, standing on its head! Not to mention the dolls that teased us, tantalizingly wobbling, evading our efforts despite being kissed, caressed, and scraped. It truly is a funny old game!

A special thanks goes to Brian Clapton for meticulously preparing the dolls, ensuring they were “match fit.” We also extend our appreciation to the unsung heroes who willingly stepped in to call and stick up without being asked. The committee deserves a round of applause, particularly Roger Nichols, the Treasurer and Doll Secretary, for flawlessly organizing the competitions (and pizzas), and Claire Foster (along with her husband Alan) for lending her PA system, saving precious vocal cords and providing invaluable assistance with scoring and note-taking for this update. Also a heartfelt thank you to Roy Taylor for his unwavering presence—because you can never have too many committee members, as one might be needed at any moment! Last but not least to the bar staff and Abingdon United FC club for hosting us.

Lastly, we extend our gratitude to the players and teams whose spirited participation made these competitions a true joy. Throughout the fierce battles, not a single cross word was heard, a testament to the camaraderie and sportsmanship on display.

Now, let’s keep the excitement alive! Let’s discuss ways to encourage even more participation in these captivating competitions. Share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions with the Committee during the upcoming AGM in January or at your earliest convenience!

Thank you once again, and we eagerly anticipate seeing you on August 6th!

Paul
Chairman

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Chairman’s bits and bobs and Results should now be correct……

After Roger’s hiccup in week 5 I believe we now have the scores sorted so please check and email team support if you spot any mistakes remaining. I’ve slapped his wrists and he promises he won’t do it again. HOWEVER when you put the card it the week number is at the top right so let us know if you think its wrong. (Next year I’ll make sure the week numbers are on the fixture list).

We’ve also caught up with previous forfeits for teams not turning up on the night. We’ve always said that it’s courteous, because the home team provides food, to give AT LEAST 24hours notice to the home team if you are going to forfeit a game (and hence lose 6 points).  There is of course the option to play on another night (in effect rule 14 although strictly for rained off games)  – contact team support if this is an option for you – we’d rather you play a game than miss it. 

We have also removed the Black Swan from the F Section – there was only one ‘game’ which was a forfeit anyway. It’s shame because the Black Swan was where the league started in 1960 – see Basil Collins The First 30 Years

On another note we have had a couple of enquiries to see if we have a portable pitch to hire out for fetes, weddings etc. If anyone has any ideas of where or how to get one built please get in touch.  For information we did look at having a ‘stand’ at the Abingdon event in the Abbey grounds but they said we couldn’t play the game without our own public liability insurance. Having a portable pitch would probably absolve us from that liability (TBC).

Some old players will know we used to name (and put them in the Oxford Mail etc) the blobbers – those with X-X-X or zero, zilch, nada dolls. Just to let you know over the weeks so far we have 49 blobbers some are repeat offenders and one in the A section so a bad week can affect anyone! Just keep playing and the accuracy and consistency will come, that’s what I tell myself anyway.

For information here are the Sixers so far this season

Sixers
Darren Holmes 2-6-2 (Abingdon United @Con Club) - Week 3
Dave Harris 1-6-4 (Prince Of Wales Shippon) - Week 1
Garry Gibbard 2-6-3 (Stanford in the Vale FC) - Week 2
Geoffrey Lee 4-6-4 (Berinsfield SC A) - Week 6
Jumbo Mott 6-3-5 (Bystander A) - Week 6
Matty Cook 6-3-2 (Boundary House) - Week 6
Scott Humphries 5-2-6 (Abingdon United @Con Club) - Week 1

Don’t forget if you want a bit of friendly player to player competition take a look at the Player Rank by Average score sheet. See if you’re in the top 10, 50, 100, 300….!

Talking of Competitions if you want to have a late entry GET IN TOUCH AS SOON AS because the comps are on Sunday 25th June. 

AND FINALLY… we have a new Facebook page so check out https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAbingdonAuntSally 

We are one third of the way through the season so lets hope for good throwing weather and higher scores.

Paul
Chairman

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Aunt Sally on Socials!

You may have noticed our old Facebook account has been closed. This is because Facebook required a profile account to be linked to an identifiable person (with id). SO we’ve now launched a new page based on a ‘business’ setup (it’s still free). From your perspective it looks and feels the same but gives us better control and functionality.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialAbingdonAuntSally

Or search for     OfficialAbingdonAuntSally

(we couldn’t reuse the old name).

Just ‘Like’ the page and you’ll be kept informed.

We still have our Twitter account @AuntSallyLeague 

So you can keep up with new posts with Twitter or Facebook as you choose.

And of course you can add comments so keep it respectful and let’s spread the word about the great game we love (and hate!).

Paul Stone – Chairman

P.s. I’m looking into why the email system isn’t working so we’ll get that fixed soonest – this works by registering on the site with an email address obviously and emails new post notifications straight to your inbox.

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