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
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