This year’s competition took place at Walls Club on Saturday 20th May 2017 and was run over a single day whereas previously it took place over four evenings.
The pros and cons of this move are still to be assessed but from the majority of those that attended it seemed to be very popular.
There were 93 entries into the competition but unfortunately 23 sides failed to turn up! This impacted on those that did, leaving groups uneven and it took away some of the competitive edge in the 1st round. Furthermore, it not only impacted on the arrangements and start time for the competition but also the unnecessary booking of stickers. This is most certainly a problem that will have to be resolved!
Once these absences were overcome the fantastic format of the competition came into its own and from the 2nd round until the Final there is no better individual skittles competition around.
Running alongside the Ivan Pritchard was the Under 25 Young Players Competition and 8 players qualified for that. A few others tried to get in but they failed to pull the wool over Rick Dickinsons’ eyes! Rick has been helping me for a number of years and his services are invaluable.
Before moving on to my competition report, many thanks to those that stepped up and volunteered to chalk the boards and a massive vote of thanks to the stickers.
With reduced numbers, qualifying for the 2nd round matches was not too difficult but it seemed to serve as a good warm up exercise for some. There were 22 group matches throughout the day and one 2nd round group match stood out above all others.
This group match produced 3 of the 4 individual awards - Andy Benzie with 58 won the £25 Top Male score, Heather Mitchell with 44 won the £25 Top Female score and Jack Phillips with 48 won the £20 Top Young Players score. Jack also won the Librarians 25 Trophy.
In another 2nd round match, to complete the quartet of Individual winners, Dan Baker with 46 won £10 and the Young Player Doug Burrows Runners Up Cup.
Returning to the main event, the general rule of thumb was that if you scored 43 you went through. There has never been a need to get better the further you go but consistent 40+ scores usually pay dividends.
To prove the point 44-38, 47-42, 41-37 and 45-42 were the QF scores seeing Jerry Farrant, Dave Gavin, Alan Newman and Trevor Mitchell through to the Semi-Finals.
Dave Gavin then went on to beat Trevor Mitchell 44-42 and Alan Newman beat Jerry Farrant 48-44. In their 1st legs, Dave had a 2 and Alan a 5 but they both came back strongly to win and Alan needed a timely spare to do so. Now where have we seen that before!
The final proved to be a tight affair but Dave Gavin’s 7,4,8,9,9,8 - 45 gave him a 2 pin win over Alan Newman’s consistent 7,7,8,7,7,7 - 43.
Rich Berry - Competitions Secretary
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