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Sidmouth Mid-Summer Tournament

The June Mid-Summer Tournament was the Club’s first open tournament first played for in 1908. It has seen several format changes over the years but, now has two events. The Open handicap i.e. no limit on handicaps and a Class [Level Play] Event, players placed in blocks according to handicap but play ‘level’.

This year’s numbers were reduced by injury and, generally, it would seem that the cost of living is having an adverse effect on entries. However, Heinz Hackl, from Austria came over to compete with a wider range of abilities than the comparatively small number of players in Austria can provide. Heinz’s Club was founded by him in his home town of Wolkersdorf, a convenient 30 kilometres from Vienna, which many UK players have exploited after a few days play in a very welcoming club.

The six entrants for the Handicap enjoyed 5 games over the two days with most games going to full time. The remarkable clear, blue skies with temperatures in the high twenties was perfect for lying about and not exerting too much energy and players sought shade wherever possible. Much liquid was consumed with Julie Sorrell, Marian Gadian, Sue Dent and others delivering drinks as required.

Ed Dolphin [Sidmouth] won all 5 games. He took the Dwerryhouse silver Challenge Cup presented by the Dwerryhouses in 1992 when the Mid-Summer Tournament was, once again, returned to the annual calendar after an absence of many years.

The runner up was Philip Jones [Budleigh Salterton] who won all games except that against, Ed Dolphin. He takes home an engraved tumbler.

The Class Event was, thankfully, a ‘full-house, and split nicely into two blocks of 8 and over Friday, Saturday and Sunday the 7 games were played 2 – 3 - 2. Three full games on Saturday was a demanding schedule with the 3-hour time limit carried over to allow the second block adequate time. Usually, a three-game day at an advanced level tournament is played at 2½ hours per game. One did note a certain amount of relief and enthusiasm for a cold beer when play finished at 7.30pm

The Sidmouth Challenge Block saw the favourite Chris Williams [Glamorgan Handicap minus 1.5] beaten by Ant Dix [Handicap Minus 0.5. [When handicaps become minus the difference between minus 0.5 and minus 1.5 is reckoned to equate to 6 handicap steps [300 points] e.g a handicap 4.5 playing a handicap 1.5 but actually, more challenging to the 4.5 player than numbers would suggest! So, Chris Williams took the glass tumbler as Ant took the Sidmouth Croquet Challenge Cup, presented in 1923 by Dr Colclough, for the second year running.

In the David Rawkins Cup, presented in 1992 [stolen in 1993 and replaced with a duplicate] Richard Williamson [Bristol] emerged as the likely winner by Saturday afternoon. He won 6 games and took the Cup home for the third time [2010 & 2015]. Heinz Hackl [Wolkersdorf Austria] tied with Noel Harris [Eynsham] but Heinz beat Noel so took the tumbler.

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