Handicap event held at Nailsea

PUBLISHED: 12:36 31 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 31 July 2018

Nailsea Croquet Club winners.

Nailsea Croquet Club winners.

Archant

Nailsea Croquet Club attracted 16 entries to contest for the Margaret Fleming Shield.

A full entry of 16 players assembled to contest the Margaret Fleming Shield at Nailsea Croquet Club.

The competition is for players with handicaps in the range of one to eight. Six came from the home club, the rest from as far afield as Devon, Buckinghamshire, Sussex and the Midlands.

The condition of the lawns had been a subject of concern as they had been stripped, levelled with a laser guided grader and reseeded in September.

The weather that followed could not have been worse, resulting in about one third of the area being under water from October until February. After a brief respite in the rain more seed was sown in February, followed by snow, frost, more rain and more snow and then came the summer.

The field was divided into four blocks of four players and on Saturday everyone played a three-hour game against each of the other players in their block.

The four block winners were Paul Castell (West Sussex), David Warhurst (High Wycombe), Wayne Wiseman (Bristol) and James Galpin (Nailsea), so this quartet went into the semi-finals on Sunday morning.

Second, third and fourth places in the blocks competed for positions further down the field in a similar manner.

The two finalists were Warhurst and Galpin. James, the current national junior champion, was playing in his second senior event, the first being one month previously.

He had won that and his handicap was changed from seven to four, David’s being one. David had lost one game on his way to the final, but James was undefeated, so a fascinating final was forecast.

David’s form held, but James lost a little of his edge, and that was enough for David to win the final comfortably and take the Margaret Fleming Shield.

James’ performance throughout the event was good enough for him to earn a further handicap reduction to 3.5 and both players richly deserved the warm round of applause they received when the presentations were made by tournament manager Mike Tracy.

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