|EDGBASTON ADVANCED WEEKEND, TOMKINSON SHIELD, 16th-17th August|
Martin Granger Brown
took this year's Edgbaston showpiece in style, with seven wins from
seven games, the last four of which were TPs.
Also there from Bowdon were Martin Granger Brown and Andrew Winn.
Three years ago Edgbaston took a brave decision. Its annual Advanced Level Weekend suffered from variable quality and was often short on numbers. The committee decided to restrict entries to those with handicaps between -0.5 and 3 ... a tournament for 'A-class hackers'. Players around scratch have few opportunities to win pots but Edgbaston saw this niche and went for it. The result has been a full tournament every year and one which is great fun.
The club has also invested in it lawns, which are now very flat and fair. Unfortunately the recent moist weather meant that for this year's event they were also very green and played quite slowly, along with hoops that had 'give'. However, the benign conditions led to lots of speedy games. The manager, Andrew Gregory, recorded 30 games of a flexible swiss on the club's three lawns on Saturday, before many of us went off for a local curry.
The winner was easy to predict overnight, Brian Storey having 5 from 5.
After Sunday morning's first game only Kevin Carter (4/5) was challenging him and the manager organised a 'Best of 2' play-off (Brian having already beaten Kevin on Saturday). It started at 1pm and was over at 1.50: +26tp to Brian. In so doing he rendered himself ineligible to defend the trophy next year since, after sixteen years of being stuck on -0.5, he finally crossed the threshold to -1. Another notable effort was seen from Ken Jones, who ended a sixteen game losing run by trouncing Martin Granger Brown; Ken is the club's current president and Martin the previous.