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20 May 2001

Budleigh Salterton 14-19 May 2001

Report by Hamish Hall

I t was almost as though it would be the usual May tournament at Budleigh Salterton. The faithful had foregathered. the sun shone and the wind blew.

People laboured, sieving and then spreading bone dry top dressing on the newly renovated court 5.

The seed was sewn, watered and then it rained! Happily the bowlers allowed us to use the bowling green, quite the best court, as Chris the groundsman explained.

David Purdon had had a serious fall whilst setting the hoops on Sunday, and one player at least noted a changed standard in that direction. Others had no problems, not least David Harrison-Wood, who chalked up three triples and Cliff Jones, who donned the ROT’s mantle and managed one. Jane Babbage, using only one bisque hammered one of her opponents by 26 and Malcolm Hooper won his silver so clearly conditions were not too bad.

Still lacking in match play, the Pirates of Penzance, (Tony Backhouse and Malcolm Hooper) were denied their third successive doubles victory — but they put up a stoic fight against Jean Powell and Alan Pidcock. Playing with his latest Manor House 2001 mallet, Alan had his work cut out against his much improved Comish opponents — a suitable prelude to the final against Bowdon’s Michael and Sylvia Steer. Having three bisques, the Steers fought valiantly, making their first point after nearly two hours! Half an hour later, the first bisque was taken, but in the time turn, Alan made rover, winning by 1. In the Y event Brian and Maiy Smith had an equally tense match, just losing out to the New Zealander and Jane Matthews.

In the final of the Godfrey Turner Challenge cup, Alan Pidcock having won all his block games met Brian Smith. Spectators witnessed the cruellest fluke of the tournament. Brian had hit in, and appeared to be comfortably set to go round, having croqueted Alan’s ball to hoop two, when inexplicably he blobbed hoop one. Firing at the forward ball, Alan missed, ran hoop 2-back, and roqueted!

The pirates met in an entertaining final in division two. Each had won 6/7 block games, but Malcolm managed to hold his nerve, to take home the J K Brown cup.

The third division taxed Mac Bumie-Wood’s managerial skills. Ainsley Jones, Jane Matthews and Mary Smith were the contenders in block E and Bunny Porter, Vera Henderson and Michael Steer in block F. All had 5 wins. Ainsley won through on the who beat who rule, whilst Vera qualified on points. For the first time the Pat Turner cup was won by a local player. Happiness abounded as David Purdon, the chairman of the club, was sufficiently recovered to present Ainsley with the trophy.
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