The Gerald Furniss Memorial Tournament is a tribute to one of the league's most memorable characters.  Gerald died in 1988 having been taken ill whilst playing a match for Blakesley club. This tournament has been staged annually since the 1989-90 season and is a handicap event for players in Divisions 2 and 3.

Five players have won the event twice - Reg Dick, Tommy Burrell, Nick Howard, Matt Woollard and Frances Dickson.

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2018 Event

Report by Organizer David Howard

The eagerly anticipated Gerald Furniss Memorial Handicap Trophy was played over two Friday evenings at Towcester and included several new faces this year. The competition provides the opportunity for Division Two and Three players to play each other on a comparative basis due to the handicap system. As always, the games were played in a competitive but friendly spirit.

This year, each player was able to play against 10 different players with many matches being won by only 1 or 2 points - there were even a couple of draws! Once the “round robin” had been completed each player was seeded based on their results. Jack King (Daventry Dees) became top seed with Ken Sawyer (Towcester C) 2nd seed, Alan Thompson (Daventry Dees) 3rd, and Paul Wragg (Yardley Gobion Dogs) 4th going into the knock-out stage.

On paper, these 4 were due to make it through to the Semi-finals, but only Jack survived.  Mike Perry (Towcester C) knocked out Paul in their quarter final despite having to give away a handicap of 19 points. Alan was beaten in his quarter final by Jaya Jayasundara who was in such inspired form on the second Friday that Alan suggested Jaya’s canned drink of 'Ginger Beer' should be tested!

The third quarter final saw Phillip Kibble (Rothersthorpe) knocking out 2nd seed Ken in a match that was only decided in the last few points of the final game. The remaining quarter final proved to be the closest and although he had a handicap of +21, Jack only just managed to keep ahead of Cadoc Whiteley (Towcester D) eventually winning 35-33

So to the semis which were both very close. Jack v Mike saw Jack edge through 35-32 and this could easily have gone either way, with the last set of 11-10 to Jack making all the difference. The other semi was even closer with Phillip squeezing past Jaya 33-31.

The final between Jack and Phillip produced some excellent rallies, but in the end, Jack proved too strong and has become this year’s winner. Congratulations to Jack, and also Phillip as runner-up and a big thank you from me to all those who competed and made the contest fun and exciting.

 

League President Rod Barr was on hand to present Jack with the winner's trophy, making it a remarkable five consecutive years that a Daventry player has triumphed in this competition.

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2017 Event

Report by David Howard

An excellent turn out once again for the event organized by David Howard at Towcester Club and played exclusively by the league's 2nd and 3rd Division players in a competitive but friendly spirit. The same handicap system as used in the Knock-out cup ensured that players of all standards were able to play each other on a fairly even scale, and this was highlighted when several matches ended in a draw or were won by a single point.

Everyone involved was able to play 8 other players with 2 points for a win, and 1 point for a draw with the top 4 players meeting in the semi finals. Jack King went into the semis undefeated, Bob Read went through on 12 points, Ken Sawyer on 11, and there was a 3-way tie on 10 points to decide on the last place. Veronica Downing had 4 wins and 2 draws, but Roy Smyth and Frances Dickson both had 5 wins each. The last place was decided on who had won their previous head to head, and as Frances had already beaten Roy, she made up the 4th semi-final place.

The semis had the “more mature” players up against each other with Ken coming through victorious against Bob. Frances proved too strong for her Daventry teammate Jack but there were some excellent rallies from the pair, and as there was only a handicap of +1 in favour of Frances, this was always looking to be a close match.

So to the final which saw Frances start off with a +16 handicap against Ken.  Both of them had been playing well throughout the tournament, so despite what seemed on paper to be a large handicap in favour of Frances, it was really too hard to predict. Ken won the first game 11-3 and the second 11-5. The final game (everyone plays 3 games per match regardless of who wins the first 2) was much closer all the way though, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 but ultimately Frances managed to take the game 11-9 meaning that with an overall final score of 35 -31, it’s Frances Dickson who is the 2017 Gerald Furniss Champion!

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2016 Event

Seventeen players from the Daventry, Towcester and Yardley Gobion clubs competed in the competition organized by Martin Pringuer and played at the Towcester Club over two Fridays in May. In the first round which was fiercely competed, everyone played 8 games against players with a range of handicaps. Everyone won at least one game, with some very close finishes. The four highest points scorers then proceeded to knock-out semi finals. The final was contested between Josh Adams of Daventry and Paul Jackson of Yardley Gobion. Josh, giving Paul a handicap of 6 points, won convincingly 11-2, 11-7, 11-10. Josh’s performance throughout the competition had been outstanding having won every game he had played.

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2015 Event

Seventeen players competed in the competition organized by Martin Pringuer and played at Towcester Club over two Fridays in April. In the first round which was fiercely competed, everyone played 6 games against players with a range of handicaps. The eight highest points scorers then proceeded to knock-out quarter and semi finals. The final turned out to be a closely fought match with Ben Gatward and John Osborne (both of Daventry) starting on scratch, as no handicap accrued to either player.

John won the first game 11-7, Ben won the second 11-4 with the final game going to Ben 11-8.

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2014 Event

Organized by Martin Pringuer and played at Towcester Club where 20 players competed in 4 groups. Congratulations to Daventry's Frances Dickson who won the event by beating last year's champion Ray Wood.

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2013 Event

Organized by Tony Woodward and played at Towcester Club where a dozen players competed in three groups. Group winners were Mike Perry, Ray Wood and Jaya Jayasundara who played each other to determine final placings.

1. Ray Wood, 2. Mike Perry, 3. Jaya Jayasundara.

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