67th Wiltshire Veterans Ranking Tournament 15th April 2018
The 67th ranking tournament was held at Dauntsey’s School, in West Lavington. Thanks to much better promotion of the event we had 24 entries on the day, which was significantly more than in the last few years. The top group did however need some adjustments on the day because of a few late cancellations and a very late entry, but we did start on time with 5 groups.
The top group of Kevin Edwards, Terry Parkins, Albert Bolhuis and Jason Papierz went more or less as expected, with Kevin winning all his matches, followed by Terry (2 wins), Albert (1 win) and Jason (0 wins).
The second group saw several great battles, with half of the matches going the full distance of 5 ends. Kevin Williams won all his matches and thus the group, closely followed by newcomer Steve Richardson who won three. The others in the group all had one win, and after countback it appeared that it was Mark Neve who finished 3rd, John Wyles 4th, and Alan Feltham 5th.
In group three both Steve Andrews and Martin Stickley picked up three wins, but the countback showed that Steve edged out Martin and he therefore won the group. Countback was also needed for positions 3 (Ray Valovec) and 4 (Dan Brace), who both had 2 wins. The final position in the group was taken by Mark Shearman.
The positions in group 4 were easier to work out; Simon Cutler came on top (4 wins), followed by Adrian Philips (3 wins), Trevor Bannister (2 wins), Noel Sewell (1 win), and Digby Barker (0 wins).
In the final group, consisting entirely of players new to the ranking tournament, it was Dave Allen who come on top winning his 4 matches. Positions 2-4 were a bit trickier to work out as there were 3 players with 2 wins each, but after countback it was Keith Johnston who came 2nd, Freddie Coupe 3rd, and Nigel Block 4th. Mike Jackson came bottom of the group.
Next was the cross-over stage, in which the loser from group 1 plays the winner of group 2, the loser from group 2 plays the winner of group 3 etc. Interestingly, all cross-over matches were won by the players from the lower groups, meaning they all managed to further improve their ranking position of the morning session, the winners being Kevin Williams (vs. Jason Papierz), Steve Andrews (vs. Alan Feltham), Simon Cutler (vs. Mark Shearman) and Dave Allen (vs. Digby Barker).
In the early rounds of the knockout stage, matches went more or less as expected, apart from an excellent win from Noel against Adrian. In the second round, Simon did manage to give Albert a real scare, as the latter only managed to win the 5th end with 12-10. Another unexpected win was that of Jason, who did beat Terry in one of the quarter finals (while the result was the other way around in the group stage).
The semi-finals were between the two Kevins, with Kevin Edwards coming out on top fairly comfortably, although Kevin Williams did manage to take the second end. In the other semi-final Albert did beat Jason for the second time of the day (3-0). The tournament therefore finished with a final between Kevin Edwards and Albert Bolhuis. The first game was rather tentative, with Kevin scraping through with 12-10, but after that he firmly took control of the match and won the next two ends with ease.
The tournament ran smoothly thanks to the support from everyone, making the day very enjoyable. In particular I would like to thank Mark Neve (who arranged the hall and refreshments – free of charge!), Simon Cutler and Kevin Edwards for their help and advice.