Winchcombe Hard Bat Tournament
The end of last season saw the first Winchcombe hardbat tournament for its members and what a great success. The dress code was casual and a few tried hard to impersonate the great Marti Reisman.
The competition had a flat rate entry fee that covered the cost of the bat, making everyone in the competition with equal equipment status. It was then just a case of who was the best player. The players were placed into groups at random to encourage plenty of games, and talk amongst the players was all about who had the group of death.
In the first round of group matches the big upsets were caused by Alan Gallop in Group B, as he came out on top of Craig Norledge who was having difficulty with his style. Whilst in group C the ever improving Luke Gresty beat Darrell Wiltshire dumping him out of the tournament. Group D had Jacqui “The White Witch” Carver up against her team mate Stewart “The Apprentice” Ratcliffe, a tough five setter with Ratcliffe pulling through.
Group stages finished, the quarter final line up was complete. Only three players, Jacqui Carver, Stewart Ratcliffe and Alan Gallop outside division one made the cut. The only difficult game in the last eight was Ratcliffe and Davidson as they went to three with Davidson the more experienced edging through, but exhausted.
The semi-finals saw the gruelling schedule of matches for Davidson finally taking its toll as he was swept aside by Chris Pearce who had not dropped a set. The other semi- final was between the love birds, Choi Sze To and Matt Hartwell. Hartwell was in great form and edged the first game 11 – 9. Choi Sze then stepped up a gear and went on to collect the next two games 11- 4, 11 - 5 setting up a repeat of the club’s open tournament final.
In the final, Choi Sze continued to dominate and just nudged the first set 12 – 10. Pearce proved why he was the club champion as he took the next without a breath 11 – 2. The stage was set with Choi Sze looking for revenge from the open tournament. She started slowly but the perseverance in attack paid off and she started a come back, eventually as she came through as the winner and champion 11 – 6 in the final set.
What an event! A big thank you to Keith Ferguson and Matt Hartwell for putting the event on.