Weekend 25/26 May
Players assembled for the challenge from clubs as far afield as Bath, Cheltenham, Fylde and Bury, joining Southport players for a prestigious Handicap Tournament in Victoria Park. With the return of good weather, under wonderful blue skies the lawns were looking superb – a tribute to the immense work put in by club members – and despite windy conditions players participated in an extremely competitive weekend.
By the end of the first day, Southport players Barbara Haslam and Diana Williamson were top of the leader board, closely followed by Richard Stopforth from Bath and also well-known local member, Eileen Gallagher.
Barbara and Diana continued their good form on Sunday morning, securing further victories to ensure Southport dominated the final. Barbara Haslam remained unbeaten throughout the weekend, and in a thrilling final game took the trophy after a narrow victory of just two hoops. As on Saturday, Richard Stopforth and Eileen Gallagher bringing up the rest of the field.
and a view of the weekend from one of our visitors
It is always a delight to come to Southport to play in a tournament because they make visitors particularly welcome. “Long” John Haslam always runs a good tournament and Margaret Flemington surely deserves a CA Diploma (has she already got one?) for leading a team which ensures that all are very well fed.
Barbara Haslam (3.5) and Di Williamson (11) contested what was in effect the final on Lawn 4, which contained a very tricky four back hoop. Barbara needed to exercise great patience in order to await Di’s exhaustion of her bisques. It was then nip and tuck and, at the bell, Barbara was 3 hoops ahead with Di unable to take advantage of her final chance to hit in.
The competition was run as a Swiss and play got off to a good start with excellent weather promised for the whole weekend. John had set a time limit of 2.75hrs (DB) and 2.5 single banked. By the second day the lawns were quite quick due in no small part to the much discussed sit on mower acquired from the top golfing scene in these parts. Local members told me that this also came with good training from the manufacturer who had carried out a complete renovation of the machine prior to delivery. There is apparently no shortage of volunteers to man this “boy’s toy”!
The only other piece of excitement happened when visitor Klim Seabright completely missed a double only to see the ball rocket off the lawn and cleanly take off the handle of a tea mug while leaving the actual cup standing – thus the “Broquet” (as Betty Bates named it) was invented.