Colman & Roberts retain SCF Armada title ~ just!

Phyllis Court pair, Frances Colman & Chris Roberts retained the SCF Armada title by the skin of their teeth today. After losing their first game to Keith Mackenzie-Ross & Glynis Hassell, the inkling that it might be their day, came in their second game against the other Winchester pair Roger Barnacle & Auter Da Costa. The holders looked dead and buried and were well behind with time close to being called, when Colman scored a pressured five hoop break to win the game +1 ‘on time’. Meanwhile the ‘pair to beat’, top seeds Richard Dickson & Vic Stillwell of Hamptworth were going great guns and were undefeated at lunch. Dickson was the class player in the field, as reflected by his – 0.5 handicap, and he worried all opponents from beginning to end. With an awkward number of five competing pairs an ‘all play all’ tournament format, comprising 14 point games was the only option available to the manager, but surprisingly for reduced (and by further necessity ‘timed’) games, the event was both enjoyable and exciting too.
Colman & Roberts picked up another victory over Richard & Diana Stevens of Hamptworth in the penultimate round, and a slip by Dickson & Stillwell to Barnacle & Da Costa, meant that the tournament could be won by any one of three pairs going into the final round.
– Barnacle & Da Costa had to win and rely on the ‘who beat whom’ tie breaker in the hope that Dickson & Stillwell would ‘do for’ Colman & Roberts.
– Dickson & Stillwell had to win against Colman & Roberts and hope that Barnacle & D Costa lost their last game.
– Colman & Roberts just had to win.
Again, Colman and Roberts neared the end of their game looking down the barrels of defeat with Dickson sitting on Rover and Stillwell not far behind. Roberts then strung together a nice break and set up an excellent peeling opportunity on Dickson’s ball, with the intention of pegging it out. But a silly positioning of his partner ball left him ‘stuffed’ after completing the peel and vulnerable to the threat of Dickson’s own ‘pegging out opponent’ threat. Very fortunately for him, Dickson missed a crucial roquet, Roberts didn’t and then set up an ambitious ‘peg out’ of Dickson’s ball all the way from corner 3. He duly hit, turning the game decisively in the Phyllis Court pair’s favour; Colman kept her head made two more hoops for a single point lead, and left Stillwell too much to do in his final visit to the court. A tournament win won’t come any closer than that, for a jolly long time. . .