Andrew Fall wins Hurlingham B-Level
In the final B-Level competition of the season, Andrew overcame Raghu Iyer in the final to make it three Enfield players in the B-Level final, to be played at Guildford on the 7th and 8th of September.
Raghu Iyer and Edwin Bone swept all before them in the initial block stage on Saturday, but there was tight competition for the other semifinal slots. Dave Hill and Thomas Halliday, the other two Enfield players in the field of sixteen, could only manage two wins apiece.
Andrew's four wins left a tight finish, relying on B-Level debutant Keith Toovey losing to Tony Nicholas by more than one hoop. In the end, Tony won 7-5, sending Andrew through to the semifinals on net hoops.
In Sunday's consolation event, the biggest talking point was in Dave's match against Andrea Huxley. After reaching the golden hoop, Dave ran it backwards to leave his ball an inch in front of the hoop. Andrea followed this shot up with an identical shot, her ball not quite clearing the hoop but leaving the two balls too close to avoid a double-tap if hit. A cat-and-mouse battle ensued with the remaining two balls, trying to engineer a jump shot while the balls at the hoop were repeatedly deemed. Dave's eventual jump shot attempt failed but separated the deemed balls, and Andrea eventually won a very tight match.
Andrew lost his first game against Edwin in a best-of-three semifinal, but came back through two exceptionally long games to win the match in what was exhausting heat. After lunch, Raghu, at that point still unbeaten, beat Andrew again in the first game of the final.
Eventually, Andrew prevailed 6-7 7-4 7-4 to win his first B-Level and qualify for the final alongside Des Taylor and Henry Hobbs.
Report by Thomas Halliday
Enfield win Handicap and B-Level Divisions
A strong season for Enfield in the leagues has seen Enfield win the Handicap Central Area. The convincing win over Newport Elms left only Newport Oaks with a chance of overhauling Enfield, requiring a swing in hoop difference of some 70 net hoops. As it ended up, they defeated Letchworth Blues, but by only 7 hoops, and so Enfield progress to the semifinals in the East Anglian Federation.
There, they face Northampton Mallets, who were behind Wrest Park on hoop difference until they defeated their final opponents last week. The Mallets are undefeated in
the Western Area and should prove stern opposition. The match between Enfield and Northampton Mallets will take place at Watford on the 8th of September.
In the other semifinal, Hunstanton face Maldon Pavilion for a place in the final, to be played at Newport on the 22nd of September.
Enfield's unbeaten run in the B-Level league continued in anticlimactic fashion with a walkover against Newport Hawks. That 'win' means that Enfield are now no longer catchable in the Central and West Area with a match in hand, and progress to the final to defend their title. That final will be played at Newport on the 5th of October, and will be against Chelmsford, who have similarly won everything including a walkover in the North and East Area, and also cannot be caught with one round still to go.
The Open League was less happy hunting for Enfield's teams, however, finishing fourth in the Western Area with five losses and one draw at home to Letchworth.
Congratulations to all the players who have contributed to the Handicap and B-Level teams' successes, and best of luck to them all in the next rounds.
Enfield top Handicap Central Division with win
Enfield 15-3 Newport Elms
Enfield: Andrew Fall (4), Kim Taylor (9), Marian Cuckson (9), David Warren (11)
Newport Elms: Adrian Seabrook (3), Tim Walder (5), Fran Lambert (6), Glenys Walder (9)
Thomas qualifies for GC All-England Handicap Final
28 players from around the South East of England gathered at Surbiton for the regional final of the GC All-England Handicap, the competition won by Enfield's David Barnicoat in 2017. Enfield's representative this year was Thomas Halliday, playing off a 5.
Divided into four blocks of seven, the top two from each block would qualify for the national final. Heavy rain immediately before play began dried under the hot sun through the first match, and the speed of the lawns seemed to change from moment to moment. After a narrow 7-6 win over 8 handicap Neil Grandy, who used his three extra shots to great effect, everyone began to get used to more consistent conditions, and Thomas was unbeaten in his six matches through the day.
The final is a 16 player all-play-all format over two days in mid-September at Camerton and Peasedown.
Report by Thomas Halliday
Close but no Enfield cigar at Guildford B-Level
Four Enfield players (Andrew Fall, Dave Hill, Henry Hobbs, and Des Taylor) played in the Guildford and Godalming B-level tournament, competing against 12 others for the MARE Cup, with all but Des making it into the final eight from the morning block stage.
After winning their opening games in the afternoon, Dave and Andrew both lost their semi-finals (to, respectively, Andrea Huxley, who went on to win the event, and Robert Cook).
In the 3/4 place playoff, Andrew beat Dave 7-5 after a long grind of a game at the end of a long and humid day. So no win for Enfield; but both Dave and Andrew picked
up points towards B-level series national final qualification.
Report by Andrew Fall
[Note - With 14 points and only a few remaining, Andrew is well placed to be selected for the final alongside already-qualified Des and Henry.]
Enfield leading Handicap League on hoop difference
Letchworth Reds 4-14 Enfield
Letchworth Reds: David Clancey (4), Tracy Martin (6), Trisha Noble (6), Graham Styles (9)
Enfield: Andrew Fall (4), Thomas Halliday (5), Marian Cuckson (9), Mary Grove (12)
Enfield post record score to top B-Level
Enfield 18-2 Northampton
Enfield: Peter Brock (3), Brian Dawes (3), Dave Hill (4), Thomas Halliday (5)
Northampton: Richard Cain (4), Glynis Davies (6), Ann Udall (6), Marilyn Robinson (7)
Henry Hobbs retains Hunstanton B-Level title
On Saturday the 29th of June, a scorching hot day saw 18 players compete for the 'Storey Cup'. Play started at 9:30 and eventually finished at 18:30ish in temperatures nearing 36 degrees Celsius, and iced water and ice creams managed to save the day.
Three blocks of six players (in an all-play-all format) produced three block winners and the best runner up who progressed into the semifinals.
No-one was more surprised than Henry to qualify as runner up with only three wins but a superior hoop difference.
Henry then beat John Reddish in the semifinals 7-4 and eventually beat Michael Bilton (2) in a long final 7-5 having been 2-5 down.
Superb lawns, friendly opponents, and very hospitable hosts made for a great tournament.
Report by Henry Hobbs
[NB - Henry has now qualified for the B-Level final in September, joining Enfield's Des Taylor in doing so]
All-England Club defeat Enfield in friendly visit
Following last year's visit to Wimbledon, the return fixture was held at Enfield on Monday 3rd June. The weather was mostly warm and dry, although when the sun went in there was a chilly breeze.
Wimbledon arrived one player short due to illness, so our time keeper and scorer designate, David Frost, was pressed into service for the opposition. This proved to be our undoing as Wimbledon, following this agreement, requested that the games should be level play, although the original arrangement was to be handicap.
The teams thus were:-
Enfield: Henry Hobbs (3), Des Taylor (4), Brian Sturt (7), Mary Grove (12)
AELTC: David Frost (-2), Jonathan Smith (1), Julian Earle (4), Ros Smith (5).
The first round of doubles was shared 1-1; this was followed by one round of singles, also shared 2-2, making the pre-lunch score 3-3.
Special thanks go to Marian and Sheila for providing lunch for all, together with drinks etc all day and cakes for tea at the end.
Following the next round of singles, Enfield were leading 6-4, but a clean sweep by Wimbledon in the penultimate games left them winning 8-6.
The last round was once again honours even 2-2, leaving Wimbledon overall winners 10-8.
We have had a very complimentary "Thank You" email from the Wimbledon Captain, Jonathan, in which he thanked everyone involved, also thanking 'double agent' David for filling in.
A most enjoyable day was had by all, played in a very cordial and friendly fashion.
Report by Henry Hobbs
Back to back losses for Enfield in Open League
Letchworth 13 - 7 Enfield
Letchworth: John Noble (-2), Brian Havill (1), John Skingsley (1), Peter Ross (2)
Enfield: David Frost (-2), Henry Hobbs (3), Brian Dawes (3), Dave Hill (3)
Enfield win shortened Handicap match against Letchworth
Enfield 8-2 Letchworth
Enfield: Dave Hill (3), Ian Moore (9), Phillip Hawes (10), Kim Taylor (12)
Letchworth: Peter Aspinall (6), Andrea Carr (8), Ray Scroggins (12)
Enfield player third in B-Level Series tournament
Andrew Fall was third at Roehampton's B-Level tournament, winning his morning block and quarterfinal, but coming unstuck against eventual runner-up Brian McCausland (Nailsea, 3) in the semifinal, losing 6-7.
Andrew went on to win the 3rd/4th place playoff by 10-9 against the other losing semifinalist, Anthony Nicholas (Cheam, 4), gaining 4 more points towards B-level series final qualification.
Enfield move to top of B-Level League
Enfield 13-7 Newport Harriers
Enfield: Peter Brock (3), Dave Hill (3), David Barnicoat (4), Andrew Fall (4)
Newport Harriers: Colin Carr (5), Roy Darling (5), Timothy Ham (7), John Richardson (8)
Enfield continue B-Level streak at Wrest Park
Wrest Park 4-16 Enfield
Wrest Park: Richard Keighley (3), Rob Chatwin (3), Richard Skidmore (6), Chris Harrison (6)
Enfield: Peter Brock (3), Brian Dawes (3), Dave Hill (3), Andrew Fall (5)
Enfield success in GC National Series
Enfield players dominated the Watford GC B-Level tournament on Monday.
Both blocks were won by Enfield players - one by Andrew Fall, who was the only player in the event to win five games out of five at the block stage; and the other by Des Taylor, who triumphed on hoop difference over two other players also winning three games.
In the final Des beat Andrew 7-3, while Dave Hill and Henry Hobbs, who each came third in their blocks, fought out the 5/6 place playoff, won by Dave, to give Enfield four of the top six places in the event.
Earlier in the weekend, at the Sussex County GC C-Level tournament on Sunday, Thomas Halliday won five out of six matches, losing only to the eventual winner in the
block stage and finishing third overall.
As a tournament winner, Des automatically qualifies for the B-Level National Final to be held in September, while Andrew and Thomas, as top four finishers, earn points towards qualification for the B- and C-Level finals respectively.
Handicap League - Enfield narrowly beat Meldreth
Enfield 10-8 Meldreth
Enfield: Andrew Fall (5), Thomas Halliday (9), Marian Cuckson (9), David Warren (12)
Meldreth: John Bishop (7), Roger Wallbridge (8), Janet Pope (10), Sue Bishop (11)
Enfield start B-Level title defence with win
Enfield 11-9 Leighton-Linslade
Enfield: Henry Hobbs (3), Peter Brock (4), David Barnicoat (4), Andrew Fall (5). Brian Dawes (3) was a substitute for Henry in rounds 5 and 6.
Leighton: Roger Stroud (3), David Ball (4), John Cundell (4), Jean Ball (5)
GC Open League - Enfield in opening loss to Northampton
Enfield 6 - 14 Northampton
Enfield: David Frost (-2), Dave Hill (3), Peter Brock (4), David Barnicoat (4)
Northampton: Lionel Tibble (-3), Leslie Heard (-1), Jayne Stevens (0), Peter Stansfield (2)
David Barnicoat on the way to beating Lionel Tibble