A record attendance of 48 teams – some coming as far as Wales & Hertfordshire – came to Burridge, the home of Cobbetts Boules Club, to play in the annual, fundraiser.
With such a high number of teams, the club had to ‘make-up’ an extra 6 pistes on the car park just to accommodate everyone.
As usual play was stopped at 11am for the traditional two minutes silence for Remembrance Sunday. This year had the added bonus of having Pat Parsons from the Royal British Legion to say a few words before the start of play and to read the exhortation before the silence.
There were 12 morning leagues of 4 teams with the top 16 qualifying for the main competition in the afternoon, the next 16 in the plate and the final 16 in the wooden spoon. Unusually, after the morning leagues two teams were tied for 16th place and so a play-off to 5 points was needed. Richard Foulsham and Trish Richens were successful and went into the main competition while Tim and Daena Vincent unluckily found themselves in the Plate.
Having dropped only 3 points in the morning leagues, David Plumhoff & Oscar Panadero went into the Main as the team to beat. They successfully navigated their way through two tricky ties before facing the Chiltern duo of Sean Prendergast & Sam Blakey. The Southern Pair proved too strong and put in a very good display to win 13-5 and reach the final.
The other side saw David Cruz & his young son Marc make their way through the rounds in relative ease. Their Semi Final was against another family duo, Steve & Karen Lombard. The match was tight until David pulled off some wonderful points to pull away and take the match and with it his 3rd successive Poppy Doubles Final.
The Final was an all Cobbetts affair. David & Marc were the underdogs but 2016 has been the year of the underdog!
David & Marc raced into a 6-1 lead but Plumhoff & Oscar started to find their feet and rhythm and within 3 ends were in the lead and the result? looking ominous!
Yet, thanks to some incredible scooting from Cruz and capitulation of Oscar, the father son combo went on to take the match 13-9.
The win meant David Cruz had successfully defended the title against Dave and Oscar to win it for the third successive year, having won it last year with fellow Spaniard Dani Soriano, and in 2014 with Dave Plumhoff. A brilliant feat!
Thanks to the great support shown by club members and all the visiting players, the event looks extremely likely to easily surpass last year’s donation of £500, fantastic.
Steve Lombard (Cobbetts) & Karen Lombard (Hampshire Rose)
Steve Daykin (Cobbetts) & Jamie Brooks (Worthing)
Bob Ainsworth & Chris Hunt (Worthing)
Steve Brickell (Cobbetts) & Danny Corp (Shedfield)
Lee & Diane Redfern (Cobbetts)
Dave Low & Bryan Smith (Searles)