Published by Mr Brian Horrocks, Sunday, January 20, 2019

The last of the preliminary round games was played last night (18th January) between Northwich Meteors and Crosses. Northwich fielded Jason Bonner, Vincent Lim, Mark Brumby, Katie Brown, Grace Clayton and Amber Tennant-Fry. Crosses went with Jamie Croucher, Tom Whyman, David Sumner, Symone Dale, Pauline Hubbard and Anne Haslam.

The handicappers sat in the Duke of Gloucester and held their head in hands. Only 50% of the players had a league record and known history to fall back on, and an uncomfortably large number of them were completely unknown to the group. Using a senior member of each team as sounding boards, some earlier views plus a phone call it was possible to piece together some kind of picture based on the most unreliable logic of player A would probably beat player B and player C on the opposition is only half as good as B therefore A should thrash C -  n'est pas? After some cloudy deliberation the handicappers awarded Crosses 33 points.

Just to illustrate the predicament in the actual results 3 of the events were halved - this is unusually high. 10 games went Northwich's way which tallied with the thinking but probably to a lesser degree than expected. Only one game went a long way against expectation when Symone and Anne inflicted a heavy defeat to 6 points against Katie and Amber. Elsewhere the games showed a joyous unpredictability - the hallmark of John Ford. In the final analysis Northwich did win as thought by a slim margin of 24 points before handicap. Giving Crosses the handicap brought that back to a 9 point victory for Crosses (0.5 points a game). Handicappers - let us put that down to meticulous calculation and prediction skills. Under no circumstances admit that we got lucky.

Well done Crosses and we can now look forward to the quarters on 6th February (the draw to be done beforehand as a prelude to the next handicapping discussion) at Holmes Chapel involving: 

Canute, Goostrey, Northwich x 2, South Cheshire, Weaverham (holders!), Welsh Row + Crosses as above 

Scoresheet attached