John Watson claims GC 3+ Championship

The 6th GC 3+ Championship was held at Thames Croquet Club from 12-14 January. Ten players contested a round-robin, playing two games against all other competitors.

Friday’s action saw three players get off to a great start, winning five of their first six matches. Jean Kent (Northland), John Watson (Manawatu-Wanganui) and Russell Ward (Wairarapa) held the early advantage, closely followed by Geoff Price (Canterbury), Mei Williams (Auckland) and Ken Geenty (Wellington) who all had four wins.

Saturday morning’s matches would continue the theme of competitiveness, as Mei Williams won her first three matches of the day to sit atop the table alongside Russell Ward with seven wins each. Close on their tail were the other four players who showed form on Friday, all on six wins, and Melba Scott (Auckland) just behind on five wins from the first nine. The up and down action continued into the afternoon, culminating in a vital 7-2 win for Ken Geenty over Russell Ward, to put both of those players and Mei Williams all on nine wins out of 12. Melba Scott finished off a great Saturday to sit in 4th on eight wins with John Watson.

Through Sunday’s opening matches, Ken Geenty took the early advantage, winning three matches in a row to occupy top spot alone, very closely followed by John Watson, also with three wins for the morning, Mei Williams and Russell Ward. All four players still had a very realistic chance of winning the title.

However, it would be John Watson who won two vital games in the afternoon, 7-5 vs Mei and 7-3 vs Ken to put one hand on the trophy going into the final round as he and Ken both had 13 wins but John had the superior net hoops. In the final round, local player Lindis Parsons (Thames Valley) won her first game of the tournament, ensuring that all players had at least one win. The major result though was a 7-3 win for Feilding’s John Watson over Russell Ward, to claim his first GC 3+ title.

This was an incredibly close tournament, deservedly clinched by John who won his final seven matches.

Thank you to the players, spectators and officials for making this important pathway event a memorable one.

Full scores here.