Borrowing a match format picked up from the Los Hermanos club in Tenerife, our first true Mercia Region event was played, at the earliest opportunity in the New Year, called the Scratch Fours. An invite was sent out to all players in the new Mercia Region and on the day 66 players turned up to compete. The day before and the day afterwards, it rained, however on our day it was wall-to-wall sunshine – but, as you can see from the attached photographs, with everyone well wrapped up, it was really freezing.
Congratulations must be given to our newest club, Burton Joyce PC, who turned up with a ready-made squad of 17 brand new players, who proudly informed us, that after a taster session at Nottingham the Summer before as the U3A, they had become so enthusiastic they had already built their own piste on the village playing field and were raring to go. It’s not very often that a “ready-made” club drops out of the sky without you realizing it is about to happen!
As the players turned up, their names were put “in the hat”. Admittedly 16 strong players were put into one hat and the 16 “newbies” in another, with the remaining “club league” players into a third. The Scratch Fours then were drawn as follows; one from the “strong”, one from the “newbies” and two from the “Club” and the result was 16 teams (with two reserves) playing to the Swiss System. This ensured that at least one of the “newbies” would win on the day – a novel method of introducing so many new players to regional competition.
After 4 rounds, the team of Wayne & Di from Nottingham City PC, Keith from Mansfield PC, and Nancy from Burton Joyce, with four match wins and +23 points, won the day. Congratulations to the winners and better luck to everyone else for next year.
All-in-all, a great start to our career as an independent Region and a hugh thanks must be given to NCPC for use of their club terrains, all the organisers, cake bakers and scorekeepers, without whom the day could not have happened – thanks. The Mercia Treasurer was also very pleased to have raised another £237 into the Mercia coffers, which took us beyond the magic £1160 mark.