Easter Matchplay 2019
Over 50 players from all over the country took part in the Easter events
at our brand new location, College Court in Leicester. The conference
venue has won awards for its catering and the food choices certainly
did not disappoint. Facilities, staff, and playing area also earned
universal praise from attendees, and even the weather played ball, with
many players opting to spend their free time relaxing with a cold drink
in the sunshine. Feedback was so positive we have already provisionally
booked the venue for next year.
The Scrabble itself kicked off with a Warm Up event. In Division
A, organiser Wayne Kelly was two games clear of allcomers with a game
average of 477 to boot. Divisions B and C were more hotly contested,
with just spread points seeing Ginny Dixon win Division B, and a draw
proving crucial for Stany Arnold to take Division C.
The main event had 44 players across three divisions with #1 seed Lewis
Mackay looking to retain his title. It was a bumpier start than he may
have expected, just scraping the first game by seven points, but he was
the only player unbeaten after five games and remained in pole position
for the duration of the event. His final record of 18.5 wins from 23
games could not fail to impress, with +2153 spread and 483 average also
some way clear of any rivals.
The battle behind him was less clear cut, with Wayne Kelly overcoming
a poor first day to finish runner-up with John Ashmore 3rd and Elie
Dangoor 4th. It was a good weekend for the Ashmores with Anne taking
the ratings prize and both enjoying a five point ratings boost. You do
have to feel for Nuala O'Rourke though - in the prizes for much of the
final day, she eventually missed out by just five spread points.
For Lewis it was his ninth Major taking him into 5th place on the
all-time list. He is also only the second player in history to retain
the Easter Matchplay title. Among his plays this year were SHUDDERS and GUNBOATS as
nine-timers and the nine-letter play PRECOITAL
Division B saw a number of different early leaders but came down to
a battle between Nicky Huitson and Caroline McLaughlin for the title.
Caroline had to survive a recount, but clinched the final game by just
five points, with Gillian Street pipping Nicky for 2nd place. All 3
ladies were on 15 wins so it was just spread points that decided things.
In Division C, a dominant Mary Allen matched Lewis with 18.5 wins and
a big gap behind. Jack Mitchell and Stephen Robinson rounded out the
top three. It wasn't all about Leicester this Easter either, with
Pauline Johnson clinching the inaugural Teesside Easter Championships,
describing it as her biggest win for a decade.
Congratulations to all prize winners and thanks to all who contributed
in making the Easter events such a success. Division winners Mary,
Lewis and Caroline are pictured here with their trophies.
Last updated: 23 April 2019