Writes Brian M

At the beginning of the season we lost a few matches to rain, but this was the other side of summer. The temperature touched the mid-thirties, at times, as eight drawn pairs, one member of each from Cranborne and one from RBBG, played three pool matches in the two groupings.

The pool matches were just six ends each (but three lots of six, eighteen ends in all was a lot in that heat) and over six ends anything can happen. In the match between Margaret and Hetty against Elana and Marian, we had Elana and Marian holding five then Margaret taking shot and two ends later Margaret took out Elana’s shot wood to this time take five shots for her team. In no time at all a thrilling match had ended, 8-7 to Elana and Marian, and they, like Ivan and Geoff, had six points, but it was Pat and Maurice, again with six points, but a higher shot total, who went through to the final from Group B.

In Group A, Hans and David had a narrow win over Penny and Tom, followed by a 10-1 win against Terry and Bob, and with six points in their first two matches they were odds on to go through as their last opponents Trudy and Val) were really feeling the heat . Credit to Trudy, she had taken a nasty fall on Monday and might have pulled out before we started, but it was clear she should not go on for the third match. Val breathed a huge sigh of relief, happy to concede; you should have seen her face when Brian said there must be a match, as David and Hans could not be allowed to rest up while the others played their full programme, in the hottest part of the day. And then you should have seen her relief as Brian told her that he and Pat C would do the honours! Brian and Pat actually gave them a good work out, David and Hans were quite relieved themselves to come through, 7-4. Special mention in Group A must also go to Tom and Penny who with six points and 22 shots scored took third place overall on higher shot count than the others on six points in Group B, but it was David and Hans who went through to the final.

The final might have been eight ends on a cooler day, but both teams knew it was over six ends. And it was Pat, with the final wood of the first end who drew first blood, after Dave had moved the jack to give Hans the shot.
The second end was again very tight, Maurice bowling to four inches then Pat putting all three of his woods close to the jack. Dave had already managed to thread a wood through the head, without moving anything, but with the last wood of the head, and five down, he somehow contrived a delicate wick for shot - and it was 1-1. The third end was rather looser, and an early wood from Maurice held on for shot, so he and Pat led 2-1. In the fourth, it was Hans at less than three inches who held two, before Pat’s second wood that drifted in for a deserved one shot, to lead 3-1.

The fifth end was crucial. Hans moved the jack but it ran away from his woods to give Maurice three, Then Dave moved the jack to Hans and rolled in another for two. Pat’s wood was short, and with three in the head to Dave and Hans - it was now 4-3 as Dave bowled the final wood of the end, lovely weight which would have given his pairing a good lead – had he not promoted Pat into shot! A potential 5-3 to Dave and Hans had become 4-1 to Pat and Maurice, as they played the final end. Another tight end saw shot to Pat and a win at 5-1 that had been anything but as easy as that sounds.

Geoff Tapsell made the presentation of the splendid Hoffman Cup and there were souvenir trophies for both winners and runners-up, to keep as mementos of the day. Doreen Belsom, who had again done all the detailed planning for the day, had also donated prize money to first, second and third pairs, an extra bonus, and the assembled company gave Doreen some hearty applause for her work in making it a great occasion. Ann Hoffman, again, stayed the whole day and, once more, she must have been delighted that there had been so much enjoyment, despite those extreme temperatures, in the name of her late husband, John, who gave so much to both clubs.

H-2 Hoffman Cup 2016 Winners
Hoffman Cup 2016 Runner-up
H-4 Hoffman Cup 2016 3rd
H-5 Hoffman Cup 2016 Geoff Ann H Doreen B Brian M
H-1 Hoffman Cup 2016 Champions