ECA MIXED DOUBLES CHAMPIONSHIP
Four pairs entered this year’s Mixed Doubles Championship at Fenton’s in January: Alan MacDougall and Lana Watson (runners –up the last two years), Ben Fowler and Lorna Rettig, Jonathan Havercroft and Tracey Brown and Stephen Hinds and Kitty Conlin. A double round robin would be played followed by a final.
The first round saw a surprising win by Hinds / Conlin over MacDougall / Watson while Fowler / Rettig had to go to an extra end to beat Havercroft / Brown. Fowler / Rettig then beat MacDougall / Watson and, with Havercroft / Brown winning over Hinds / Conlin, we had the unexpected situation of MacDougall / Watson lying bottom with 0 wins.
In the third session they broke their duck by beating Hinds / Conlin while Fowler / Rettig defeated Havercroft / Brown quite easily. So after 3 of the 6 sessions we had Fowler / Rettig on 3 wins and the other 3 teams on 1 win each. In session 4 Fowler / Rettig lost their first game of the competition to Hinds / Conlin while MacDougall / Watson suffered another defeat, this time to Havercroft / Brown and it looked as though their chance of going one better than the two previous years was gone. It was all getting a bit tight, however, and it was soon apparent that the Draw Shot Challenge scores could well be needed to decide who qualified for the final that would now be necessary as all teams had been defeated.
Session 5’s games were a repeat of Session 4 and once again Hinds / Conlin defeated Fowler / Rettig while MacDougall / Watson got their revenge on Havercroft / Brown, winning without conceding a shot. One session to go and there was the real possibility that all 4 teams could end up on 3 wins but Hinds / Conlin made sure that they would finish top on 4 wins by defeating Havercroft / Brown who finished on 2 wins. In the other game the weekend was turned on its head when MacDougall / Watson defeated Fowler / Rettig to leave both teams on 3 wins, a situation which had not looked likely after the first 3 sessions.
And so it went to the Draw Shot Challenge scores and there was no disputing who would qualify for the final with MacDougall / Watson having a DSC of 54.3 cms while Fowler / Rettig’s score was 112.1 cms. The final was more or less over after 3 ends with the score at 6-1 for MacDougall / Watson but this was mixed doubles where anything can happen, and often does. Not in this case however and hands were shaken after 7 ends with the score at 9-3 for MacDougall / Watson and a great recovery was complete.