With the demand for places increasing, the annual AC South West Tour has been expanded from 5 to 7 days this year, bringing back a day at Bath once again after a gap of 10 years, and adding a new venue at Hamptworth. The 11 tourists were rationed to about half of the Tour each, so that teams were only either 5- or 6-a-side at any venue.
Tour organiser: Mark Homan.
Tour photos by year:
||Tour results by year:
Apart from Nailsea where the only winner was the rain - waterlogged courts made play impossible all day - the tourists had a pretty successful time, recording three match wins, two losses and one draw. A distinct improvement over the performance in the previous few years.
Perhaps the strangest aspect of the Tour was the curious run of misfortune with Inns! First, the usual centre of operations had to be hurriedly reorganised elsewhere when the Bowl Inn at Almondsbury cancelled a long-standing booking at short notice because of refurbishment plans. Then at Blewbury when everyone trooped off to the Red Lion for lunch after the morning play, that was found to be unexpectedly closed, though an alternative was quickly found in the nearby village of Upton. Then that evening when the remaining tourists turned up at the Shears Inn near Marlborough for their booked overnight stop en route to Hamptworth, they were greeted with a "Closed" sign at the entrance! It transpired that the ownership had changed hands just that morning. Fortunately the new owner proved to be most accommodating: although the bar was closed we were treated to a pint on the house, the rooms were still available, he arranged a fine dinner for us at a nearby pub which opened their restaurant especially for us, he provided an excellent breakfast, and then he refused to let us pay for the rooms because of all the trouble! Highly recommended (but don't expect it to be free next time)!
|Date||Opponents||Venue||Results (Watford names first)|
|Wed 22 Jul||Swindon||Away||
DREW 4-4(Net index points: -3)
|Thu 23 Jul||Bristol||Away||
WON 5-3(Net index points: +25)
Handicap change: Brian Havill 3½ to 3, Peter Chadwick 18 to 20
|Fri 24 Jul||Nailsea||Away||
No play possible because of waterlogged courts.
|Sat 25 Jul||Bath||Away||
WON 7-5(Net index points: +13)
Handicap change: Robin Barry 9 to 8
|Sun 26 Jul||Dyffryn||Away||
LOST 4-5(Net index points: -6)
|Mon 27 Jul||Blewbury||Away||
LOST 3-5(Net index points: -5)
|Tue 28 Jul||Hamptworth||Away||
WON 7-3(Net index points: +40)