Excellent turnout for BWCC’s 8th Annual Championship
Hayley dePelet conquistador supreme.
With over 36 individual competitors, and 10 teams, it was a shame that Sunday afternoon’s weather on 13th Oct 2013 was unkind for the first time in the history of the annual conker championship at the Stapleton Arms. Despite erecting the conkerdome outside it was deemed too wet and Ash, our very forgiving landlord, allowed mayhem to breakout inside the pub. Anyone who thought they might have a quiet Sunday lunch might have been disappointed but many more embraced the challenge and joined in.
There were many more children than usual which was great and it was no surprise that the final was contested by a 10 year old – Hayley, and 6 year old Rebecca Marshall. After a tense passage of play it came down to the conker equivalent of a penalty shoot out. Best of ten strikes and they were still even; you could have heard a chestnut drop, as young Rebecca took her second strike, bootlace pulled tight between white knuckles of left hand and index finger of right, eyeball level with string, she fired. A gasp and groan from the crowd, as sadly she missed, and Hayley was crowned worthy champion.
The dePelet family and the Marshalls had already been in the final of the team comp, and again had proved triumphant. The ‘Smashers’ beating the ‘Knibblers’, having pulverised the ‘would be winners’ and the ‘conquerors’ on route.
The afternoon made £100 for the church bell fund, and £30 for the cricket club. The organisers Alex Gibbs and Rupert Dyke, aka Headmaster and Head Boy, probably as relieved as Ash that everyone had survived with nothing more than a few bruises and smashed horse chestnuts. Nothing worse than having to present yourself to matron with bruised horse chestnuts. Is it the liniment or the application? oo err.
P.S. Thank you to all participants, especially those who may have given up going to the World Championships, which were being held the same day in Southwick, Peterborough. Although we do realise the Stapleton is a far superior pub.