MARK WOOD was a shocked but delighted winner of the SJ Richardson New Year’s Day competition at the Griffin.
The stalwart competitor has been putting a lot of effort into improving his game and it paid off with the silverware and £110 first prize as he defeated Yorkshire’s Ashley Daykin 21-13 in the final – his first major success after a first Sixteen victory in November.
Daykin looked to be on his way to a second successive win in the competition, having won to eight, nine, 11 and nine in his first four matches.
But Wood saved his best for the final and, after getting level at six across, ne hever looked back and played exceptionally well to close it out.
That performance reflected his doggedness in battling through an extremely tight semi-final against another county man, Jack Dyson, when Wood came through 21-20.
At the presentation, club president Alan Hirst thanked the sponsors, the Richardson family, for backing the competition, although unfortunately Mark Richardson had to leave early due to feeling ill.
Lesley Wood (kitchen) and Eddie Haigh (greenkeeper) were also thanked before the winner endorsed all the president had said.
Wood also thanked Hirst and club secretary Frank Greenwood for organising such events.
Preliminary – Peter Hopkinson 12 Peter Kain 21, Paul Ingleby 21 Richard Punshon 5, Donald Rae 8 Ashley Daykin 21, Roy Sutton 20 Danny Fountain 21, Mark Bramall 21 Roger Crowther 15, Jack Dyson 21 Dennis Tattersley 9, Dave Scott 21 Terry Brook 9, Graham Tandy 21 Alan Crowther 14, Steve Parkin 9 Craig Gant 21, Ray Whitwam 15 Mark Wood 21, Danny Radcliffe 11 Graham Sigsworth 21, Duncan Reeves 19 Mick Higgins 21, Steve Hirst 21 Gary Siswick 20.
First round – Alec Byrnes 18 Barry Tinker 21, Mark Richardson 12 Kain 21, Ingleby 9 Daykin 21, Fountain 21 Bramall 9, Dyson 21 Scott 17, Tandy 21 Gant 16, Wood 21 Sigsworth 14, Higgins 21 Hirst 12.
Quarter-finals – Tinker 12 Kain 21, Daykin 21 Fountain 11, Dyson 21 Tandy 11, Wood 21 Higgins 17.
Semi-finals – Kain 9 Daykin 21, Dyson 20 Wood 21.
Final – Daykin 13 Wood 21.