Report 2003

The German opposition (Andreas Hildebrandt)

We had a new landlord at the Greyhound only a matter of weeks before the Championships was due to take place. He soon had a ‘baptism of fire’, there was the usual deluge of phone calls - needing to know what’s happening, the when, where and the how of marbles. By the time Good Friday arrived we had had all sorts of enquiries and a lot of media interest. From the Press Association, to Reuters, the BBC and an assortment of TV Production companies wanting to make programmes about the Marbles.

Only a few teams (four in fact) had registered before the day, so we didn’t quite know who might turn up to play.

The day started early and the weather was fine, as usual the day began with radio interviews – letting the world know what was going to happen on this very special day. By 9.30am the German teams began to arrive and many old friends were welcomed and new players met for the first time. There were more interviews and the media descended on us in force. Sky News brought a satellite dish and began live broadcasts from the car park. The BBC production team walked round lining up shots and talking to both organisers and players. The press photographers and reporters came to the press office and set up lap top computers to email words and pictures back to their newspapers etc.

The British team players started to turn up at about 10.15am, one of them, Darren Ray, had ridden an old 1930s post office bike over 150 miles to attend. There was a rumour going round that the British had been practising to win back the trophy lost to a German team last year and that Darren had discovered a new method of shooting his tolley.

There were 20 teams registered for the draw, five from Germany and fifteen from Britain. The games started at about 10.45, as soon as we had two complete teams in the draw available to play each other.

For later broadcast on television we had been asked to allow 2 presenters, Mark Speight and Dave Little of Fool Britannia to play in opposing teams in a genuine match. The Johnson Jets agreed to incorporate Dave in their team against a scratch team aptly calling themselves Dazed & Confused. Joining Mark and three young ladsas members of Dazed & Confused were another BBC presenter Chris Packham and the Mayor of Crawley, Les Hench. The final score was 21 marbles to the Johnson Jets, semi finalist of 2002, and 18 to Dazed & Confused, at least half of whom had never played before!! This was one of the best matches of the day.

4 British and 4 German teams reached the 1/4 finals, each meeting a team from their own country, thus ensuring that each of the semi-finals was a clash between the two countries. The shock came when it was two German teams that went on to win. This made it an all German final for the first time ever. The final was one of the best matches with the result 27 marbles to 19. Three players had breaks of 10 and the game was over in one and a half rounds.

A German player dose it with his leg up

It was a great thrill at the end of the tournament to see the championships live on Sky TV. In the bar looking out of the door you could see the event actually happening and at the same time watch it live on the big screen which was wonderful.

The Mayor of Crawley and the Media

Team Championship

First Round
1st MC Erzgebirge II 21 v Bloody Marbelous 11
Turner Hill Lions 16 v Charlwood Home Guard 9
Saxonia II 25 v Virgins 7 Caterham Cowboys 6
1st MC Erzgebirge I 31 v Handcross 49ers 7
Johnson Jets B 9 v Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler 10
Charlwood 2nd Battalion 7 v Handcross Rebels 20
Second Round
Saxonia I 25 v Tnsley Tigers 3
Turners Hill Lions 12 v Barrel Scrapers 23
Dazed & Confused 18 v Johnson Jets 21
Turners Hill Tolleymen 3 v 1st MC Erzgebirge I 26
Black Dog Boozers 25 v Handcross Rebels 8
The Hounders 2 v Koestritzer Schwarzmurmler 1
Quarter Finals
Saxonia I 25 v 1st MC Erzgebirge II 14
Johnson Jets 21 v Barrel Scrapers 22
Saxonia II 6 v 1st MC Erzgebirge I 26
The Hounders 6 v Black Dog Boozers 25
Semi Finals
Barrel Scrapers 13 v Saxonia I 29
1st MC Erzgebirge I 25 v Black Dog Boozers 25
Final
Saxonia I 27 v 1st MC Erzgebirge I 19

The winning Shot from Saxonia I

Individual Championship

There was a play off for the Individuals, 12 players fighting it out for five places in the main event. This then left 12 players and the current champion to contest the 2003 title. In the end two of the players, having disappeared, did not take part in the nosedrop for position, leaving only 11 players in the final. There were five round played before Chris Pampel of the 1st MC Erzgebirge Neukirchen team was declared the winner with a total of 14 marbles. Three players were killed including Benny the 2002 champion.

Individuals
Colin Charlwood Home Guard 3
Ian Black Dog Boozers 10
Les Johnson Jets B 2
Tom Handcross Rebels 5
Benny 1st MC Erzgebirge I 0 K
Gabi Saxonia I 0
Tim 1st MC Erzgebirge II 5
Jon Barrel Scrapers 1 K
Andreas II Saxonia I 4
Chris 1st MC Erzgebirge I 14
JD Tinsley Tigers 2

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