The Worshipful the Mayor of Crawley
Councillor Brenda Burgess
The week leading up to the championship, it seemed to rain most days, the ground was saturated and sodden. The Thursday before was fine and sunny and I was hoping Good Friday would be the same. Zachary and I arrived at about 7.30am to set up for the day, a gazebo was erected and chairs arranged around the main ring, which was sanded to get rid of any dampness.
19 teams took part, which was more than last year. It’s always good to have new teams and this year saw eight registering to take part for the first time. The day started off fine but play was affected by the rain in the early stages, we played a couple of games under the gazebo and some players got extremely wet. Later it brightened up and we played in the open until the final, which was played under floodlights.
On the international side we had the 1st MC Erzgebirge team plus Andreas and Gabi Mühlisch from Germany. Neil White who plays for the Black Dog made his usual trip from Colorado, USA. Also from America were the Girls National Marbles champions from 1973 and 2009, mother and Daughter Debra and Whitney Lapic from Reading, Pennsylvania. Finally Akil Tata was visiting from Algeria to play with the Yorkshire Meds.
The Mayor of Crawley Councillor Brenda Burgess and her husband Councillor Bob Burgess joined the ‘One Off Wonders’ team and stayed all day. The Mayor presented the prizes at the end of the Championship, my thanks to them both for supporting ‘The Marbles’.
The Golden Oldies had 25 contestants and I would like to take this opportunity to thank David and Mike of the 49ers for both organising and refereeing the Golden Oldies. Most of the matches were played on the side rings, but as they became wetter and wetter the last few games were moved to the main ring. The final was the best of 3 matches between Paul Smith and Debra Stanley Lapic, Paul won the first match with Debra winning the second knocking 7 marbles out in one break (in The States this is known as a ‘Stick’). All was even in the third match at 6 marbles each, with only one left, it was Paul who knocked it out to win the contest and the trophy.