Ian Swallow took the honours in the delayed final of the Ken Hewison Winter Handicap Tournament on Sunday evening beating reigning champion Stephen Hanover 100 - 92. The Winter Handicap tournament had been ‘frozen’ at the semi final stage due to conditions being too wintry.
In a repeat of the 2016 final which Ian also won, the pair started level on 75 points, a situation quickly remedied by Stephen who put his opening serve out, a surprising development for someone playing their third consecutive final. Ian capitalised on that mistake to take the next 4 points and that 5 point margin remained pretty steady for most of the match with the pair trading points as the scores inched up through the 80s and into the 90s.
With the finish line in sight, Ian applied more pressure to pull even further ahead to seal the victory over four times former champion, Stephen.
The final of the plate final was a real classic with Jacob Scott and perennial runner-up David Sledge well matched around a handicap of 75 - 65 respectively. Nearly every point was fought over a long rally with Jacob getting the better of the early exchanges and David struggling to keep the deficit down to around the original 10 points.
At 94 - 83, David dug deep to close the gap and succeeded in drawing level in a single hand. It looked as if Jacob’s race was run but there were still twists and turns to this surprising match. Jacob regained his composure to pull ahead and reach match point without conceding any further points before David once more turned things around and reined in 4 match points before finally going down 98 - 100 and picking up his third consecutive Winter Handicap Plate runner-up trophy. It was a tremendous match, appreciated by all the crowd.