Castner & Gold win Championship Pairs at Spring Bank Holiday Congress

Kevin Castner & David Gold (London) (pictured) were the winners of the Championship Pairs at the Spring Bank Holiday Congress in Stratford-upon-Avon. They finished the final on 58.25%, with Patrick Shields (Gloucs) & Filip Kurbalija - who were the top scorers in the qualifying round - finishing second on 57.31%. Francis Eddleston & Steven Allen (both Herts) were third with 54.87%. The 'B' final was won by Maureen Kimbley & Bogdan Drobny (both Norfolk) (see picture here), narrowly ahead of Tim Matthews & Babs Matthews (both Cumbria), with 57.78% and 57.14% respectively.

Those who didn't qualify for the finals of the Championship Pairs, or who joined the congress at a later stage, played a one-day Swiss Pairs event. This was won by Celia Oram & Derek Oram (both Herts) (see picture here) who were undefeated in their seven matches and finished on 99 VPs. Phil Downham (Hants & IOW) & Chris Mooney (Berks & Bucks) scored maximums in the final two matches to make a late surge in to second place on 97 VPs.

Bank Holiday Monday featured a Stratified Swiss Teams event. The overall winners were Barry Wennell, Beth Wennell (both Mersey & Cheshire), Gabriel Hearst (Surrey) and James Bond (Berks & Bucks) (see picture here), finishing ahead of Catherine Seale's team on a split-tie. Catherine, Tom Paske (both Middlesex), Robert Procter and Abbey Smith (both Oxon) finished alongside the Wennell team on 99 VPs, but the Wennell team took the title having lost fewer matches. The 'B' Stratification was won by the same team as in 2015. Mark Hooper, Robin Wright, Anne Allerston and Alan Wilson (all Dorset) (see picture here) finished 13th overall to retain the trophy.

A Really Easy Afternoon was held on Saturday afternoon, with novice players competing at different venues, with the event scored across all the heats. The winners were Howard Jennings & David Stern, who played at Richmond BC, and finished with a very impressive 72.74%. Lynda Riecken & David Riecken, who played at the main congress in Stratford, finished second with 66.67%.