Before the Grand Final… Luke Johnson-Davies and James Haughton.
…and after: James won 94-91, trailing by 18 points at half-time but 13 ahead going into the last conundrum. Pictured collecting the winner’s salver and his prizes from host James Robinson.
FOCAL returned to Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Saturday 23rd March as James Robinson and Callum Todd welcomed 18 entrants to the PTE Social Club in Byker, for their second annual CoNuT. None of last year’s podium finishers — Ed McCullagh, Zubair Patel and Zarte Siempre — returned to defend their positions, so a much wider field beckoned this time.
Similar to their regular Huddersfield event, the hosts began the day with a series of heats matches — five 9-round games in all. The single highest score of 94 was registered by Bradley Horrocks, our #2 seed at the Birmingham Finals late last year, who qualified top with five wins and 349 points. Luike-Johnson Davies finished second with five wins and 327 points, followed by James Haughton and Richard Priest who notched up four wins. Stewart Gordon, Joyce Phillips, Anthony Endsor and Chris Marshall completed the line-up in Group A; Chris’ three wins and 233 points were just enough to deny Iain Sime on 227 who qualified as favourite for Group B.
Into the quarter-finals, and the contest moved onto 15-round matches. All of the top four in Group A won their quarters. In the semis, James took on Richard 102-88, whilst Luke eked out a high stakes win over Bradley 113-111. So not only would the event guarantee a new winner, Luke and James had got through to their first ever Grand Final each.
The last game of the day was a 14-round match of olde (eight letters games, four numbers games and two conundrums), and James Haughton was instilled as player 1. JR’s match notes are available to view below, neatly divided into two columns.
On behalf of FOCAL, our thanks to everyone who attended and made James’ and Callum’s tournament so successful and enjoyable.
We look forward to welcoming you next time!