Forest League (QOFLs)
Final league tables
Final league tables have now been calculated for both Elite league & Handicap League The winners and all those who placed (3rd and upwards) will receive a certificate at a presentation ceremony before the AGM after the club champs on 24 June.
This is the first season that the best three scores to count has been tried. It was felt that not enough competitors took part in four events to make it as meaningful. The final QOFL at Staple Hill saw as many as 50 QO members turn out, many of whom were trying to consolidate or improve their position in the league. It made for an exciting finish to the season.
On some of the courses there was a fascinating battle between experience and youth. On the Blue course neither Peter Ward nor Flurry Grierson made an appearance at Staple Hill, which means Peter won the league with Flurry second. Brian Pearson 4th placed finish at Staple Hill meant he leap frogged the other contenders for 3rd place Pete Shirvington and 2010 champion Chris Philip, with another former series winner Richard Sansbury close behind in 6th.
On the Green course, Graham Hartley by his own admission didn't run his best race. But he still did enough to finish two minutes ahead of his nearest challenger Tom Perry, thereby clinching his first ever QOFL title.
Congratulations Graham! In an incredibly tight contest for 3rd place, Tony Hext (the winner in 2013 & 14) edged out Jim Mallinson, the perennial challenger Mark Maynard (both of QO) and the 2015 winner, John Chesters (Devon).
On Short Green, Ray Toomer had two excellent scores but as he was the planner at QOFL6 he was unable to improve his league score. That left the door open to Tony Milroy and Simon Walker of Devon. Although Simon pipped Tony by 90s at Staple Hill, the margin of victory was insufficient for Simon to overtake Tony's points tally. The series win must be extra sweet for Tony coming as it does after a long, slow comeback from serious injury.
On the Light Green course, Jenny Wood led going into the race at Staple Hill. Crucially for Jenny, the dark horse in this title race did not show (Iain Pye). Jenny won on the day and clinched her first QOFL title, after many near misses over the years- well done Jenny. Iain not running also meant Kieron Hopkins and Mike Crockett retained their runners-up and 3rd place positions, despite Kieron's absence from the QOFL and the event's controller Mike being unable to run competitively.
On the Orange course, Heather Green having finished runner up for four consecutive seasons (including on Yellow) could have been forgiven for wondering whether she would ever add to her two QOFL titles! She won those on her first two seasons on White. Heather led the table going into the race, which she won. Her nearest contender Andrew Page did not attend. This enabled Emma Wood to take runners-up spot, ahead of Heather's mum Elaine. Emma's was a late run in more ways than one as she turned up at Staple Hill not long before the Start closed! Good to see persistence being rewarded.
The tussle between the two Bens went down to the wire too, on the Yellow course. Ben West beat his namesake Perry by just 40s at QOFL6, just enough to keep him top of the league. Will Toomer climbed into 3rd place above another absentee, Jess Ward of NGOC, on the final day.
Another QO runner guaranteeing first place by winning at Staple Hill was Matilda Andersen on White. She could have been overhauled by Oliver Willmott but as he didn't run, Oliver had to settle for 3rd place, with Freddie Macpherson jumping up to runner-up after a strong run at Staple Hill.
Congratulations to the winners on each course. They were the same as for the Elite league, except for Flurry Grierson (Blue), Sue Gard (Green), Mike Crockett (Light Green).
- Jeff Pakes
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