Game 7: Theresa Camilleri
Theresa opened with ROYNInG. I did not have a P, and my best play blocked it. I was hit with KALI and GAWPS before I bonused back with ENdITIN(G), but was still the best part of a bonus behind. Holding ADEEEST I was full of hope when Theresa put down SAVOUR across to the triple, but she then picked it back up. I could hardly believe it when she then played SAV(I)OURS! I played off (H)EED and was rewarded with (D)AUNTERS to get back within touch but could not quite make it to the line.
Game 8: Jared Robinson
I bonused on move 2 with dAVIDIA, Jared responding on move 4 with TARAIrE. It was pretty close until I bonused again with ERASION, but a 3-E pickup forced me into a dump of G(L)EE. Jared caught me back up with LEX(57), but I could score well off the triple with VERT, keeping back QUI. QUI(E)T the next move, and holding my breath. Jared dumped the Z, and down went ACT(I)ONED. My pickup of ENGAGES did not play, and despite an 85 point lead I could still lose this game with AEJMNRST unseen. If the J was in the bag I was done for. Relief when Jared dumped it, and I blocked SMARTEN with SAGENE. (O)NSTREAM was not enough...
Game 9: Martin Harrison
Martin bonused first with the sub-optimal VItAMER. I was then severely punished for the sub-optimal UNTEAMS, missing the easy MANTE(A)US, leaving the 4-x for Martin's pickup of pREB(A)KED. A late consolation bonus of ORATION, but I never got back into this game.
Game 10: Allan Simmons
I started with a phony misremembered 6. Allan challenged and changed. I changed. Allan changed again. I bonused with LINIEST. Allan bonused with QUOIT(E)RS. I picked crap and dumped OO(R)IE. Allan picked well, and bonused with CoL(u)MnAR. NAN(C)E from me, (R)AJAH from Allan and I am 100 behind. MI(M)ED frm me and Allan plays PIX(E)D. I challenge it off. TO(N)K from me. Allan manoeuvres with WIP(E). I dump AYU. Allan burns an S with FIBS. I have both Vs, and decide it is not worth blocking the X set up for no score and atrocious rack leave. - dumping (Y)EVEN followed by HELV(E)D, and still 100 behind. I can hardly believe it when I pick the 4th S. I score well with TOP(A)Z and now hold FORAGES. Allan blocks the SH hook, but it is still playable and I am back in touch. I hold BNORTUW, with AAEGIILU unseen. Allan surprisingly plays off AULA. We are both low on the clock. I play off WON to tie the score, leaving an outplay. Allan goes to play GIE under TRENDY, and then spots it sets up BRUT. Then he goes for (D)IG before he realises it hooked NI. By the time he picks up the tiles and dumps down (D)EI his clock hits 00:00. I play out with BUR(N)T. Just goes to show what pressure can do...
I had a much needed bye in game 11, as Femi had not turned up. I went back up to my room to chill out.
We were now into Swiss pairing.
Game 12: Mark Nyman
This tourney had tempted Mark out of retirement. Mark started with RETAX, and I could slot BUTANOL across the top of it. I was a little unlucky that Mark scored only 2 points less with JERID across the top again. (L)OWNED from me and Mark changed. BRAV(E) to clear a clunky rack, and Mark bonused with CRoWNET. dROGHE(R)S in response from me to retake a small lead. We were level after 6 moves on 277 after VAMP and FAYS from Mark to my CAVIE and (C)ONK. Mark's dump of ETIOLI(N) gave me AHIND for 43, but Mark came back with GEEZ(43) and QUAT(46). With an unseen S and a poor rack I blocked with RIG. Mark could still score on the triple without making a scoring place for me, and that was enough for him to ensure the win.
Game 13: Darryl Francis
Darryl bonused on move 2 with ANOINT(E)R, following up with ZOA (67). I hit back on move 3 with EVILEST. tINDERY from Darryl on move 5 and I respond with DANCERS. (t)RAVEL from Darryl gives me a place for MAFIOSO straight from the bag and a small lead. OKEH (45) and WAX (46) from Darryl, QI (46) and (AN)THER (30) from me. Darry balanced with (T)EA so I do likewise with G(R)ICE. Another balance of (V)ULN from Darryl, and I bonus with bUDDING. Darryl's last rack of ROSEBAY does not play.
Game 14: Neil Rowley
A slow start for the both of us. I bonused first on move 5 with EQUINIa. Neil responded in kind with AVEN(G)ERS. REWIND (62) from me, and Neil bonused again with GRADATe. I took one triple with F(A)HLORE, and Neil the other with KUDOS. I wondered if he had a duplicate S but he admitted afterwards that he didn't know KUDO. PAESANO slotted in very neatly for me for a 100 point lead, which I extended further with JIZ (42) and LYASE (38).
Game 15: Steve Perry
I started with HOTTY and Steve changed 6. I bonused on move 3 with NEUSTON. Steve changed 6 again on move 4, and I bonused again on move 5 with FORAGeD to have 150+ lead. Steve was obviously struggling and when he finally bonused on move 11 with FOLIAGE(D) I hit straight back with EnRAGED. Steve reduced the spread a little when I picked un unplayable Q.
Game 16: Nigel Richards
Nigel was struggling at the start, and I was eking out a reasonable sized lead when he bonused with ESTRONE to take a small lead which he extended slightly while I was struggling. I bonused on move 7 with CREASER to regain the lead, but was then hit with S(U)BFIeLD and PLANTAG(E). NeEZING near the end from Nigel put the final nail in the coffin.
So, 5-4 for the day plus a nominal win for the bye. I was feeling very tired and did not stay up with some of the diehards at the bar.
The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...
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