Half way through the tourney and all is well.
Game 20: Allan Simmons. The local derby. Vowel heavy starting rack and I dump OIDIA. The opposite from Allan, R(I)GHT. My next rack looked very similar to the first - 6 vowels and a D, but (G)EODE was available and I thought better than DOE/(RIGHT)O. (DE)MO from Allan and my rack was starting to mature. I dumped another O and bonused the next move with PENATES. The outcome of this game kept swinging one way and then the other. I had taken the lead with (E)STIMAtE down the right hand edge and the following move killed the dangerous floaters with CARNE(t) but Allan then played InERTIA at C2a and then XU/XI/Un above it for 37. CLOZE for 38 from me to go 4 up and BENDING sitting on my rack ready to go on B(Un). Another eternity waiting for Allan to play. With the J unseen he could well dump it there. Eventually he played LU(R)K at the bottom and game over.
Game 21: Theresa C. I got ahead early on with dUSTIER and RENITEN(T). A nice spot of NO(B)ELIUM on move 9 meant my score was exactly twice that of Theresa. I knew my chemistry degree would come in handy one day. She got a consolation bonus of BOASTeD near the end.
Game 22: Martin Harrison. No details of this game but I think I had everything :)
Repeat pairings now kicked in.
Game 23: Craig Beevers. He opened with the good old chestnut QI. I dumped IO under it. This tactic looked to be working as Craig was forced into a low scoring response. It looked even better when I followed MOLD with RIANTLY/(MOLD)Y. And then Craig got back-to-back bonuses of UNLEA(R)NT and (T)WISTIeR. I was still keeping in touch - exchanging bingos on move 8 (UNIDEAED from Craig, SANDERS from me). Unfortunately mine opened the triple and BEATY for 63 left me struggling.
Game 24: Mikki Nicholson. No details - a biggish win for me.
Game 25: Adrian Tamas. No details - a smallish win for Adrian.
Game 26: Nigel Richards. Nigel opened with GIMP and I bonused straight away with DELUdES. Oh Happy Days - I pick the second blank straight away, although with clunky consonants. FATAL from Nigel, KOW from me. Nigel bonuses with DE(M)ENTIA but GYRO for 40 seems a reasonable response. Still no bonus but TWA for 33 is keeping me ahead. EEJIT from Nigel and now the easy bonus ONAGERs hits the board. Nigel chips away at my lead. Heading to the end game and I have picked the Q and could just dump it for 22, but with a U and Is unseen I decide to try for something better. I play NEE at 13Bd. I am rewarded with a rack of AEIUQRT. Nigel had a bonus on his rack but felt forced to block. At this point I was 43 points up and went into slight panic mode - I was one out on my tracking. I had about 8 minutes left and spent 7 of those still not finding my mistake, In the end I played QUARTE onto the triple for 51 determining that this should be good enough even if he had a bonus and stuck me with the X. As it was Nigel had no bonus and the X...
End of day 3, in second place behind Craig on spread. We both had a cushion of 3.5 games from Mikki in third place.