Thirty-third Vale of Belvoir conker championships were fiercely contested under a new competition format

Around 100 people took part in the newly formated 33rd annual Vale of Belvoir Conker Championships at Long Clawson on Sunday.
Conkering competitors do battle in the Long Clawson sunshine 
PHOTO: Tim WilliamsConkering competitors do battle in the Long Clawson sunshine 
PHOTO: Tim Williams
Conkering competitors do battle in the Long Clawson sunshine PHOTO: Tim Williams

For the first time ever, male and female competitors went head to head in an open competition.

The voluntary organising committee decided to make the championships simpler and more appealing to players by having a mixed over 14s contest and a mixed under 14s junior competition.

Villager Martin Walker said: “This was the first year we ran a male and female mixed open competition and the tournament was fiercely contested.

Action from the junior final between James Boles and Max Seddon PHOTO: Tim WilliamsAction from the junior final between James Boles and Max Seddon PHOTO: Tim Williams
Action from the junior final between James Boles and Max Seddon PHOTO: Tim Williams

“The 2016 Vale of Belvoir champions were Andy Bickle, of Long Clawson, who beat Charlotte Street, and junior Max Seddon, who conquered James Boles, son of Steve Boles, last year’s runner up.

“At 11am the heavens opened and it started to pour down. There was doubt cast over whether the event would actually go ahead. In the end, we got started, but because of the weather numbers were down on previous years.”

The championships took place at The Pingle, next to the Crown and Plough pub. Players were charged £6 for the senior competition and £2 for the juniors section.

Proceeds from the event totalled around £250, which will go towards village hall funds.

The Goddard family celebrate Charlotte Street's semi-final win PHOTO: Tim WilliamsThe Goddard family celebrate Charlotte Street's semi-final win PHOTO: Tim Williams
The Goddard family celebrate Charlotte Street's semi-final win PHOTO: Tim Williams

Prince Conker (aka Robin Bailey) was knocked out in the first round by last year’s winner Steve Tunnicliffe.

The organising commitee are looking for someone to take on the future running of the event.

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