Awards night, January 19th, 2006

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Axford (##) and Roland Herrera (%%)
The scene is set, so let the festivities commence! ##
But first, a curtain raiser from Carla Ferrer.... ##
The Blue Riband event of the Bristol Backgammon year is the Premier League championship, where top flight debutant Mark Dixon (pictured right) sprung a major surprise in eclipsing established stars like runner-up John Slattery and fourth placed Stuart Mann. ##
Steve Ferrer was the runaway champion of Premier League Division Two %%
A bittersweet season saw Martin Hemming surprisingly relegated from Premier One. He was obviously saving his good moments for the Open Grand Prix, clinching his greatest backgammon moment to date long before the end of the season. Since then, of course, Martin has also won a BIBA event ##. Steffen Nowak seems surprised to have won the runner-up prize. %%
Seeing double? Tony Walters stepped up to receive two awards, as he became the first player to take the double of the Conference championship and Intermediate Grand Prix title. ##
These three trophies, kindly awarded by John Slattery, commemorate the winning of at least ten successive matches in contributing Bristol competitions. The recipients were Ed Turner, Martin Hemming, whose trophy is a little larger than the others because he actually managed eleven straight wins, and Tony Walters, who won ten straight matches in the space of just 20 days on his way to the Conference title. ##
The Gammonitis Bristol Backgammon Rookie of the Year award went to Tim Line, who first appeared on the scene in August, and did enough to clinch promotion to Premier Two in less than four months of action ##
Martin Hemming's sponsorship of the Most Improved Player award saw him determined not to give the prize to Mark Dixon. When he looked at the facts, however, he realised that Mark had given him little alternative! %%
Roland Herrera is at last beginning to reap the rewards of the quality his play has indicated for some time now. One case in point was his December victory in the John Chidgey Cup tournament. It was Roland's camera, but Simonetta took the picture. %%
The fifth Bristol Masters tournament saw Stuart Mann showing that, even in a disappointing year, he is still a major threat in any competituion he enters. Here he shows off the salver he won early in 2005, when he beat John Ould in the final. %%
John Paton marked his exit from the ranks of intermediates by winning the Intermediates Trophy, as well as gaining promotion from the Conference ##
Ian Tarr gets some applause for some reason or other. He actually took some prizes during the evening, including the runner-up prize in Premier Two, and the Ed Turner sponsored Handicap trophy title. %%
And don't forget to take everything home, Mark.... ##

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Axford (##) and Roland Herrera (%%)

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