Firstly I would like to thank my wife Anne for chauffeuring me about: without her I would have not been able to continue, as I was unable to drive after fracturing my shoulder. I would also like to thank the many helpers who helped make my day that much easier; the Woodland Trust for allowing us to use the area; and Mr Fowles for the parking arrangments.
Finally thanks to you the competitors, who turned out on what promised to be a wet day but in the end was reasonable till the end of the event, allowing us to pack up and go home while still dry. I hope you all enjoyed the interesting area and the event.
We hope that those who were visiting Frodsham for the first time found that novelty compensated somewhat for the limitations of the terrain. When Deeside was asked to stage this match, our immediate thoughts turned to Delamere, but that was being used for our regional event only two months earlier. We can only use Frodsham in winter, and we have used it twice since 2003, when we regained permission.
Andrew has been involved with events there since 1972 and knows the difficulty of planning courses which are fair, interesting and not excessively strenuous. The problems have eased a little since the map has been extended southwards - thanks to the Woodland Trust’s planting programme and to John’s local diplomatic efforts – and it is now just possible to plan a Brown course of the proper length. In fact I was interested to see that we matched the recommended winning times for a Regional (C3) event, which is the standard a CompassSport Cup match is expected to set.
A particular problem with Frodsham Hill is that the areas of rhododendron are constantly changing , not only because of their inevitable and rapid spreading, but also because of the efforts of the Woodland Trust in cutting it back. In consequence we spent a lot of time trying to get the map correct, and no doubt this will be necessary before the area is used again.
We leave others to comment on the close contest between the four clubs in the Cup match; the lead was changing hands every few minutes while the late runners came in. Home advantage was not quite enough to swing it our way. Our thanks go to Graham for his diligent controlling; Robin for spending many hours preparing the course maps; and the many helpers who made their usual invaluable contributions.