Conkerers of the Universe

During the Autumn season, it can be easy to get a bit glum. Summer becomes a faded memory, the trees start to look bare, and your commute seemingly takes twice as long – as you imagine wading to your car through pools of fallen leaves, or navigating a public transport system that has completely imploded due to inclement weather, leaving the warmth and safety of your bed can be a daunting thought.

Thankfully, here at Windsor Works we can look forward to some home comforts. A warm cup of coffee, the welcoming smiles of our colleagues, and a robust hello from office dogs Bea and Bo usually help to offset the horror of the archetypal Autumn morning commute. Ahh. That’s better. Wait… what’s that over there?

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Oh, right. The Web Apps Conker Games Ultimate Warrior Tournament 2014! Kiss goodbye to your home comforts, make way for some serious nature-related action!

The one-on-one matches were closely fought initially, with some lasting ages. Particularly closely fought games were Naomi and eventual finalist Nick Stafford, who seemed to have  issues calibrating their accuracy early on, and Support Admin Kat and Caretaker Andy F.’s match, where Kat’s victory in the end was largely hinged on Andy’s gentlemanly attitude to allowing Kat to take extra shots if she missed. In the former, Nick was declared the winner by default when the match was taken to sudden-death: the first to miss loses.

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The first round also saw a clash between pool master Kenny Wong and myself; I eventually lost after a somewhat brutal contest that culminated with a lightning fast blow from Kenny which cleaved my all-black conker, The Ironclad, in two. Dale’s gold-painted conker made short work of Nikky’s, and Kris Cartwright’s unorthodox but effective striking style put Ben Nawaz out to pasture early.

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Nick continued his accidental ascent to the top when after a long and exhausting fight, seeded semi-finalist Kat and her veteran conker Jerry called a timeout, only to retire later gracefully in the week. The fiercest semi-final by far was Dale and Kenny’s Systems derby, which was a long and vicious fight which yielded a goldmine of action shots (note: the full gallery of Conker Games action shots can be viewed on our Facebook). After a titanic struggle, Dale’s golden conker smashed Kenny’s off the string.

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Thus was the scene set for the final match: Dale would take on Nick, who would have surely been seen as an outside bet due to his fortune-paved path to the top. Though I was hopeful, and had my Cinderella story cliches at the ready,  in the world of to-the-death conker battles, there are no fairy-tales. The match was brief and merciless. To his credit, Nick got a couple of solid blows in before Dale de-laced him, therefore earning himself the coveted title of The Conkerer.

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Ladies and gentlemen, your runner-up: Nick ‘The Messiah’ Stafford!

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Your tournament champion, Dale ‘The Conkerer’ Wright!

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Many conkers fell, and it was a truly exhausting tournament. Next year, when I’ll be gluing together the broken shards of The Ironclad and forging a new breed of conker warrior, some will be starting afresh, others will be trying innovative lacing techniques, but I’m sure whatever happens, it will be a riveting contest.

Until next time, Webbies!

Final Standings

Dale Wright vs. Nikki Schofield

Seed: Andy Foster vs. Kat Fielding

Naomi McKenna vs. Nick Stafford

Jack Simpson vs. Kenny Wong

James Peiris vs. Alison Fielding

Richard Nabarro vs. Simon Levy

Kris Cartwright vs.Ben Nawaz

Round II:
Dale Wright vs. Kris Cartwright

Nick Stafford vs. Simon Levy

Kenny Wong vs. Alison Fielding

Round III:
Dale Wright vs. Kenny Wong

Kat Fielding vs. Nick Stafford

Final:

Dale Wright vs. Nick Stafford