Officials at Poulton’s International Conkers Tournament have warned competitors to expect extensive searches and checks in a bid to crack down on cheating.

Conkers in the tournament, which is being held near Cirencester, Gloucestershire, for the first time in 10 years, will be collected and checked by the committee and then marked with a fluorescent pen, similar to pens used by the police to mark stolen property.

The winning team’s conkers will be examined with a special light to ensure that only checked conkers have been used in the competition.

Organiser Phil Heneghan said: ‘It’s truly incredible what lengths some contestants will go to in their attempts to win the championship.

‘All conkers used will be supplied to competitors by the committee, after being individually drilled and strung, in an

effort to avoid the dishonest substitutions experienced in the past.

‘We will also strain-test conkers in a vice and have a squad of people who will be checking the strings to ensure no elastic is used.’

The tournament takes place at 7:30pm on October 2 at Poulton’s Village Hall; so far, 20 five-person teams have entered. To enter a team at Poulton, call Phil Heneghan on 01285 851397.

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