Naween was in the lead for most of the tourney, and after round 17 had a three-game lead (15 wins to my 12). I breathed down his neck throughout the final day as we approached the 26-game target, with one game in particular gifted to me by a flustered opponent, and was able to keep on winning; he had a tough run of adversaries in the last three games and lost all of them by smallish margins, so amazingly I pulled through to victory on 21/5 + 2174 to his 20/6 + 1415.
I did get some slices of luck here and there, often in the form of late blanks that transformed the situation from negative to positive at vital times, and giving me some heartache before the payoff. Also a couple of endgame 'gambles' went my way, including one 50% shot and another 33% shot. But that's what you need if you're going to win a long tournament.
Bob J made some introductory remarks at the prizegiving, opining that Naween would have been a more deserving winner because he had been leading virtually all the way. Thanks Bob! I think there was a tinge of sourness because I had vanquished him in round 25 (with the help of the kind of tiles that would have enabled him to beat Nigel). Or perhaps he was just reflecting that only one prizewinner out of six was from NSW. Overall it was a good three days of Scrabble, plus some highly enjoyable extra-curricular activities like the free Symphony in the Domain concert with Alex on Sunday evening.