Four previous winners of this, surely one of the most beautiful trophies in the game, contested this year's event, including Dennis Bulloch, visiting from NZ, who had forgotten that he was the 1975 winner!
Although the courts were easy the hoops were fairly challenging. All eight seeds got through to the second round but then there were two surprises, with Dennis exiting to Jenny Williams and Tim Wilkins to Kevin Carter.
In the first semi-final Jenny got the better of Kevin, winning in two untidy games. In the other Jeff Dawson took on David Maugham. The three games were over in 21 turns, David winning -26TP, +26TP, +26TP. Did somebody say we needed more interaction at the top level?
So, we were set for an all-Bowdon final and it was only a question of which side of the Maugham/Williams trophy cabinet was filled. Given the conditions, it was agreed that starting a best-of-5 final at 10.45am on the last day was a reasonable risk, and perhaps some feared that the greater risk was that it would be all over by lunchtime, given the relative standings - at least on paper - of the contestants. Not so. David won the first with a TP, but Jenny had him in the second with an OTP and also won the third. However, just as everybody was beginning to sense an upset, David took the fourth and fifth, both +26TP. The five games took under five hours and it was later observed that if the finalists had stuck with the best-of-3 option the result would have been different!
The third place play-off was won by Jeff Dawson and the consolation swiss by Strat Liddiard.
Next year's Ranelagh Gold Cup is scheduled for the weekend before the World Championships begin, so there is every reason to expect a further increase in the quality of entries to this enjoyable tournament.
David Maugham beat Samantha Symonds
Philip Brabazon beat Ian Plummer
Samir Patel beat Nelson Morrow TP
Jeff Dawson beat David Mooney
Tim Wilkins beat Strat Liddiard TP
Kevin Carter beat Martin Haggerston
Jenny Williams beat Ed Dymock
Dennis Bulloch beat Gary Bennett TP
David Maugham beat Philip Brabazon
Jeff Dawson beat Samir Patel TP
Kevin Carter beat Tim Wilkins
Jenny Williams beat Dennis Bulloch
David Maugham beat Jeff Dawson -26TP, +26TP, +26TP
Jenny Williams beat Kevin Carter +22, +2
David Maugham beat Jenny Williams +25TP, -14OTP, -19, +26TP, +26TP