Ian Sexton continued his domination of the Swiss domestic association croquet season with a well earned victory in the Swiss Advanced Championship last weekend. Following on from his wins in the CERN Club Championship and Swiss International Open, Ian is the first person to perform the Treble; confirmation, if ever it was needed, of his position as top Swiss and second placed Continental European in the WCF World Rankings.
With a reduced field of six (down from the usual 8 due to last minute withdrawals), the preliminary round was played as a block of 6, single game round robin, the top four qualifying for the semi-finals. Peter Payne dominated the block, winning all his matches and concluding with a +26tp win over Ian. Ian was second with four wins out of five (one tp) and Norman Eatough third with three wins. The fourth place was hotly contested and, following a tense last match which saw David Payne watch on helplessly as Phil Ponting came from far behind to catch up and eventually overtake him to win the game, the place went to Phil on two wins, ahead of David on one and Dave Underhill on none, despite playing some excellent constructive croquet.
Peter made short work of Phil in the first semi-final, taking the tie +25tp +25tp and, in doing so, completing a consecutive treble of triples. Ian was made to work much harder by Norman, eventually winning the tie in two games +6 +15.
And so to the final. With a 6-0 record over Ian in previous finals (8-3 against all opponents), history was on Peter's side. Present form favoured Ian however, and so it was to be. The first game went Ian's way easily and quickly. Peter fought back in the second, but was unable to match Ian's display in the third. Ian will now have a chance to pit himself against the world's elite at the WCF World Championships in England next August. Peter, having already lost the CERN Club Championship and Swiss Open finals to Ian this season, will be licking his wounds!
1. Peter Payne - 5 wins (beat Dave +6, Phil +12, Norman +24, David +21, Ian +26tp)
2. Ian Sexton - 4 wins (beat Phil +22, Norman +26tp, David +25, Dave +24)
3. Norman Eatough - 3 wins (beat David +17, Phil +17, Dave +15)
4. Phil Ponting - 2 wins (beat Dave +8, David +2)
5. David Payne - 1 win (beat Dave +4)
6. Dave Underhill
Peter beat Phil +25tp +25tp
Ian beat Norman +6 +15
Ian beat Peter +25 -13 +18
3rd place: Norman beat Phil +20