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David Maugham won the President's Cup

[<<] [>>] by Stephen Mulliner
13th September 2004 (AC - Championships)

13 Maugham
11 Fulford
8 Kirby
7 Trimmer
6 Avery
5 Mulliner
3 Bulloch, Clarke

David Maugham was a worthy winner of the 2004 President's Cup. He shot well but not remarkably so and the foundation of his success was keeping great concentration, making very few errors and finishing almost every peeling break he began. Unlike Fulford and Mulliner, who attempted 12 sextuples between them, Maugham stuck to triples until the trophy was won and then celebrated with his own sextuple in Round 14.

Day 1 ended with Avery, Fulford and Maugham leading with 3 wins but the event rapidly became a two horse race in Day 2 as Avery fell back and the other two recorded clean sweeps.

Kirby inflicted a Round 1 defeat on Fulford by hitting the tea-lady and completing a tidy TP but Robert responded with a 9 game winning streak, including a crushing win over Maugham in Round 4 with an "ultimate" +24 sextuple (i.e. peeling both enemy balls to hoop 2 in the opening break and leaving the forward ball in the jaws of hoop 3 so that the opponent's break chances are minimised if he happens to hit the tea-lady).

Most of the games were pretty quick although Avery, unusually, gained the sobriquet as the tournament's slowest player, perhaps helped by his fascinating marathon against Fulford in Round 9 on Saturday morning. Fulford laid for a sextuple, broke down and got back in after Avery went to 4-b and failed at 4. He TPO'd with two balls off, leaving 4 against 2-back but Avery overtook him with a 2-ball break to 3-back and eventually ran penult with Fulford in front of 4-b. However, this went through by not much and the lag down to rover was short and angled. Fulford ran 4-b and took good position at penult. Avery hit the lift from B-baulk to 8 yards NW of rover but over-cooked the approach and failed an angled hoop, bouncing off to the W boundary. Fulford now took good position at penult and, when Avery deemed (not daring to take position at rover), began to advance his ball through penult by millimetres at a time. Eventually, enough was showing on the south side of penult for Avery to have a shot at but he missed and Fulford ran penult to good position at rover, ran that and then lagged to the peg wired from Avery on the E boundary by 4-back. This left Mark with a do-or-die shot at rover which didn't.

The pivotal game was the return between Fulford and Maugham in Round 11. Robert laid again for the sextuple but David hit the tea-lady shot. David went to 4-back, Robert missed the lift but, despite what seemed like half-a-dozen attempts to get the 4-back peel, David had to settle for 4-b and peg with a good DSL. Robert missed the peg ball from B-baulk and that was shortly that. This put Maugham in the handy position of one up with two to play.

Round 13 decided matters.

Chris broke down on 4b and rover but got in again when Rob missed a 2-foot cut rush when trying to make a ladies leave. Chris hit and won. Maugham had the first break against Mulliner who hit the lift and also laid for a sextuple. This progressed well until the 4-back peel refused (same hoop where Maugham had the problems the previous day). However, all was not lost because he already had peeled Maugham's forward ball through 4-back before hoop 3 (for insurance purposes) and now attempted to complete the TPO instead. A straight DPO was needed but, although the new peelee went nicely down to rover, the striker's ball misbehaved. An impossible hoop was failed and Maugham completed the single peel to take the game and the trophy.

Round 14 was exhibition time. Fulford and Maugham completed sextuples and Mulliner would have made it three if a half-jump at rover had succeeded.

The Hurlingham lawns were in as good condition as any of the more experienced players could remember. They were surprisingly quick (especially Lawn 1) and the hoops were very firm for the first two days. The standard of play was generally high (Mulliner v Clarke in Round 4 a notable exception) as would be expected from an eight in which no-one was outclassed. Kirby and Trimmer confirmed their positions as the best of the "new" top players with 8 and 7 wins each. Avery won all his 6 games with immaculate TPs and was a little unlucky to have so many lifts hit against him. Mulliner was determined to develop his sextupling ability and, with 5 wins being his lowest score in 27 consecutive appearances, was prepared to sacrifice some current success in the hope of greater things in 2005. Clarke and Bulloch brought up the rear and, while perhaps more prone to error than the others, played plenty of respectable croquet as well.

Round 1

P Trimmer bt C Clarke +16
J Kirby bt R Fulford +20tp
D Maugham bt D Bulloch +26
S Mulliner bt M Avery +17

Round 2

M Avery bt D Bulloch +21tp
D Maugham bt S Mulliner +11tp
R Fulford bt C Clarke +26tp
J Kirby bt P Trimmer +16tp

Round 3

D Maugham bt J Kirby +17tp
M Avery bt C Clarke +26tp
P Trimmer bt S Mulliner +4tp
R Fulford bt D Bulloch +11

Round 4

S Mulliner bt C Clarke +2
D Bulloch bt J Kirby +4tp
R Fulford bt D Maugham +24sxp
M Avery bt P Trimmer +26tp

Round 5

R Fulford bt M Avery +26tp
D Maugham bt P Trimmer +11
D Bulloch bt C Clarke +24tp
J Kirby bt S Mulliner +25tp

Round 6

P Trimmer bt D Bulloch +26tp
R Fulford bt S Mulliner +26qp
M Avery bt J Kirby +26tp
D Maugham bt C Clarke +26tp

Round 7

D Maugham bt M Avery +26tp
C Clarke bt J Kirby +9
R Fulford bt P Trimmer +26sxp
S Mulliner bt D Bulloch +13tpo

Round 8

R Fulford bt J Kirby +12tpo
D Maugham bt D Bulloch +26tp
S Mulliner bt M Avery +17
P Trimmer bt C Clarke +26tp

Round 9

C Clarke bt D Bulloch +9tpo
P Trimmer bt S Mulliner +24tp
D Maugham bt J Kirby +25tp
R Fulford bt M Avery +2tpo

Round 10

J Kirby bt S Mulliner +17tp
R Fulford bt D Bulloch +24sxp
M Avery bt C Clarke +26tp
D Maugham bt P Trimmer +26tp

Round 11

D Maugham bt R Fulford +19
J Kirby bt M Avery +26tp
P Trimmer bt D Bulloch +26
S Mulliner bt C Clarke +22qp

Round 12

P Trimmer bt M Avery +7tp
D Maugham bt C Clarke +3tp
R Fulford bt S Mulliner +26qp
J Kirby bt D Bulloch +6

Round 13

D Maugham bt S Mulliner +6
J Kirby bt P Trimmer +3tp
M Avery bt D Bulloch +25tp
C Clarke bt R Fulford +20

Round 14

J Kirby bt C Clarke +20
R Fulford bt P Trimmer +20sxp
D Bulloch bt S Mulliner +2tp
D Maugham bt M Avery +21sxp



 

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