Stephen Mulliner won the Championship of Ireland
Stephen Mulliner won the Championship of Ireland at the third attempt by beating Chris Patmore in the final +13tpo, +26qp. In partnership with the very promising 16-year old William Gee from Nottingham, he also won the Irish Doubles Championship.
The entry was only 14 but included well-known local names such as Ed Cunningham, Patsy Fitzgerald, Andrew Johnson and Simon Williams. Shock of the Championship was the defeat of Ed Cunningham by William Gee in Round 1. Ed sprinted to a quick triple in game 1 and laid for a sextuple in game 2. The break fell behind and required an array of extraordinary rescue shots to end with a posthumous rover peel and one ball off. William took one ball to penult off the contact (an accidental cross-wire after 4-b) and, despite giving Ed half-a-dozen shots at the peg, survived to take the game +1. He was first away in game 3 with a break to 4-back and, after the lift was missed, took the other ball to peg, not yet being a confident tripler. Ed now hit his lift and chose to take a ball to 4-b rather than pegging out William's and conceding contact, or laying a 1-b leave. Nothing daunted, William hit the long lift and, with a few adventures, finished to record his best scalp in his short career.
William lost to Stephen Mulliner in the quarter-final by 20 and 26sxp. Stephen had a close call against Simon Williams in one semi-final, losing the first -12otp before replying with a 5th turn +26tp in game 2. In game 3, a missed dribble at the hoop 6 pioneer when going for the 1-b leave let Simon take a ball round and, after the lift was missed, an Irish victory seemed likely as the delayed TP began to come together. However, failure at 1-b let Stephen take his forward ball to 4-b and to victory by 10tp when the lift was missed.
In the other semi-final, Chris Patmore had a convincing +26tp, +25tp victory over Andrew Johnson to add to a closer win over Patsy Fitzgerald.
The final featured another missed dribble at the hoop 6 pioneer by Stephen in game 1 but Chris had a poor NSL leave which gave a slightly hampered 6-yarder. This Stephen hit with his hoop 1 ball and completed the TPO. Chris failed a difficult hoop 1 off the contact and did not take croquet again. Game 2 was brisk, with Stephen stopping at 3-b in turn 3 and completing the quad in turn 5.