Chris Clarke has won the New Zealand Top Ten for the first time after an exciting final round match between Shane Davis and Paddy Chapman went to Shane 2-1 on the most difficult of the 5 United lawns.
Shane's win gave Chris the tournament win on count-back on net games won, Chris having conceded only 3 games in 9 matches.
Clearly the pick of the tournament matches, though, was Paddy's victory over Chris yesterday.
In other matches, Chris beat Robert Lowe in straight games in a match where both players had trouble with a particularly tight hoop3, Dennis Bulloch recorded his first victory over Michael Wright, narrowly failing to complete a TP in game 1, Greg Bryant won 2-1 against Jenny Williams, and after 5.5 hours of slogging on the slowest lawn John Prince and Paul Skinley decided to call it a day on their match.
Many thanks to the United Croquet Club for providing 5 of their 6 lawns to enable the single banked tournament to proceed in the last 5 days, and to Rodger Lane for his consistent tight and firm hoop setting and fine management.
Chris Clarke 8/9 (won on net games count-back) Paddy Chapman 8/9 Paul Skinley 6/8 Greg Bryant 6/9 Shane Davis 6/9 Jenny Williams 4/9 Robert Lowe 2/9 Michael Wright 2/9 John Prince 1/8 Dennis Bulloch 1/9
The format of 9 matches in 5 days is a pretty heavy schedule, but two matches a day were easily completed and the match-play was a good format.
Meanwhile in the 16 the tournament was decided in the final round with Phillip Drew taking a 4 net point lead into the final round over Anthony Ritchie, both having lost two games. In the final matches Anthony quickly progressed to 3back and penult before his opponent got started, while Phillip's oppo was making some progress of his own. In the end Phillip beat Ross Hamblyn 26-17 and needed Steve Piercy to score 14 points to give Phillip his third consecutive win over Anthony. However, it was not to be as Anthony prevailed 26-2 despite a fairly nervy finish. Congratulations to Anthony for a good win.