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Robert Fulford won the 100th President's Cup

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picture2011 President's Cup Players

by Ian Vincent at Nottingham
11/09/2011 (AC - Championships)


Robert Fulford won the President's Cup for the 10th time in its 111 year history, during which it has been competed for 100 times. With one round to go, he was won ahead of David Maugham, who in turn was one ahead of the field. Ian Lines, the reserve and back marker, beat Rob, to leave the possibility of a play-off, but Jamie Burch beath David for a tie for 2nd place, leaving Rob the winner for the 4th time in succession. In accepting the trophy from Quiller Barrett, Rob said how appropriate it was that the players had dedicated the event to the memory of Charles Jones, who was President both of Croquet New Zealand and the World Croquet Federation.

The final charts and detailed results are at the end of this news item, preceeded by commentary on the three days play.

Day 1

We are under way with a full house: Ian Lines substituting for Keith Aiton. Many thanks to Liz in the CA Office for sorting that all out, and to her husband Chris (Statto) for spotting that this is the 100th time the event has been played . The Radio Nottingham car has come and gone, having been fed the line that we have three Nottingham members playing in it. Thanks to James for the loan of his laptop so that I can use Phil Cordingley's automated Excel spreadsheet to upload this.

Some overnight rain, so lawns easily paced compared with how they were a fortnight ago. Hoops set to 1/32" in fresh ground.

Enough scene setting.

Round 1

Lawn 1: Ian Lines v David Maugham. David in play on a sextuple (apologies for earlier mis-reporting): pioneer for 3-Back at 4-Back with partner in jaws of 4-B. Finished to win +18sxp..

Lawn 2: Rob Fulford peeled Jamie Burch to 3 and 3 while going to 4-Back, after Jamie had failed hoop 1. Rob won +15tp.

Lawn 4 Stephen Mulliner won +12otp against Paddy Chapman, finishing from the contact.

Lawn 5: James Death stuck in 5 3rd turn playing Ed Duckworth. Ed webt on to win +17tp. No shots missed in the game.

11:30 Faint hints of sunshine as Round 2 gets underway. A manager's job is never done: just been home to collect an extension cable for one player and spare underwear for another!

Lawn 1: Paddy was hampered and faulted after hoop 5 to let James in. James broke down on his sxp attempt after the peelee cannoned into his escape ball at 3-back. Paddy needed a straight rover peel to finish, but rushed one of James' balls into the jaws of rover. James hit the lift, got to peg, conceeding only a lift, and tried to peg out Paddy's peg ball from near corner 2. He requested two umpires: one to watch the peg, the other where the balls went off near corner 4. His ball made the corner, his opponent's hit the corner peg, but after checks with a yardstick and test ball was confirmed to be in contact. Paddy took croquet with his peg ball and laid up near corner 2, being for rover and peg against 4-back and peg. James hit the double from E boundary and finished to win by 3,

Lawn 2: Ed on the lawn against Stepehn. Ed got hoopbound after H1 on his second break, but hit the ball in corner 3 to win +26tp.

Lawn 4: David in play against Rob. Sent Red into the stream when retiring to corner 3 when giving contact. Easily retrieved with the rake. Went on to win +26tp.

Lawn 5: Jamie got the first break against Ian, conceeding contact. Ian got to 1-Back, then Jamie hit the lift and finished +20tp.

13:00 Lunch. Fish pie (excellent), cottage pie or veggie bake..

Round 3

13:40 Players eventually leave their laptops/mobiles.

Lawn 1: Stephen v Jamie. Stepnen stuck in 6 from nowhere on a delayed tp, but after several changes of innings won +16.

Lawn 2 James v Maugham. First to start. James won +9tp after lots of interaction and a possibly doubtful umpiring decision.

Lawn 4: Ed v Ian. Ed went to 4B, giving contact, but then couldn't hit in. Ian +17 after 2 hours.

Lawn 5: Paddy v Rob. Paddy won +26tp after some rough leaves, but no croquet from Rob.

15:45 After three rounds, everyone has won either one or two games, so no clean sweeps or ducks in prospect.. Some sunshine and pleasantly warm. Tea about to be served.

Round 4

Lawn 1 David v Ed. Maugham to 4-Back, giving contact,, leaving Duckworths two balls in corner 4 and his in corners 2 and 3. Ed laids up.after a couple of 6-yarders. David cornered again, Ed bounced off 5. David won +22tp.

Lawn 2: Jamie v Paddy. Jamie won +25 abd thought the game best left unreported.

Lawn 4 Rob v Stephen. Rob +26sxp. Probably no more needs to be said.

Lawn 5 Ian v James. James+20qp after errors by both sides.

17:05. More tea. Intermittant sunshine, but the wind is starting to get up. There is talk of going for six rounds, but there is less than 3 hours daylight left.

Round 5

Lawn 1: Rob bt James +26sxp, no croquet. Rob's 3rd no croquet game in a row: so much for super-advanced!

Lawn 2 Ian v Stephen. Stephen stuck in 1 on a tp. Ian hit and is approaching 2, also for 4-b. Finished, despite colliding with the piorneer at hoop 6 when going to the peelee. +17tp.

Lawn 4 David v Paddy. Paddy almost completed an sxp after rolling off hoop 4 from 10 yards to the side, but missed the deep ball after the straight rover peel..

Lawn 5 Jamie v Ed. Jamie won +25tp.

18:15 A shower has started, reducing enthusiasm for a sixth round today.

18:50 Thoughts of further play abandoned, with only one game separating the field. Three of the lawns struck: Stephen still practicing on lawn 2. Some talk of supper, and someone has written details of pubs with pinball tables on the back of the results sheet!. For the information of the Chairmans, the underwear was required to correct a packing error.


Day 2

A warm, muggy, overcast morning. The groundsman could only mow the first three lawns, as it was too dark to see where he was going when he arrived! No crowd as yet, though we had a dozen or so spectators yesterday.

The event looks wide open, with only one win separating the field after the first day of 5 rounds.

One correction to yesterday's scores. In round 3 Ian Lines did not do a tp against Ed Duckworth. An oddity in the lawn scheduling is that it seems that after five rounds each of the players had yet to play on one of the four lawns. The suspicion is that the schedule dates from times when only three rounds a day were played, and it might be worth looking to see if it can be improved for modern conditions.

Round 6

Lawn 1 Paddy Chapman v Ian Lines. Paddy hit third turn and set 3 ducks leave SW of hoop 2. Ian missed. Paddy went to 1-B, but Ian hit the short lift at the diagonal spread and got going, after a 7 yd take-off to get position for hoop 1, having accidentally cannoned Paddy's hoop 1 ball into the jaws of 4! Paddy has had two balls off, leaving 1-Back v 1, but Ian has rolled up and made H1 and is attempting the same at 2. Stuck in it. Paddy hit but short on backwards takeoff to 1-B. Retires to C2. Ian roqueted it, approached and ran hoop 2, but missed the roquet afterwards. Paddy ran 1-B and 2-B, but stopped in 3-B. Ian hit him and took off short of hoop 3 and laid up in front of it, avoiding giving a lift. Paddy stuck in 3-B from distance, Ian bounced off 3. Paddy ran 3-B to the north boundary, hit Ian and finished to win +11tpo.

Lawn 2 Ed Duckworth v Robert Fulford. Rob has another +26SXP no croquet

Lawn 4 James Death v Jamie Burch. Jamie has 1st break to 4back but puts ball off in contact leave. James completes peels of TPO going to 3back, POPs Jamie's other ball through 1 before sticking in penult. Jamie takes lift to position and finishes +15

Lawn 5 Stephen Mulliner v David Maugham. Stephen has 1st break to 4back, Dave has leave, Stephen misses. Dave TPO. After much play, Dave stuck in Rover, reportedly from within the jaws, and Stephen has started a 3-ball break from hoop 3 to win +3 otp.

Round 7

Sun breaking through but the wind is getting up.

Lawn 1 Mulliner v Death. Death failed an increasingly outragous sxp attempt after failing to half jump the peelee at 4-Back. Stephen on 2-Back and 3-Back. Stephen won without further incident +7.

Lawn 2 Maugham v Burch. An interactive game. Jamie pegged out two balls when he was for 4 and Dave for 1 Dave ran hoop 2 to the stream and I've had to find a substitute ball of the right size while we search for it.. After further interactivity, Dave won +8otp

Lawn 3 Fulford v Lines. This was the one that could start before the last game of the previous round ended. Fulford had a 3rd turn ball to 1-Back and subsequently tpo'd Lines.. Rob won +11tpo.

Lawn 4 Duckworth v Chapman. Chapman won +26tp.

So, we have reached the half-way stage. Rob, going for a 10th title, has his nose in front, but the 8-way tie is still on!

Round 8

Lawn 1 Rob beat Jamie +26sxp no croquet in the first game to finish..

Lawn 2 Paddy v Stephen. Paddy +25tp.

Lawn 3 Ed v James. James +7 tpo.

Lawn 4 Ian v David. David won +16tp.

Round 8 finished on the stroke of 4, with tea on the table. Robert on 6, Paddy and David on 5, Jamie, James and Stephen on 4 and the other two two behind.

Round 9

Lawn 1 Paddy v David. Paddy failed a very delayed tpo, failing to run penult in a 45 degree irish peel attempt. Maugham peeled his partner through rover after running 5 and completed the break to win +9, keeping within one of Rob.
Lawn 2 Ian v Ed. Ed won the bottom of the table clash +12tpo.

Lawn 4 Jamie v Stephen. Stephen had a grievous at the end of what would have been a tp and paid the penalty to lose +1.

Lawn 5 James v Robert. First to finish. Robert +22 after a failed sxp.

Round 10.

Lawn 1 Ed v Jamie Jamie stuck in 6 from 1' third turn. Pegged down with Jamie for Peg and 3-B, Ed for 4-B and box.

Lawn 2 Robert v Paddy The top of the table clash is first to start, at 6pm in fading light. No chance of a 6th round today! Now 7pm: Rob has his glasses on. Heavily overcast, with a menacing orange glow in the West, but considerably brighter to the south. Odd spots of rain. Pegged down at 8pm, with Paddy for Peg and 1-B, Rob for 4 and Box.

Lawn 3 David v James James won the opening, but didn't progress. First to finish at 7.40. David +14otp.

Lawn 4 Stephen v Ian Stephen seems to have stopped during a sextuple attempt .... but its getting a bit gloomy to see the clips. Eventually won +20.


Day 3

The traditional bench photo has been taken, after Rob (with Susan supervising) polished the cup. The President himself held it. The players wore black armbands in memory of Charles Jones, the late WCF President.

Overnight rain, early sunshine, but breezy, with clound building.

James found the red that had been lost in the stream overnight. Thats a total of 3 reds in the stream and a black in the hedge, found with the aid of my cycle light last night. The stop boards are relatively substantial, but the balls take off after hitting acrons.

We have two pegged down games to finish, one possibly critical, but I decided to start with the full round 11, to avoid some players having match play as a warm up.

10:22 The marathon should be coming past soon, but the anticiapated hoard of spectators for it have not materialised. We might even have a bigger crowd ourselves!

Lawn 1 Stephen v Rob. Rob has the first break ... and is now attempting another sextuple. Failed to get position at 4, with the peelee and escape ball cross-wired at 2-B. Retired to E boundary, to stay near the action, but Stephen hit the 9-yarder. Rob eventually finished from 3-Back and peg to win +17.

Lawn 2 Jamie v James. James seemed to be chatting by the pavilion ... and now on a bench north of Lawn 1.. He put out a traditional tice from which Jamie rolled off hoop 2. Jamie won +25tp fifth turn: James scored the point after the contact.

Lawn 4 Ian v Paddy. The NZ clash. Paddy needs to win to stay in contention, but Ian is in play. .. but has now wandered up to the pavilion. Paddy tpo'd Ian when the other clips were both for 1, after hitting an "indifferent" leave.

Lawn 5 Ed v David. David was negotiating the acorns at the north end of the lawn. Ed won +12tpo. David put a yellow in the stream this time. We have moved the stop boards.

11:25 Round 12 Rob now one ahead of the field, with a game against Paddy pegged down.

Lawn 1 James v Ian James got stymied while trying to set a cross peg and failed to make a roquet off the peg. James later had two balls off when for 6 against 1, to win +12tpo. Ian is rinding this score horribly familier.

Lawn 2 David v Stephen. David missed the lift, clattering into hoop 1 to leave Stephen all the balls for a sextuple, but it didn't finish.. First to start and last to finish. Meanwhile, Jamie v Ed has been resurrected on Lawn 1. David won +7tp.

Lawn 4 Robert v Ed. Ed has just missed a lift into corner 3 with the other three balls by the peg, his other one hampered from hitting Rob's. Rob won +26sxp

Lawn 5 Paddy v Jamie. Paddy won +26tp, assisted by the wind.

Lawn 1. Jamie v Ed. Resumed with Jamie on 3-B and Peg, to play, against 4-Back. Jamie won +4.

13:00 Lunch for all but Stephen and David.

13:30 Lawn 2 Paddy (1-B and Peg) v Rob (4) resumed. Rob won +6 to eliminate Paddy. Its now between Rob and David, who are about to play. Both the pegged down games are now out of the way and so, with at worst a two way playoff we stand a chance of finishing today....

Round 13

Lawn 1 Stephen v Ed. Ed +14.

Lawn 2 James v Paddy James left a sliver showing in his cross-peg leave. Paddy asked for an umpire, stated that he was expecting just the faintest glance, and promtly rushed it firmly onto my foot! After each side had failed a sextuple and a quin, James, with a lift, rushed the ball by rover to the north boundary and won +3.

Lawn 4 Jamie v Ian Jamie pegged out Ian when for 4-B against Rover and scrped home, under threat of the pegging down disks, to win +1.

Lawn 5 David v Rob. David is attacking the cheese board. Rob went to 3-B, with two pops. David rolled off hoop 1 from corner 4 with the contact. and has just run 3. He got to 4-Back with two pops. Rob took croquet from the ball in C2, but got a tail wind when taking off to parner on the E Boundary. David shot from C2 at partner in C1. Rob, after some thought, played his 3-B ball, ran 3-B and left David's hoop 4-B ball by 3, wired from Rob's balls the other side of it, with his hoop 3 ball in or near C1. David shot from C1 to the balls at 3, hitting Robs 4-B ball, giving a standard tp position ... which he takes round to keep the competition alive. Maugham +15tp.

16:15 Tea. With the weather closing in, Rob will be hoping he can win his final game. David may have other ideas. At least the critical games are within sight of the pavilion.

Lawn 1 Jamie Burch v David Maugham Jamie has the first break .. to 4-B, giving contact, with his balls in C2 and C3 and David's on East Boundary. David sent the C3 ball to hoop 1, roqueted partner and took off for position. Ends just short, partly stymied by his pioneer from getting back to partner. Gets back half way: Jamie hits centre ball. Laid up near C2. Maugham cornered in C3 ... not a common tactic in this event! Jamie has run hoop 1 for a tp opportunity. Peelee bounced off an angled 4-B after hoop 3, but safely throught before 6. The sun has reappeared, but the wind is still up. Jamie broke down after being short with a reverse irish peel after rushing dead behind 1-B. Maugham misses the resulting 10-yarder, leaving Jamie a slightly shorter shot which he hits. Delayed double needed, turned into a straight one. The penult peel went through, the rover one not, to leave rover and rover v 1 and 1. David went to 4-B, leaving Jamies balls in C4 and his in C2 and 3. Jamie took off into the back of rover, but played an air shot trying to get away from it. David shot from C2 towards the stream, but missed both it and the ball. Jamie hit his ball at rover from C4, ran the hoop and is setting a leave. Body language suggests he didn't get the cross wire he wanted. Dave has a 25 yard shot at oppo, or 35 at partner in C3, with his hoop 1 ball. Hits. David got the balls positioned for a standard tp: the manager was wearing his (black) thoughts on his sleeve. Maugham missed his hoop 3 pioner, leaving Jamie a short roquet with his peg ball to lay up for Rover. David missed. Jamie wins +15 to get a share of 2nd place and give Rob the title.

Lawn 2 Ian Lines v Rob Fulford Ian is laid up north of hoop 2; Rob his mised partner on E boundary. Ian has a break to 1-B with a horizontal spread. Rob missed the long lift to C4 and Ian restarted with his 1-Back ball. Laid up in C2 with a reverse diagonal spread for 1 and 4-Back. . Rob takes the short lift with the peg ball and misses, leaving Ian a tp, which he completes to win +26tp. So it hangs on lawn 1.

Lawn 4 Paddy Chapman v Ed Duckworth Paddy won +13, after doing 6 peels and narrowly missing the combination pegout.

Lawn 5 James Death v Stephen Mulliner Mulliner won +26sxp: his first in a super-advanced game. James offers to assist Stephen by using up his other half pint, as Stephen is driving.


Positions after 14 Rounds

Robert Fulford   +15tp -26tp -26tp +26sxp +26sxp +26sxp +11tpo 5 10 1
+26sxp -15tp +6 +22 +17 +26sxp -26tp 5
Jamie Burch -15tp   -8otp +25 +15 -16 +25tp +20tp 4 9 2=
-26sxp +15 -26tp +25tp +1 +4 +1 5
David Maugham +26tp +8otp   -20 -9tp -3otp +22tp +18sxp 4 9 2=
+15tp -15 +9 +7otp +7tp -12tpo +16tp 5
Paddy Chapman +26tp -25 +20   -3 -12otp +26tp +11tpo 4 8 4
-6 +26tp -9 -3 +25tp +13 +12tpo 4
James Death -26sxp -15 +9tp +3   -7 -17tp +20qp 3 6 5=
-22 -25tp -7otp +3 -26sxp +7tpo +12tpo 3
Stephen Mulliner -26sxp +16 +3otp +12otp +7   -26tp -17tp 4 6 5=
-17 -1 -7tp -25tp +26sxp -14 +20 2
Ed Duckworth -26sxp -25tp -22tp -26tp +17tp +26tp   -17 2 5 7
-26sxp -4 +12tpo -13 -7tpo +14 +12tpo 3
Ian Lines -11tpo -20tp -18sxp -11tpo -20qp +17tp +17   2 3 8
+26tp -1 -16tp -12tpo -12tpo -20 -12tpo 1
PEELING etc. op sxp qnp qp tp ot Tot
On partner   7   1 18   26
On opponent (winning)         7 n/a 7
On opponent (losing)         4 n/a 4
Straight           n/a  
Total   7   1 29   37
Margin of Victory 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 TOTAL
Occurrences 2   3 1   1 4 1 2   2 5 1 1 4 2 4 1   4   2     4 12 56

Results to date:

Rd Ln Friday, 9 September
1 1 David Maugham beat Ian Lines +18sxp
  2 Robert Fulford beat Jamie Burch +15tp
  4 Stephen Mulliner beat Paddy Chapman +12otp
  5 Ed Duckworth beat James Death +17tp
2 1 James Death beat Paddy Chapman +3
  2 Ed Duckworth beat Stephen Mulliner +26tp
  4 David Maugham beat Robert Fulford +26tp
  5 Jamie Burch beat Ian Lines +20tp
3 1 Stephen Mulliner beat Jamie Burch +16
  2 James Death beat David Maugham +9tp
  4 Ian Lines beat Ed Duckworth +17
  5 Paddy Chapman beat Robert Fulford +26tp
4 1 David Maugham beat Ed Duckworth +22tp
  2 Jamie Burch beat Paddy Chapman +25
  4 Robert Fulford beat Stephen Mulliner +26sxp
  5 James Death beat Ian Lines +20qp
5 1 Robert Fulford beat James Death +26sxp
  2 Ian Lines beat Stephen Mulliner +17tp
  4 Paddy Chapman beat David Maugham +20
  5 Jamie Burch beat Ed Duckworth +25tp
Rd Ln Saturday, 10 September
6 1 Paddy Chapman beat Ian Lines +11tpo
  2 Robert Fulford beat Ed Duckworth +26sxp
  4 Jamie Burch beat James Death +15
  5 Stephen Mulliner beat David Maugham +3otp
7 1 Stephen Mulliner beat James Death +7
  2 David Maugham beat Jamie Burch +8otp
  4 Robert Fulford beat Ian Lines +11tpo
  5 Paddy Chapman beat Ed Duckworth +26tp
8 1 Robert Fulford beat Jamie Burch +26sxp
  2 Paddy Chapman beat Stephen Mulliner +25tp
  4 James Death beat Ed Duckworth +7tpo
  5 David Maugham beat Ian Lines +16tp
9 1 David Maugham beat Paddy Chapman +9
  2 Ed Duckworth beat Ian Lines +12tpo
  4 Jamie Burch beat Stephen Mulliner +1
  5 Robert Fulford beat James Death +22
10 1 Jamie Burch beat Ed Duckworth +4
  2 Robert Fulford beat Paddy Chapman +6
  4 David Maugham beat James Death +7otp
  5 Stephen Mulliner beat Ian Lines +20
Rd Ln Sunday, 11 September
11 1 Robert Fulford beat Stephen Mulliner +17
  2 Jamie Burch beat James Death +25tp
  4 Paddy Chapman beat Ian Lines +12tpo
  5 Ed Duckworth beat David Maugham +12tpo
12 1 James Death beat Ian Lines +12tpo
  2 David Maugham beat Stephen Mulliner +7tp
  4 Robert Fulford beat Ed Duckworth +26sxp
  5 Paddy Chapman beat Jamie Burch +26tp
13 1 Ed Duckworth beat Stephen Mulliner +14
  2 James Death beat Paddy Chapman +3
  4 Jamie Burch beat Ian Lines +1
  5 David Maugham beat Robert Fulford +15tp
14 1 Jamie Burch beat David Maugham +15
  2 Ian Lines beat Robert Fulford +26tp
  4 Paddy Chapman beat Ed Duckworth +13
  5 Stephen Mulliner beat James Death +26sxp


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