David Maugham won the South of England Championship
David Maugham won the South of England Championship, beating Mark Avery in the final, +26tp +25tp +26tp
A disappointingly small entry this year was further reduced by the withdrawal of two players due to illness. In addition to a field of regulars, Mark Avery returned after a gap of 18 years, together with two new faces, Gabrielle Higgins and Gavin Carter. This is the third time that the "super-advanced" variations have been trialled at this event and most games, even in the Swiss, employed them. With so few players it was possible to play best-of-five matches from round 2 onwards and, miraculously, the final finished just before 1 p.m. on Sunday - a record!
Each of the four seeds won his quarter-final. Marcus experimented with nonuple leaves but had to be content with triples to win; Rutger preferred sextuple attempts achieving five peels but no finish in the first game, and a genuine quintuple in the third. At one point he confused himself, but not his vigilant opponent, and ran hoop 3 without having run hoop 2 first. Although Marcus and Rutger each gave good accounts of themselves in the emi-finals, David Maugham and Mark Avery contested the final. David proved to be in superb form winning in straight games which all followed a similar pattern: David hit in turn 4 and went to 4-back leaving his hoop 1 ball in corner 2, his other ball in corner 3 and the opponents in contact in or near corner 4. Mark took contact from one of David's balls in turn 5, but was unable to make progress, except in game 2 where, hampered after hoop 1, he missed the escape ball. David hit a long shot in each game and finished with a triple to win the championship for the third time. Overall he hit six out of seven long shots.
Both Gabrielle and Gavin came through strongly in the Swiss, a close-fought final game between them deciding the winner. Gabrielle progressed to peg and 4-back before Gavin hit and pegged Gabrielle out. In the ensuing cat and mouse Gabrielle emerged victorious with Gavin on penultimate
Gabrielle Higgins Won the Sussex Union Cup
Swiss consolation event - for the Sussex Union Cup
Winner: Gabrielle Higgins 6 wins from 9 games (67%)
6/11 (54%) Gavin Carter
3/6 (50%) Martin French
5/11 (45%) Roger Tribe
3/8 (37%) Graham Gale
3/9 (33%) Dave Kibble
1/6 (17%) Roger Wood
1/7 (14%) Louise Bradforth
Peeling prize: David Maugham (9 TPs, 9 games won)