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Robert Fulford won the President's Cup after a 2-1 play-off with Chris Clarke

[<<] [>>] by Stephen Mulliner
10th September 2001 (AC - Championships)

Day 1

An interesting opening day on Nottingham's slightly interesting lawns with well-set hoops (wormcasts and squirrels a speciality de la maison).

Fulford looked to be cruising to early dominance but Robin Brown shrugged off 3 defeats and TPO'd in Round 4. Fulford has been vulnerable to this tactic once or twice this year and so it proved again. Still he shares the lead at 3/4 with Clarke who had his best start in years with three triples and some decent roquets. However, Round 4 was a mini-nemesis for him when he fell to Mulliner who has had the Indian sign over him for some time.

Maugham looked very good but lost to Fulford and Burrow after a TPO attempt with a short missed peg-out (my spies say it was only a yard!). Irwin began poorly but snapped back with good wins over Mulliner and Cunningham.

Cunningham's only moments of glory in his defence of the title were a 5th turn tp against Burrow and going round on the 3rd turn against Irwin. At 1/4 he has problems.

Day 2

Robert Fulford and David Maugham enjoyed 4/4 on Friday with Matt Burrow seeing the other side of life by being on the wrong end of four 26tps. In Round 7, Fulford was a beneficiary of Ed Cunningham's generosity when Ed failed 2-back with a triple all but complete. Fulford leads with 7/8 closely pursued by Maugham on 6/8 who had his own close call against Brown in Round 8 in what was easily "Match of the Day".

Maugham reached 4-back with Y, Brown hit Y with K (via an acorn when aiming at R) and made 6 hoops, peeled Y through 4-b, cross-wired R and Y at 4-b and laid up in Corner 1. M missed into C1 allowing B to reach the peg, complete the DPO, peel partner to 2-b and peg out both balls. M failed hoop 1 with R from the contact, ending NW of the hoop. Brown played B from near 2 to 6y W C4. M hit this and 2-balled to 6, stopping when he cross-pegged himself from B at 6. A procession period followed which was played rather better by Maugham with the result that R was in front of 3-b before B could takes position for 4-b. Brown then played B from 3y SE C3 to send it 14y W C3 but an acorn reared its head again and caused B to finish only 10y W C3. M ran 3-b hard and made 4-b and pen. He failed position for rover but soon finished the game.

Clarke remains in touch with 5/8 but will have to win the rest to have a real chance of victory. Irwin and Mulliner, both on 4/8, have an interest that can best be described as mathematical.

For the statisticians, 27 out of 32 games have contained completed peeling breaks, namely 16 TPs, 7 TPOs and 4 OTPs.

Day 3

Robert Fulford was pulled back by both Chris Clarke and David Maugham and ended the day tied on 9/12 with Clarke. Maugham, who had looked a possibility for 9/11 at one stage against Burrow, paid the penalty for a careless leave to lose that game and then became the first sextuple victim of the event at the hands of Ed Cunningham.

Tomorrow pitches Fulford against Mulliner and Cunningham and Clarke against Brown and Maugham. Maugham, on 8/12, faces Irwin and Clarke. Clarke should just be the favourite but even Maugham is not out of it.

Day 4

Clarke and Fulford tied on 10/14 and so provided the first play-off since 1989. The narrowness of the spread of 6 games between top and bottom indicates the closeness of the event. The leaders, along with Maugham, were definitely the most consistent performers but none seemed infallible and none could be sure of victory in any game. Mulliner and Irwin had mixed fortunes but in general shot less well than they normally can expect. Brown, the back-marker with 4/14, seemed quite at home in the senior eight and completed a neat triple to dent Clarke's chances in Round 13. Cunningham, with 5/14, was not happy with aspects of his play but his sextuple and straight triple showed how formidable he can be when at his best. Burrow survived a grim croquet-free period in the middle and showed no hesitation when offered a second chance to beat Maugham in Round 11.

Play-Off

(game report Rob Edlin-White)
Clarke took game 1, and had a triple under control in game 2 but missed a 3 yarder in front of 4-back. Fulford went on to take the game.

In Game 3, Fulford (henceforth F) put a ball between peg and H1 (super-shot).
Clarke (henceforth C) shot from middle of S boundary missing to N boundary.
F hit C's nearby ball from B baulk, rolled it N of H1 getting to partner, ran H1 halfway to H2 and missed return roquet into A baulk.
C got hampered after H1 but hit under watchful eye of referee. Went round to 4-back with NSL.
F lifted ball for H1 from wire of H4, hit long leave rushing the ball to C4. Went round to 4-back with defensive leave. (Ball for 2 in C2; partner for 4-back 13 yards South of C2; C's balls in C4 and near peg).
C lifted ball from near peg, missed ball in C2.
F took off thickly to partner, approached 2 sending partner to H3, and finished with a STP, using a canon after running 4-back to promote peelee nicely in front of penult.

Results

Clarke, Fulford 10/14
Maugham 8/14
Irwin, Mulliner 7/14
Burrow, Cunningham 5/14
Brown 4/14

Round 1

Fulford bt Burrow 3 OTP
Mulliner bt Cunningham 8 TPO
Clarke bt Irwin 15 TP
Maugham bt Brown 15 TP

Round 2

Clarke bt Brown 10 OTP
Maugham bt Irwin 17 TP
Cunningham bt Burrow 26 TP
Fulford bt Mulliner 22 TP

Round 3

Irwin bt Mulliner 12
Burrow bt Brown 17
Fulford bt Maugham 8 OTP
Clarke bt Cunningham 11 TP

Round 4

Burrow bt Maugham 13
Mulliner bt Clarke 12tpo
Cunningham bt Irwin 13tpo
Fulford bt Brown 12tpo
Round 5
Brown bt Cunningham 13tpo
Fulford bt Irwin 26tp
Clarke bt Burrow 26tp
Maugham bt Mulliner 26tp

Round 6

Fulford bt Clarke 17tp
Maugham bt Cunningham 8tpo
Mulliner bt Brown 12tpo
Irwin bt Burrow 26tp

Round 7

Irwin bt Brown 26tp
Mulliner bt Burrow 26tp
Fulford bt Cunningham 8tp
Maugham bt Clarke 17tp

Round 8

Cunningham bt Mulliner 11
Clarke bt Irwin 14otp
Maugham bt Brown 4
Fulford bt Burrow 26tp

Round 9

Clarke bt Burrow 25tp
Maugham bt Fulford 17tp
Mulliner bt Irwin 26tp
Brown bt Cunningham 11tpo

Round 10

Maugham bt Mulliner 15tp
Clarke bt Cunningham 10tp
Burrow bt Brown 5otp
Fulford bt Irwin 26tp

Round 11

Cunningham bt Irwin 3tpo
Mulliner bt Brown 22
Clarke bt Fulford 17tp
Burrow bt Maugham 17

Round 12

Fulford bt Brown 22tp
Irwin bt Burrow 3tp
Cunningham bt Maugham 26sxp
Clarke bt Mulliner 26tp

Round 13

Irwin bt Maugham +15tp
Brown bt Clarke +17tp
Fulford bt Mulliner +12tpo
Burrow bt Cunningham +26tp

Round 14

Mulliner bt Burrow +2tpo
Cunningham bt Fulford +17stp
Clarke bt Maugham +17
Irwin bt Brown +26



 

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