Stephen Mulliner won the European AC Championship
Stephen Mulliner (ENG) defeated Mark McInerney (IRE) +15sxp, +17tp, -17tp, -11, +26tp in a closely-fought final to record his 12th European Championship.
Every game began with a supershot with the reply either to the east boundary or a wide mid-court join. In game 1, Mark hit on turn 4, went to 4-b and had a standard TP in front of him when he missed a short cut rush after 2. Stephen hit, went to 1-b and completed the sextuple, +15sxp. Mark then hit on turn 3, game 2 but failed hoop 1, allowing Stephen to hit and make another 1-b leave. This time Mark hit the tea lady and went to 4-b with a NSL but Stephen hit the short lift and took the forward ball from 1-b to 4-b. The lift was missed and Stephen finished +17tp.
Stephen looked like taking the title 3-0 after he went to 3-b on turn 3 in game 3 and Mark missed into C4. However, the rush across court hit the H1 pioneer and this prevented getting partner anywhere near 2. Hoop 2 was approached unsuccessfully and Stephen had to lay up in C2. Mark hit the 16 yarder from hoop 3 and made hoop 1 and also laid. Stephen cornered but Mark extracted a break and reached 4-b with another NSL. Stephen hit the short lift with his hoop 2 ball but the rush on partner nicked the peg. The approached was reasonable but the hoop was failed. Mark hit with his backward ball and finished +17tp.
Game 4 began with another turn 3 break, this time by Mark to 4-b with a 3 ducks leave which Stephen missed. However, Mark's standard TP came to unexpected grief when he attempted to hit partner, which had only just run 4-b, from the south and did not make contact. Stephen laid another 1-b leave and looked set for his second sxp with three peels done before 1-back. Sadly for him, he hit a delicate backward take-off too delicately and failed 1-b. Mark took his chance to take his penult ball to rover and finish after Stephen just missed a 30 yarder. There were no bets on the outcome of Game 5 but it turned out to be a brisk 5th turn +26tp to Stephen.
The trophy was presented by Leo Dungan who was thanked for all her hard work in organising the Carrickmines end of the event together with warm appreciation for Simon Williams' groundskeeping labours. Danny Johnston (IRE) had a couple of close encounters in the Plate but completed a TP and a STP and was a very worthy winner.
The three young Spanish players made an excellent impression with their enthusiasm and improved visibly as play went on. Andres Alvarez-Sala was well worth his place in the quarter-final and was a little unlucky to find Mark McInerney in prime form.
Consolation Plate Results
Birger STENE beat Arthur FORBES +4(t)
Juan BRAVO-FERRER beat Kevin GARRAD +17
Roar MICHALSEN beat Fergus McINNES +16
Nathaniel HEALY beat Kevin WELLS +12
Danny JOHNSTON beat Andres DE DIEGO +18TP
Birger STENE beat Roar MICHALSEN +9(t)
Nathaniel HEALY beat Juan BRAVO-FERRER +21
Danny JOHNSTON beat Kevin WELLS +5
Kevin GARRAD beat Andres DE DIEGO +4(t)
Fergus McINNES beat Arthur FORBES +11
Richard GRIFFITHS beat Andreas ALVAREZ-SALA +4(t)
Danny JOHNSTON beat Birger STENE +26STP
Roar MICHALSEN beat Kevin GARRAD +12
Juan BRAVO-FERRER beat Fergus McINNES +19
Danny JOHNSTON beat Roar MICHALSEN +23
Richard GRIFFITHS beat Birger STENE +23
Fergus McINNES beat Kevin GARRAD +16
Kevin WELLS beat Ben REEVES-SMYTH +7(t)
Danny JOHNSTON beat Ben REEVES-SMYTH +10
Richard GRIFFITHS beat Roar MICHALSEN +6
Birger STENE beat Kevin GARRAD +7(t)
Fergus McINNES beat Kevin WELLS +8(t)
Danny JOHNSTON beat Richard GRIFFITHS +3
Roar MICHALSEN beat Kevin WELLS +16
Fergus McINNES beat Birger STENE +3
Plate winner: Danny JOHNSTON (IRE)