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Dave Kibble and Tim Wilkins share the Solomon Trophy

[<<] [>>] by Alex Jardine at Southwick
30th September 2001 (AC)

After a day-and-a half's excellent croquet in deteriorating conditions, the weather finally got the better of the 24 competitors at lunch-time on Sunday 30 September, leaving the Solomon Trophy to be shared between Tim Wilkins and Dave Kibble.

The omens were not too good on the Saturday morning when players arrived to find the Sussex stream-shifting squad wielding their paddles to clear overnight standing water. In fact, the day improved considerably and, by evening, it was the brightness of the setting sun which was causing the problems.

For once, there were no surprise upsets in Round 1, though Paul Castell had to labour long and hard to get the better of outside-handicapper Pauline Davey. Frances Low and Gene Mears, called in as a late replacement on the non-appearance of Tony Le Moignan, had a 5½-hour marathon before Frances went through to be beaten by Dave Mundy in the second round.

Tim Wilkins was stringing together TPs but only just squeaked past Nelson Morrow by +2, while Roger Tribe dumped out holder Lionel Tibble after being TPO-ed. In the gathering darkness, several games were pegged-down, including the finely-balanced quarter-final between Mundy and Jack Davis.

In the fine drizzle of Sunday morning, Wilkins had another efficient win over Tribe to win his semi-final, while Davis hit in superbly in the 3-ball ending after being pegged-out. In the semi, though, Jack had no answer to Dave Kibble, suffering a rapid whitewash.

By lunch-time, however, the rain had set in properly and only the truly dedicated (Tibble/Castell) persisted as the waters rose. Eventually, manager Simon Tuke, after consulting with the finalists, made the only realistic decision, an honourable draw was declared and the trophy was passed into two pairs of hands by President John of that ilk.


Solomon Trophy: Tim Wilkins/Dave Kibble
Egyptian: Lionel Tibble 7/8


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