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Mark Avery won the North Of England Championship

[<<] [>>] by Ian Lines at Bowdon
22-25 August 2014 (AC - Championships)

A full field of 24 turned up to contest this year's North of England Championship at Bowdon. The weather was a little better than predicted, with some warm spells, but still a bit damp and drizzly at times. The lawns were running fairly evenly at about 10.5 seconds, but the President's hoops were set accurately to a 1/64" on the largest ball in each matched set. This involved some commendable effort from hoop setter Barry Keen, but it did have a very noticeable effect in that almost everyone (except perhaps David Maugham) stuck in or grovelled through quite a number of hoops - which just hasn't happened at most other Advanced tournaments recently in the UK. People were also inclined to approach hoops much closer, leading to over-approaches and a failure to get forward rushes, and despite the otherwise relatively easy conditions, nobody managed any more than a qp.

The preliminary round went according to seeding, but in the first round Keith Aiton demonstrated a return to form with two tpos against David Goacher, and Richard H Smith played solidly to beat Robert Wilkinson 2-1. Keith continued his run in the quarters, coming back from 0-2 down to beat Jack Wicks, and Ian Lines took advantage of some unlucky shooting from David Maugham to win 3-2 (playing normal rather than super-advanced). Colin Irwin also played his best for several years beating James Hopgood with very few errors. In the semi-finals, Keith stuck in a few hoops early on against Ian, but giving very little away, and although Ian had one or two later chances, Keith was fairly clinical to win 3-0. In the other semi-final, Colin Irwin took the first game off Mark Avery, but Mark always looked the form player and won 3-1.

The final between Mark Avery and Keith Aiton was over shortly after lunch on Monday, with Mark winning -26tp, +17tp, +24qp, +20, in about the same time that David Goacher and Ian Lines played the first game of the Plate knockout.

The surprise performance in the Plate was Phillip Scarr, who shot well and made relatively few errors to beat Chris Williams, Debbie Lines, Matt Holmes and Robert Wilkinson - earning himself a handicap reduction to -1. In the Plate knockout, probably the best game was between James Hopgood and Debbie Lines - Debbie had a neat tpo, but James played well in the 3-ball and 2-ball ending to eventually win +3otp. In the Plate Final, James looked certain to beat David Goacher and retain his Plate title for a third year in succession, but he elected to rush peel partner through penult before penult, rather than playing a stop shot from inside the jaws. This led to a slightly more difficult approach to penult and a failed hoop - handing the game to David some time later.

Colin Irwin presented the Faulkner Cup to Mark and the Bowdon Cup to Keith. Thanks were also given to the entire catering team for the magnificent lunches and teas over the four days, to Alan Mayne for the excellent lawns, and to Barry Keen and Colin Irwin for setting the lawns and hoops.

It's interesting to note that Mark last won the event in 1982, at the age of 16, when he beat Peter Death in the single game final - the event was played as Draw and Process in those days and had only been resurrected in 1979 after a gap of 23 years. It is thought that this gap of 32 years is the longest interval between wins for any major croquet championship. It was also pointed out that this was the first time in the modern era that the contestants in the final had a combined age of over 100!

Full Results Below

First Round Second Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final Winner
David Maugham

David Maugham
+25 +20tp

David Maugham
+22tp +26tp

Ian Lines
-7tp -11tpo +26 +17tp +26

Keith Aiton
+17tp +20 +26tp

Mark Avery
-26tp +17tp +24qp +20


Jarrod Coutts
Ailsa Lines

Phill Scarr
+16 +19

Phill Scarr
Chris Williams

Chris Williams
+5 +14

Ian Lines
+18tp +16tp

Barry Keen
Jerry Guest

Ian Lines
+26tp +16

Ian Lines
  David Goacher

Keith Aiton
+4tpo +10tpo

Keith Aiton
-10 -8 +26tp +12otp +6

  Keith Aiton
  Matt Holmes

Jack Wicks
-6 +12tpo +25tp

  Jack Wicks
  James Hopgood

James Hopgood
+4 +3

Colin Irwin
-23tp +21tp +25tp +26tp

Mark Avery
-20 +17tp +14 +25tp

  Andrew Winn
  Colin Irwin

Colin Irwin
-16 +20 +8tp

  Gabrielle Higgins
Francois Garcia

Richard H Smith
+18 +26

Richard H SMith
-5 +14 +7

Mark Avery
+26tp +25tp +25tp

Richard H Smith
Mike Sandler

Robert Wilkinson
+24tp +26tp

Robert Wilkinson
Debbie Lines

Debbie Lines
+16 +21tp

Mark Avery
+13tp -13 +19tp

Eugene Chang
Sam Murray

Mark Avery
+6 +25qp

Mark Avery

Consolation Plate

Jarrod Coutts beat Mike Sandler +24tp

Sam Murray beat Jerry Guest +19

Eugene Chang beat Barry Keen +12

Matt Holmes beat Eugene Chang +8

David Goacher beat Jarrod Coutts +26tp

Gabrielle Higgins beat Sam Murray +10tp

Jerry Guest beat Barry Keen +11

Andrew Winn beat Mike Sandler +5

Ailsa Lines beat Eugene Chang +7

David Goacher beat Debbie Lines +26tp

Phillip Scarr beat Chris Williams +2

Gabrielle Higgins beat Jerry Guest +25

Jarrod Coutts beat Sam Murray +13tp

Matt Holmes beat Francois Garcia +1 (t)

Barry Keen beat Mike Sandler +13

Gabrielle Higgins beat Jarrod Coutts +26tp

David Goacher beat Robert Wilkinson +26tp

Ailsa Lines beat Andrew Winn +10

Phillip Scarr beat Debbie Lines +11

Matt Holmes beat Jerry Guest +20

James Hopgood beat Sam Murray +14

Robert Wilkinson beat Francois Garcia +12

Chris Williams beat Eugene Chang +7

Mike Sandler beat Richard H Smith +4

Ailsa Lines beat Francois Garcia +4

Chris Williams beat Debbie Lines +14tp

Sam Murray beat Barry Keen +23

James Hopgood beat Robert Wilkinson +12tp

David Goacher beat Jack Wicks +16

Jarrod Coutts beat Andrew Winn +3

Phillip Scarr beat Matt Holmes +25

Jerry Guest beat Eugene Chang +11

Mike Sandler beat Francois Garcia +13

Chris Williams beat Gabrielle Higgins +9

Debbie Lines beat Barry Keen +14

Robert Wilkinson beat Sam Murray +17tp

James Hopgood beat David Goacher +23

Richard H Smith beat Ailsa Lines +1 (t)

Matt Holmes beat Andrew Winn +26

Jack Wicks beat Jarrod Coutts +20

Eugene Chang beat Mike Sandler +8

James Hopgood beat Richard H Smith +25tp

Debbie Lines beat Gabrielle Higgins +13

Chris Williams beat Robert Wilkinson +16tp

David Goacher beat Matt Holmes +17

Eugene Chang beat Jarrod Coutts +11

Sam Murray beat Francois Garcia +4 (t)

Phillip Scarr beat Jerry Guest +18

Robert Wilkinson beat Ailsa Lines +14tp

Andrew Winn beat Sam Murray +3tp

Mike Sandler beat Francois Garcia +14

Sam Murray beat Ailsa Lines +17

Matt Holmes beat Richard H Smith +4 (t)

Debbie Lines beat Andrew Winn +14tp

Phillip Scarr beat Robert Wilkinson +6

Quarter Finals of Plate

Chris Williams beat Matt Holmes +20

Colin Irwin beat Phillip Scarr +5

James Hopgood beat Debbie Lines +3otp

David Goacher beat Ian Lines +5

Semi Finals of Plate

James Hopgood beat Chris Williams +25tp

David Goacher beat Colin Irwin +26tp

Final of Plate

David Goacher beat James Hopgood +5

[62 games]


Mark Avery (-2) 13/16 8 tps, 2 qps

James Hopgood (-2) 9/13 4 tps

Keith Aiton (-1.5) 9/14 4 tps, 2 tpos

David Goacher (-1.5) 8/11 4 tps

Phillip Scarr (-0.5) 7/10

Chris Williams (-1.5) 7/11 2 tps

Colin Irwin (-1.5) 7/13 4 tps

Ian Lines (-1.5) 7/13 4 tps

David Maugham (-2) 6/9 4 tps, 1 tpo

Matt Holmes (-1) 6/11

Robert Wilkinson (-1) 6/12 4 tps

Debbie Lines (-0.5) 6/12 2 tps, 1 otp

Jack Wicks (-1.5) 5/10 1 tp, 1 tpo

Richard H Smith (-0.5) 5/12

Gabrielle Higgins (-1.5) 4/8 2 tps

Sam Murray (-0.5) 4/11

Ailsa Lines (-0.5) 3/8

Eugene Chang (-0.5) 3/9

Jarrod Coutts (0) 3/9 2 tps

Mike Sandler (3) 3/9

Andrew Winn (-1) 2/8 1 tp

Jerry Guest (1) 2/8

Barry Keen (4) 1/7

Francois Garcia (2.5) 0/8


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