David Maugham Won the South Of England Championship, with a Record 55 Championship Finals Under His Belt
|Round 1||Quarter Finals||Semi Finals||Final||Winner|
|Richard H Smith||
David Maugham won his fourth South of England Championship; Mark Ormerod won the plate
A somewhat reduced field this year with Robert Wilkinson the only newcomer, and David Harrison-Wood returning after a six-year absence. Unlike the very wet conditions of the preceding week, the weekend remained dry and predominantly sunny, although there was heavy dew each morning and the temperature was kept in check by a distinctly chilly north-east breeze, especially on Sunday.
With the first two rounds of the knockout completed by Friday evening it was possible to play both semi-finals and the final as best-of-5 games. The four seeds duly found their way to the semis and top seeds, Jamie Burch and David Maugham, contested the final. David was on top form making controlled breaks and strong leaves whenever he was in with the balls. Jamie's shooting was not quite as consistent as it was when he was champion in 2013 and 2014 and this gave David the edge for victory. David's appearances in the finals of 55 regional championships since 1989, 31 of which he won (including a clean sweep of all four in 1998), is a truly remarkable record: only Robert Fulford (34 finals, 26 wins) comes anywhere near, with the formidable Miss DD Steel (10 wins, the last in 1952, admittedly in the days when there were only two regional championships, North and South) coming what seems a poor third.
By Sunday morning the Swiss was bubbling along nicely with Robert, Richard Smith and Mark Ormerod just ahead of the rest. Breaking with the format used in previous years, the top 6 Swiss players at that stage and the two losing semi-finalists from the main event were drawn to play a knock-out. This was won in fine style by Mark who beat both Jack Wicks (fresh from a Compton speed record win: +26TP in 28 minutes flat - over Nigel Polhill) and Ed Duckworth to win the Sussex Union Cup for the first time. No sextuple attempts succeeded but there were triples aplenty with 11 of the 14 players achieving at least one and more than half the games won with peeling turns. David Maugham took the peeling prize with 9 triples from 10 games.
Tim and Hilary Smith provided delicious, welcome hot lunches and many praised the efforts of Compton groundsman John Crisford for achieving such notable improvements in the quality of the lawns, a programme that he insists is very much ongoing.