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Dominic Nunns won the COWhorn

[<<] [>>] by Roger Wood at Compton
17 Jul 2019 (AC)

This year's event was two weeks earlier than usual because Compton is due to be one of the co-hosts of the GC World Championships at the end of the month. One or two regulars were therefore absent with croquet commitments elsewhere, but a strong field was assembled and it was good to see 6 new faces including New Zealand visitor Graeme Fisher. Other contrasts to last year: the weather remained pleasant throughout with no sign of the showers threatened for Saturday afternoon; the games were quicker, 50% more played; and there were 5 times as many peeling finishes!

David Maugham and Dominic Nunns dominated the knockout, both undefeated by 6 0'clock on Saturday evening having won their best-of-3 semi-finals. They opted for a best-of-5 super-advanced final which provided spectators with a high quality contest for most of Sunday. The scores for the first 4 games speak for themselves, each completed in fewer than a dozen turns. Game 1: Dominic was first to 4-back; David to 1-back leaving himself a short rush in the middle of the west boundary to Dominic's balls closely cross-pegged; Dominic lifted to A-baulk, shot at partner, bounced off the peg allowing David to finish with a fine sextuple. Games 2 and 3 were all Dominic, break to 4-back, David making a leave from the contact and Dominic gaining his second break with a long cross court hit in and finished. Game 4: David to 1-back in turn 4 with the cross-pegged leave; Dominic lifted to A-baulk and hit partner, break to 4-back; David laid a rush in corner 4, Dominic missed from NW of hoop 1; David took his forward ball to 4-back with MSL; Dominic attempted the hampered shot at hoop 4 but missed and David tripled out. Game 5 saw fluctuating fortunes and ran to nearly 30 turns. David to 1-back in turn 6 with his cross-pegged leave; Dominic lifted to A-baulk and missed into corner 2; David's intended second sextuple came to grief after hoop 1 when he unaccountably missed a short roquet on the corner 2 ball, gifting Dominic a break to 4-back. On taking off from Dominic's ball NW of hoop 1 to partner north of corner 4, David went off the lawn; Dominic missed his partner ball in corner 3. A superb rush from corner 4 into corner 3 gave David a cannon to begin his TPO; all 3 peels before 3-back and blue pegged out. There followed a series of turns in which Dominic twice failed hoop 2 after long roll-ups while David contrived wired rushes and made 1-back. Dominic eventually made hoop 2 leaving black, wired from nearby red, in position to run hoop 3 with yellow SW of hoop 4. David sent red to corner 1; Dominic ran hoop 3 to the south boundary, made hoops 4, 5, 6 and 1-back (angled requiring a jump) off yellow, picked up red and finished to retain the COWhorn on which he blew a celebratory flourish at the prizegiving.

The end of play on Saturday saw 6 players on equal numbers of wins in the Swiss. During the course of Sunday Nigel Polhill and Chris Coull beat off erstwhile contenders and emerged to play each other in the decider in which Nigel, delighted with his run of form, proved victorious to win the COWbell. He and Gabrielle Higgins each recorded 3 triples but David Maugham's sextuple guaranteed him the peeling prize, the Ace Peeler's helmet, with Dominic in second place with 5 triples. Mention must be made of Paul Castell's generosity in designing and manufacturing a splendid stand for the COWhorn (inspired by that for the COWbell) with a plate containing the names of all the winners since 1978 and space to accommodate future holders until 2037 !

Knockout for the COWhorn

Round 1
Annabel McDiarmid beat Paul Castell +16
Gabrielle Higgins beat Philip Eardley +17
David Maugham beat Chris Coull +26tp
Dominic Nunns beat Graeme Fisher +26tp
Alison Maugham beat Nigel Polhill +18
Omied Hallam beat Rich Waterman +11

Round 2
Annabel McDiarmid beat Chris O'Byrne +16
David Maugham beat Gabrielle Higgins +19
Dominic Nunns beat Alison Maugham +18
Omied Hallam beat Andrew Gregory +22

David Maugham beat Annabel McDiarmid +17 +4
Dominic Nunns beat Omied Hallam +25tp +10tp


Dominic Nunns beat David Maugham -17sxp +26tp +25tp -17tp +7otp

Swiss for the COWbell
Winner: Nigel Polhill (7/9)
(6/9) Chris Coull
(5/9) Graeme Fisher, Gabrielle Higgins, Annabel McDiarmid
(4/8) Alison Maugham
(4/9) Paul Castell, Omied Hallam
(3/7) Philip Eardley, Rich Waterman
(1/8) Andrew Gregory (0/9) Chris O'Byrne

Ace peeler: David Maugham; Runner up: Dominic Nunns

COWpat: Chris O'Byrne


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