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Joel Taylor won the Southwick Salver

[<<] [>>] by Dom Nunns at Sussex County Croquet Club
20th April 2023 (AC)

22 participants braved the weather for the Southwick Salver weekend, a season-opening event with a considerable tradition - the names of several world champions grace the salver itself, but the wider tournament has always embraced players of varying handicaps, in part through the use of the 'Egyptian' format consolation. After heavy rain prior to the event the players were rewarded with no rain during the event and even a small amount of sunshine.

In the first semi-final to finish, second seed Joel Taylor (Roehampton) came back from a game down to defeat no.3 seed Dom Nunns (Sussex County) 2-1 with highly efficient and accurate break play. The other semi saw an elongated and dramatic match between two players with recent Antipodean success behind them. Local hero Gabrielle Higgins (no.5 seed) eventually beat the world number 3 Jamie Burch (Reigate) in a final game three-ball ending.

The final between Gabrielle and Joel also went all the way to a third game, following the sharing of two manager-pleasingly one-sided games. Gabrielle then took the early initiative, but Joel eventually reported, "I won game 3 +6. Gabs broke down on a TP having done one peel. I completed the peels and then won the three-ball ending after quite a lot of back and forth."

The Egyptian was won by Teddy Wilmot-Sitwell (Winterborne Valley / Dulwich). Although the games were Level Advanced, Teddy's handicap of 4.5 meant that his starting rating was such that strong performances against scratch players or better would put him in contention under the somewhat esoteric scoring system. He thoroughly deserved his win after scoring a maximum 9 points in his final game for beating Tudor Jenkins, a -1 handicap who had shown some signs of excellent form himself in the early rounds of the knockout. Honourable mentions go to Alan Chance and Paul Castell, both of whom actually won all of their Egyptian games but were nonetheless unable to surpass Teddy's total and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Thanks to the groundsmen, caterers and Club chairman Clive Hayton for all their efforts.


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