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Jack Good wins Cheshire Open

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pictureJack Good & Liz Taylor-Webb

by John Lucas at Bowdon
13th July 2023 (GC)

The inaugural Cheshire Open (part of the 'Ascot' series) was held at Bowdon over the weekend of 8/9th July. The high quality field of 12 had an average DGrade of 2228, with 50% of the players having won previous 'Ascots', often on many occasions.

The format, which was agreed by the players by a vote, was 3 seeded blocks of 4 with all matches best of 3. The block winners went straight into the semis, with the 3 block second placed players and a 'lucky' loser playing a simple 13pt knock out for the last semi-final spot.

Block A - Moberly, Giraud, Burridge (I), Davies, went to form, though Ian did take a game off JP. In Block B - Burridge (E), Good, Mayne, Cornes, Jack upset the seeding by winning in 2 against Euan. There was a similar upset in Block C, Johnson, Bilton (R), Aarvold, Matthews, where Richard beat Callum 2-1.

The play-offs saw the 'Battle of Burridge' where Euan beat Ian 7-6, whilst in the other semi Alain beat Callum 7-4. Euan comfortably won this final 7-3.

The weather forecast for Sunday at best was indifferent but potentially shocking. Jack obviously took this to heart in his semi against Euan winning 7-5, 7-5, in quick time. In game 1 Jack recovered after Euan led 4-1 but was never behind in the second. In the other semi JP won game 1 but Richard fought back to equalise. The final game saw JP gain an early advantage that he held onto, to finish 7-4.

The final, on lawn 1, in the 'tournament configuration', saw the hoops reset (1/32") by Alan Mayne - taking a quick break from the 'Plate'. JP took the lead in both games but Jack prevailed 7-5, 7-5. His game was 'good' overall but the general consensus amongst the knowledgeable spectators (and JP) was that his clearing was in a different league.

The all play all 'Plate' saw a 3 way tie between Ian, Alain & Dominic but went to Ian on hoop difference.

Having set up for an 'outside' presentation, the first raindrops fell as Liz Taylor-Webb started her introductions but she was (just) able to distribute the appropriate awards prior to the heavens opening. Liz did draw attention to the fact that Jack had gone through the event without dropping a game. (Subsequent research shows that Jack becomes the 6th player to win an 'Ascot' undefeated, joining Tibble, Powe, Bilton, Savage and Rachel - not a bad group to join).

All results are on Croquet Scores:


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