AC World Championship Qualifier
Annabel McDiarmidby Jon Diamond at Sussex County Croquet Club
14th July 2023 (AC)
After a late withdrawal there were an odd number of of 23 entrants for this 10 round Swiss event, so the manager had his work cut out to ensure that as many as possible played exactly 10 games, but he managed to get everything on track by the end of round 6.
There were many fascinating moments, but just a couple from the last round were of note. After time was called David Fuller completed his first straight triple, having achieved his first triple earlier in the tournament, to peg out with his opponent's two balls on peg, so a +2 result.
Alison, who needed to win to qualify, had a more stressful time following her accidental pegging out of her partner ball when setting up her 4-back leave. (She blamed the lawn.) She left her ball near one of Mark's, but luckily the peg prevented a roquet. With 1.5 hours left on the clock Mark was on 1 and 1, but played his two balls cannily and steadily, leaving little chance for a short shot. The tension gradually rose and as time was called he had almost caught up, just 2 hoops away from a win, but then blobbed 4-back and Alison then completed a three hoop turn to peg out. Phew!
After this tremendous tussle for the minor places Annabel McDiarmid ran out an easy winner with 9 wins from the 10 games. There was a complex tie-break required to separate the four additional qualifiers from the five people with seven wins. In the end a tie-break of net points(!) had to be used and Craig Oakley was the loser out. So the other qualifiers were Euan Burridge, Alison Maugham, Mark Ormerod and Robert Wilkinson.
Shame Hettler became first reserve, followed by David Fuller.
Gold Awards were made to Guy Hewitt, David Fuller and Carey Johnstone for their first triple peel in a competitive game.
Teddy Wilmot-Sitwell had his handicap reduced form 1.5 to scratch.
Thanks to all who entered, especially the four New Zealanders and one American who came a long way and in the end didn't qualify.