Stephen Mulliner won the President’s Cup by winning 12 out of 14 games. Harry Fisher was the runner-up with 11 wins from 14 games.
8 of the country’s top players gathered at Bowdon to contest one the most important annual events in the Croquet Association calendar. The sun shone for all but a few minutes on the Sunday. Alan Mayne and John Greatbanks had prepared the lawns wonderfully, and Lorna Frost and Kay Martin ensured a ready supply of meals and refreshments under very difficult hot conditions. The result was a feast of top quality croquet over 4 days to test the players and delight the spectators. Keith Aiton and Chris Clarke, 2 previous winners, came along to watch play.
Stephen’s final game was a very close run affair against David Goacher. Stephen performed a tpo against David, and after some dramatic exchanges David had a good chance to run rover to surely win. He stuck in rover and Stephen went on to win. During that game however, after Stephen had peeled David’s yellow through rover, he croqueted his blue to the red that was in the jaws of Stephen’s 3-back. Stephen was on the north side of the red and roqueted it through. Spectators all expected him to then run 3-back. However, in an uncommon lapse, Stephen played a croquet shot with red over towards hoop one. There was a collective intake of breath by spectators. David was unfortunately not watching the play. These things happen very occasionally.
The importance of the competition was recognised by ITV. Granada Reports featured the competition and Bowdon CC, in the evening’s programme on 7th September. Debbie and Ian were interviewed at some length by Chris Hill. Angharrad Walters and Samir Patel also spoke in the programme.
The full results of the weekend, save for a late finishing game between Ian Lines and David Goacher which Ian won 26 – 10 giving Ian 5 wins, are shown below, as taken from the Croquet Scores website.
The players are all shown below in play during the weekend.
When James Death played Stephen Mulliner, refereeing was taken to a high level to decide whether James had a cannon after roqueting red, with red and yellow both on the boundary. Measuring tapes, Samir as acting referee and with Ian Lines assisting, spent some time adjudicating.