Finals Day of the 2019 Irish Open mined a rich seam of croquet superlatives as the gods of the game delivered. Very few men have been to the mountain top. Andrew Johnston, a multiple Championship winner, repeated his feat of years past in procuring the 2019 title. Patsy Fitzgerald, revelling in his title shot outdoors in a ball park, tied the ball game at 1 all in the best of 3 but ultimately lost out to a man who embodies empathy and masculinity in equal measure, as a former back row forward for Old Wesley RFC.
Early doors, the Championship Doubles went the way of the Maughams - a ye olde country pair whose exceptional play bore rich fruit by way of a podium finish.
In the USCA Silver Salver, some magnificent hoop running from Vicky Johnston brought forth the coveted trophy at the expense of the Hamptworth's Diana Stephens - whose play this week has been compellingly superb.
The Handicap Singles was won by David Boyd versus Sandy Greig in a style that may yet see him co-opted onto Paul Weller's The Style Council as an honorary member.
Geraldine O'Rourke personifies the noun metronome, both in her unerring accuracy and a technique that attracts major titles. Her Steel Cup showdown with Dave McGrath went the way of the blonde arch-strategist, her reward an etching on the trophy for perpetuity. Paul Cotter annexed the Newell Candlestick, his spectacular play too much for the supporting cast.
In the Alternate Shot Doubles, Simon Williams and Paul Cotter ascended heights known only to birds of prey and North Korean ballistic missiles. They bested McGrath and Whelan by 22 hoops to 8.