European Croquet Championships 2012
Andrew Johnston from Newcastle Co. Wicklow rounded off an excellent season on the croquet lawns with a memorable win in the final of the European Championships.
Andrew had previously qualified three times to represent Ireland at these championships but had failed to get past the semi final stage. The event was held in Jersey in the Channel Islands and lasted three days with players representing countries from all over Europe. The Irish man was undefeated in his qualifying block on day one and continued this rich vein of form into the quarter finals and semi finals on day two.
In the final he would face the number one seed Stephen Mulliner from England, defending champion, multiple British Open winner and former world championship silver medalist. Stephen took the first game of this best of five final promptly and soon after the second to lead 2-0 and it was looking ominous for Irish hopes. Andrew struck back in the third to prevent a whitewash and continued with and excellent win in the fourth game to level the match at 2-2. The match had been of high quality with the first four games completed in under 4 hours with very few errors.
The title would be decided in the fifth and final game in which Andrew held his nerve and rode his luck to come out on top.
"This is a fantastic achievement for Irish Croquet as I am only the third Irish person to win this title and on the back of my first Irish Open its been a really good year for me"
This is Andrew's third title this year having won the South Leinster Champioship in July followed by his first Irish Open singles title in August and now European Champion.