A revised format combined this years Silver and Bronze Medals held in Carrickmines under sunny skies. 9 players pitched into one block all-play-all, followed by a best-of-three final match between the top two players. Firm hoops challenged any sloppy play but on the other hand the lawns were quite easy-paced.
The most consistent players proved to be Andy and Ed with 9 triples between them in the block. The very first round saw them up against each other and the manager won in three turns while Andy's shooting hadn't warmed up (shoulder injury from rugby still niggling him slightly). After this game, neither dropped another and so finished first and second in the block to earn a place in the "grand final". Patsy's results went according to his ranking, comfortable wins against those below him but unable to topple those above, a couple of nice triples on the second day suggesting that his form improved as it went along.
Simon uncharacteristically had no peels all weekend and wasn't up to his usual standard being lucky to survive against Evan and Danny.
Nathaniel showed promise beating Simon and almost getting Andy.
The highlights for Evan were beating Nathaniel and losing -1 to Simon!
Jane's steady play earned her the Bronze Medal, while Danny avoided the wooden spoon by beating Kieran. Both Newcastle youngsters should be dangerous opponents in next years event as they get more top level experience.
The final between Andy and Ed turned out to be more a test of endurance than croquet, especially game 3 which was a real treat for the spectators! It featured all sorts of wonderful stuff like Andy faulting himself on a take-off shot in the opening, at least 4 hoop failures, a failed sextuple peel attempt, loads of hampered shots, several misses under 5 yards (the shortest was 2), failing to wire the ball at hoop 4 in the leave (that happened twice!), an "impossible hoop" run purely out of anger(!) and many more delights. In the end Ed triumphed +26tp -9 +16 to take home another Silver Medal.
ed cunningham (8 wins 0 losses) beat andrew johnston +26 patsy fitzgerald +25 danny johnston +8 nathaniel healy +18tp simon williams +19tp evan newell +17tp kieran murphy +8tp jane shorten +26
andrew johnston (7 wins 1 loss) beat simon williams +25tp even newell +5 jane shorten +19tp patsy fitzgerald +10 danny johnston +26tp nathaniel healy +5tp kieran murphy +24tp
simon williams (5 wins 3 losses) beat patsy fitzgerald +18 jane shorten +12 danny johnston +3 evan newell +1 kieran murphy +23
patsy fitzgerald (5 wins 3 losses) beat kieran murphy +22 evan newell +15 danny johnston +19 jane shorten +26tp nathaniel healy +25tp
nathaniel healy (4 wins 4 losses) beat jane shorten +11 simon williams +22 kieran murphy +21 danny johnston +20
jane shorten (3 wins 5 losses) beat danny johnston +23 evan newell +20 kieran murphy +19
evan newell (3 wins 5 losses) beat kieran murphy +13 nathaniel healy +9 danny johnston +23
danny johnston (1 win 7 losses) beat kieran murphy +13