Three members of the club: Ian Burridge, Paddy Chapman and James Death, played in the WCF AC World Championship at Wellington, New Zealand. All three qualified from the blocks for the 32-player knock-out; Paddy and James got through to the last 16, but Ian lost in straight games. Paddy progressed to the quarter finals, after a tight match against David Maloof, who was the runner up last time it was held, but James Death lost to the Spaniard, Jose Riva.
In the quarter-finals, Paddy Chapman beat Samir Patel by three matches to one and in the semi-final beat Stephen Mulliner 3-2, to reach the final for the second time. He played Reg Bamford, whom he beat on the way to the final in 2013, where he lost to Robert Fletcher.
The final was played in uncharacteristically warm, wet and misty weather for Wellington, though a northerly wind sprung up with some heavier showers in the afternoon. It was played at the Kelburn Municipal Croquet Club, along with the finals of the consolation events.
A close contest ensured, with Paddy winning the first game +7 after Reg had broken down on a Sextuple and Paddy had failed a Triple Peel. The remaining games were more clinical. Reg won the next two games +26tp, and had the first ball round, to 4-Back this time, in the final two games. However, on each occasion Paddy shot at and hit the ball at the peg with his lift, went to 4-Back himself, and finished with a triple after Reg had missed. He thus won the Wimbledon Cup, which is to be loaned to the All England Club for the exhibition to celebrate their 150th anniversary this year. also means that he and Miranda are a rare example of a couple who are both reigning World Champions, as she won the Women's AC Championship when it was played at their home club, Nottingham, in 2015.
In the consolation events, Greg Fletcher of Australia beat James Death in the final of the Shield, after James broke down in a valiant attempt at a sextuple while the rain was at its heaviest. Jonathan Powe won the Bowl, beating Stuat Lawrence of the USA in straight games, and Stephen Morgan, also of the USA, took the Plate, with Alain Giraud getting very little play.
The event, which was enlivened by a number of upcoming younger players, was played in an excellent spirit, which rewarded the generousity and hard work put in by the members of the host clubs. The baton was handed to Australia, who are expected to host the next Championship in Melbourne in 2020.
If you want to read more about the organisation of the event (and particularly the profiles of many of the players) go to http://www.sporty.co.nz/2018acworldchampionships
The full results and commentary are available at https://croquetscores.com/2018/ac/wcf-world-championship.