Mulliner wins European Golf Croquet Championship for the fourth time

PUBLISHED: 11:55 01 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:55 01 June 2015

Steven Mulliner, eventual winner of the European Golf Croquet competition, played at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, lining up a shot.

Steven Mulliner, eventual winner of the European Golf Croquet competition, played at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, lining up a shot.

Archant

The European Golf Croquet Championship was played on some of the best lawns in the country over the last four days of May at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, writes Rob Weeks.

Thirty-two players from ten different countries competed for the prestigious title and shield, with the first two and a half days being devoted to contestants playing a ‘round robin’ series of matches in each of four blocks. At the end of this phase of the competition, there were few surprises, with all of the highly-seeded players going through to the knock-out stage of the tournament.

These last sixteen players then contested a place in the quarter final and the resulting eight players were from only three countries – England, Ireland and Sweden. Late on Saturday evening, following the quarter-finals, the last four remaining emerged as Stephen Mulliner, Rachel Rowe and Lionel Tibble from England and Lewis Palmer from Sweden. Palmer, born in England but becoming a Swedish national some seven years ago was the only wild card here since he had beaten Jonaton Andersson in a previous round – a player some eighty places above him in the world rankings.

The semi-finals did not produce any surprises with Mulliner, a three-times winner of this event beating Rowe in two games but only after both had produced an exhibition of precision long-range clearances. In the other match, Tibble was just too strong for Palmer, although Palmer upped his game considerably to almost take the match to a third and deciding game.

On a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon, with a strong north-westerly wind, the final produced some of the best golf croquet that the Club has seen in recent years. It was obvious that the players had completely differing styles; Mulliner was terrier-like, moving swiftly around the lawn with constantly aggressive play, as opposed to Tibble – much taller than Mulliner, almost strolling across the lawn and with a languid swing playing cautiously and often defensively. Mulliner was the clear favourite being ranked ninth in the world, whilst Tibble, although being an extremely difficult player to beat, was ranked much lower in thirty-sixth place.

The first game of the best-of-three final went according to the book with Mulliner just managing to gain a seven-six victory. Tibble then levelled the match with another game which went to the thirteenth hoop but not before Mulliner had amazed the large crowd with some seemingly-impossible clearances. It was obvious that there was very little to separate these two fine players but in the third and deciding game, Mulliner managed to get one hand on the trophy as he forged into a six-four lead, needing only one more hoop to win. Tibble, however, was having none of it and after a nail-biting, nerve-racking phase he somehow managed to claw back to six -all.

Play at the final hoop took almost twenty minutes, with both players missing difficult chances. Either player could have won, but in the end it was Mulliner who managed to regain his grip on the trophy by running the last hoop. He thanked all of the volunteers at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club for their efforts in making the Championship a happy, exciting and enjoyable event.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

15:45

Axe Cliff seniors played their return match against Woodbury Park, writes Pete Motson.

Read more
15:45

Honiton seniors were in Jurassic Challenge action at Lyme Regis, writes John Pawley.

Read more
10:34

Honiton 2nd XV ended their season with an emphatic 62-19 success visiting Okehampton III.

Read more
10:31

Honiton seniors travelled to Sidmouth for their latest action, writes John Pawley.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:47

Eventing legend Mary King MBE and her daughter Emily officially opened Bicton Arena’s new all-weather arena at a special ceremony that took place during the arenas international horse trails at the weekend which saw more than 700 horse and rider combinations in action, writes Lucy Johnson.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:45

Axe Cliff played their first Emerton Court match if the season last week, writes Pete Motson.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:36

Point-to-Point racehorse enthusiast will be treated to another bumper weekend of racing this coming weekend, where the Axe Vale host their meeting on Sunday (April 30), followed by the Stevenstone staging their meeting on Bank Holiday Monday (May 1), writes Donna Harris.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:52

At last members at the Devon and Somerset Gliding Club (DSGC) have been able to enjoy decent soaring weather, writes Jill Harman.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:36

David Doel headed the CIC2* at Bicton Arena International horse Trials riding Gillian Jonas’ Shannondale Quest adding four showjumping penalties to his dressage score of 43.4, writes Lucy Johnson.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:14

Honiton Town have been able to hand over a cheque for almost £2,000 following their charity match, played at Mountbatten Park over the Christmas holiday.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: -1°C

Most Read Sport

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Honiton's trusted business finder

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists


Find planning applications