Garland Cup 2018
A field of 32 served off for the Garland Cup at midday on Friday. Mark Savage led the way with two quick victories which meant that the Chairman had to beat him to go through to Sunday’s action. The latter dug deep from 2-4 down to reach 4-4, and 40 all to take the match and a place in the last 16 … or so he thought. On entering the Bar, he was received with big fat smiley faces exuding schadenfreude. His game difference it transpired, was inferior to Lloyd Pettiford’s who had also won 2 matches. Anything to keep the members amused …
Bad weekend news also for Bruce Paxton who tripped and fell injuring his ankle- he tells me he tripped over his feet and wasn’t victim of one of the cracks in the floor that he was painstakingly investigating in 2017. Nor was it a great end to Saturday for David ‘Snowy’ Prophet whose motorcycle fell foul of some black ice near Banbury leaving him with, he alleges, a broken arm but not a broken spirit, for on his return on Sunday, he was happy to recount the tale of a recent match at Oxford against a student in which he had to give her, in a set to 8, a handicap of receive 30, owe 15, one serve and banned tambour. At 6/6 he climbed back from owe 30-40 to 40 all and proceeded to serve a fault. 6/7. As if that wasn’t enough he repeated exactly the same medicine in the final game! 6-8. One (he) never learns. And such chivalrous behaviour! I digress somewhat…
In the first eight knock out matches, remarkably there were six 5/4 scores, a positive gratefully received by the Handicap System. In the quarters surprise packet John Franklin defeated Andrew Luce 5/2, Richard Marmoy’s ululations and unconventional shot making proved too much for a despairing Philip Shaw-Hamilton who, lost in a daze, conceded 1/5. Alan Moug had a close tussle with David Aldwinckle, giving away the world but ultimately holding onto the globe 5/4. James Richardson squeezed past David Bugge who had only managed to beat the wounded Prophet 5/4- for whom it was a customary loss!
In the first semi-final John Franklin’s handicap of 70 proved a bridge too far for Richard Marmoy whose hobbling had worsened during the day and it was ironic, that having gone further in a Moreton competition than ever before, he and his knees announced his retirement from active combat. His impressions of the Andy Murray hobble were impressive but I doubt we have seen the end of a grand supporter of the Club! He lost 5/1. Last year’s runner up, Alan Moug was constantly in the match against James Richardson twice scrabbling back from owe 30 receive 40 situations but the pressure told at 4-4 with some unwanted unforced errors.
So who would take the Garland crown from last year’s winner Norman Hyde? Richardson roared into a 2-0 lead with cack handed serves that bemused Franklin. But this game has a funny habit of refusing to follow the script and Franklin dragged himself back into the match with several telling shots and Richardson found himself chasing the game too often, despite hauling himself back from owe 30 40 on two occasions. At 4-4 the game slipped away losing 4/6 to an opponent who had to be told he had just won! It was a tough handicap to give but welcome to the world of among others Messrs Shaw-Hamilton, Moug and Miller, talking of whom- did he pick out the finalists in his pre-tournament Bandito hit list? His comprehension of Mexican was never his strongpoint!
So there we have it- John Franklin plays in his first tournament and wins it, a tribute and a free advert for Tom’s coaching! John thanked the professionals and the members for extending such a warm welcome to him in his first year and promised to introduce several of his family to the game. And John Miller promises to monitor his handicap.