Final recovery takes Death to the title.

PUBLISHED: 10:59 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:35 18 June 2010

THERE was certainly a strong field of competitors for the Men s Championships at the Budleigh Croquet club, writes Charles Townshend.

THERE was certainly a strong field of competitors for the Men's Championships at the Budleigh Croquet club, writes Charles Townshend.

Under a format of the best of three games and with so many experienced players, rapid games were the order of the day and triple peels were plentiful.

This very skilful manoeuvre enables the player to take his second ball through all twelve hoops in a single break while, at the same time, peeling his first ball though its final three hoops and then pegging out before the adversary could really get going.

By the time the semi-final stage had been reached, the four names on the list were Stephen Mulliner, James Death, Keith Aiton and Dave Kibble.

From this stage on, the matches were determined over the best of five games.

Death had to recover from a two game deficit to Keith Aiton, something he did with great gusto, performing a flawless triple in each of them.

In the final he met Stephen Mulliner who had played with great control and precision to defeat Dave Kibble.

The final was played on Sunday with the first two games going to Mulliner.

In the third game, Death pulled one back and then levelled the score to take the contest in to a fifth game decider.

Mulliner appeared to be on his way to the title when a small slip up let Death in and he was able to take his second ball round and complete an impressive victory to seal a first major title.

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