Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hughes Brothers Win at Home

"Chip" was our unofficial mascot.

18 players took part in the 2010 Delaware Invitational accentuating a wonderful lawn and a new croquet pavilion at the Wilmington Country Club. The weather played along with gentle warmth and a cool breeze delaying any rain until the evenings.

Two blocks eventually split into three playoff ladders for singles while social waterford doubles entertained the crowd at lunch time each day. Tom Hughes and Hank Schilling took the doubles titles undisputed with perfect records and help from a variety of partners.

Players were treated to a riverside opening party at the Hughes' overlooking the Brandywine River. The tournament dinner had top tier entertainment at Linda Prickett's beautiful home where she and the wonderfully talented Greg Shaffer dueled on twin pianos to everyone's delight.

Playoffs were anything but predictable as upsets were the norm. Robert Lankford and Peter Woolley took their number one seeds into the winners circle while number two seeds all fell early. Hank Schilling gave Peter a scare but Peter ran the go ahead break as time expired to win by one point with a perfect 10 - 0 record.

Peter Woolley sizes up opponent Jean Geddes in the block.

Tom Hughes as the number one seed survived a scare from his son-in-law Craig Smith in round one and was defeated by his brother Jim's long hit ins in the semi-final. The 6 – 1 Bob Whitmore was the unfortunate number two seed and fell victim to a break running bandit Barry Gibson. The british cowboy (Gibson) kept the breaks rolling as he beat number three seed Chuck Whitlow.

In the finals Jim took a play out of brother Tom's book with a huge attack from corner to corner to take the early lead. Jim hit his long shots but Barry got the break anyway by running two ball breaks until he picked up whatever errant ball was left on the court. The game was tied in the final minutes and many clutch shots fell off line leaving spectators on the edge of their seats. Jim finally benefitted from Barry's deadness and broke the tie in the second round of overtime to win 19 – 18.
Champion Jim Hughes (right) and Runner-Up Barry Gibson (left).

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