GCWC: Final match report

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A really gripping final between Ben Rothman, from the USA and an ex-finalist in the Association Croquet World Championship, and Mohamed Karem, from Egypt!

In general both players were deadly at clearing balls from 13-20 yards, so use very different tactics to most players, and with very different styles in grips and mallets. Rothman uses a variation of the Solomon grip, with both hands hinged at the top of the mallet.   Karem uses a variation of the Egyptian style, beginning by setting up the shot with hands at the top of the mallet which he moves down to the middle of the mallet on hard hitting shots to make the stroke (the top hand only grips the mallet between the thumb and first finger).

Mohamed got two games to one up (5-7, 7-2, 7-3) and was leading 6-3. Everyone was beginning to engrave his name on the trophy, but Ben fought back tremendously. Mohamed didn't really have a chance to win at hoops 10, 11 and 12, but had an opportunity at hoop 13 to win by running it from the boundary (7 yards). Sadly for him it clanged against the wire; he then had another opportunity for a jump shot from the boundary, but missed, and Ben took his 6½ yarder to level the match.

In the end Ben's nerves stood up to the tension better than Mohammed's and missed fewer hoop attempts, so ran up as the winner in the final game 7-5 after a gruelling match - starting at 11am and finishing up at 5:15pm.

So a new name and country on the trophy and on to a reprise in 2021 in New Zealand.