Congratulations to Stiga player Rhys Davies on becoming Cadet National Cup champion this weekend.
The astonishing end to the competition had its genesis in the day’s first round, when Rhys Davies ended the only 100% record left, that of top seed Louis Price.
And he did so in style with a 4-0 scoreline – the second game the key as Davies took it 15-13.
That gave Thomas Rayner and Naphong Boonyaprapa the chance to join Price on five victories and they took the opportunity, though with contrasting results.
While Rayner had few worries in getting past Bertie Kelly in four, Boonyaprapa had plenty against Ben Piggott, three times trailing his opponent before taking the decider 11-6.
Jie Fu Tham held off a comeback by his Ackworth School colleague Felix Thomis, seeing a 3-0 lead eroded to 3-2, and missing match points in the fifth, before claiming the sixth. Connor Green defeated Ollie Maric-Murray 4-1 in the other Round 6 match.
Round 7 saw Davies take an important 4-2 win over Rayner in what – at that stage – looked like a play-off for bronze. The match hinged on the fourth game which Davies, 2-1 down, took 11-2 to seize the initiative.
At the top, Price got his show back on the road, though he had to shake off Tham 4-2, while Boonyaprapa’s task was a more straightforward 4-0 win over Maric-Murray.
Piggott overcame Thomis 4-1 and it was 4-2 for Green against Kelly – who raised hopes of his first win when he came from 2-0 down to level.
So to Round 8, and the sands shifted in favour of Boonyaprapa as he defeated Tham 4-0, while Price was beaten in five close games by Green.
Davies and Rayner kept up their medal bids in contrasting matches – Davies overcoming Kelly in four, though he saved several game points in the third, while Rayner had a definitive switchback ride against Thomis. Rayner led 2-0, trailed 3-2 and saved a match point in the sixth before triumphing 11-9 in a decider. The final match of the round saw Piggott defeat Maric-Murray 4-0.
The final-round results saw Rayner and Davies both win 4-1 – against Maric-Murray and Thomis respectively – to ensure their medals.
The key result proved to be Price’s 4-3 win over Boonyaprapa, bagging the top seed the silver and leaving unlucky Boonyaprapa empty-handed.
Piggott ended with a 4-2 win over Kelly – who did fight back from 3-0 down as he searched for that elusive victory – and Tham overcame Green 4-3.
Final positions: 1 Rhys Davies, 2 Louis Price, 3 Thomas Rayner, 4 Naphong Boonyaprapa, 5 Ben Piggott, 6 Connor Green, 7 Jie Fu Tham, 8 Felix Thomis, 9 Ollie Maric-Murray, 10 Bertie Kelly.
Author: Paul Stimpson
Publish date: March 10, 2019