Silver at Golf Croquet World Championship for Nailsea's impressive youngster Galpin
PUBLISHED: 17:30 30 July 2019
Nailsea's James Galpin won a silver medal at the Under-21 Golf Croquet World Championships last week.
Galpin joined the junior section at Nailsea aged 12 and is the latest in a long line of successful young players coached by Peter Dyke.
The 18-year-old represented England at the event in Nottingham's Highfield Park, where 24 players from Australia, Egypt, Germany, Latvia, New Zealand, Spain and the United States were in action.
Despite being ranked fourth out of six in his block on the first two days, where matches were best of three, Galpin won all of his without dropping a game.
Senior world number eight and favourite Edmund Fordyce, of New Zealand, won all of his matches, dropping the occasion game, before 16 players progressed to the knockout phase.
Galpin beat fellow English qualifier Albie Willett and New Zealand's Eleanor Ross to reach the semi-finals, where he defeated Egyptian Yasser Sayed 7-4, 7-3.
Fordyce beat promising English player Euan Burridge in his last-four tie to set up a final meeting with Galpin, as predicted by former world champion Chris Clarke, and the pair produced a thrilling contest.
The finalists had contrasting styles, with Fordyce a powerful striker of the ball and Galpin using a more fluid action, but were similarly accurate and showed wonderful temperament and clever tactical awareness.
The Atkins quadway hoops used at the tournament proved very firm, with only 1.32 of an inch clearance, meaning only balls hit from a line directly in front of the hoops had a chance of going through.
Good position was key and both managed to put a ball in an accurate position in front of the hoop from some distance, only to have it cleared by their opponent.
Skilful jump shots were sometimes used and Galpin won the first two games 7-4, 7-5 to take early control, while also coming from 6-2 down in the third before losing 7-5.
However, Fordyce completed a remarkable comeback to win the title, but Galpin impressed many with his composure, skill, sportsmanship and intelligence.
A club spokesperson said: "Nailsea is very proud its latest and youngest ambassador and expect to see him at senior International events for both Golf Croquet and Association Croquet in the near future."