First Kiwi world champ since Joe Hogan

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AUCKLAND — New Zealander Paddy Chapman has been crowned world croquet champion, coming from behind to beat four-time winner Reg Bamford of South Africa 3-2 in a marathon final in Wellington.

Chapman, 30, prevailed 26-19 0-26tp 0-26tp 26tp-11 26tp-9 in a contest that took more than nine and a half hours to decide in wet conditions at Kelburn yesterday.

The Cantabrian, the No.2 seed, became just the second New Zealander to claim the title, after Gisborne’s Joe Hogan won the inaugural championship in London in 1989.

In the decisive final game, top seed Bamford took the early lead, but Chapman was able to equalise before holding his nerve to complete the long break that clinched victory.

Chapman, who is now based in England, announced himself as a croquet talent as a youngster in Christchurch and made his test debut for New Zealand in his teens.

He has won the New Zealand Open and was runner-up in the 2013 world championship in London.

In the semifinals on Saturday, he put out defending champion Stephen Mulliner of England in another match that went to five games.

Bamford had kept himself in with a shot at another title by getting past Spaniard Jose Riva 3-1 in the other semifinal. — NZN

AUCKLAND — New Zealander Paddy Chapman has been crowned world croquet champion, coming from behind to beat four-time winner Reg Bamford of South Africa 3-2 in a marathon final in Wellington.

Chapman, 30, prevailed 26-19 0-26tp 0-26tp 26tp-11 26tp-9 in a contest that took more than nine and a half hours to decide in wet conditions at Kelburn yesterday.

The Cantabrian, the No.2 seed, became just the second New Zealander to claim the title, after Gisborne’s Joe Hogan won the inaugural championship in London in 1989.

In the decisive final game, top seed Bamford took the early lead, but Chapman was able to equalise before holding his nerve to complete the long break that clinched victory.

Chapman, who is now based in England, announced himself as a croquet talent as a youngster in Christchurch and made his test debut for New Zealand in his teens.

He has won the New Zealand Open and was runner-up in the 2013 world championship in London.

In the semifinals on Saturday, he put out defending champion Stephen Mulliner of England in another match that went to five games.

Bamford had kept himself in with a shot at another title by getting past Spaniard Jose Riva 3-1 in the other semifinal. — NZN

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