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2018 Midwest Area Schedule

01/27: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (East)
05/05: 2018 Lee's Summit T-Bone (9WS)
06/16: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
06/17: Shield: OKC Central Quad (GC)
07/28: KC Open (9WS)
08/18: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
08/19: Shield Championship-Milwaukee (GC)
09/15: MCA 9WS Championship (9WS)
11/16: 2017 MCA Awards

2019
01/26: 2018 MCA Annual General Meeting (South)

BOLD = MCA Tournaments

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Main | Ellie Griffith Sweeps Gold Division at 2018 MCA Championship »
Sunday
Sep162018

Era of Domination Continues

2018 Pro 9WS Champion Matt Griffith (L) with runner-up Dylan Goodwin

2018 MCA Pro Championship
Player Report by Dylan Goodwin

PARKVILLE, MO -- Matt Griffith put an exclamation point on his fourth straight MCA Pro Nine Wicket Series win as he took me down 26-24 in yesterday's final at the 2018 MCA Championship at Kactus Creek Croquet Club in Parkville, Missouri.

In reality, Griffith had pretty much claimed the 9WS Series by the time the final started as he held a 30-point lead at the start of the game. I did make a go of it with an out-game approach with blue, but it didn't take Griffith long to get in and wrap up the Cup chase by taking yellow through wicket #3.

PHOTOSONLINE BRACKET | OFFICIAL SCORESHEET

Including the relatively extended out game opening, the game did have a lot of phases -- decent break play on both sides, some rotational tactics that deadheads always enjoy and some all in game on the line shots.

Once the balls were in the game, I did get black on a second half break to rover, but started my leave wrong, forgetting that blue was for the turn peg on the north edn. From there, I botched an attempt to fix that error and lost control of the game. Later, I did get a chance for a simple three-ball to finish with blue after Griffith had trouble with the 9PW. However, I over-rolled 11PW to extend the fun.

But I did enter last turns with a four-wicket lead. Griffith made an impressive run with several tough shots to get tied up and with his last shot with red really went for the throat with a long, slightly angled hoop at 13PW that put him up by two points. That was a huge risk/reward play as I had black (for rover) partnered on the north boundary. If he would have clanked off 13PW, it would have given me the ball I really needed on the south end of the court. But fortune favors the bold, right? As it played out, I had to take off from the north boundary, set for rover, get that hoop, then get the peg in the corner just for a tie. I missed a the longish hoop and that spared a second last turns round that would have been a two-on-one game.

In the end, it wasn't the cleanest game ever and it had the kind of sleepy out game start, but it was one of the more enjoyable back and forth battles I've been in.

9WS PRO RACE INTRIGUE

The MCA Pro Series Race actually shaped to be one of the more interesting finishes in series history. Although, I am not sure that a lot of the MCA membership actually understood how it all played out.

As we headed into Championship week, Griffith did hold a commanding 39-point lead over Greg Clouse. I was three points back from that. With the bracket shaping to have Griffith play against long-time rival Billy Bob Breeden, the possibility of a first-round upset made it feasible for me or Clouse to get enough points to snatch the Cup. However, that all went by the wayside when Greg Adams had to withdraw due to a back injury on Friday morning. All the seeds moved up and Deborah Millican was offered the eight spot. She is still recovering from her injury so she declined as well. 

Based on the withdrawal policy and the precedent set in the Gold Series and Silver Series Championships in 2017, Griffith was awarded 20 points for his round one bye. That meant Griffith actually started the day with a 69-point lead. Pretty comfortable. Clouse got knocked out by Breeden in round one, so his chances ended. After I got pegouts in round one and the semifinals, there was actually a brief window for the possibility of a theoretically manageable gap. Especially, when Griffith errored out in finishing his semifinal against Jodi Adams. But Adams couldn't quite piece together enough of a defense to avoid the eventual pegout.

Overall, another fun season and congratulations to Matt Griffith. Four years on top is hard to do in any scenario. Impressive.

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