Ed Green concentrates on the all important bring-inToby Bruce

Over the past two terms, six tiddlywinks teams representing different colleges and societies have played a total of 26 games. The first half of the tournament was divided into two leagues, with all teams in each league playing each other. The teams with the highest and second highest points per game scores progressed to the semi-finals.

In the semi-final stages, the Trinity Hall team, 'Tiddly Hall', beat the Murray Edwards 'Maulers' 10-17½ to reach the final. The Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society team (G&S) beat the Wolfson College 'Winkers' in a closely matched clash ending with a draw at 14-14. In accordance with the Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club (CUTwC) Cuppers rules a potting race between the captains was required to determine the winner. James Ireland, captain of G&S, succeeded in cleaning up the pot-out against Wolfson’s Daniel Barishnikov, putting G&S through to the final against Tiddly Hall.

Tiddly Hall were a new team this year and, with one experienced winker and three promising novices, rose with little effort through the tournament. G&S entered the Cuppers tournament last year but had victory stolen from them in the final by The Excelleg Esteemed Association Croquet Society of the King’s College of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas in Cambridge Elite Tiddlywinks Squadron First Team.

Over the past two terms, 6 tiddlywinks teams representing different colleges and societies have played a total of 26 games

The squidge-off for the final match was delayed by a cycling incident on Garret Hostel Bridge, but once Tiddly Hall had a full complement of players, the first two games of the final began in earnest, with the A pairs from each team playing against the B pairs and vice versa.

The first round of the final saw the G&S A pair James Ireland and Rob Nicholas (playing blue and red) play the Tiddly Hall B pair of August Dahlkvist and Gregory Shaw (playing green and yellow). The game started well with both pairs landing some difficult squops. Some early doubletons put G&S in the lead but Tiddly Hall fought back, managing to free several of their winks. Going into rounds at the end of the game, G&S and Tiddly Hall were tied, with all four players having the same number of tiddlies. This made the score 3.5-3.5, however in the penultimate round James Ireland potted, bringing the final score to 4.5-2.5 to G&S.

Each team used their own personalised squidgers in the Cuppers finalsCambridge University Tiddlywinks Club

Tiddly Hall’s fortunes were not much better on the other side of the room where G&S B pair, Edward Green and Adam Fyfe, scored 6-1 against Tiddly Hall’s A pair, Zach Bond and Clayton Rabideau. Though Tiddly Hall held off the pot-out threat from Edward Green (an experienced winker placed 25 in the World ratings) and performed several impressive pile flips and technical Bristol-style shots, they couldn’t outpace the G&S pair’s relentless squop attempts.

Going into the second round, G&S had a total of 10.5 points against Tiddly Hall’s 3.5, meaning they only needed to score four points across the next two games in order to secure the trophy. G&S A played Tiddly Hall A in a game which began slowly, with a consistent bring-in achieved only by Tiddly Hall’s Zach Bond (yours truly), making a pot out threat evident. Although a few winks found their way in, G&S managed to keep on top of enough of my winks and distract Tiddly Hall sufficiently to avoid the pot-out. Once a playing area was eventually defined by the teams, G&S began to strategically hold down Clayton Rabideau’s winks to secure them 2 points. The game ended 5-2 to Tiddly Hall.


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On the other side of the room the G&S B versus Tiddly Hall B game was progressing. It was now necessary for Tiddly Hall to secure 4.5 points (of a possible seven) in order to win, however despite a valiant effort to hold off a pot-out from the formidable Edward Green, G&S potted to victory with a score of 5-2.

The Cambridge University Gilbert and Sullivan Society team beat the Trinity Hall team 17.5-10.5 and were subsequently presented with the Cuppers Trophy by World Tiddlywinks Champion Patrick Barrie along with a bottle of Williams Gin each.

The Cambridge University Tiddlywinks Club, now in its 63rd year, meets every Wednesday evening at Selwyn College. We have regular players of all abilities, from the highest rated players in the country down to unrated novices, and newcomers are warmly invited to attend and learn more about the sport.

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