2002 Mixed Championships
Howard Wiseman reports:
The "Wiseman" mixed championship rule was used again this year - the man only being allowed to remain in the serving position for one rally before changing with his partner (as if having been cut down). This made for very even matches, and prevented domination from any of the stronger players present.
The best match prior to the final was in the semi- finals between Kerry White and Jon Fagan and James Toop and Helen Toop. This was very close match played at a breathtaking pace - Kerry and Jon choosing to generate more speed on the cut than any other players in the tournament. The Toops' experience and calm in tight situations paid off as they ran out winners at 12-10.
The final was first class. Chris Cooley partnering his sister Charlotta, against the Toop partnership - four brilliant players in what was clearly going to be a level match. Some dazzling play by Charlotta, who found the back bricks during several rallies when the score had been stuck at 8-9, helped to burst the bubble, and together, the Cooleys ran away with the title 15-9. Almost all the players had waited to watch the mixed doubles final - perhaps it was because they were awaiting the prize-giving ceremony which is a legacy of Richard Black's running of this tournament for so many years - boxes of chocolates flying everywhere for almost any excuse!