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Rachel Gee won the English National Singles Championship

by Richard Bilton at Southport & Birkdale [^]
19-20 Sep 2020 (GC - Championships)

Rachel Gee retained the GC English National Singles Championship - and with it, the Ascot Cup - and in doing so, achieved two landmark feats: she became the first person since Reg Bamford in 2009 to win the tournament without dropping a game and is also the first name to appear on the trophy for two consecutive years since 1997 - both of which are firsts under the current structure.

Southport & Birkdale Croquet Club were most welcoming and put lots of effort into the facilities and conditions for the Ascot Cup in a time of year which has the potential to have less than desirable weather. Everyone was enjoying one of the warmest, calmest and driest weekends since the beginning of August. Among the 16 players, were three previous winners - including the defending champion - and James Death as the top four seeds (all members at Nottingham), as well as many regulars at top level GC events. It was difficult to predict if there would be another new name on the trophy for the sixth year in a row, and/or whether it would again call Nottingham its home.

The 16 competitors played best-of-three 13-point games in four blocks of four on Saturday to determine the top two from each who would progress to the knockout. Blocks A, B and C finished with players on 3, 2, 1 and 0 wins, block B going to seeding with all matches being won 2-0 bar Tom Weston taking game 2 from Tim King. Rachel Gee was the only player to not drop a game in the blocks. Block D also went to seeding, although with three players on two wins, and Roger Goldring just missed out to Lionel Tibble, having lost their match which concluded at 1845 after everyone else had left.

The top two seeds in block C also progressed to the knockout, although in the match between them, Ian Burridge was 2-5 down in game three against Paul Rigge (and was a little bit annoyed while contesting hoop 8 when a positional shot from the south boundary hilled into the back of the wire) but came back to win 7-5. The standout performance of the Saturday was the reason block A didn't go to seeding, as Jack Good won his first two matches, and was guaranteed to be in the knockout of his first Ascot Cup before even playing James Death, who was also on two wins.

The knockout consisted of three rounds of best-of-three matches. The rankings were updated with the block games on Saturday evening and the knockout was drawn using Modified Grade-Based Seeding, with the block winners seeded 1-4 and second in each block 5-8, avoiding first round block clashes.

Ian Burridge looked to have the hardest draw in the form of Lionel Tibble, but Burridge dished up in super-quick time, winning 7-0, 7-3 - Lionel saying he was "murdered" and "Poirot wouldn't have had much work to do". James Death also didn't waste much time in beating Tim King 7-4, 7-3. Rachel Gee beat Jack Good 7-3, 7-5 to set up yet another match against Burridge. It is not often that, although in this case the top four seeds, all the semi-finalists are from the same club, but that was now down to the match between Richard Bilton and Paul Rigge. Bilton didn't start the match by hitting the ball straight but managed to get to hoop 13 in the first game after Paul ran 11 by a foot; 3 decisive positional outcomes at the final hoop however allowed Paul to win the game. Bilton then raised his game and after leading both the second and third games 6-2, was able to take the match 6-7, 7-3, 7-5 after four hours of play, and ensure the trophy was won by a Nottingham member.

On paper, the semi-final between Ian Burridge and Rachel Gee was the hardest to call, their previous games 16-15 to Burridge, who had now reached the semi-final of all three Triple Crown events this year, while Gee had won two of the three (out of eight) remaining qualifying tournaments for this event. There was never much between them in this match either, Burridge ran hoop 10 to level at 5-5 in game one and looked to have the advantage as Gee's next ball was hampered on the wire of 12, although he wasn't able to capitalise and Gee regained the lead. Burridge levelled again and had a jump at hoop 13, but clipped Gee's ball, allowing her to run it and take the first game. After another close game, Gee kept her winning streak going with a 7-6, 7-5 victory.

James Death appeared to be the favourite against Richard Bilton, as his grade was over 100 points ahead, although he only led their previous games 6-5 and Bilton was 3 from 4 this year. Neither player was at their best as Death shot at hoop 2 and 3 in game one and jawsed both, before Bilton 'picked up the pieces' and immediately jumped both. Death then rattled through hoop 4 before running hoops 5 and 6 clean to take a 4-2 lead. Bilton wasn't going away and good shots to run hoops 7 and 9, and Death peeling him through hoop 10, enabled him to level at 5-5. Bilton then took the lead but only ran hoop 11 by 2'' and after both balls missed Death', he played for the rush and ran hoop 12. Bilton played to hoop 13 and Death was unlucky that his rush got a bad contact and neither ball made it in front of 13, Bilton played an near identical shot to hoop 13 as against Paul in which the ball hit the back of the hoop, although Death' next shot left the first ball where it was and Bilton ran the hoop to win the first game. The second game was just as close, but Bilton was never behind, remained the more consistent of the two, and won the match 7-6, 7-4.

This meant that not only would there not be a new name on the trophy this year, but the final was between the previous two champions. Bilton's form, while respectable in his last four games, was quite varied during the event, whereas Gee was solid throughout. Gee therefore appeared to be the favourite, as well as leading their previous games 13-9 and winning the last 6 in a row, although Bilton was 8 from 10 in 2018 - he would need to find form of a similar level as the time he won to do so again. Coincidentally, neither player had played on the final lawn yet, but as the final started at 1630, decided not to have a warm up.

The first game started with a battle at hoop 1, which could possibly allow the players to settle. After failed attempts from both players, Gee ran it and followed it with a very good clearance - clearly showing her continuance of form - which enabled her to take a 2-0 lead. After some clearance outcomes which slightly favoured Bilton, he ran hoop 3 to the south boundary. At hoop 4, a positional shot from Gee left a double and Bilton ran the hoop from 12 yards to level at 2-2 with his other ball in front of hoop 5, albeit deep and angled. Gee made a few uncharacteristic positional errors at hoop 5, but a missed clearance from Bilton enabled her to regain the lead. An unfortunate characteristic of the lawn left Bilton behind the peg on the way towards hoop 6, Gee then cleared to finish in front of 7 and Bilton missed the clearance, which allowed Gee to run hoops 6 and 7 in successive strokes and take a 5-2 lead. A flick attempt, an in-off and a jump from Bilton not succeeding led to Gee winning the first game 7-3.

They say 'the better you are playing, the more luck you have' - this was certainly the case in game 2, although with a good and bad run. As in game 1, Gee lead 2-0, and Bilton failing some angled hoops at 1 and 3 led to Gee running hoop 3 and finishing in the jaws of hoop 4 to be able to take a 4-0 lead. Gee then rushed Bilton's first approach to hoop 5 into the jaws and removed the possibility of winning 7-0. A fine clearance from Gee at hoop 7 left her 10 yards south and the return positional shot hilled and ran the hoop backwards by ½'', although Bilton was able to move it also from behind the hoop. After Bilton blocked Gee's hoop shot, she then peeled him for 5-2. Bilton was in a position to clear Gee and flick towards hoop 9 but the contact was too central, Gee missed the return clearance anyway and Bilton scored the point. Some more consistent clearing from Gee, as well as a helpful run of the balls, and she was able to take a well-deserved victory by 7-3, 7-3.

The Plate consisted of two blocks of four (also based on the updated grades) with a knockout and playoffs. Jane Tewson stepped in after one of the players withdrew after the main blocks and played well to beat Ryan Cabble 7-4 and Callum Johnson 7-5 and come second in her block behind Callum, who had superior net hoops courtesy of him only losing 2 hoops in his other two games. Also, in the other block, Roger Goldring came in second behind David Widdison despite winning their game. In the knockout, Roger beat Callum 10-8 and David beat Jane 10-5, followed by Roger to win the plate 10-7. In the shield, Lionel Tibble overcame Jack Good 10-7 and Tim King snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to beat Paul Rigge 10-9, and went on to beat Lionel 7-4, 7-6 for 5th place. Paul beat Jack 7-5.

All results are available on Croquet Scores.

National AC Seniors' Championship

by Julie Horsley at Budleigh Salterton CC [^]
14-19 Sept 2020 (AC - Mixed)

Budleigh Salterton CC hosted the 2020 National Seniors' albeit two months later than scheduled. This was the largest AC tournament to be held in this COVID year. Thanks must be given to the Budleigh Salterton club members who gave up their lawns for this to take place, putting the club before their needs, but then Budleigh has a reputation for players returning year after year. Luckily the tournament was blessed with good weather.

Due to Government and COVID restrictions the tournament could not follow its usual format and also there were not the light evenings of July. The staggered start times helped with social distancing, which was well observed. The atmosphere was very good but perhaps lacked that little extra "Buzz" when, in the past players had met in the morning for pre-match coffees and lunches on the terrace for the renewal of old friendships and the making of new ones, as there was no catering this year. The Club did, however, have an open-air bar both at lunchtime and again late afternoon which players did appreciate and which did allow a little socially distanced socializing. Hopefully, normal service will be able to be resumed next year.

The A-Class for the Trevor Williams Trophy was divided into two blocks this year.

The semi-finals being between

Block-A Winner - Jonathan Powe (Winterbourne Valley CC) and Block-B runner-up Richard Wood (Sidmouth CC).

Block-B Winner - Chris Williams (Glamorgan LTCC) and Block-A runner-up Brian Fisk.

The results were Richard Wood 6tp and Brian Fisk +3.

In the final, both players progressed well with Richard on Rover and 2-back and Brian on Peg and 4-back. Richard missed the lift shot but although Brian progressed to penult a hampered shot let Richard in again. Brian won +6.

Class-B for the Colin Hemming Trophy was again divided into two blocks - the final was between two Sidmouth players Roger Mills, the winner of Block-C and Chris Donovan, the winner of Block-D. Roger won +8.

Class-C for the de Ansorena Trophy was won by Mike Hedge with runner-up Alex McIntyre both players from Nottingham CC.

Class-D for the Nigel Graves Trophy was won by Charlie Martin (Ramsgate CC) with runner-up Jane Babbage (Sidmouth CC).

Class-E for the JEH Trophy was won by Frances Colman (Phyllis Court CC) with runner-up Philip Jones (Budleigh Salterton CC).

The Handicap Singles semi-finals were between Roger Staples (Middlesbrough CC) and Roger Mills and Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court CC) and David Buckman (Canterbury CC) with Roger Mills and Chris Roberts being the respective winners.

In the final Roger beat Chris +16.

The consolation event was won by Charlie Martin.

The Handicap Doubles final was between John Millen/David Buckman both from Canterbury CC and Andrew Killick (Middlesbrough CC ) and Bob Thompson. Andrew and Bob won +5.

Jim as usual won the fastest game and the peeling prize went to Jonathan Powe.

Before presenting the trophies, Peter Nelson, representing the CA, thanked everyone involved in organising the event in these difficult times.

Solomon Trophy Report

by Tudor Jenkins at Sussex County [^]
19-20 Sept 2020 (AC)

A blustery weekend at Southwick saw some high quality croquet with the trophy ultimately going with home advantage to Dominic Nunns.

Dominic and Robin Brown fought a best of three super advanced final with the second and decisive game seeing Dominic pegging out Robin with Robin's backward ball on four back and Dominic on 1. Before Dominic had settled to run hoop 1 Robin ran four back and it looked quite possible that we might be heading into a 3rd game. However, a few turns later, one miss from Robin and it was all over.

In the plate Chris Coul managed to win all of his games to be the clear winner. We also had a sextuple from Chris o'Byrn though I'm not too sure whether it was a winning tactic over the whole weekend ;) .

The tournament was excellently managed and Sussex County Croquet Club provided a great, safe venue where Covid precautions were strictly adhered to.

Ian Vincent Won The Treasurer's Tankard

pictureIan Vincent wins the 2020 Treasurer's Tankard

by Chris O'Byrne at Southport [^]
10-13 Sept 2020 (AC)

For a beachfront location, Southport was eerily quiet due to Covid, which luckily made for easy parking for the 8 players involved. The lawns measured about 9.5 seconds throughout, and were in good condition, but a smattering of hills made gentle shots and long hit-ins a bit of a lottery. Hoops were reset each morning to 1/16, but the amount of recent rain meant they weren't able to put up much resistance.

On the first day, the biggest surprise was to find out there was no rain forecast, despite the rumours we'd all heard about Southport's record for wet tournaments. There were no major upsets on day one, but with one eye on future weather, another on the long distance we'd all travelled, and a third(?!) on potentially disruptive Covid-related restrictions coming into effect on the Monday, we managed to get ahead of the schedule by comfortably squeezing a fourth game in, and the world was a happy place! It was not a feat we managed to repeat, as some key games suddenly slowed right down, meaning we were resigned to 3 per day from that point on.

The surprise package came in Lorna Dewar, who was a world away from the old trope of a golfer trying their hand at AC, by combining the expected brilliant hitting and hoop-running with superb croquet strokes, and a really good tactical understanding of the game - the 2 AC Handicappers present had no power over her 2.5 handicap, but it'll come racing down either way.

The competition came down to the last day, but Ian Vincent came through, having only dropped 2 games through the 5 days, confirming his top-spot with a 26TP.

Don and Diana Williamson and their team of volunteers ensured the most important aspects were dealt with, getting the lawns mown every morning, and providing a steady supply of ales for all present. They also arranged a fish and chip dinner hosted outside the club, and throughout were brilliant hosts.

Nottingham lost to Bristol 3-4

by John Davis at Nottingham [^]
20th September (AC - Inter-Club)

Despite all the challenges the Bristol team travelled to Nottingham on Sunday 20th September to play their AC Interclub semifinal. Nottingham were looking for revenge after their 3-4 defeat at Bristol at the same stage last year.
The sun shone on us all day and the result was not decided until the final match finished.

Alain Giraud and Omied Hallam made quick of the doubles with a quick +26tp, Omied kindly setting it up for Alain. Robert Wilkinson quickly equalised for Bristol with a tidy +22tp. John Davis against Richard M. Smith lasted much longer and provided entertainment for the others before John finally triumphed +5. 2-1 to Nottingham at lunch.

The afternoon singles provided great entertainment and two very close games. Omied and Ed both tried to lose before Omied won +4. Robert completed his second tp of the day beating John +13tp and Richard beat Will +17 to leave the match hanging on the top match. Alain and David were having a great tussle and Alain seemed to have won it after David broke down having completed one peel. However Alain failed a difficult penultimate to leave David to finish with a double peel to triumph +4. So it is Bristol who will attempt to stop Surbiton winning again in a repeat of last year's final.

Nottingham names first

Alain Giraud and Omied Hallam beat David Goacher and Ed Duckworth +26tp (Giraud)
Will Gee lost to Robert Wilkinson -22tp
EJohn Davis beat Richard M. Smith +5

Alain Giraud lost to David Goacher -4
Omied Hallam beat Ed Duckworth +4
Will Gee lost to Richard M. Smith -17
EJohn Davis lost to Robert Wilkinson -13tp

Phil Eardley Won The The Selectors' Weekend

pictureThe winner of The Selectors' Weekend 2020 - Phil Eardley (Photo: Rod Ashwell )

by Rich Waterman at Wrest Park [^]
11-13 September 2020 (AC)

The Selectors' Weekend was held at Wrest Park from September 11th to 13th 2020.

We were blessed with good weather and equally good company throughout the three days. Parts of the lawns proved a little tricky but overall it was a very fair test of skill.

This was a particularly strong field for this competition, with four players having a handicap of -1.

The sixteen players were split into two all-play-all blocks, with the top two players from each block qualifying for the semi-final (ties would be resolved by who beat whom and then net hoops).

Block A was Phil Eardley (-1), Debbie Lines (-1), David Warhurst (-0.5), Jonathan Wolfe (0), Rod Ashwell (-0.5), Dave Gunn (1), Cliff Jones (1) and Sophie McGlen (3.5).

Block B was Rich Waterman (-1), David Marsh (-1), Bryan Harral (-0.5), Andy Dibben (-0.5), Brian Havill (0.5), Beatrice McGlen (0.5), Neil Coote (1.5) and Neal Bacon (1.5).

The first round of matches resulted in a surprising three TPs from the eight matches. Unfortunately, we only managed another three TPs in all of the remaining games in the competition!

By the end of Day one, Block A had a clear leader with Phil Eardley on three wins out of three. Block B had two leaders with Rich Waterman and David Marsh also on a 100% record.

Day two continued with Phil Eardley pulling further clear in Block A and maintaining his 100% record with six wins. Block B became a little more complicated with both David Marsh and Rich Waterman suffering unexpected losses but still leading the way with five wins each.

At the start of day three we had one more round of block matches to play. Phil Eardley had already qualified from Block A, as had David Marsh in Block B by virtue of holding the who beat whom tiebreaker over those in contention. Both Debbie Lines in Block A and Rich Waterman in Block B knew that a final win would see them through. A loss for Debbie would see either Jonathan Wolfe, David Warhurst or Rod Ashwell have a chance in Block A. A loss for Rich Waterman would present opportunities for Bryan Harral and Beatrice McGlen in Block B.

While many of the players were working out the permutations, they became somewhat irrelevant as Debbie Lines inflicted the first defeat on Phil Eardley (+23) and Rich Waterman defeated David Marsh (+24TP).

The top four seeds from the start of the tournament had qualified for the semi-finals.

The semi-finals were:

Phil Eardley (Winner Block A) v David Marsh (R.Up Block B)

Rich Waterman (Winner Block B) v Debbie Lines (R.Up Block A)

John Bevington from the host club very kindly cut Lawn 1 before the semi-finals which made a big difference to the conditions. At this point I should extend a big thankyou to the host club for looking after us so well and a thankyou for the hard work from its members, including three who were playing: Rod Ashwell, David Marsh and Bryan Harral.

In the first semi-final, both players had opportunities, but Phil Eardley continued with his excellent play and prevailed +12. The other semi-final was a battle between two Essex team-mates. Debbie played the better croquet, but Rich hit pretty much everything and won +9.

In the 3rd/4th place playoff, Debbie Lines went on to win +9 against David Marsh. Bryan Harral had also secured the "best of the rest" prize with the most wins outside the semi-finalists.

The final was a somewhat scrappy affair. I think both players were a little nervous and Rich Waterman had problems approaching hoop 4 from awkward positions. In the end Phil Eardley's excellent play from the previous days kicked in and he deservedly went on to win by +12.

A big thankyou to Cliff Jones for managing the tournament with his usual grace and efficiency. We all received laminated schedules at the start of the tournament and as expected Cliff dealt well with some block games finishing in 1.5 hours and others going to 4 hours. He also supplied some bonus wine prizes for the 3rd/4th finishers and to Bryan for winning the "best of the rest".

Also thankyou to Debbie Lines for being the tournament referee. The absence of any dramas is the best testament to good refereeing.

We also had an opportunity to make a socially distanced presentation to Sophie McGlen - the winner of the Steel Memorial Bowl for the most improved female association player of 2019. Sophie played extremely well over the three days. Playing off a handicap of 3.5, she beat two minus handicap players, with a few close defeats as well.

Overall a very enjoyable three days and congratulations once again to Phil Eardley on his win. In his closing speech he referred to this being his first win for quite a few years. I doubt he will have to wait that long for the next one.

Rich Waterman

Full results available on Croquet Scores: https://croquetscores.com/2020/ac/selectors-weekend

Pete Trimmer Won The Spencer Ell Cup

by Phil Cordingley at East Dorset LT & Croquet Club [^]
10-14 Sep 2020 (AC)

Last Updated at 01:27 on 15/09/20

Positions after 14 Rounds

Pete Trimmer   +3tp -12 +16 +10 +12 +9 +3 6 11 1
-10 -15 +20 +3 +9 +14 +16tp 5
Mark Ormerod -3tp   -10 -13 +17 +15 +23 +20 4 9 2
+10 +20 +3 -14 -11 +3 +19 5
Nick Parish +12 +10   -3 -14 +6tpo +7 +10 5 8 3=
+15 -20 +14 +1 -20 -19 -23 3
Paul Rigge -16 +13 +3   +9 +11 +5 +11 6 8 3=
-20 -3 -14 -16 -17 +4 +3 2
Eugene Chang -10 -17 +14 -9   -16 +9 -4 2 6 5=
-3 +14 -1 +16 +5 -3 +4 4
Callum Johnson -12 -15 -6tpo -11 +16   +13 -3 2 6 5=
-9 +11 +20 +17 -5 -4 +16 4
Phil Cordingley -9 -23 -7 -5 -9 -13   +7 1 4 7=
-14 -3 +19 -4 +3 +4 -10 3
Mike Town -3 -20 -10 -11 +4 +3 -7   2 4 7=
-16tp -19 +23 -3 -4 -16 +10 2

Peeling Stats

PEELING etc. op sxp qnp qp tp ot Tot
On partner         2   2
On opponent (winning)         1 n/a 1
On opponent (losing)           n/a  
Straight           n/a  
Total         3   3

Margin Stats

Margin of Victory 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 TOTAL
Occurrences 1   9 4 2 1 2   4 5 3 2 2 4 2 5 2   2 4     2       56

Results to Date

Rd Ln Thursday, 10 September
1 1 Callum Johnson beat Phil Cordingley +13
  2 Mike Town beat Eugene Chang +4
  3 Nick Parish beat Mark Ormerod +10
  5 Pete Trimmer beat Paul Rigge +16
2 1 Nick Parish beat Pete Trimmer +12
  2 Paul Rigge beat Mark Ormerod +13
  3 Phil Cordingley beat Mike Town +7
  5 Callum Johnson beat Eugene Chang +16
3 1 Mark Ormerod beat Eugene Chang +17
  2 Pete Trimmer beat Phil Cordingley +9
  3 Paul Rigge beat Callum Johnson +11
  5 Nick Parish beat Mike Town +10
Rd Ln Friday, 11 September
4 1 Paul Rigge beat Phil Cordingley +5
  2 Eugene Chang beat Nick Parish +14
  3 Mark Ormerod beat Mike Town +20
  5 Pete Trimmer beat Callum Johnson +12
5 1 Pete Trimmer beat Mike Town +3
  2 Mark Ormerod beat Callum Johnson +15
  3 Nick Parish beat Phil Cordingley +7
  5 Paul Rigge beat Eugene Chang +9
6 1 Nick Parish beat Callum Johnson +6tpo
  2 Paul Rigge beat Mike Town +11
  3 Pete Trimmer beat Eugene Chang +10
  5 Mark Ormerod beat Phil Cordingley +23
Rd Ln Saturday, 12 September
7 1 Pete Trimmer beat Mark Ormerod +3tp
  2 Eugene Chang beat Phil Cordingley +9
  3 Mike Town beat Callum Johnson +3
  5 Paul Rigge beat Nick Parish +3
8 1 Eugene Chang beat Mike Town +4
  2 Mark Ormerod beat Nick Parish +20
  3 Pete Trimmer beat Paul Rigge +20
  5 Phil Cordingley beat Callum Johnson +4
9 1 Phil Cordingley beat Nick Parish +19
  2 Callum Johnson beat Paul Rigge +17
  3 Eugene Chang beat Mark Ormerod +14
  5 Pete Trimmer beat Mike Town +16tp
Rd Ln Sunday, 13 September
10 1 Eugene Chang beat Paul Rigge +16
  2 Mike Town beat Nick Parish +23
  3 Pete Trimmer beat Phil Cordingley +14
  5 Callum Johnson beat Mark Ormerod +11
11 1 Mark Ormerod beat Mike Town +19
  2 Pete Trimmer beat Eugene Chang +3
  3 Callum Johnson beat Nick Parish +20
  5 Paul Rigge beat Phil Cordingley +4
12 1 Pete Trimmer beat Callum Johnson +9
  2 Mark Ormerod beat Phil Cordingley +3
  3 Paul Rigge beat Mike Town +3
  5 Nick Parish beat Eugene Chang +1
Rd Ln Monday, 14 September
13 1 Mark Ormerod beat Paul Rigge +3
  2 Nick Parish beat Pete Trimmer +15
  3 Eugene Chang beat Callum Johnson +5
  5 Mike Town beat Phil Cordingley +10
14 1 Phil Cordingley beat Eugene Chang +3
  2 Callum Johnson beat Mike Town +16
  3 Nick Parish beat Paul Rigge +14
  5 Mark Ormerod beat Pete Trimmer +10

Aston Wade won the Roehampton End of Season Tournament

by John Pearson at Roehampton [^]
12-13 Sep 2020 (AC)

Newcomer (and star in the making) Aston Wade wins the Roehampton End of Season AC Handicap Tournament.

The Tournament was played over the weekend of 12 & 13 September in fine, sunny weather (particularly on the Sunday) on fast lawns with tight (and firm) hoops. The field was reduced to 12 by covid and late withdrawals, with the great majority of entrants having played in previous years, but we were glad to welcome two newcomers to Roehampton events. One of these (Aston Wade, aged only 18, from Hamptworth), having had plenty of leisure in this glorious summer, arrived having had his AC handicap reduced from 8 to 4. The reduction caused him little trouble however and he always looked the likely winner. He won all his 5 matches comfortably, though fittingly was given his hardest task in the last match against Barry Holland (Surbiton), who finished runner-up for the 3rd year running - with 4 wins. Andre Machell (Watford), a former winner, also finished with 4 wins, having lost to Aston in round 4, but lost out to Barry on net points for the runner's-up spot.

The event was also notable as being the last event perennial entrant, Gina Pellegrini (Surbiton), says she will ever play in after 25 years. She had won the tournament in 2000, 2008 and 2009, following such luminaries as Bernard Neal, Nigel Aspinall and Stephen Mulliner, and recorded 3 good wins this time. We all wished her well in her croquet retirement.

Dave Evans won the Surbiton Advanced Handicap (the ARK)

by Martin Burger at Surbiton [^]
5-6 September 2020 (AC - Handicap)

Format : Flexible Swiss

Players: 15

Winner : Dave Evans (6/6) runner up : Robert Upton (4/5)

The unusual circumstances of this year made the ARK a little different , though
not as much as in some places . The field was smaller than usual, partly because
there were no entries from north of the Watford Gap - though 2 from the totally different
Watford itself - and a clash with the Gilbey resulting from avoiding more local events .
Following experiments with one-day GC events , a buffet was provided using a one-way
system through the clubhouse , along with coffee and drinks . Plenty of hand
sanitiser was around . Fortunately the weather was dry throughout allowing adequate
distanced seating outside as indoor seating was not available .
As to the play , it was dominated by Dave Evans who looked unstoppable after the first
day with 4/4 and with everybody else on at least one loss . He then won another 2 games
on Sunday, and was rewarded with a cut from 5 to 3 . His last game was against another
fast-improving Surbiton member , Barry Holland (4.5) , with an interesting 2-ball finish ,
and we have hopes that these will be the next club members to progress through to A-class.
They both hit the ball very straight , have a positive approach , and are fast learning
tactics and appreciate the need to do so .
Thanks to Kitty , Monica and Chris Osmond for catering and bar .

High Wycombe beat Hurlingham 5-2

by Keith Pound at High Wycombe [^]
13 Sep 2020 (AC - Longman Cup)

On Sunday, 13th September, High Wycombe beat Hurlingham, 5-2, in a match played at High Wycombe.

High Wycombe names first.

Raghu Iyer (10) & Jonathan Pound (18) beat Tim Dutton (4.5) & Martin Read (8) +18
Robin Morrison (10) lost to Jane O'Neil (8) -4 (t)
Ed Olhausen (10) beat Stephen Allen (5) +9

Raghu Iyer (10) lost to Tim Dutton (4.5) -13
Robin Morrison (10) beat Stephen Allen (5) +7 (t)
Ed Olhausen (10) beat Jane O'Neil (8) +26
Jonathan Pound (18) beat Martin Read (8) +2 (t)

Hampstead Heath beat Winchester 5-2

by Hugh Jones at Surbiton [^]
12 Sep 2020 (AC - Secretary's Shield)

Treasurer's Tankard Report

by Chris O'Byrne at Southport [^]
10-13 Sep 2020 (AC)

Last Updated at 13:47 on 14/09/20

Positions after 14 Rounds

Ian Vincent+7-26+19+14tp+14+19+206121
Chris Coull-7+2+26tp-6+18+25tp+75112
Chris O'Byrne+26-2+19tp+11+14+24+176103
Lorna Dewar-19-26tp-19tp-22+26+20+20384
Paul Castell-14tp+6-11+22+17-11+26tp475
Tom Weston-14-18-14-26-17+23+4246
Peter Moore-19-25tp-24-20+11-23+20227=
Roger Staples-20-7-17-20-26tp-4-20027=

Peeling Stats

PEELING etc.opsxpqnpqptpotTot
On partner77
On opponent (winning)n/a
On opponent (losing)n/a

Margin Stats

Margin of Victory1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526TOTAL

Results to Date

RdLnThursday, 10 September
11Chris O'ByrnebeatIan Vincent+26
 2Peter MoorebeatRoger Staples+20
 3Paul CastellbeatChris Coull+6
 4Lorna DewarbeatTom Weston+26
21Paul CastellbeatLorna Dewar+22
 2Chris CoullbeatTom Weston+18
 3Chris O'ByrnebeatPeter Moore+24
 4Ian VincentbeatRoger Staples+20
31Chris CoullbeatRoger Staples+7
 2Chris O'ByrnebeatLorna Dewar+19tp
 3Ian VincentbeatTom Weston+14
 4Peter MoorebeatPaul Castell+11
41Chris O'ByrnebeatTom Weston+14
 2Paul CastellbeatRoger Staples+26tp
 3Chris CoullbeatPeter Moore+25tp
 4Ian VincentbeatLorna Dewar+19
RdLnFriday, 11 September
51Lorna DewarbeatPeter Moore+20
 2Ian VincentbeatChris Coull+7
 3Chris O'ByrnebeatPaul Castell+11
 4Tom WestonbeatRoger Staples+4
61Ian VincentbeatPaul Castell+14tp
 2Tom WestonbeatPeter Moore+23
 3Lorna DewarbeatRoger Staples+20
 4Chris CoullbeatChris O'Byrne+2
71Chris CoullbeatLorna Dewar+26tp
 2Chris O'ByrnebeatRoger Staples+17
 3Ian VincentbeatPeter Moore+19
 4Paul CastellbeatTom Weston+17
81Roger StaplesbeatPeter Moore+23
 2Chris CoullbeatPaul Castell+12
 3Lorna DewarbeatTom Weston+24
 4Chris O'ByrnebeatIan Vincent+16
RdLnSaturday, 12 September
91Paul CastellbeatChris O'Byrne+4
 2Ian VincentbeatTom Weston+8
 3Chris CoullbeatRoger Staples+16
 4Lorna DewarbeatPeter Moore+10
101Tom WestonbeatRoger Staples+5
 2Paul CastellbeatPeter Moore+10
 3Lorna DewarbeatChris O'Byrne+19
 4Ian VincentbeatChris Coull+4
111Chris CoullbeatPeter Moore+7
 2Lorna DewarbeatRoger Staples+14
 3Ian VincentbeatPaul Castell+5
 4Chris O'ByrnebeatTom Weston+2
121Ian VincentbeatLorna Dewar+21
 2Chris CoullbeatChris O'Byrne+24tp
 3Tom WestonbeatPeter Moore+15
 4Roger StaplesbeatPaul Castell+6
RdLnSunday, 13 September
131Chris CoullbeatTom Weston+17
 2Lorna DewarbeatPaul Castell+26
 3Ian VincentbeatRoger Staples+15
 4Chris O'ByrnebeatPeter Moore+4
141Chris O'ByrnebeatRoger Staples+8
 2Ian VincentbeatPeter Moore+26tp
 3Paul CastellbeatTom Weston+7
 4Chris CoullbeatLorna Dewar+9

President's Cup Report

by Stephen Mulliner at Hurlingham [^]
10-13 Sep 2020 (AC)

Last Updated at 18:35 on 13/09/20

Positions after 14 Rounds

Paddy Chapman+24tp+26sxp+18sxp+19sxp+20+26sxp+22tp7121
Robert Fulford-24tp-20+19sxp+3sxp+12tp+17tp+12tpo5112
Stephen Mulliner-26sxp+20-21tp+14+10qpo+20+3sxp593
James Death-18sxp-19sxp+21tp-18qp+3oqp-6tpo-24tp264=
Jose Riva-19sxp-3sxp-14+18qp+15+17+26qnp464=
Christian Carter-20-12tp-10qpo-3oqp-15+11tpo-26tp156
Mark Avery-26sxp-17tp-20+6tpo-17-11tpo+26tp247
Alain Giraud-22tp-12tpo-3sxp+24tp-26qnp+26tp-26tp238

Peeling Stats

PEELING etc.opsxpqnpqptpotTot
On partner11141228
On opponent (winning)37n/a10
On opponent (losing)1n/a1

Margin Stats

Margin of Victory1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526TOTAL

Results to Date

RdLnThursday, 10 September
11Stephen MullinerbeatRobert Fulford+20
 2Christian CarterbeatMark Avery+11tpo
 3Jose RivabeatAlain Giraud+26qnp
 4Paddy ChapmanbeatJames Death+18sxp
21Alain GiraudbeatJames Death+24tp
 2Paddy ChapmanbeatJose Riva+19sxp
 3Stephen MullinerbeatChristian Carter+10qpo
 4Robert FulfordbeatMark Avery+17tp
31Jose RivabeatMark Avery+17
 2James DeathbeatStephen Mulliner+21tp
 3Paddy ChapmanbeatRobert Fulford+24tp
 4Alain GiraudbeatChristian Carter+26tp
41Paddy ChapmanbeatStephen Mulliner+26sxp
 2Mark AverybeatAlain Giraud+26tp
 3Jose RivabeatChristian Carter+15
 4Robert FulfordbeatJames Death+19sxp
RdLnFriday, 11 September
51James DeathbeatChristian Carter+3oqp
 2Robert FulfordbeatJose Riva+3sxp
 3Stephen MullinerbeatAlain Giraud+3sxp
 4Paddy ChapmanbeatMark Avery+26sxp
61Robert FulfordbeatAlain Giraud+12tpo
 2Paddy ChapmanbeatChristian Carter+20
 3Mark AverybeatJames Death+6tpo
 4Stephen MullinerbeatJose Riva+14
71Jose RivabeatJames Death+18qp
 2Stephen MullinerbeatMark Avery+20
 3Robert FulfordbeatChristian Carter+12tp
 4Paddy ChapmanbeatAlain Giraud+22tp
81Christian CarterbeatMark Avery+1
 2Jose RivabeatAlain Giraud+21qp
 3James DeathbeatPaddy Chapman+4
 4Robert FulfordbeatStephen Mulliner+6
RdLnSaturday, 12 September
91Stephen MullinerbeatAlain Giraud+11tpo
 2Robert FulfordbeatPaddy Chapman+26sxp
 3Mark AverybeatJose Riva+20
 4James DeathbeatChristian Carter+3
101Paddy ChapmanbeatMark Avery+12qpo
 2Christian CarterbeatAlain Giraud+26
 3Stephen MullinerbeatJames Death+18tp
 4Robert FulfordbeatJose Riva+13sxp
111Christian CarterbeatJose Riva+6tp
 2Mark AverybeatJames Death+18qp
 3Robert FulfordbeatAlain Giraud+20tp
 4Paddy ChapmanbeatStephen Mulliner+5tp
121James DeathbeatRobert Fulford+6tpo
 2Stephen MullinerbeatJose Riva+4
 3Paddy ChapmanbeatChristian Carter+3
 4Alain GiraudbeatMark Avery+10tpo
RdLnSunday, 13 September
131Paddy ChapmanbeatJose Riva+7
 2James DeathbeatAlain Giraud+6tpo
 3Robert FulfordbeatMark Avery+20
 4Christian CarterbeatStephen Mulliner+20
141Stephen MullinerbeatMark Avery+26sxp
 2Robert FulfordbeatChristian Carter+8qpo
 3Paddy ChapmanbeatAlain Giraud+20qp
 4Jose RivabeatJames Death+2sxp

Paddy Chapman won the President's Cup

by Stephen Mulliner at Hurlingham [^]
10-13 September 2020 (AC)

The 2020 President's was played at Hurlingham in sunny weather on beautiful courts that positively demanded peeling at every opportunity. A new record of 11 sextuples was set (Chapman four (in his first five games), Fulford four, Mulliner two and Riva one). In addition to the sextuples, there were one quintuple, four quadruples, two QPOs, one OQP, 12 triples and seven TPOs. The 18 games without "letters" were mainly the product of failed sextuples. The favoured sextuple leave was a tight cross-peg with the inplayer's balls on the west boundary.

Fresh from his Opens triumph at Cheltenham, Paddy Chapman set the pace with a dominant and unbeaten display in the first seven rounds and opened up a two game advantage over Robert Fulford and Stephen Mulliner.

James Death raised the hopes of the trailing pack in Round 8 by inflicting Chapman's first loss by +4 and this was followed by Fulford's flawless fifth turn sextuple against him in Round 9. So, at Saturday lunchtime, Chapman (on 7/9), Fulford and Mulliner (both on 6/8 with their own Round 8 game pegged down) were on theoretically equal terms. Round 10 saw all three win again but Round 11 featured a close and crucial win for Chapman against Mulliner. Round 12 had drama. It showed that Death has no favourites when he beat Fulford +6tpo and Christian Carter came very close to beating Chapman in a two-ball ending.

However, very close means not quite and that made a lot of difference to the overnight position of Chapman on 10/12 and Fulford and Mulliner on 8/11.

Fulford won the pegged-down game against Mulliner at the start of play on Sunday to reach 9/12 but had to rely on Chapman losing to Riva or Giraud to keep his hopes alive. The Chapman/Riva game in Round 13 was very close but Chapman took it +7 and then completed a rock-solid quadruple peel to beat Giraud in Round 14 and clinch the title for the second time.

Samir Patel Won The Chairman's Salver

by Robin Brown at Nottingham [^]
10-13 Sep 2020 (AC)

Last Updated at 18:16 on 13/09/20

Positions after 14 Rounds

Samir Patel   +24tp +15tp -8tpo +20tp +20tp +1 +8otp 6 13 1
+10otp +10 +13tpo +20tp +23tp +10 +21tp 7
Ian Burridge -24tp   -4otp +26 -19tp +4 +22 +23tp 4 8 2=
-10otp -7tp +19 +9otp -5 +25tp +20 4
James Galpin -15tp +4otp   +22 +5 +24tp -8 -20tp 4 8 2=
-10 +7tp -10 +11 -24tp +21 +12 4
Robin Brown +8tpo -26 -22   -7 +25tp -9 +24 3 7 4=
-13tpo -19 +10 +5tp +12tpo +14tp -23 4
Duncan Reeve -20tp +19tp -5 +7   +15 +5tp +23tp 5 7 4=
-20tp -9otp -11 -5tp +26 +13 -6 2
Sam Murray -20tp -4 -24tp -25tp -15   +26tp +26tp 2 6 6
-23tp +5 +24tp -12tpo -26 +24 +24 4
Ian Lines -1 -22 +8 +9 -5tp -26tp   +2 3 4 7
-10 -25tp -21 -14tp -13 -24 +10tpo 1
Jonathan Powe -8otp -23tp +20tp -24 -23tp -26tp -2   1 3 8
-21tp -20 -12 +23 +6 -24 -10tpo 2

Peeling Stats

PEELING etc. op sxp qnp qp tp ot Tot
On partner         21   21
On opponent (winning)         4 n/a 4
On opponent (losing)         4 n/a 4
Straight           n/a  
Total         29   29

Margin Stats

Margin of Victory 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 TOTAL
Occurrences 1 1   2 4 1 2 3 2 5 1 2 2 1 2       2 5 2 2 4 6 2 4 56

Results to Date

Rd Ln Thursday, 10 September
1 1 Robin Brown beat Sam Murray +25tp
  2 Duncan Reeve beat Jonathan Powe +23tp
  3 Samir Patel beat Ian Burridge +24tp
  5 Ian Lines beat James Galpin +8
2 1 James Galpin beat Ian Burridge +4otp
  2 Samir Patel beat Ian Lines +1
  3 Sam Murray beat Jonathan Powe +26tp
  5 Duncan Reeve beat Robin Brown +7
3 1 Samir Patel beat Duncan Reeve +20tp
  2 James Galpin beat Sam Murray +24tp
  3 Ian Lines beat Robin Brown +9
  5 Ian Burridge beat Jonathan Powe +23tp
4 1 Sam Murray beat Ian Lines +26tp
  2 Duncan Reeve beat Ian Burridge +19tp
  3 Samir Patel beat Jonathan Powe +8otp
  5 James Galpin beat Robin Brown +22
Rd Ln Friday, 11 September
5 1 Jonathan Powe beat James Galpin +20tp
  2 Robin Brown beat Samir Patel +8tpo
  3 Ian Burridge beat Sam Murray +4
  5 Duncan Reeve beat Ian Lines +5tp
6 1 Ian Burridge beat Robin Brown +26
  2 Ian Lines beat Jonathan Powe +2
  3 James Galpin beat Duncan Reeve +5
  5 Samir Patel beat Sam Murray +20tp
7 1 Samir Patel beat James Galpin +15tp
  2 Duncan Reeve beat Sam Murray +15
  3 Robin Brown beat Jonathan Powe +24
  5 Ian Burridge beat Ian Lines +22
8 1 Jonathan Powe beat Duncan Reeve +6
  2 Samir Patel beat Ian Burridge +10otp
  3 James Galpin beat Ian Lines +21
  5 Robin Brown beat Sam Murray +12tpo
Rd Ln Saturday, 12 September
9 1 Sam Murray beat Ian Burridge +5
  2 Robin Brown beat Ian Lines +14tp
  3 Samir Patel beat Duncan Reeve +20tp
  5 James Galpin beat Jonathan Powe +12
10 1 Duncan Reeve beat Ian Lines +13
  2 Ian Burridge beat Jonathan Powe +20
  3 Sam Murray beat James Galpin +24tp
  5 Samir Patel beat Robin Brown +13tpo
11 1 Samir Patel beat Jonathan Powe +21tp
  2 James Galpin beat Duncan Reeve +11
  3 Ian Burridge beat Robin Brown +19
  5 Sam Murray beat Ian Lines +24
12 1 Robin Brown beat James Galpin +10
  2 Samir Patel beat Sam Murray +23tp
  3 Ian Lines beat Jonathan Powe +10tpo
  5 Ian Burridge beat Duncan Reeve +9otp
Rd Ln Sunday, 13 September
13 1 Samir Patel beat Ian Lines +10
  2 James Galpin beat Ian Burridge +7tp
  3 Robin Brown beat Duncan Reeve +5tp
  5 Sam Murray beat Jonathan Powe +24
14 1 Duncan Reeve beat Sam Murray +26
  2 Jonathan Powe beat Robin Brown +23
  3 Ian Burridge beat Ian Lines +25tp
  5 Samir Patel beat James Galpin +10

Coronavirus - Latest Information and Advice

by Roger Staples [^]
12th September (CA Official News)

September 12th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force is now satisfied, from information published on Sport England's website, that previously authorised sports activities can continue, despite the introduction of the "rule of 6" for social groups. The guidelines for clubs and players have been updated to emphasise the need for restricting social interaction and are published in both PDF and MS-Word formats. The Guidance to Clubs and Tournament Managers has also been updated. The previous prohibition on use of corner pegs/offside markers and flags has been relaxed.

September 9th Update

Following the Government's announcement this afternoon (Wed 9th Sept) the CA's Emergency Taskforce thinks that the current Covid guidance for play at clubs and for holding tournaments will not need any substantial revision. However, no updated Government guidance has been published yet by the DCMS so we will check the CA's guidance again once all the details are available.

July 28th Update

The Guidance to Clubs and Tournament Managers for holding tournaments in England during Covid-19, which was published on 23rd July, has been further updated (in paragraph 1 to define a "tournament" and in paragraph 6 to insert "full-size" in "allotted court"). There is a cumulative change log at the end.

July 27th Update

The Guidance to Clubs and Tournament Managers for holding tournaments in England during Covid-19, which was published on 23rd July, has been further updated (in paragraph 10(x)) to add a requirement to log contact details of spectators, to aid contact tracing if necessary.

July 23rd Update

The Guidance to Clubs and Tournament Managers for holding tournaments in England during Covid-19 has been updated in line with recent changes to government advice, which allows for events with larger entries than the groups of six permitted for social play, provided that they are held under guidelines issued by national governing bodies and approved by DCMS. The new guidelines are both permissive, in that it is up to clubs to decide what
size of entry and style of organisation is appropriate to their circumstances (and so they can choose to continue holding events under the previous guidelines), and restrictive, in that they must not exceed them.

The updated guidance also includes a change to tournament regulations, which suspends, for the remainder of the 2020 season, the deduction of 50 grade points for not having played sufficient games, when making decisions about allocation, selection and seeding.

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force is grateful to the representatives of the tournament committees who have prepared these guidelines.

July 6th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force is aware the areas of Leicester are currently subject to more restrictive lockdown regulations than the rest of England. However, it does not intend to provide specific advice for every local lockdown that is imposed. They are likely to have different conditions and information will be more easily accessible by local officials, who will also be more aware of the circumstances in their area.

July 2nd Update

Guidance to clubs and tournament managers about running tournaments during the current stage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been updated, in the light of changes to government advice since it was published. The general guidance to clubs and players has been further updated in response to queries about the version published on 30th June and is published in both PDF and MS-Word formats.

June 30th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has updated its general guidelines to clubs and players in the light of the relaxation of the lockdown regulations that is to take effect from 4th July in England. The revised guidelines are published in both PDF and MS-Word formats, together with a checklist of items which clubs could consider when performing a risk assessment, again in both PDF and MS-Word formats.

The major change relates to the possibility of re-opening catering and bar facilities and the requirement to keep a record of contact details of all people entering the club for at least 21 days. The ban on roll-up or public sessions has been lifted provided that is done. Little has changed regarding play, except that the advice against using clips and chairs has been removed, but they should be cleaned in accordance with the club's practice for other playing equipment.

June 26th Update

The Coronavirus Task Force is to meet on Monday, 29th June, to review the latest government advice and it intends to publish a further update once any queries arising from that discussion have been resolved.

June 12th Update

Guidance to clubs and tournament managers about running tournaments during the current stage of the Covid-19 pandemic has been published, following approval by DCMS. The Coronavirus Task Force is grateful for the work of the representatives of the tournament committees who drafted and submitted it.

June 8th Update

Representatives of the CA tournament committees have drafted guidelines for the possible resumption of tournaments and have submitted them to DCMS for a ruling as to what is permissible under the current lockdown regulations.

June 4th Update

Information about a potential new source of publicly funded grants for clubs in England has been published.

June 2nd Update

The Covid-19 precautions infographic has been updated to reflect the changes in the CA's advice since the original version.

May 31st Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the updated government advice on social interaction issued on 28th May, consulted DCMS about it, and updated its guidelines to clubs and players, with effect from 1st June for clubs in England.

The Cabinet Office have since issued a FAQ which may be helpful: it even mentions croquet in the heading to section 1.5!

May 26th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the further government advice that has been issued over the past few days, but it relates to elite sport (defined as professional, or relating to Olympic or Commonwealth Games events) and shopping, rather than amateur or community sport. It is not, therefore, updating its guidelines for clubs opening at present, but is clarifying their applicability to recruitment and coaching.

Whether a club accepts new members or not is the decision of its committee. So long as the club has adequate precautions in place to safely follow the guidelines and new members are fully aware of that guidance, then there is no reason why not. The club should also make sure that it has proper records of its new members in the event of having to do contact tracing, It is also perfectly acceptable for a club to decide that it would prefer not to accept new members in the current situation.

One-to-one coaching is permitted at present, providing coach and student remain 2m apart, but the CA's guidance is that group coaching is currently not permissible.

A statement about scheduling of CA run tournaments has also been issued.

May 17th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has been strengthened by the addition of Beatrice McGlen to its number. She has been liaising with the Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), who have now reviewed our guidelines to clubs and players.

May 14th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has updated its guidance to clubs and players and about re-opening clubs in the light of more specific Government guidance and consultation with the CA's and clubs' insurers.

May 12th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has published guidance to clubs and players about re-opening clubs in the light of recent changes to the Government's lockdown regulations.

May 11th Update

Following government statements and publications yesterday and today the CA Coronavirus Task Force is seeking further clarification and is considering whether or not it is possible that the playing of croquet, along with other sports, can resume in England from Wednesday. It hopes to be able to make a statement on the matter tomorrow. In the event that play at clubs can resume appropriate guidance will be provided about precautions clubs should take to mitigate the risk of passing on the virus when they are permitted to open.

May 6th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force plans to meet on 11th May, to decide what further advice to give in the light of whatever is announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday. In the meantime, it has been in consultation with the
Sport & Recreation Alliance about the possibility of croquet resuming and drafting guidelines to minimise risks when that becomes possible.

April 24th Update

A news item drawing attention to advice from the National Cyber Security Centre about the security implications of using VideoConferencing software has been published.

April 17th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force considered the anticipated announcement of the Government's review of the lockdown, but has not changed its advice.

April 10th Update

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force met (by Zoom) this morning with the chairmen of the Tournaments Committees to review the situation in the light of the anticipated extension of the lockdown next week. It decided to maintain its current position that CA Tournaments scheduled to take place up to the end of May have been cancelled, but that the position of future ones will be kept under review. An exception is that the AC Veterans Championship has been cancelled after discussion with the host club. Further information and advice was published in an Easter Update.

April 2nd Update

The CA has obtained advice from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that people, whether contractors or volunteers, are permitted to travel to conduct essential lawn maintenance, to prevent long term damage. The same news item also contains information about grants from Sport England for community sports clubs in difficulty.

March 27th Update

Having used Zoom within the CA for virtual meetings, we have recorded a short YouTube tutorial to show how to join a call, navigate the controls within a call, and how to schedule a meeting. Hopefully this will prove useful for clubs and Federations - either to organise your own committeee meetings, or arrange 'keep-in-touch' sessions within your membership.

March 25th Update

The CA has decided that it is no longer feasible to hold National Croquet Week on the intended dates, but will keep in mind the possiblity of rescheduling it later in the year if that becomes an option.

A separate news item has been published summarising the CA's response to the outbreak in a message from the Chairman of Council..

March 24th Update

The CA Coronavirus Task Force has reviewed the Government advice issued on 23rd March.

Its interpretation is that all clubs must cease play for at least the next three weeks, but maintenance such as grass cutting can still continue provided that social distancing measures are implemented.

CA organised tournaments have been cancelled until the end of May. It recommends that Clubs and Federations should also cancel all competitive play until then, to give certainty to players. Further guidance about how to do this using the online tournament entry system will be sent to Tournament Secretaries.

CA staff will be working from home. E-mail can be used as normal and an answerphone service has been set up on the Office phoneline, which will alert staff when a message is left there.

The CA Shop is physically closed. Its website is still accepting online orders. Delivery of items may be delayed.

This advice will be reviewed on an on-going basis as further information becomes available.

March 23rd Update (9 pm)

The Government has issued the following advice.

"From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.

Shops selling non-essential goods will also be shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together prohibited.

If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Other premises including libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms, and places of worship must also close immediately.

Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed."

Many clubs located within municipal parks will have found that their landlords have closed them for the foreseeable future. Others landlords are also closing their recreational facilities.

It is all our interests that we follow the advice and distance ourselves from anyone when outside and ensure maximum hygiene measures. Indoor gatherings must be discouraged.

The CA will follow this advice and recommends all clubs to ask their members to do the same.

The CA organisation is run by a large number of volunteers and this will continue. Please contact the CA via email using the usual address. If you leave a message on the CA telephone answer machine, someone will get back to you as soon as is practicable.

Stay safe and we will get through this.

A further update will be posted here on Tuesday once the details of our new way of working are known.

Roger Staples
Chairman Executive Board

March 22nd Update

Government advice has strengthened over the last few days, so clubs and individual players are advised to review their position in the light of it. In particular, this press release, asks businesses serving food or drink, and indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms, to close, and urges people to stay at home unless they need to get essential supplies, or at least only travel when necessary.

The CA's Coronavirus Task Force has been considering the financial impact of this on clubs and has introduced an Emergency Assistance Scheme for Clubs and Tournament Entry Fee Donation Scheme in an attempt to mitigate it.

The schedules for Inter-Club competitions have also been revised.

March 17th Update

Based on the Government advice yesterday, all CA Tournaments and Coaching are suspended until further notice. CA Tournaments and Coaching refers to those events for which the CA is responsible for organising, such as the Inter-Counties. Typically these are highlighted in bold in the Fixtures Book.

The other Tournaments are created and owned by clubs and Federations, who are responsible for organising them.

CA Tournaments planned until end May are cancelled or postponed. It may be possible for these to be re-arranged to dates later in the season.

Clubs and Federations are asked to consider their own competitive programmes and other activities (coaching, etc) and are urged to follow the Government advice. Detailed advice on refunds of Tournament entry fees has already been published. Further updates will be published on the CA website.

Roger Staples
Chairman Executive Board

March 15th

The CA's current stance with regard to Coronavirus (COVID-19) is that members adhere to the advice being given by the Public Health England (PHE) and Government agencies.

The Government has declared that the nation has moved to the 'delay' phase of this pandemic and made specific proposals that the nation must take. PHE has declared that the risk level to the UK has been raised to high. The Government is providing regular updates at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.

Concerned members should refer to this link for detailed advice and up-to-minute Press Releases.

Based on these assessments, the CA recommends that its members consider their own circumstances and take necessary precautions for their own health and well-being.

Tournament Managers & Club Secretaries have been given advice on how to manage Tournament Entries and Withdrawals. Specific advice about the impact of Coronavirus on Tournaments has been published, including information about how to withdraw from events if players need to.

The CA has set up a task force to manage the affairs directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Task Force consists of:

Roger Staples (Chairman Executive Board)
Jonathan Isaacs (Chairman of Council)
Ian Vincent (Hon Secretary)
Ian Burridge (Incoming Hon Treasurer)
Mark Suter (CA Manager)

Members of various Committees will be consulted by the task force as appropriate to their particular function.

Advice to the croquet community will be posted on the CA website. CA Committees, Federations, Clubs & Players should check the website regularly for updates.

Any further updates specifically relating to the Croquet community will be posted on the Home page of the CA website.

Roger Staples
Executive Board

Next CA Club Webinar - Marketing your Club

by Eugene Chang [^]
10th September (CA Official News)

The CA Club Webinars is a newly established webinar series for CA Member Clubs and Federations, to learn and discuss particular topics around club administration. We'll aim to run this on the last Saturday morning of each month, and will use this page to display past and future webinars.

Recordings of past webinars are available on request.

Have a suggestion for a topic? Wish to present? Email cainfo#croquet.org.uk

Next webinar:

Marketing your Club

Saturday 26th September 2020, 9:30 am

  • Does your club have a marketing plan?
  • How do you promote your club's activities, to potential members, external groups and within the Federation/CA?
  • What platforms should you be using to reach your target audience? How can you optimise how you use these?

Members of the Marketing Committee will be sharing tips and ideas to market and promote your club. A sample list of topics:

  • Setting and delivering a marketing plan
  • Taking better photos
  • Using social media
  • Writing press releases and news reports
  • Merchandise
  • Live streaming
  • Working with Federations and the CA

Details: Saturday 26th September 2020, 9:30-11:00am.

Please sign up on Eventbrite by 5pm (BST) on Thursday 24th September to reserve your place.


The webinar will be held on Zoom and broadcast live on YouTube. Meeting details (how to join the webinar) will be shared with registered attendees on Friday 25th September.


Past Webinars


29th August 2020 A conversation on Diversity and Inclusion in Croquet
25th July 2020 Managing A Croquet Roll-Up/Competition (COVID-19 Edition)
27th June 2020 Recruiting Young Players Over Lockdown
30th May 2020 Court Booking Systems

Contact cainfo#croquet.org.uk to access the YouTube recordings for past webinars.

Watford lost to Nottingham 1-4

by Found on Watford website at Watford [^]
2 Sep 2020 (AC - Mary Rose)

Brian Havill & Alan Clark lost to Dave Gunn & Ian Draper -2
Nick Archer (2) beat Sophie McGlen (3.5) +17
Geoff Johnson (3) lost to Mike Hedge (3.5) -21

Brian Havill (.5) vs. Dave Gunn (1) unfinished
Alan Clark (1) vs. Ian Draper (1.5) unfinished
Nick Archer (2) lost to Mike Hedge (3.5) -5
Geoff Johnson (3) lost to Sophie McGlen (3.5) -10

Challenge & Gilbey

by John Low at Sussex County CC [^]
7 Sep 2020 (AC - Mixed)

The reduced entry this year allowed to tournament to be arranged as two two-day events as it was felt this would attract more weekend players than an event which started Friday lunchtime; this proved to be the case.

The SCCC lawns were a joy to play on, something Sussex members are getting perhaps too used to. Weather was generally warm and dry if windy the first day and with a sudden heavy lunchtime downpour on Sunday.

The Gilbey Goblet had 16 entrants with handicaps ranging from -1 (four players) to 18 - quite a few forests of bisques seen around the edges of lawns. Four blocks of four players followed by semi- and finals and consolation games gave five games to all participants over Thursday and Friday.

The Goblet was won by Paul Castell (handicap 0.5) who won all the games he played, beating David Gillett (handicap 7) in the final.

With 16 players entering the Challenge Cup, only two were played for this year. The top eight played for the Roehampton Cup in a single block of seven games and this filled the Saturday and Sunday nicely. Eugene Chang pretty much overran the opposition, winning 6 out of 7 games and taking home what he said was his first A Class national win. Four players ended on 4 wins each in second place.

The Council Cup (B class) was played in two blocks of four with semi- and finals on the Sunday. The competition was won by Sussex member Liz Farrow in a determined final against Roger Mills, winning +20.

During the Gilbey Goblet Clive Grimley (SCCC, handicap 11) achieved his Bronze award. The fastest game prize was won by Eugene Chang and the peeling prize by Roger Mills (handicap 1.5) with a TP against John Reddish. Thanks to Roger for providing those prizes, so quite fitting he took one of them home himself.

SCCC provided a covid-19 secure environment for the competitions with most of the buildings closed and results being submitted and available to players digitally. Unfortunately no catering was possible but there was a fridge with self-service soft drinks and lager (and proper beer, thank you Clive for the Hophead).

Les Heard wins Wrest Park GC A-Level

by Richard Keighley at Wrest Park [^]
7th September (GC)

Les Heard won the Tournament by beating Paul Durkin in the Final 7-5,6-7.7-5.

Fingers had been crossed that days of fickle weather would culminate in a fine weekend. We were in luck as on both days we were blessed with dry, bright and breezy conditions.

The full field of 16 players was divided into 2 blocks of 8, with bases of 4 players established at each lawn for the opening session and then re-allocated for two further sessions to comply with Covid-19 precautions.

Block A was closely contested all day and it was no surprise when 3 players finished with 5 wins each. Stephen Custance -Baker (-1) emerged as the block winner on hoop count, followed by David Widdison (-1) and Jane Tewson (1). The remaining place for the quarter-finals was taken by Mike Hills (-1) with 4 wins. He pipped Roger Goldring (-1) who had also recorded 4 wins but with an inferior hoop count.

Block B proved to be more straightforward with an unbeaten John Noble (-2) and Paul Durkin (0) with 5 wins leading the way. Les Heard (-1) and Paul Gunn (1), who was making a welcome return to tournament action, both also qualified with 4 wins each.

The quarter finals comprised one 19 point game. Stephen beat Paul Gunn 10-6 and John prevailed over Mike by the same score. Les also beat David 10-6 and the drama was of a domestic nature with Paul Durkin defeating Jane 10-9.

The first real shock came in the first of the semi-finals (best of 3 x 13 point games) with Les Heard beating tournament favourite John Noble in straight games 7-3,7-3. Likewise, it came as a surprise when Paul Durkin played exceptionally well to beat Stephen 7-5.7-1.

The Final (also best of 3 x 13 point games) was staged before a large and socially distanced audience. Paul started brightly and went into a 4-1 lead in the 1st game but Les pegged him back and eventually won that game 7-5. The 2nd game was nip and tuck but Paul clinched it at the golden hoop (7-6). In the decider, Les lifted his game again to win 7-5.

Prizes were presented to both Finalists, and also to Mike Hills for winning the Bowl and Roger Goldring the Plate.

The Manager thanked George Collin, who was present, and John Bevington for lawn mowing and preparation. He also appreciated the help of Peter Aspinall for his cleaning of hoops, balls and chairs and of Terry Collis and Ross Bagni in setting up each day.

Finishing Order: Les Heard, Paul Durkin, Stephen-Custance Baker, John Noble.

John-Paul Moberly won the GC First Eight

by Stephen Mulliner at Sussex County Croquet Club [^]
3rd September (GC - Championships)

John-Paul Moberly won GC's First Eight for the Ricki Savage Memorial Trophy

Sussex County Croquet Club hosted both Golf Croquet eights over the Bank Holiday weekend from 29-31 August. The courts were in excellent condition for the end of summer and the use of firmly-set Atkins hoops demanded accurate hoop strokes. Jump shots, especially the angled type, were a challenge for everyone.

Youth was in the majority. Richard Bilton, Euan Burridge, James Galpin, Rachel Gee and John-Paul Moberly are all under thirty and were joined by Ian Burridge, Stephen Mulliner and Lionel Tibble who represented the older generation. Indeed, if Tobi Savage had not had to withdraw, the majority would have been even more representative of the current healthy state of affairs in top English GC.

The first two days of block play produced a mixed bag of results with the stand-out performance being produced by Euan Burridge, at 18 the youngest player in the field. He lost his opening match to his father and then rattled off five wins. Moberly and Ian Burridge were next with 4/6 and the last qualifying place was up for grabs between Mulliner and Tibble who were both on 3/6 and had to play each other in the final round on Monday morning. Tibble had showed much improved form and led the field after day 1 with 3/3.

Mulliner, the top seed, had had the odd experience of beating the next three seeds (Moberly, Ian Burridge and Gee) but losing to the next three seeds (Bilton, Galpin and Euan Burridge). The Round 7 game against Tibble pitched top seed against eighth seed and should, on paper, have been an easy win for Mulliner. However, Mulliner/Tibble matches are always close and this one, as usual, finished at hoop 13 in game 3 with Mulliner progressing. Moberly beat Euan Burridge and took first place with better net points. Mulliner was third with one more net game than Ian Burridge.

Euan Burridge gave a very impressive display of powerful and accurate clearing and hooping in the first semi-final against Mulliner. Armed with a Solomon grip and the fearlessness of youth, no hoop was safe from him either on the ground or in the air and Mulliner's only defence was to block as often as he could and take every reasonable hoop opportunity. Burridge was dominant in the first game and sealed it by running 11 cleanly from the north boundary. Mulliner dug in and managed to win the second 7-5 and was undoubtedly favoured by the "run of the balls" in game 3. He made the most of it and took that game 7-5 as well to progress to the final.

Moberly and Ian Burridge had a close first game in which Burridge held the advantage in the later stages but Moberly managed to snatch a 7-6 win. The second game was a more straightforward 7-4 win for Moberly which thereby set up a repeat of the 2019 final.

Mulliner started the final strongly and Moberly was initially a little "off" with the result that the game 1 score soon reached 6-1 to Mulliner. Moberly then took three hoops on the trot to reach 6-4 but failed an angled 11 to hand the game to his opponent. Mulliner also started well in game 2, reaching 3-1 before Moberly was able to take hoops 5 and 6. The tactical situation at hoop 7 was a good example of GC risk calculation. Moberly's K was on the north boundary 5 yards east of C2 and B was south of 7 and wired from R which could jaws next time. He played a gentle shot with B on Y to send Y to a yard short and four yards east of K (and thus easily clearable by K to the east) and left B four yards north and a yard east of 7. What should Mulliner do? Move B with R and leave K a shot at the hoop or jaws with R and risk the jump by B? He chose to jaws and Y was duly cleared. Mulliner was a shade unlucky that his counter-clearance from 20 yards nicked B into straighter position and Moberly demonstrated his impressive jump technique to take the lead and run down to 8. The score was soon 5-3 and then 7-4 to Moberly.

The third game saw Moberly in his best form with powerful clearing and long hooping. There were some lengthy duels but he ran out a very worthy winner by 4-7, 7-4, 7-3.

In the Consolation Event, Richard Bilton beat Lionel Tibble 10-9 while James Galpin had a walk-over against Rachel Gee and then emerged a narrow winner against Bilton by 7-5, 5-7, 7-6.

Camerton & Peasedown lost to Ashby 2-4

by Mick Haytack at Camerton and Peasedown [^]
2 Sep 2020 (GC - Inter-Club Shield)

Ashby beat Camerton and Peasedown 4.5 - 2.5 in the Murphy Shield 2nd September

Ashby team
Mick Haytack (3), Rupert Knapton (3) Martin Wroughton (4) Richard Sanville (6)

Camerton team
Maureen Boys (3), Rosalind Key Pugh (3) Brian Wilson (3) Patrick Knight (5)

Ashby got off to a good start when Martin beat Patrick 7-5, 7-4 and Richard had a very good win against Brian 7-5, 7-6. The doubles went to three games Mick and Rupert winning the first 7-3 but Mo and Ros taking the second 7-4. Mick and Rupert had some good fortune in the third and took it 7-2.

Things were different after lunch. Patrick beat Richard 7-4, 7-6 and although Brian lost the first game to Martin 7-4, he came back strongly to win the last two 7-6, 7-5.
Rupert won the first game against Ros 7-6 but lost the second 5-3. Meanwhile Mo started well against Mick and led 5-2, partly helped by Mick peeling her ball though hoop 4 with an attempted clearance. Mick then found some good form and won 7-5.
The second game was also tightly contested but Mick won that 7-5. At that point the heavens opened and Ros and Rupert decided to call off their decider. Nine of the sixteen games had ended 7-5 or 7-6 which shows how close the match was.

Camerton provided excellent hospitality although catering was out of the question and it was a pleasure to visit their club.

AGM Agenda

by Ian Vincent [^]
2nd September (CA Official News)

The Annual General Meeting of the Croquet Association will take place by Videoconferencing on Saturday 17 October 2020, commencing at 10.00 am.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council have decided that the AGM will be held by videoconference, rather than as a physical meeting, this year. As a consequence, the start time has been brought forward to 10 am. The links to view and participate in the meeting will be published in a news item on the CA Website.

Individual Members wishing to vote must do so in advance of the meeting either electronically on the website, or by post with this ballot paper; it will not be possible to vote at the meeting.

Votes in advance of the meeting must be received by 7 October.

Members wishing to speak, ask questions, or introduce other business at the meeting must notify the President or Hon. Secretary by 7 October, stating the agenda item(s) for which they wish to do so.

1. Apologies for Absence

2. Minutes of the AGM held on Saturday 19 October 2019

The minutes are on the website and will be sent to Home Members on request to the CA Office.

3. Report of Council

The Chairman of Council, Jonathan Isaacs, will present Council's annual report, which will be published on the CA website in advance of the meeting.

4. Accounts for the year to December 2019 and Hon. Treasurer's Report

The accounts are on the website and will be sent to Home Members on request to the CA Office. There is also a commentary on them.

5. Motions to Amend the Constitution

The Council proposes to amend the constitution to change the conditions for Affiliate Club membership; reduce the quorum required for Special General Meetings; to add provisions to enable dissolution of the Association; and to correct some inconsistencies introduced by past amendments. Full details are available on the CA website and will be sent to Home Members on request to the CA Office. There is also a summary of them.

A 6 to 4 majority of those voting is required to pass these amendments.

6. Election of Hon. Secretary

Ian Vincent offers himself for re-election and is the only nomination.

7. Election of Hon. Treasurer

Ian Burridge offers himself for re-election and is the only nomination.

8. Election of Independent Examiner

David Boxell is willing to continue as the Independent Examiner.

9. Benefactors' Book

The names of the benefactors will be recited.

10. Presentation of Trophies for the Most Improved Players for 2019

Apps Memorial Bowl (AC male): Callum Johnson (York);

Steel Memorial Bowl (AC female): Sophie McGlen (Oxford & Nottingham);

Spiers Trophy (GC player): Steve Leonard (Winterborne Valley & East Dorset).

11. Presentation of Coaching Awards

Coach of the Year: Ian Shore (High Wycombe)

12. Presentation of Croquet Association Diplomas

13. Presentation of Bernard Neal Awards

The Bernard Neal Award for Exceptional Services to Croquet is to be awarded to Peter Death and John Grimshaw.

14. Any Other Business

15. President's Closing Remarks

Jane Tewson and Paul Durkin won the National Forest GC Doubles at Ashby 29-30 August 2020

by Christine Mounfield at Ashby Croquet Club [^]
2nd September (GC)

The first National Forest GC Doubles tournament was played on August 29/30th at Moira in North West Leicestershire, home of Ashby Croquet Club. Subtitled "Total Zero Plus" to reflect minimum joint handicaps, it attracted Ashby club members and players from the North East, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Essex and 18-year-old Ellie Ross, currently living in the West Midlands but wearing the all black colours of a New Zealand international.

Manager Ray Mounfield decided on an all-play-all 3 games format with a generous time limit. Two courts play similarly and the third has different characteristics so all pairs were allocated matches on each court.

The first day's play, at times in heavy rain, saw most pairings complete three rounds, with four teams finishing on 2 match wins. All matches were ended within their set time limits [first game in 70 mins, 2 games in 130 mins, 3 games in 180 mins.]

Sunday started drier and brighter. First on court were Jane Tewson and Paul Durkin and Judith and Arthur Rowe to play their held over game and complete round 3. The end of the 4th round saw Ellie Ross and Christine Wood and the Widdison duo each on 3 wins with the likelihood of one of them winning the tournament.

Round 5 was a nail-biter. The final deciding two games were being played out simultaneously, Ross/Wood v Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons against Ann Brookes and Jane Pringle. The two fancied teams failed to defeat their opponents, leaving the manager with the headache of 3 pairs on 3 match wins. Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons each had 9 game wins so it came down to hoop difference. Jane and Paul had scored 13 more hoops and were declared winners. They were surprised and delighted to be taking home the much admired and unique trophy designed and made by Mike O'Brian during the first few weeks of "lockdown".

All players agreed that, despite Covid-19 restrictions, the two days had gone well and this previously untried format had worked well, with only one game being timed out.

Full results on CroquetScores

Jane Oldham has died

by Ian Vincent [^]
1st September (CA Official News)

We have been informed, by her son John, that Jane Oldham has died. She was a strong supporter of the CA and widow of Alan Oldham, its Hon. Treasurer for very many years.

Mallet-Sport Summer School


by Beatrice McGlen at Nottingham [^]
1st September (Other News)

With the cancellation of our school's programme because of lockdown, Nottingham Croquet Club ran a 5-day 'Mallet Sport' summer school for youngsters. A variety of different games were played each day, introducing the skills of the game in a fun and easy-to-learn way. Regular junior club-sessions have followed, with skill levels increasing rapidly, and several parents have been persuaded by their enthusiastic children to have a go. One of our 11-year-olds has even won the club's handicap-doubles tournament (with a little help from her partner!)

Robert Wilkinson wins the Consolation Event Knockout 2020

by David Maugham at Cheltenham CC [^]
1-6 Sep 2020 (AC - Championships)

last updated at 20:06 on 07/09/20

Last 16Quarter-FinalSemi-FinalFinalWinner
  O'Byrne, CO'Byrne, C


Wilkinson, RJ

+21 +9

  Suter, MA
   Wilkinson, RJ

The Croquet Championship Qualifying Swiss 2020

by David Maugham at Cheltenham CC [^]
1-6 Sep 2020 (AC - Championships)

last updated at 20:06 on 07/09/20

Round 1ScoreWinsRound 2ScoreWinsRound 3ScoreWinsRound 4ScoreWinsRound 5ScoreWinsRound 6ScoreWinsRound 7ScoreWins
Avery, MN0Avery, MN0Avery, MN+24tp1Avery, MN+21tp2Bamford, RL3Bamford, RL+254Ormerod, M3
Burch, JA+26tp1Chapman, PJ+92Murray, M1Jolliff, T0Burch, JA+25tp4Ormerod, M3Reeve, DC+54
Bamford, RL0Bamford, RL+26sxp1Bamford, RL+142Bamford, RL+17sxp3Chapman, PJ3Chapman, PJ+21tp4Avery, MN+154
Maugham, DB+20tp1Cordingley, P0Galpin, J1Mulliner, SN3Mulliner, SN+154van Loon, M3Galpin, J3
Carter, CL0Burch, JA1Burch, JA+26tp2Burch, JA+26sxp3Patel, SR+144Reeve, DC3Suter, MA+26tp4
Mulliner, SN+25tp1Patel, SR+11otp2van Loon, M1Vincent, IG1Reeve, DC3Trimmer, PC+34van Loon, M3
Chapman, PJ+24stp1Carter, CL0Carter, CL0Carter, CL+201Avery, MN+19tp3Avery, MN3   
Vincent, IG0Fisher, HI+26tp2Ormerod, M+122Wilkinson, RJ1Powe, JJ2Suter, MA+133   
Cordingley, P0Death, JF+222Chapman, PJ2Chapman, PJ+8otp3Galpin, J2Hayes, SM2   
Reeve, DC+11tp1van Loon, M1Fisher, HI+26tp3Ormerod, M2Ormerod, M+133Powe, JJ+13   
Death, JF+17qp1Galpin, J1Cordingley, P0Cordingley, P+131Suter, MA2Galpin, J+193   
Powe, JJ0Reeve, DC+26tp2Murray, S+231Wu, W0Trimmer, PC+26tp3Vincent, IG2   
Fisher, HI+171Hayes, SM+231Death, JF+26qp3Death, JF+8tp4van Loon, M+20tp3Carter, CL2   
Jolliff, T0Murray, S0Reeve, DC2Trimmer, PC2Wilkinson, RJ1Powe, JJ+214   
Galpin, J+261Jolliff, T0Hayes, SM1Fisher, HI+25tp4Hayes, SM+92      
Hayes, SM0Ormerod, M+121Trimmer, PC+252O'Byrne, C1Murray, M1      
Murray, M0Maugham, DB+242Jolliff, T0Galpin, J+17tp2Murray, S1      
Patel, SR+22tp1Wu, W0Vincent, IG+241Murray, M1O'Byrne, C+13otp2      
Murray, S0Mulliner, SN+13tp2Maugham, DB+143Hayes, SM1Vincent, IG+5(t)2      
Suter, MA+241Trimmer, PC1Suter, MA2Maugham, DB+214Cordingley, P1      
O'Byrne, C+11Murray, M+111Mulliner, SN+253Murray, S1Carter, CL+17tp2      
Ormerod, M0Vincent, IG0Wu, W0Patel, SR+263O'Byrne, C2      
Trimmer, PC+121O'Byrne, C1O'Byrne, C1Powe, JJ2         
Wilkinson, RJ0Suter, MA+26tp2Wilkinson, RJ+91van Loon, M+192         
van Loon, M+61Powe, JJ+121Patel, SR2Reeve, DC+173         
Wu, W0Wilkinson, RJ0Powe, JJ+82Suter, MA2         

Mark Ormerod Wins The Association Plate 2020

by David Maugham at Cheltenham CC [^]
1-6 Sep 2020 (AC - Championships)

last updated at 20:06 on 07/09/20

Last 32Last 16Quarter-FinalSemi-FinalFinalWinner
 O'Byrne, CMurray, S


Murray, S


Reeve, DC


Reeve, DC


 Murray, S
  Wilkinson, RJ
 Murray, MHayes, SM


Reeve, DC


 Hayes, SM
  Reeve, DC
 Vincent, IGCordingley, P


Cordingley, P


Cordingley, P


 Cordingley, P
  Suter, MA
 Jolliff, TJolliff, T


Jolliff, T


 Wu, W
  Galpin, J

Play-off: Ormerod, M bt Reeve, DC +13

Association Plate Process 2020

by David Maugham at Cheltenham CC [^]
1-6 Sep 2020 (AC - Championships)

last updated at 20:06 on 07/09/20

Last 32Last 16Quarter-FinalSemi-FinalFinalWinner
  O'Byrne, CHayes, SM


van Loon, M


Ormerod, M


 Hayes, SMHayes, SM


 Wu, W
 Wilkinson, RJWilkinson, RJ


van Loon, M


 Cordingley, P
  van Loon, M
  Murray, SMurray, S


Ormerod, M


  Vincent, IG
 Murray, MJolliff, T


Ormerod, M


 Jolliff, T
  Ormerod, M

Paddy Chapman won The Croquet Championship 2020

by David Maugham at Cheltenham CC [^]
1-6 Sep 2020 (AC - Championships)

last updated at 20:06 on 07/09/20

Last 32Last 16Quarter-FinalSemi-FinalFinalWinner
 Bamford, RLPowe, JJ

+10tp +19tp

Fisher, HI

+24tp +26tp

Fisher, HI

+24tp +17tp

Chapman, PJ

-6otp -24tp +12tpo +12tpo +21tp

 Powe, JJ
 Suter, MAFisher, HI

+12tp +16

 Fisher, HI
 Mulliner, SNMulliner, SN

+23tp +23tp

Avery, MN

+17tp +5

 Ormerod, M
 van Loon, MAvery, MN

+25tp +18

 Avery, MN
 Chapman, PJChapman, PJ

+12tpo +19tp

Chapman, PJ

+26tp -6qpo +16tp

Chapman, PJ

+17qp -25sxp +19qp

 Galpin, J
 Reeve, DCDeath, JF

+19tp +13

 Death, JF
 Maugham, DBMaugham, DB

-11otp +26tp +1otp

Maugham, DB

-4 +17tp +3tp

 Trimmer, PC
 Patel, SRPatel, SR

+12tpo +12tpo

 Burch, JA

Opens Communication to players

by David Maugham at Cheltenham [^]
1 Sep 2006 (AC - Championships)

Saturday Order of Play

10am games:

8 M Maugham, DB v Patel, SR
2 P Hayes, SM v Wu, W
7 P Wilkinson, RJ v Cordingley, P
2 P Murray, S v Vincent, IG
7 P Murray, M v Jolliff, T

Needed by 11am:

8 M Fisher, HI v Avery, MN
1 M Chapman, PJ v Maugham/Patel

Z games will be available first thing.

East Dorset beat Hurlingham w/o

by Keith Southern [^]
30th August (GC - Inter-Club Shield)

GC Inter-County Championships 22-23 August. Dorset take the Division 1 title. Hertfordshire win Division 2

pictureDorset take the Division 1 title

by Jonathan Powe [^]
28th August (GC - Championships)

The GC Inter-County Championships had a rather different feel this year. And it wasn't all about COVID. To start with, Division 2 had grown to 8 teams with the addition of the Devon team plus a CA Select team which forced a move from Compton to Cheltenham. Meanwhile, due to the understandable limit on numbers at Southwick, the Division 1 counties were restricted to teams of 3, which meant a change to the format. But perhaps the most striking change was the absence of the excellent catering and bar facilities at both venues. Although this meant that the afternoon sessions started rather more promptly than in previous years, it certainly had an effect on the 'festival' atmosphere that is such a feature of the Championships. However, spirits were not dampened too greatly and there was some excellent croquet played at both venues.

At Southwick, the Division 1 format was an all-play-all block, followed by a 2-round knockout for the teams placed 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12. All matches were 3 single games played against opposite numbers in handicap order. On the basis of team handicaps, it looked like Kent, Dorset, Sussex and Somerset (the 2019 winners) would be the teams to watch. At the halfway stage things appeared to be running reasonably to form with Sussex on 5/6 wins and Dorset, Kent, Somerset and Nottinghamshire close behind on 4/6. There were some important top-of-the-table clashes in the final 5 rounds which caused a bit of a shuffle at the top, but in the end it was (in order) Kent, Sussex, Dorset and Somerset in positions 1-4 for the final knockout matches. Close behind was the CA Select team who had punched above their weight in the final few rounds, missing out on 4th place by a whisker.

In the semi-finals, Kent (Pierre Beaudry -4, Simon Carter -4 and Mark Daley -3) beat Somerset (James Galpin -4, Stephen Custance-Baker -1 and Colin Britt -1) with relative ease 3-0. Meanwhile Dorset (Jonathan Powe -4, Steve Leonard -3, David Kendrick -2 (Sun) and Dave Trimmer -2 (Sat)) were matching that scoreline, beating Sussex (Pete Dowd -3, Richard Brooks -2 and Liz Farrow -1) 3-0 to set up a Kent v Dorset final. In their block match played that morning, Kent had beaten Dorset 2-1, but in the final Dorset managed to turn the tables. With the match poised at 1-1, and the final game between David Kendrick and Mark Daley on the 12th hoop, David ran the hoop from 8 yards to win the game 7-5 and the match 2-1. Dorset last won the Championship in 2004 when William Ormerod was a member of the team, so it was fitting that they should get their hands back on the Cup so soon after his passing.

Top 5 individual performers were (in order): Pierre Beaudry (Kent) 11/13; Jonathan Smith (Hants) 7/9; Steve Leonard (Dorset), James Galpin (Somerset) and Les Heard (Northants) all on 10/13.

In Division 2, Hertfordshire carried all before them, winning all 7 of their 2-round matches to take the title. Oxfordshire were close behind on 6/7 followed by Devon on 4/7. A separate report may follow.

Many thanks to Southwick and Cheltenham for the use of their excellent courts and for all their work beforehand to prepare for both events.

All the results are available on Croquet Scores:

Division 1: https://croquetscores.com/2020/gc/inter-county-championship-1

Division 2: https://croquetscores.com/2020/gc/inter-counties-division-2

Jonathan Wolfe won the Tompkinson Shield at Edgbaston

by Andrew Gregory at Edgbaston [^]
15-16 August 2020 (AC)

A full twelve players gathered at Edgbaston. Three players had the minimum handicap of -1, so Phil Cordingley, Nigel Polhill and Chris O'Byrne were the ante-post favourites.

The Manager thought 3 blocks of 4 appropriate for these times. Two out of three gained a place in Sunday's knock-out, 3/3 and you'd be seeded.

If you're having blocks you may as well fiddle them, so #2 v #3 was scheduled for the third round. If games went with ranking, this would be a sudden death game. In two blocks it was actually the wooden spoon game, with #4s Adrian Morris and Simon Cawdell exceeding expectations.

The third block also had an upset as Jonathan Wolfe beat Phil.

All 3 blocks had one 3/3, and one 2/3. (If games were on the toss of a coin, that would happen 3 times out of 8.)

This meant a knock-out of 6, with 3 seeds. I'd vaguely hoped that that wouldn't happen.

(And it wouldn't have, had Clive Goode not failed rover v Chris. Chris's clips were 3 and penult: forced to play with his penult ball he made 2 hoops and constructed a leave where oppo felt obliged to corner. Chris properly ignored that ball as he finished next turn.)

Jonathan drew the lucky #1 seed position, meaning that all 3 -1s were in the bottom half.

Only one extra game was played on Saturday, and it featured a ladies' sextuple from Chris.

[Brief history of SXPs at Edgbaston. The first was by John McCullough in 1984ish, with Walker balls - remember them? The rushes pinged.

We believe Reg Bamford had one during the block phase of the 2005 World Championship. He did have two in his block, and I'm sure an efficient manager would know if either was at Edgbaston...

And now Chris O'Byrne adds his name to the roster.]

On Sunday Jonathan duly came through the top half.

In the bottom half Phil won the battle of Middlesex, then faced Chris. Phil soon reached 4-back and peg, only for Chris to recover. Chris had done 2 peels of his triple when he failed 4-back, giving Phil an easy finish.

In the final Phil again reached 4-back and peg before oppo had made much progress. Jonathan hit his "last shot" and soon had a break with Yellow - the Red clip was on 2. To the crowd's surprise he did not stop at 4-back, clearly intent on pegging out Phil's Black. The red ball was dispatched near 4th corner. Jonathan then felt he had to play the very short peg-out with some pull, misjudged it, and failed to peg out! Yellow retired to second corner. In Phil's contact turn Blue took off from Red, but ended about 10' West of Black (hoop 4 in the way apparently - so why not just take contact off Black?). Blue dribbled at Black and missed, ending up halfway between hoops 3 and 4. Jonathan's Red hit Blue, and cut it within a few feet of hoop 2! The crowd was delighted. Jonathan made 2, hit his six-yarder at Yellow, and picked up the break. Phil searched desperately for his stopping bisque, but he'd already used it against Chris. Jonathan kept his composure to win the Tompkinson Shield.

This was Jonathan's first tournament at Edgbaston, though he did play a game here with Martin ("The Hat") Kolbuszewski in 1971!

This was also Neal Bacon's first A-class tournament. After a disappointing Saturday he perhaps reflected overnight that minus-players make mistakes too, and fared much better on Sunday. I look forward to him joining the Warwickshire team. Another rare sighting was the Rev'd Simon Cawdell. He's been promoted, hence much wit on can(n)ons. Regulars Gary Bennett and Kevin Carter had a nice final game on Sunday. Kevin pegged out Gary and separated. Gary took long position at 4-back. Kevin joined up. Gary ran his long hoop, hit his long shot, and finished. Good to see Riggall's Law still applies.

I've mentioned everyone bar Alan Clark, whose only noteworthy achievement was losing to the Manager!

David Warhurst Won The 2020 York White Rose Tournament

pictureDavid Warhurst Won The 2020 York White Rose Tournament

by Peter Thompson at York [^]
15-16 August 2020 (AC)

The 2020 White Rose tournament at York was fully subscribed despite dodgy weather forecasts and the additional overcast of Covid-19 precautions. 12 players completed 32 games in the course of the two days, with no time-limits being required.

The lawns at York are flat, but were heavy and patchy. The weather threatened but forbore from precipitation and there were no crises; even the large lady who fell into the club on Saturday afternoon was recovered and refurbished without fuss by those present; the consensus was that (temporarily) she may not have been in full command of all her faculties.

David Warhurst beat Beatrice McGlen in one semi-final and Eugene Chang beat Callum Johnson in the other. David then beat Eugene +5 in a closely contested final, Eugene opting to lay up when faced with a long approach to 4-back with his second ball, and David hitting what he left. Callum Johnson did the only triple of the tournament. Sophie McGlen had the highest handicap in the tournament, but was very much a force to be reckoned with and gained some notable scalps. Beatrice presented the prizes. Derek Knight organised a covid-compliant picnic on Saturday evening.

Hurlingham GC B-Class

by Tony Bingham at Hurlingham [^]
28th August (GC)

This popular event was contested by 16 players with handicaps 3 to 7, hailing from 6 separate clubs in the south and south east. The weather was kind throughout.

On day one all played all in two separate blocks. In Blue block Jane Powell (Ealing, 5 handicap) won with 6 wins and second place was between Andrew Fall (Enfield, 4) and Charlie Sale (Ealing, 4) both on 5 wins. On net hoops Andrew was placed first with 16, Charlie had 15. Commiserations Charlie!

Red block was won by David Graham (Ealing, 5) from Martin Read (Hurlingham, 5) both on 6 wins and the same 15 net hoops, but David had beaten Martin 7-6 in their match after Martin had previously looked unstoppable. Bridget Goodman (Ealing, 3) was 3rd on 5 wins.

In the semi-finals Andrew was too strong for David, winning in two games. Jane and Martin's semi was much harder fought, Jane eventually winning 2-1, her reliable play countering Martin's occasional brilliance.

The final was equally close: Andrew took the first game 7-5, Jane came back strongly winning 7-1 and she started the third better, going 2 hoops up. By this time a good crowd had gathered to watch the fun. The 3rd hoop was crucial, Andrew turning the tide and keeping his momentum to go 5-3. The 11th hoop saw a tense battle before Andrew won it, effectively Jane's last chance. Though she made it 4-6 Andrew had prime positions on hoop 11 and Jane could not clear. 7-4 to Andrew, who thereby retained his title.

Third place was taken by David who beat Martin again, this time in two games. The second day consolation blocks were won by Malcolm Beacham (Hurlingham and Sussex County, 5) who won all his games and Robert Cook (Cheam, 3) with 4 wins. Over the two days almost one in 5 games went to the golden hoop. All enjoyed the excellent conditions and customary Hurlingham hospitality and thanked Tony for his impeccable management.

Hurlingham C-Class event

by Philip Hallett at Hurlingham [^]
28th August (GC)

This annual event was held again at Hurlingham on 25th August with the threat of heavy rain and storm force winds causing the late withdrawal of 2 of the entrants. So a big thank you to Clive Freedman for stepping up to the plate at very short notice and I am sorry that his first game was a bye!,We otherwise welcomed 15 players to the club for an excellent day of croquet played, surprisingly, in dry and, later in the day, very sunny conditions with some wind to blow the Covids away. ,After 5 rounds we had two undefeated players left standing for the Grand Final. This went to the Golden Hoop and our winner was Sudy Harrison of Hurlingham and the runner up was Rick Lilley of Phyllis Court. In third place was Elaine Wilson with 3 wins and a slightly higher net hoops score than four other players also on three wins.,Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to all the competitors for contributing to such a good day.

Neil Humphreys won the CARA Cup

by Mike Huxley at Guildford and Godalming [^]
28th August (GC)

It was Guildford and Godalming's first, and last, open tournament of this much-disrupted year. We were very pleased to welcome a full entry of 16 for a GC tournament open to handicaps 1 to 6. The whole spectrum was represented - from four 1-handicappers to two 6-handicappers. The weather was relatively kind, the two heavy showers happening during the knock-up period and during lunchtime. Otherwise it varied between breezy and warm and breezy and cool.

Variable weather, variable play - shocks happened. Two 5 handicappers and one 6 survived the morning blocks and qualified for the afternoon knockouts. In the end, though, the cream rose to the top and the final was contested between Ron Carter (1, Ealing) and Neil Humphreys (1, Sussex County).

The first 6 hoops were shared, 4 being won with jump shots. At hoop 7, Neil's attempted clearance merely put Ron's ball in a better position, allowing Ron to lead for the first time. Neil levelled at 8 but a perfect approach to 9 helped Ron back in front. Neil won the next two to lead 6-5. Then came the dramatic ending. Ron was close in, and easily runnable, at 12, but Neil had enough sight of the hoop to be able to crash his ball through from 11 yards.

An absorbing final - well done to both - and worthy of mention are the performances of two 5-handicappers (Phil Davies and Jan Honeysett) who finished 3rd and 5th respectively.

It was fun to be back!

Marcus Evans won the Nailsea Advanced Weekend

by Marcus Evans at Nailsea [^]
8-9 August 2020 (AC)

With the excellent innovations of croquetscores.com, text commentary, and live streaming, the written tournament report seems to be dying out - but since I enjoy writing them, I hope those who don't enjoy reading them won't feel their delete key is over-exercised by this attempt.

Unable to find a replacement for an unavoidable late withdrawal due to injury, but with 7 keen players, the manager opted for an all-play-all block with the unusual twist of each player starting 2 games simultaneously, in an attempt to reduce waiting around for games. The players rose to the extra challenge and despite a little confusion the experiment was generally deemed a success, with no time limits and very little pegging down being required despite mixed levels of skill (often from the same player in the same break) and fairly tough playing conditions. Although entrants were warned before the event that it was not possible for the hoops to be moved to new holes, Nailsea member Andrew Wimshurst did such a good job of firming up the old ones that players still found a variety of entertaining ways to fail to make the most of a seemingly promising opportunity.

Mainly because I promised him it would go in the report, I have to mention in particular pre-tournament favourite Richard M Smith who, being hampered, requested a referee come equipped with a carrot-humbler to put some proud carrots in their place. This duly done and balls marked, naturally what followed was a lovely stroke in all respects right up to the moment the mallet face failed to reach the ball. He later claimed to have been outdone in the stupidity stakes by James Galpin missing out a hoop on a break, albeit he was cunningly getting in the way as double banker at the time. Fortunately the ethics committee decided not to get involved once it was determined he was not also the opponent in the affected game. For his part, Galpin has decided to embark on a GC career, where going for the wrong hoop is a little more difficult - at least without the co-operation of the opponent.

With the three double-rounds neatly completed by lunchtime on Sunday, the top 4 in the block played semi-finals and a final for the trophy, which was won for the fourth time by yours truly, avenging in the final his opening game defeat by Chris O'Byrne. Surprise package David Warhurst came within a whisker of defeating me in both his games, and reported the overnight conditions in his luxurious campervan parked at the club were very peaceful.

Robert Wilkinson won the consolation event, followed by also winning an impromptu three-handed game of 'Irish Speed Croquet'. There were some none-too-subtle mutterings about him taking home a bottle of wine with a record of 1 win from 7 whereas 4 out of 7 went home empty handed, but hey, you've got to win the ones that count. Jonathan Wolfe played entertainingly as ever and took home a good number of index points for his 2 wins.

Another, less successful innovation was the peeling prize, which was advertised as 3 points for a rover peel, 2 for a double, and 1 for a triple or better - the idea being that a triple or better is its own reward, whereas if one of those fails there is then an incentive to finish off the game efficiently. It also potentially gives all players something to aim for in later games. However, as it turned out the winner of the tournament did so by repeatedly failing to finish triple peeling turns only to get back in later, and thus scooped the peeling prize, too.

Club Chairman Graham McCausland presented the prizes and joined me in thanking Nailsea members Joan Timmins and Mike Powell who had generously given up their time for the weekend in order to diligently sanitise the playing equipment after each and every game, as well as keeping the clubhouse clean and safe, and supplying competitors with drinking water which was much needed on two hot days. We also thanked members Brian Roynon, Erica Malaiperuman and Tony Dowman who along with Andrew Wimshurst had spent Friday preparing the lawns to an excellent standard. Particular thanks is also extended to members John and Kathy Wallace who throughout the year have continued to visit the club almost every day to tend to the lawns, which is resulting in great improvements to the playing surface. The club and all who play there are greatly indebted to them and extremely grateful for their efforts.

For full results please see https://croquetscores.com/2020/ac/nailsea-advanced - many thanks to Chris O'Byrne for keeping this up to date.

Handicap change: Marcus Evans -1.5 to -2

Appendix: schema for 7 player all-play-all block with each player starting 2 games simultaneously

Round 1

A v C B v D A v D B v C E v F E v G F v G

Round 2

A v B A v E E v B C v F C v G D v G F v D

Round 3

A v F A v G B v G B v F C v D C v E D v E

The Croquet Championship 2020 - Swiss Predrawn Rounds

by David Maugham at Cheltenham [^]
25th August (AC - Championships)

Player   Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4
Mark Avery   Jamie Burch Paddy Chapman Martin Murray Tim Jolliff
Reg Bamford   David Maugham Phil Cordingley James Galpin Stephen Mulliner
Jamie Burch   Mark Avery Samir Patel Mark van Loon Ian Vincent
Christian Carter   Stephen Mulliner Harry Fisher Mark Ormerod Robert Wilkinson
Paddy Chapman   Ian Vincent Mark Avery Harry Fisher Mark Ormerod
Phil Cordingley   Duncan Reeve Reg Bamford Sam Murray Wendy Wu
James Death   Jonathan Powe Mark van Loon Duncan Reeve Pete Trimmer
Harry Fisher   Tim Jolliff Christian Carter Paddy Chapman Chris O'Byrne
James Galpin   Sarah Hayes Duncan Reeve Reg Bamford Martin Murray
Sarah Hayes   James Galpin Sam Murray Pete Trimmer David Maugham
Tim Jolliff   Harry Fisher Mark Ormerod Ian Vincent Mark Avery
David Maugham   Reg Bamford Wendy Wu Mark Suter Sarah Hayes
Stephen Mulliner   Christian Carter Pete Trimmer Wendy Wu Reg Bamford
Martin Murray   Samir Patel Ian Vincent Mark Avery James Galpin
Sam Murray   Mark Suter Sarah Hayes Phil Cordingley Samir Patel
Chris O'Byrne   Mark Ormerod Mark Suter Robert Wilkinson Harry Fisher
Mark Ormerod   Chris O'Byrne Tim Jolliff Christian Carter Paddy Chapman
Samir Patel   Martin Murray Jamie Burch Jonathan Powe Sam Murray
Jonathan Powe   James Death Robert Wilkinson Samir Patel Mark van Loon
Duncan Reeve   Phil Cordingley James Galpin James Death Mark Suter
Mark Suter   Sam Murray Chris O'Byrne David Maugham Duncan Reeve
Pete Trimmer   Robert Wilkinson Stephen Mulliner Sarah Hayes James Death
Mark van Loon   Wendy Wu James Death Jamie Burch Jonathan Powe
Ian Vincent   Paddy Chapman Martin Murray Tim Jolliff Jamie Burch
Robert Wilkinson   Pete Trimmer Jonathan Powe Chris O'Byrne Christian Carter
Wendy Wu   Mark van Loon David Maugham Stephen Mulliner Phil Cordingley

The 2020 CA AGM will be held virtually

by Ian Vincent [^]
24th August (CA Official News)

The Annual General Meeting of the Croquet Association will take place by Videoconferencing on Saturday 17 October 2020, commencing at 10.00 am.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Council have decided that the AGM will be held by videoconference, rather than as a physical meeting, this year. As a consequence, the start time has been brought forward to 10 am. The links to view and participate in the meeting will be published in a news item on the CA Website.

Individual Members wishing to vote must do so in advance of the meeting either electronically on the website, or by post; it will not be possible to vote at the meeting.

Votes in advance of the meeting must be received by 7 October.

To vote online, login and go to Members -> Surveys & Voting.

To download the postal ballot paper, go to Members -> Documents, and click on 'Postal Ballot Paper for 2020 AGM' in the list of documents for 17th October.

Members wishing to speak, ask questions, or introduce other business at the meeting must notify the President or Hon. Secretary by 7 October, stating the agenda item(s) for which they wish to do so.

Nottingham Week

by Peter Death at Nottingham [^]
17-22 August 2020 (AC - Mixed)

Another full house for this year's Nottingham Week, with 36 players, though 1 of them was only in the Doubles. Beatrice McGlen and her team put in a tremendous effort to ensure that competitors could be fed and watered in a suitably socially-distanced way, and responsible behaviour by the players meant that the tournament went ahead in reasonably relaxed, though unusual, conditions.

The big Handicap, the Robin Hood Cup, saw a range of handicaps from -1 to 5 in the quarter-finals, after 4 days of flexible Swiss competition to find the top 8 (though some interruption from weather earlier in the week meant that the top 8 plus ties brought 14 players into the knockout!). The final was between Alex McIntyre (Nottingham) and Omied Hallam (Nottingham). Alex won +3 to take the trophy for the third successive year (his handicaps for those wins were 12, 5, and 3.5).

The A class had 12 competitors, played as a flexible Swiss until Friday teatime, followed by a knockout for the top four. In the semi-finals Omied Hallam beat Phil Eardley and Phil Cordingley beat Neal Bacon, then Omied beat Phil +14 +17 in the final.

The B Level singles was similarly played as a flexible Swiss of 11 players followed by a knockout. The semi-finalists were Mike Hedge, Arthur Rowe, Ken Jones and Alex McIntyre. In the final Arthur beat Alex +8.

The C class (Ordinary level singles) had 7 entries. The top 2 after playing an American block were Andrew Beaumont and Patricia Duke-Cox. In the play-off Andrew beat Patricia +9.

The D class (Full bisque base 10 handicap singles) had 4 entries, played as two American blocks, so that each player played the others twice. Alison McIntyre was undefeated on both blocks to take the trophy

16 pairs entered the Handicap Doubles knockout, and in the final Bob Thompson and Patricia Duke-Cox beat Phil Eardley and Sue Wileman +1t.

Event 1: The Robin Hood cup, handicap singles.36 players. Played as a flexible Swiss until Thursday, then a knockout for the top 8 and ties.

Semi-finals: Alex McIntyre (3.5) beat Rob Edlin-White (4) +14

Omied Hallam (-1) beat Charlie Martin (5) +19

Final: McIntyre beat Hallam +3

Event 2: Open Singles, Advanced Play. 12 players. Played as flexible Swiss, then a knockout for the top 4.

Semi-finals: Omied Hallam beat Phil Eardley +3

Phil Cordingley beat Neal Bacon +15

Final: Hallam beat Cordingley +14 +17

Event 3: B Level Singles, Advanced Play, handicaps 3 and over. 11 players Played as flexible Swiss, then a knockout for the top 4.

Semi-finals: Arthur Rowe beat Mike Hedge +16

Alex McIntyre beat Ken Jones +12

Final: Rowe beat McIntyre +8

Event 4: C Level Singles, Ordinary Level Singles, handicaps 8 and over.

Played as a block of 5 followed by a play-off for the top 2

Final Andrew Beaumont beat Patricia Duke-Cox +9

Event 5: D Handicap Singles, full bisque base 10. 4 competitors, each playing the other twice. Alison McIntyre (22) unbeaten on 6/6.

Event 6: Handicap Doubles, 16 pairs, knockout.

Semi-finals: Bob Thompson and Patricia Duke-Cox beat Alex and Alison McIntyre +3t

Phil Eardley and Sue Wileman beat Ken Jones and Barbara Young +12t

Final: Thompson and Duke-Cox beat Eardley and Wileman +1t

James Death won the Cavendish Clock

by Jim Allcock at Crake Valley [^]
15-16 August 2020 (AC)

Play started at 9.30am, the weather was warm and no sign of rain.

The players handicaps ranged from 4 to -2 and were from the South Coast, Bristol, Nottingham and from our Federation.

The first-round games were all remarkably close, with a surprise win for Robert Wilkinson over Paul Rigge 26-25.

In the following matches James Death started to show his skill by winning all his matches and completing three triple peels over the weekend. Paul Rigge and Robert Wilkinson both completed triple peels and the overall level of play by all the players was excellent.

The last match of the weekend was between James Death and Paul Rigge giving the watching players a real treat.

Paul started very strongly taking one ball to four-back and after a short period of tactical play James started his turn and peeled Paul's ball with his own ball and pegged both out.

In the process he peeled both of his opponent's balls as well as one of his own ending with him holding all four clips.

The match then turned into a one-ball match with both players providing everyone with an exhibition of outstanding play.

Eventually James took control and finished the winner.

As the only player to win all his matches James was declared the winner and was presented with the Cavendish Clock

Robert Moss won the Sidmouth B-Level

pictureSocial Distancing at Sidmouth B-Level

by Julie Horsley at Sidmouth [^]
14-15 August 2020 (AC)

Sidmouth Croquet Club decided to go ahead with the ever-popular August B-Level event but with some modification. Thus, a format that simplified Covid-19 restriction compliance took-up 3 lawns not 4 over a 2-day event, rather than 3, which also placated members' angst about reduced play opportunities being further reduced by tournament play.

Needless to say, the heatwave of the previous few weeks had given way to uncertain weather at best and, just as last year, yellow warnings of torrential rain with possible flooding were in issue. Play started on Friday in a heavy sea mist which was later enhanced with determined mizzle [a contraction of Mist / Drizzle?]. Nonetheless, the 10 players sallied forth and attacked the lawns with gusto.

Come lunchtime on Friday and the players were, once again, experiencing the drawback of waterproofs in a high humidity atmosphere. Yes, breathable fabric does breathe, some better than others, but not with sufficient efficiency to curtail the uncomfortable over-heating with perspiration. The joys of summer sport!

Play continued into the evening as a fourth 2.5 hour game was scheduled for a start with completion time-tabled for the Saturday second slot. Saturday dawned with another heavy sea mist but no mizzle, yet. Competitors were in high spirits with each trying to outdo the other with the usual stories of unbelievable bad luck, the rain effect and so on. Your reporter was only mildly surprised that the problem of the thunderous noise caused by the bees collecting pollen from the adjacent 'triangle' garden was not mentioned.

The cricket started so, of course, it started to rain. The cricketers all fled for shelter as usual and the square was covered. Our cricketers were quite recently accused of being wimps - they wear studded boots to prevent slipping - so, they were asked, what is the problem? Apparently, it is because after some 300 years they still have not designed a cricket ball which will retain its shape when wet. Is there an entrepreneurial opportunity here? Croquet ball materiel wrapped in a modern pseudo-leather coloured red. Fame and fortune awaits???

The final block games were concluded and the results were interesting in how many games went to time and ended without a peg-out - at B Level - I mean handicaps 1.5 to 5 - good grief. The afternoon games were play-offs for overall position with the Salver being played for between Peter Nelson [Sidmouth 1.5] and Robert Moss [Budleigh 3]. This game also went to time but had a nail-biting finish. Moss' final turn saw him make a good break to peg and a one-ball peg-out. Three balls on the lawn and Nelson needs 8 hoops, including 2 peels and a one-ball peg-out to win. Nelson hit-in and, keeping his cool, started the challenge. His first attempt at positioning the peelee ball at 4-Back saw it go wide. He persevered, with some pause for thought on how to set-up a second attempt. It was attempted but the treacherous lawn did not help and so Moss won +1 on time.

Jane Babbage [Sidmouth,] the only female entrant, presented the salver. The prize for the quickest game usually goes to a player winning in about 45-50 minutes. On Saturday it went to a player in the final with a time, achieved earlier, of 2 hours 1 minute. There was some derision, photographic evidence of acceptance of the bottle of wine was forbidden as he wished to be unrecognised. So, no names, no pack-drills, but he didn't win the salver.

Robert Moss thanked the Club and all involved in setting it up: Andrew Thomas, Ed Dolphin, Philip Harris, playing, and our excellent Tournament Manager - Julie Horsley. He also emphasised what a friendly and welcoming Club Sidmouth is - well I'd agree with that.

Marilyn Robinson wins Wrest Park GC B-Level

by Richard Keighley [^]
21st August (GC)

A full field of 16 players looked anxiously skywards as they made their way to their group bases for the start of the tournament. When would the downpour arrive?

4 groups of 4 players contested the morning session on an all-play-all basis. In 3 of the groups, the top seeds prevailed. David Cornes (3) of Crake Valley and Aston Wade (3) of Hamptworth won all their games and Peter Adams (3) of Caversham held off the challenge of Simon Draper on hoop count. However, the final group produced a surprise winner in Marilyn Robinson (6) of Northampton and Wrest Park pipping Gill Hindshaw (4) of Beckford by a single hoop after Bridget Goodman(3) of Ealing failed to find her best form.

The anticipated cloudburst arrived in the early afternoon but not before Aston had defeated David (7-2) in the Winners mini-league. When play resumed, Aston beat Peter (7-3) but Marilyn continued to defy her handicap by beating both Peter (7-6) and David (7-3). Her clearances were consistent and convincing from a range of distances.

These results meant that the winner of the tournament would be decided on the final game between Aston and Marilyn. Aston, an excellent 18 year-old prospect, had impressed all with his skilful shot-making but found himself facing the challenge of an experienced player on peak form. At 3-3, it was difficult to pick a winner but Marilyn's relentless clearing put pressure on Aston's positional play and she moved to a 6-3 lead. To his dismay, Marilyn put her next ball in the jaws of Hoop 10 from afar, and his attempted distanced jump shots did not succeed. It was a victory and a day to remember for her (as well as an estimated 70 points on her card) but also a pleasure for all participants to watch Aston in action and to appreciate what a fine young player he was likely to become.

Manager, Richard Keighley warmly congratulated both players and presented them with engraved glasses. He in turn was grateful to his fellow members John Bevington, George Collin and Peter Aspinall for their help in staging the tournament.

Finishing Order:

  1. Marilyn Robinson
  2. Aston Wade
  3. David Cornes
  4. Peter Adams

Roehampton lost to High Wycombe 1-4

by Mike Porter at Roehampton [^]
21st August (AC - Mary Rose)

High Wycombe vs Roehampton

Mary Rose 21/8/20
at Roehampton

High Wycombe names first:

Mike Porter (0) and Chris Roberts (0) beat David Mooney (0.5) and Peter Siddall (0.5) +4t
Richard Peperell (3) lost to John Pearson (2) -20

Mike Porter beat David Mooney +18
Chris Roberts beat John Pearson +20
Richard Peperell beat Peter Siddall +6

AC Laws: submission of 7th Edition consultation version

by Ian Lines [Chair of International] [^]
4th August (AC)

The WCF Association Croquet Laws Committee has produced a draft of the 7th Edition of the AC Laws. In accordance with WCF Statute 132.5.3, this draft is required to be placed before Members for formal consultation for at least two months before the ACLC is permitted to recommend a draft to the WCF Management Committee for submission to Council for approval.

Members are encouraged to make the draft available to their memberships and copies of the above documents are now available on the WCF website

Draft Laws

Changes Log

Please review the draft and send any comments to the chairman of the CA's AC Laws Committee and its representative on the WCF's ACLC, for him to forward to its chairman, Graeme Roberts, by midnight on Sunday, 4 October 2020.

The draft has been carefully checked for typos and cross-referencing errors but is being separately and professionally proof-read, so please restrict comments to ones of substance rather than typography at this stage.

Is your local club open?

by John Reddish [^]
22nd July (Other News)

A list of clubs that have opened following official guidance. Contact John Reddish to add/amend.

South East & London

Bexley Finchley Victoria Preston (Brighton) Sussex County
Bromley Guildford & Godalming Purley Bury Sydenham
Canterbury Hampstead Heath Ramsgate West Chiltington
Caterham Hassocks Reigate Priory West Worthing
Cheam Hove Beach Roehampton Woking
Cheyney Hurlingham Rother Valley  
Chichester & Fishbourne Ivychurch Rottingdean  
Compton (Eastbourne) Littlehampton Royal Tunbridge Wells  
Croqueteers of Sedlescombe Lodsworth Rye  
Dulwich Medway Surbiton  
Ealing Merton    

South West

Barnstaple Budleigh Salterton Glamorgan Plymouth
Beckford Camerton & Peasedown Jersey St Agnes
Bristol Cheltenham Kington Langley Swanage
Bath Cornwall Llandovery Taunton Deane
Broadwas Dowlish Wake Lymm Valley Winterborne Valley
Bude East Dorset Nailsea Worcester Norton


Basingstoke Eynsham Little Gaddesden Winchester
Blewbury Hamptworth Littleton Wingrave
Caversham Harwell Phyllis Court  
East Dorset High Wycombe Ryde  

East Midlands

Ashby Long Eaton Park Pinchbeck
Boston Louth Torksey
Branston & District Melton Mowbray  
Darley Dale Nottingham  

West Midlands

Broadwas Himley Hall Stourbridge
Church Stretton Kenilworth  
Eardisley Ludlow Castle  
Edgbaston Shrewsbury  

East Anglia

Bury St Edmunds Leighton-Linslade Stony Stratford
Chelmsford Letchworth Thorpeness
Colchester Maldon Unity
Downham Market Meldreth Watford
Enfield Newport Wrest Park


(at Wellingborough)

Great Dunham Norwich  
Histon & Impington Peterborough  
Ipswich St Albans  

North West

Bowdon Ellesmere Southport
Bury Fylde Tattenhall
Chester Keswick  
Craig-y-Don Llanfairfechan  
Crake Valley Pendle & Craven  
Culcheth Penrith & North Lakes  

Croquet North

Alnmouth Belsay Hall Tyneside
Auckland Durham  
Bamburgh Middlesborough  


Ben Rhydding Huddersfield Sheffield U3A
Boston Spa Lepton  
Beverley & East Riding Ripon Spa York
Bishop Monckton Ryedale York U3A
Hebden Bridge Sheffield  


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this news web page are those of the Editor and contributors. The Croquet Association is not responsible for statements other than those clearly identified as being made on its behalf. The full editorial policy is available online. The Web News Editor is the CA Office.