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Survey of Croquet Players

by Dr Ian Vincent [^]
19th October (CA Official News)

Thank you for your interest in completing this online survey of croquet players. We are interested in the views of all croquet players in the UK - not just CA Members, but everybody who plays organised croquet.

By choosing to complete the online version you have saved us from having to transcribe responses from the paper version which will be included in the Gazette. However, please do not complete both.

Before you begin the questionnaire there is a brief explanation of how we have used past surveys (we run them every five years). Also, please be assured that the survey is completely anonymous and that your data and views will be properly protected.

The questionnaire itself is not held on the CA website but is hosted by Google, where it is a free service. For this reason you will not recognise the address which will be shown in your browser.

Please click here to participate in the 2017 survey of croquet players.

CA AGM and Council Report

by Dr Ian Vincent at Hurlingham [^]
18th October (CA Official News)

The AGM of the Croquet Association takes place on Saturday at 11 am at the Hurlingham Club, Ranelagh Gardens, London, SW6 3PR. The nearest tube station is Putney Bridge, on the District Line.

The agenda was published in the September editon of the Croquet Gazette and in a previous news item. Brian Shorney, the Chairman of Council, has published the report that he will be presenting on its activities.

Rapid Improver GC players required for the 2018 Golf Croquet International Performance Development Squad

by Lionel Tibble [^]
15 Oct 2017 (CA Official News)

With the help and enthusiastic support of those involved in the IPDG Elite and Development Squads a considerable step forward has been achieved in bringing more of our GC players into consideration for future England selection.

The marvelous way in which these participants have embraced the ethos of the scheme is a major contributor factor to its success with many of the Development Squad players achieving a step change in skill and ability with some being invited to join the Elite squad. I'm reluctant to single out any individuals for obvious reasons but regular readers of the Gazette and followers of tournament results via croquetscores.com will have a pretty good idea of the rising stars on the horizon.

Looking forward to the 2018 season we need more players with potential to join the Development Squad.

So if you have the ambition, desire and determination to explore your full potential and perhaps play at International level, or you know someone who has but is too modest to declare themselves, then please get in touch with me at anglion@btinternet.com. Lionel Tibble IPDG Director

Watford's busy off season

pictureWatford Croquet Club in a busy off season (Photo: Simon Hartell)

by Daniel Atiyah [^]
13th October (CA Official News)

Watford Croquet Club are having a busy off season. The club are in the process of adding a fourth croquet lawn and levelling a further lawn.

For further updates on the developments please visit- www.watfordcroquet.org.uk/2017/courtwork.php.

Watford qualify for the 2018 Secretary's Shield

by Terry Sparks [^]
12th October (Other News)

Watford are the winners of the EACF Handicap League for 2017 and therefore, go forward to represent the region in 'The Secretary's Shield' for 2018.

Croquet to Feature in BBC TV Programme

by Elizabeth Larsson [^]
11th October (CA Official News)

Croquet is to feature in the popular BBC1 programme Antiques Road Trip to be broadcast on 20 October 2017 at 4.30pm.

The Antiques Road Trip team visited Cheltenham during the Coles Croquet Championship on the early May Bank Holiday.

As well as filming the inside of the historic Cheltenham Club house, they interviewed Liz Larsson, the CA Manager about the history of the game.

In addition to the Antiques hunt, the programme makers include a short item about the history of a site or person in the area they visit and croquet features in this, the final programme of the series, where they visit Gloucestershire.

More information can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09b7mqz

New club Melton Mowbray enjoying the CA start up kit

pictureMembers of Melton Mowbray enjoying the new CA start up kit (Photo: Sue Bailey)

by Daniel Atiyah at Melton Mowbray [^]
11th October (Other News)

Melton Mowbray, a new member club to the Croquet Association this year, have recently received the start up kit supplied by the association.

They are certainly enjoying the new equipment as shown in the photo!

For further information on Melton Mowbray please contact Sue Bailey, the secretary of the club.

For any new member clubs that are also interested in receiving the kit please contact your local federation development officer and the CA office.

Gary Bennett won the AC Surbiton Advanced ARK Handicap

by Martin Burger at Surbiton [^]
9 Oct 2017 (Handicap Tournaments)

The ARK tournament was played in mainly fine weather, with a couple of showers on Saturday.
The courts played at a comfortable speed though with the usual Autumn morning dew.
Sunday finished with bright sunshine to tease us at end of the season.

This year the tournament was not full. Unusually the only minus player was John Mc Mordie .David Houston was the only Scot this year. Two TPs were contributed by Kevin Carter. After the first day Gary Bennett had 4/4 and Martin Burger 3/3,with six more players on 2/3. The next day Gary beat Martin +5 to be 5/5 and Andrew Killick, Jeffrey Rushby and Phil Dunk reached 3/4. Andrew then beat Gary, and Martin beat Jeffrey, with Phil also winning. By the cut-off time of 3:00 start there were no players available who had not played the leaders
so Gary with the extra game was the winner.

The usual Surbiton catering was widely appreciated along with the court preparation of George Noble and Andy Dibben.

England won the inaugural GC Home Internationals

pictureThe winning England GC team (Photo: John-Paul Moberly)

by John-Paul Moberly at Carrickmines [^]
1 Oct 2017 (International)

England won the inaugural GC Home Internationals (30th to 1st October) at a sunny Carrickmines by decisively beating Ireland 5.5 to 0.5 in the final round.

Good wins on Day 1 against Wales and Scotland left England going into the final round knowing a draw would give them overall victory, while only a win would have been good enough for the Irish to claim first place on home soil. All four teams fielded strong sides and while England looked favourites on paper, the Welsh had firepower through Ian Burridge and Ireland had the core of the team that finished 4th in the GC World Team Championship last year. Scotland looked the weakest but, with regular AC circuit players in their ranks, were never going to be pushovers.

The format was decided as three rounds (what turned out to be two Saturday, one Sunday - play was quick enough to allow the completion of the second round on Saturday) of six point matches consisting of two bo2 doubles and four bo3 singles of 1v1, 2v2 etc. This slightly unambitious format allowed for generous lunch breaks and plenty of time for visiting players to catch their Sunday evening flights home.

Round 1 pitted England against Wales and Ireland against Scotland. The no. 1 English doubles pairing of J-P Moberly and Tobi Savage had a scare early on as they went 4-6 down to Burridge & Sarah Melvin - who's steady hoop running and clearances had brought them back from 4-1 down. Moberly and Savage were able to claim the game 7-6 after close misses by Burridge at hoops 12 and 13. A 7-5 win for England in the second game added a second point to the English scorecard after their other doubles pairing of Rachel Rowe and Harry Fisher had a much more comfortable victory over Tudor Jenkins & Arthur Rowe, in what was a first in the Home Internationals and probably in first-class croquet; father and daughter Arthur and Rachel competed on opposing sides. At least Arthur's wife and Rachel's mum, Judith, could cheer on both!

The singles saw Welsh captain Burridge continue his fine form and beat English captain Moberly, but this proved to be it in terms of points for Wales and the other singles matches were won by 2-0 margins for England, giving them a 5-1 win. The other match proved to be another one-sided affair as Ireland notched a 6-0 win over Scotland. The Irish, led by captain Jack Clingan, only dropped one game in the singles to set the early pace in the event. Scottish captain and no. 1 Martin Murray took a game at the 13th hoop against Clingan. All else, however, proved to be in Ireland's favour including a win for debutant Mark Stephens against the competitive (and fellow debutant) Alan Clark.

After a fantastic lunch provided by local member Anne-Marie, round 2 soon followed. It was one-a-piece after the doubles round between Wales and Ireland, and while Patsy Fitzgerald continued his good form in the singles by only dropping one hoop against Jenkins (he had only dropped two in his first round match against Alan Wilson), the others were closer, finishing in two wins each and an overall match draw.

England faced Auld Enemy Scotland, and while the Scots were able to claim the scalp of the event when Murray beat Moberly in two, England's superior play showed in the other matches resulting in a 4.5-1.5 win. Scotland's other half point came from an entertaining doubles match between Murray and Clark, and Moberly and Savage, where after the English pair quickly won the first game 7-1, the Scots powered to a 3-0 lead in the second. Savage played the shot of the tournament to save Murray and Clark going 4-1 up by jumping both Scottish balls in front of hoop 5 from the South boundary (!), but it proved to be insufficient to stop the Scots equalising the match.

Day 2 had a late start and a welcome extra half an hour of sleep thanks to Scot Campbell Morrison's good thinking the previous evening. With only one round to play, it was up to Ireland and England to contest the top two spots and Scotland and Wales to avoid the wooden spoon.

Scotland, 2-0 down after the round of doubles, had a bit of a rally where regular AC players Wilson and Morrison each won a game of their singles matches against Jenkins and Melvin respectively but ultimately succumbed in the third to lose close contests. Clark won their only point with a good win over Arthur Rowe and while Murray at several stages looked in strong shape to take the 13th hoop (and the match to a third game) against Burridge, Murray unfortunately managed to clear his own ball and knock Burridge into runnable position to decide the match!

Spectators over lunch were able to enjoy this and an excellent match between Ireland's Fitzgerald and England's Rowe, who decided to play their 3rd game directly in order to avoid any double banking. Fitzgerald had won the first 7-0 (his third whitewash in the event, and meant at that point he had only dropped 3 hoops in 5 singles games - impressive stats!), Rowe, however, rallied and won the second 7-5 and then treated the gallery (munching on a fine assortment of smoked salmon, potatoes and salads) to a superb display of clearing and hoop-running to win the decider 7-1.

The gave England a 2.5-0.5 lead after a 1-1 draw in one of the doubles where Ireland's Simon Williams played fluently with Fitzgerald and ran a boundary hoop 13 against Rowe and Fisher to win game 1. England won game 2 and so were able to add a half point to the full point Moberly and Savage had gained against Clingan and Stephens. This left England needing to win a game in any of the three remaining singles matches, being 1-0 up in each at lunch, to both beat the Irish and win the overall event. Burridge sportingly warned the English that it would be "the bottle of all bottle jobs" were it to happen; thankfully, the only liquid vessel England was concerned with was the Home Internationals trophy!

So excited were we to get our hands on the metaphorical trophy (Burridge has kindly offered to donate one for next year), that Fisher, in his singles match against Ireland's Stephens, after running what he thought was the match (and event!) winning hoop, offered a handshake to his opponent, who then rightly reminded him that had only made the score 6-5! Fisher recovered from the embarrassment to win at hoop 13 and give England the unassailable lead they needed. Moberly and Savage recorded good wins against Clingan and Williams respectively to win the match 5.5 to 0.5 and claim the trophy.

Many thanks to the Croquet Association of Ireland and Carrickmines for hosting this superb event, to Nathanial Healy for his management (when sheep selling didn't interfere!), to Jay Dyer who travelled with Sarah Melvin and refereed the event without any issue (even when England, and in particular Tobi Savage, gave him plenty of lawn damage calls to decide on!) and to everyone who was involved with setting up and organising the event. We look forward to seeing everyone in England next July.

John-Paul Moberly won the Ascot Cup

by Stephen Mulliner at Nottingham [^]
18 Sep 2017 (CA Official News)

2017 Ascot Cup
John-Paul Moberly finished the season with a confident victory over a much-improved Tim King in the Ascot Cup final at Nottingham.

The format was four blocks of four playing best-of-three 13-point games with the top two from each block advancing to the Championship knock-out stage. J-P and Tim qualified from Block A with Tim taking the middle game off J-P in their match. Stephen Mulliner and Ian Burridge did not drop games in qualifying from Blocks B and C with Don Beck and Richard Bilton in the second places. Block D was the most competitive in that Tobi Savage was taken to three games twice in winning his matches and Lionel Tibble, Graham Good and Roger Goldring tied with one win each, Lionel qualifying with the best net games score.

The knock-out was full of interest. Moberly took the first game against Beck by 7-3 but had to work hard to take the second 7-6. Savage had not been looking to be his best form and ran into Bilton playing very well who won 7-6, 3-7, 7-3. Burridge was taken to the 13th in both games against Tibble and King produced vintage form to beat Mulliner 7-6, 7-5.
Moberly proved too consistent and accurate for Bilton and reached the final 7-4, 7-5. Burridge has produced plenty of excellent croquet this season in the top events, including reaching the Open semi-final and winning the Musk's Cup, but could not stop the in-form King winning 7-5, 7-4.

The first game of the final provided a fascinating long-hitting duel in which J-P and Tim were evenly matched in game 1 until J-P broke the deadlock at 11 by running a long hoop and taking good position at 12, soon taking the game 7-5. Tim continued to fight his corner tenaciously in game 2 but his hitting went slightly off the boil while J-P's did not and the result was a more comfortable margin of 7-3.

Tim had every reason to be pleased with his return to form aided by an improved mental approach. He reached the Open final in 2010 and has no reason not to set his sights at that level next season. J-P gave another highly impressive demonstration of his ability to hit centrally at short and medium range. He has now taken the mantle of the top active English player and he and Reg Bamford will again be the men to beat next season.

GB GC v AC, GC Challenge Match

by Ian Burridge at Guildford & Godalming [^]
9th October (Other News)

This match was hosted by the Guildford and Godalming Croquet Club who gave the players, most of whom had not visited before, a warm welcome. The teams comprised six players and the format was for all-play-all best-of-two doubles on the Saturday, with all-play-all single-game singles on Sunday making for a 54-point match.

The GC team set the tone for the weekend with a fast start taking a 5-1 lead after the first round of doubles, this was extended to 12-6 by the end of the first day with the untried pair of Will Gee and Jonathan Powe winning 5 of their 6 games.

Play in the doubles had been rather slow with nobody really finding a rhythm, the start of the singles on Saturday saw a much higher standard and some good quality matches. When the GC team again took the first round 5-1 their 17-7 lead began to look unassailable and the match never really took off as a contest. In the end however they rather limped over the line in the penultimate round before wrapping up the victory 30 wins to 24. Jamie Burch excelled for the AC team winning all six of his matches, Will Gee was the top performer for the GC team with 5/6 only losing to Jamie.

From my perspective while the GC team were not unsurprisingly better tactically and at jump shots the AC team more than held their own at shooting, probably being better at longer distances than their GC counterparts. The most significant difference in terms of overall performance I felt was with regard hoop running, the GC team were consistently better at running hoops and their ability to run odd hoops by a useful distance was also noticeable.

Many thanks to the Guildford club for their enthusiasm and considerable efforts in providing good playing conditions in October, excellent catering and even providing us with a crowd!

GC Team: Ian Burridge, Will Gee, John-Paul Moberly, Jonathan Powe, Rachel Rowe and Tobi Savage

AC Team: Rutger Beijderwellen, Jamie Burch, Jeff Dawson, James Death, Samir Patel and Mike Town

Full results available at croquetscores.com/2017/gc/v-ac-challenge-match

Paul Durkin won the GC National B-Level Final

pictureCA Vice President Colin Irwin presents the trophy to Paul Durkin

by Ross Bagni at Southport and Birkdale [^]
8th October (Golf Croquet)

Many of the 16 finalists arrived at the club on Friday afternoon and were met by Don Williamson, our manager for the weekend. He explained that they had had more rain in September than they could ever remember and it had only been on the Wednesday that it had been decided to go ahead. One lawn still had water laying on it and they had been using squeegee rollers on two others to get them dry enough to play on. Other than that, they were in superb condition. They had prepared 4 reserve lawns (not of quite the same quality, but better than some of us are used to) in case of emergencies.

Come Saturday, play stared in dry but cloudy weather and the first few rounds were played happily by all, with some of the pre-tournament favourites not quite achieving the standard they had hoped for. There were probably good reasons for this, their first National Final for some and even one poor soul, who's car had broken down in Kent on the Friday afternoon and had to leave home at 4 am Saturday to arrive in time! By late morning it had started to rain and by mid-afternoon all but one of the courts being used were abandoned and the reserve lawns put into use. By the evening, Paul Durkin and Michael Bilton were clear leaders with 6 wins each and a following group on 5 wins each. 8 rounds having been played.

On Sunday the weather had cleared and 3 of the original lawns were again in use. Don Williamson then stated that we would have a time limit of 50 minutes, which would allow for a sensible finish time. He also ensured that by the end, we would have all played equal games on the reserve lawns.

On Sunday Ross Bagni had a good morning winning all four games and joined Michael Bilton and Paul Durkin at the top of the leader board on 9 games each, with David Boyd on 8. After lunch it was very close but with Michael Bilton and Ross Bagni losing two of their three games, it left it between Paul Durkin and David Boyd.

Paul went into the last round knowing that victory would give him the trophy, whilst David had to win and hope. In fact both games were close with David winning his last game and Paul losing. So 11 wins each. Paul Durkin won on hoop difference, +16 to +13.

Michael Bilton, Andrew Carpenter and Ross Bagni finished just behind on 10 wins with Michael claiming third and Ross fourth, ahead of Andrew in fifth, again on hoop difference.

CA Vice President Colin Irwin kindly presented the trophy to Paul.

The players would all like to thank Don Williamson, Terry and all the members of Southport for running a very well organised event, under difficult weather conditions and supplying superb catering throughout the two days.

John-Paul Moberly confirmed as England GC Captain

by Martin French [^]
6th October (CA Official News)

Last weekend the England team won the inaurgural GC Home Internationals, played in Carrickmines, Ireland. England managed a clean sweep, beating Scotland, Ireland and Wales, with J-P Moberly as first-time captain. Congratulations to J-P, Rachel Rowe, Tobi Savage and Harry Fisher.

The GC Selectors are pleased to confirm J-P Moberly as England GC Captain, with the intention of him remaining captain for the next 3 seasons - so through the next GC World Team Championship in 2020.

Of course, should circumstances change, the Selectors retain the right to change their decision, but it is hoped this stability will help the England squad, team and J-P develop further. J-P has also been invited to join the GC Selectors.

Martin French


GC Selectors

Chester MP visits Chester Croquet Club

pictureChris Matheson, MP for Chester, visiting Chester Croquet Club (Photo: John Dawson)

by John Dawson at Chester Croquet Club [^]
5th October (Other News)

Chester MP, Chris Matheson, accompanied by local councillor, Richard Beacham, made a visit to Chester Croquet Club during one of their club days and tried his hand at croquet. The main purpose of the visit was to update him on the issues associated with croquet being played in a public park in his constituency but it had the additional benefit of briefing him about the Croquet Association's national role in the context of his membership of the House of Commons Select Committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

On a sunny but blustery autumnal day he was impressed by the numbers and obvious enjoyment of the members playing and gained an understanding of the strong league structure for all levels of play across the North West. He quickly grasped the competitive dimensions of the sport and its social and health benefits for players. The local issues are to be followed up with council representatives and Mr Matheson offered to meet with national officials of the CA at the Houses of Parliament to discuss the future needs of croquet across the country.

Watford beat Pendle 5-2

by Geoff Johnson at Nottingham [^]
3 Oct 2017 (Golf Croquet Inter-Club Shield)

Watford won the 2017 Murphy Shield by beating Pendle 5-2 at Nottingham Croquet Club.

Teams & handicaps:
Alan Clark (2)
John Smallbone (3)
Arthur Reed (3)
George Skinner (4)

Pendle & Craven:
Libby Dixon (2)
Keith Terry (3)
Paul Dowdall (3)
Will Drake (6)

Scores (Watford names first):

Alan Clark & John Smallbone lost to Libby Dixon & Keith Terry 4-7, 2-7
Arthur Reed beat Will Drake 7-5, 6-7, 7-5
George Skinner lost to Paul Dowdall 7-6, 3-7, 3-7

Alan Clark beat Libby Dixon 7-4, 4-7, 7-5
Arthur Reed beat Paul Dowdall 7-6, 7-6
John Smallbone beat Keith Terry 7-3, 7-6
George Skinner beat Will Drake 5-7, 7-2, 7-4

On Tuesday 3rd of October Pendle and Watford Croquet Clubs set off at an early hour for Nottingham Croquet Club for a 10.00 start for the Murphy Shield final. Pendle arrived around 9.45 and set up 2 lawns, put the kettle on and had a little practice. At 10.30 Watford arrived to Pendle's welcoming offer of tea and a practice knock up.

10.40 the match started with Watford being a little fazed by their late arrival. Thus Libby Dixon (2) and Keith Terry (3) won with an easy 7-4 against Watford's Alan Clark (2) and John Smallbone (3). Watford then resumed the second match in a more settled manner and lost 7-2.

In the singles Will Drake of Pendle (6), a croquet novice having started the game at 87 years of age, narrowly lost to Arthur Reed a veteran with a history of 2 victories over Solomon and rumours of 1 against Methuselah. Paul Dowdall (3) beat Watford's George Skinner (4).

Lunch time score Pendle 2 - Watford 1.

In the afternoon Watford won all their singles giving them a convincing 5-2 win. However examination of the score revealed that many matches were won 7-6 and it was in fact a very close match.

Pendle very generously and with more foresight than their opos or host provided cake, scones and jam for tea. There was nobody to present the trophy; luckily however Nottingham's ever affable Omied Hallam was on hand to take photos of all the tournament's players and the winners (at very reasonable prices).

While Watford felt both tired and elated on their 3 hour journey home, they reflected that meeting and playing with very gracious opponents who established such a friendly, sporting atmosphere right from the start added the icing on the cake.

Sheffield beat Middlesbrough to win Secretary's Shield 5-2

pictureThe doubles gets underway: Dennis Scarr, Andrew Killick, Trevor Ballard & Mark Simmerson (Photo: Ian Vincent)

by Dr Ian Vincent at York [^]
3rd October (Secretary's Shield)

The final of the Secretary's Shield was hosted by York on a bright and breezy day, the last of their season. Play was equally brisk, with Sheffield taking the doubles and one of the morning singles to edge into a 2-1 lead at lunch. They went 3-1 ahead, but then Middlesbrough clawed one back, before Maggie Crossland took Sheffield over the line.

Trevor Billard (2.5) & Mark Simmerson (10) bt Andrew Killick (0.5) & Dennis Scarr (1.5) +11
Maggie Crossland (16) lost to Nigel Roberts (10) -15
Adrian Simmerson (10) bt Julian Sibson (14) +15

Trevor Billard bt Andrew Kilick +7
Mark Simmerson lost to Dennis Scarr -8
Maggie Crossland bt Julian Sibson +8
Adrian Simmerson bt Nigel Roberts +12

Many thanks to York for hosting, and congratulations to both teams for having got to the end of a two year campaign.

Report on the 2017 National Juniors and Schools Championships

pictureJames Galpin, 2017 Junior Singles Champion, with CA President Quiller Barrett (Photo: Marcus Evans)

by Marcus Evans at Watford Croquet Club [^]
24 Sep 2017 (Other News)

The National Juniors and Schools Championships were held at Watford Croquet Club in brilliant sunshine on Sunday 24 September. Numbers were slightly down on the last couple of years due to some older students leaving school, and availability of other players, but it was very encouraging to see 5 young players who have all now been playing or at least 2 years and are clearly progressing in the game. For reasons of time (due to the distances travelled), Short Croquet lawns and 14-point games were used, but all the players clearly could have coped with larger lawns and longer games, which is something we will look at for next year.

The first event of the day was the National Schools Championship, with just two pairs playing a final. Holders Farlingaye High School (Ipswich) changed their line-up this year, with last year's winner Albi Willett partnering last year's runner-up Ryan Gray, leaving 2015 Junior Champion Eden Rogers (Farlingaye) paired with 2015 & 2016 Junior Championship runner-up James Galpin (Mark College, Somerset), the latter bidding to become joint holders for their respective schools.

James had a strong start and took his ball round to hoop 6 on the fifth turn. The Farlingaye pair briefly discussed the possibility of a rover peel (they had been hoping to peg James out until they saw him laying up before 6) but in any case missed the long shot left to them. Eden found it harder to get going and with James apparently hitting everything in the meantime, slowly progressed to hoop 3. Then Albi got in and made an entertaining break including getting cross-wired from the hoop 5 pioneer but hitting a ball near hoop 1 and continuing (small lawn, remember) before deliberately stopping at 6 also. With time running out, his partner Ryan made hoop 1 but was unable to progress further, leaving his side one point behind.

When Eden hit in with 2 minutes to go it looked enough to secure the win, but he misapproached hoop 3 from distance just before time was called. Rather than attempting a very difficult hoop that would have left a short roquet for Albi if missed, the pair sensibly decided to retreat to corner IV. Albi however hit his 7-yarder anyway, and after checking the rules and the score, decided to take off from hoop 5 to get position at 6. This he ran with some wire, and promptly turned round and hit the peg to win 8-7(t) - a fine finishing turn to take the Schools' trophy for Farlingaye for the third year in a row.

On to the singles competition for the National Junior Championship, which with the arrival of Euan Burridge to make 5 players, was played as an American block. Aware of the recent discussion on the matter, the manager specified net points as the first tie-breaker (very appropriate for this event), there being no time for a play-off. However, despite the short time limit of 75 minutes, only one game (the first) went to time, Eden beating Ryan 12-11.

In the other first-round game James was not quite as fluent as before, while Albi took a quick first break round, boldly going to the peg this time. During his second break he misplayed a croquet stroke and uncharacteristically missed a 4-yarder (about his only miss under 10 yards all day, I reckon). This allowed James to go round to the peg, and in rushing Albi's peg ball across the lawn for his leave, accidentally ricocheted off hoop 5 and finished by the peg. James admitted afterwards that it was only here he thought about pegging out, and he duly did so, before playing a nicely controlled 3-ball ending and winning +4 shortly after.

Euan versus Albi had an entertaining opening in which Euan failed hoop 1 on turn one, Albi made hoops 1 and 2 off this but blobbed 3, followed by Euan missing partner ball into A-baulk. Fortunately for him Albi was unable to make a break off this and Euan shortly completed a nice break of six hoops, albeit leaving a double which was duly hit. Albi took full advantage by going round and pegging Euan out, winning +5 shortly after.

Meanwhile, James had an early break against Ryan but blobbed hoop 6. Ryan missed and James was able to start his next turn by doing the peel, followed by an all-round break to win +14, marking him out as the clear favourite. He followed this up with a convincing +11 win over Eden, while Euanstayed in touch by beating a luckless Ryan by the same score. Albi of course was also in contention on one loss and after all three balls missed hoop 1 with their first three turns, he went to peg on the fourth turn and later beat Ryan +9. Despite playing a wrong ball on turn 3 (worst time to do it) Euan later made two good breaks and beat Eden +9.

All this set the last round up nicely - if James beat Euan he would be undefeated and the clear winner. If James lost and Albi beat Eden convincingly, Albi could come out ahead on net points, while Euan needed to beat James by a significant margin, to overturn his net points deficit against both James and Albi.

Albi did his bit by beating Eden +13 in double-quick time. The players and spectators had worked out by this time that James in fact only needed to score 10 points to assure himself of the title, but Euan got much the better start and had his first ball on the peg before James had really begun. The second ball was also progressing nicely until a take-off to the hoop 5 pioneer (which appeared to be in the jaws of the hoop) went to the south instead of the north. Before anyone really realised what was about to happen, Euan ran the hoop hard, rushing the other ball off the north boundary. At this point the referee in charge intervened to check where the other ball had been prior to that shot - if any part of it was in the jaws, it was just a roquet and the hoop still had to be scored, whereas if the ball was clear of the hoop, it was hoop and roquet and that should have been plain sailing for Euan to finish.

After some testing, Euan agreed that the ball had been (just) in the jaws, but the referee consulted another and they felt to continue play from the resulting position would be unfair, given that ideally the referee in charge should have intervened one stroke sooner. It was therefore decided to allow Euan to replay the stroke, which he did, gently, but the subsequent backward take-off led to an angled hoop, which was failed. James, no doubt also a bit put off by events, then missed, and to the referee's relief an equal position was naturally achieved. However, James made the most of his next opportunities, and with Euan unable to hit back in, he secured the 10 points needed, and soon after the game as well to become the Junior Champion at the third time of asking.

It only remained for CA President Quiller Barrett to present the handsome trophies, and for all to thank the Watford club, in particular Simon Hathrell who was superb in setting out 2 fresh courts, letting us in and out, and even providing refreshments.

Surbiton beat Bristol 4-3

pictureSurbiton Team (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
1 Oct 2017 (Inter-Club)

Samir Patel and Stephen Mulliner beat David Goacher and Robert Wilkinson +24TP (Mulliner)
Chris Farthing lost to Richard Smith -2
Sam Murray lost to Louise Bradforth -8
Samir Patel beat David Goacher +19 qp
Stephen Mulliner beat Robert Wilkinson +15TP
Chris Farthing beat Louise Bradforth +15TP
Sam Murray lost to Richard Smith -12

Hunstanton beat Enfield in the Longman Cup 3/4th place playoff 4-3

pictureHunstanton Team (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
1 Oct 2017 (Longman Cup)

John Reddish & David Haslam beat David Frost & Alan Foott +2T
Bryan Staddington lost to Michael Broadway -10
Peter Brown beat John Street +11
David Frost beat John Reddish +2T
Bryan Staddington lost to John Street -26
Peter Brown beat Michael Broadway +16
David Haslam beat Alan Foott +1T

Pendle & Craven beat Woking 5-2

picturePendle&CravenTeam (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
1 Oct 2017 (Longman Cup)

Robin Groves & Catherine Parnell beat Steve Twilley & Michael Holland +3T

Libby Dixson beat Elizabeth McKenzie-Gray +18

Paul Dondale lost to Colin Groves -1

Paul Dondale beat Elizabeth McKenzie-Gray +26

Catherine Parnell beat Steve Twilley +2T

Robin Groves lost to Colin Groves -1T

Libby Dixson beat Michael Holland +2T

Nottingham lost to Surbiton 1-6

by Sam Murray at Nottingham [^]
30th September (Inter-Club)

Mulliner and Patel beat Chapman and Gee +15
Sam Murray beat Richard White +3
Patrick Hort beat Omied Hallam +13

Stephen Mulliner beat Miranda Chapman +25tp
Patrick Hort beat Richard White +25tp
Will Gee beat Samir Patel +7
Sam Murray beat Omied Hallam +12tpo

Watford beat Pendle & Craven 4-3

pictureWatford Team (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
30th September (Mary Rose)

Brian Havill & Gary Bennett lost to Roger Schofield & Andrew Webb -22
Nick Archer beat Howard Bowron +11
Arthur Reed lost to David Gillett -18
Arthur Reed lost to Howard Bowron -4
Nick Archer beat David Gillett +12
Gary Bennett beat Andrew Webb +14
Brian Havill beat Roger Schofield +1

There was an exciting ending to this match; at 3-3 all in the final match of the tie, Brian had pegged Roger out leaving Roger on 4-back and himself on peg and 4-back. Roger hit from the lift and made 4-back and penult then he took off to rover and made rover to the south boundary. Then he chose to shoot at Brian's two balls which were joined up near corner 4. He missed. Brian used Roger's ball to set up a rush to 4-back. He then two-balled it round the remaining 3 hoops and pegged out. Winning the match +1 which made the tie 4-3. A result which could so easily have gone the other way.... All credit to Brian who held his nerve for the final break.

Woking beat Enfield 6-1

pictureWoking Team (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
30th September (Longman Cup)

Bernard Jones & Michael Holland beat David Frost & Alan Foott +3T
Colin Groves lost to John Street -17
Elizabeth McKenzie-Gray beat Michael Broadway +1T
Bernard Jones beat David Frost +10
Elizabeth McKenzie-Gray beat John Street +4T
Colin Groves beat Michael Broadway +20
Michael Holland beat Alan Foott +5T

Pendle & Craven beat Hunstanton 4-3

pictureHunstanton Team (Photo: Brian Fisk)

by Brian Fisk at Surbiton [^]
30th September (Longman Cup)


Robin Delves & Catherine Parnell lost to John Reddish & David Haslam -15

Paul Dondale beat Bryan Saddington +24

Libby Dixon beat Pete Brown +5

Paul Dondale beat John Reddish +26

Catherine Parnell beat Bryan Saddington +16

Robin Delves lost to Pete Brown -12

Libby Dixon lost to David Haslam -1

Richard Keighley won the AC September Handicap at Wrest Park

by Geoff Strutt at Wrest Park [^]
28th September (Handicap Tournaments)

Wrest Park Handicap Tournament 23 & 24th September 2017

Local hero Richard Keighley won the Wrest Park Paul Hands Ladder (Egyptian) September Handicap this year with a rating of 69, having won all his matches [5 out of 5]. Deborah Marcus of Southwick came second with a rating of 62; Keith Harker of Meldreth came third followed by Bryan Harral.

Wins out of 5 unless otherwise indicated, with ratings in brackets, were as follows:

5 wins: Richard Keighley [69]
4 wins: Deborah Marcus [62]; Keith Harker [59]; Bryan Harral [56]*.
3 wins: Rod Ashwell [56]; Tony Elliott [55]; Barry Pilgrim [54]; George Woolhouse/David Woolley [54].
2 wins: Peter Aspinall; John Bevington; Robert Skeen and Jonathan Lambton all [46]
1 win: George Collin [41]; Cliff Jones [38]; Andre Machell [37]; Adrian Morris [37]*

* six games.

The handicaps ranged from -.5 to 18. 41 games were played with time limits of 3 hours and 12 Wharrad turns. However, all completed without a time-limited result.

On Sunday Cliff Jones beat Andre Machell +26TP, the second recorded triple in this handicap event.

At one point, the idea of separate handicap cards for level and handicap play was strongly supported by some experienced players. Our visitors were well pleased both with the lawns and the weather.

GC Challenge Match

by Samir Patel at Guildford and Godalming Croquet Club [^]
28th September (International)

The Great Britain Golf Croquet Squad has challenged their AC counterparts to a two-day Golf Croquet match over the weekend of 7/8 October, to be played at Guildford and Godalming.

The teams are as follows:

  • GC squad: Ian Burridge, Will Gee, John-Paul Moberly, Jonathan Powe, Rachel Rowe, Tobi Savage
  • AC squad: Rutger Beijderwellen, Jamie Burch, Jeff Dawson, James Death, Samir Patel, Mike Town

The match will take the form of a round-robin of best-of-two doubles, followed by a round-robin of single-game singles, making for a 54-point match.

Spectators are welcome. 09:30 start. Refreshments will be available, but you will need to bring your own lunch. No admission charge.

Keith Pound won the GC B-Level Tournanment at Phyllis Court

by Chris Roberts at Phyllis Court [^]
12 Aug 2017 (Golf Croquet)

Keith Pound won the Phyllis Court GC B-Level 'Smokey's Cup'

11 & 12 August

High Wycombe's Keith Pound won the Phyllis Court round of the B-level series qualifier by the slimmest of margins after finishing level on game wins with holder Andrew Carpenter (Durham).

Phyllis Court were delighted that their former club president R.S.'Smokey' Eades, now 97, was able to attend once again the tournament that bears his name 'Smokey's Cup and make the presentation to Pound.
Pound and Carpenter had recorded an impressive 11 wins from their 13 games, just one ahead of Richard Peperell (High Wycombe and Phyllis Court) who was right in it until the last round of results of this 14-player 'all play all' format.

Going into that last round, Pound had a one win lead over Peperell and Carpenter, so any win would be good enough for the tournament victory for him, while Peperell knew that he had a far better net hoop points score than both his rivals if only he could win himself and see Pound defeated.
The knife edge last round soon saw Pound in trouble and he lost to Ross Bagni 4-7, opening the door for Peperell, but he lost as well, 6-7 to Andrea Huxley, so attention turned to Carpenter who beat local man Colin Morgan.

So Peperell had 'blown it' and Carpenter had tied on game wins with Pound at the last gasp.
Manager Frances Colman was ahead of the game and had pre-calculated (but kept to herself) the 'net hoops' tallies for various different last round scenarios, so was quickly able to announce that despite his last round stumble, Pound had won the tournament with 31 net hoops to Carpenter's 18.

The club were also pleased to welcome event debutants Peter and Pauline Dennis (Kennilworth), Ann Wilkinson (Roehampton) and our first overseas visitor Iain Mason (Hederberg Village CC, Somerset West, South Africa).

Richard Carline won the GC A/B-Level One-Day Tournament

pictureRichard Carline, winner of event (centre), with fellow competitors (Photo: Mike Huxley)

by Mike Huxley at Guildford & Goldalming [^]
25th September (Golf Croquet)

Richard Carline won the CARA Cup at Guildford and Godalming, 9th September 2017

Twelve players, with GC handicaps ranging from 0 to 6 and from clubs as far away as Norwich and Kingston Maurward, contested the second running of the CARA Cup. Two all-play-all groups of six were formed, with the winners of each to contest the final, the runners-up to play for 3rd and 4th places, etc. Weather generally good, but with some brief interruption to play from passing showers.

After the 5 rounds were complete, there was a clear winner of the red group - Derek Cole (3, Norwich) with four wins. The blue group was a much tighter affair, with four players each finishing with 3 wins. Richard Carline (3, Sussex County), having won only one game out of three in the morning, made a late burst after lunch, winning his final two group games emphatically and ensuring his 1st place in the group on net points.

So, to the final. Derek won the toss and alternate hoops were scored until Derek led 3-2. He looked odds on to take hoop six, with two balls each in good position to run the hoop. Richard had other ideas, though, spotting an opportunity to run an excellent long hoop and level the score at 3-3. Derek won the next, but Richard levelled at 4-4, broke the alternating sequence by taking the lead with a good angled hoop 9, made hoop 10 comfortably and finished off at hoop 11 with a neat jump shot over Derek's jawsed ball.

A good day's competition and a pleasure to manage. Thanks to all the competitors for making it so easy.

John-Paul Moberly won the Solomon cup

by Nick Harris at Sussex County Croquet Club [^]
24th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

A goodly number of entrants were rewarded with fine weather and excellent catering - thanks to SCCC for both.

Winner of the Solomon Cup was John-Paul Moberly, runner Up: Duncan Reeve.
Winner of the Consolation Event was Chris Coull, runner Up: Craig Winfield
Winner of the Tumbler was David Marcus, runner Up: Jeffrey Rushby.

Handicap changes John Paul Moberly from .5 to 0 with the possibility of more to come, and David Marcus from 6 to 5

Ashby beat Letchworth at Peterborough to win the 2017 GC Inter-Club Championship 4-3

pictureMike O'Brian, Rachel Rowe, Will Gee, Tim King, Ray Mounfield and the GC Inter-Club shield (Photo: David Bell)

by Dr Tim King at Peterborough [^]
23 Sep 2017 (Golf Croquet Inter-Club)

Peterborough Croquet Club became the twelfth different venue of the GC Inter-Club final and witnessed Ashby coming out top in a tight encounter with Letchworth.

The match score was close but only the deciding rubber went to three games, so the number of swings in fortune were relatively limited during the course of the day.

Letchworth were appearing in their first final, having beaten previous winners Surbiton (quarter-finals) and Dulwich (semi-finals) in earlier rounds. Both those ties were away. Letchworth had a settled team of the same four players for the whole season.

Ashby, in contrast, were competing in their tenth final. Their team consisted of players with a total between them of 27 previous appearances in finals. The team was at an unexpected disadvantage when David Bell picked up a bout of tendinitis a couple of days before play. His replacement Mike O'Brian, however, had appeared in all three of Ashby's previous winning teams (2010, 2012, 2015).

The other main feature of the final was a Mounfield as captain of each side, with Ray (non-playing) for Ashby against his son Nick, who was the only Letchworth player with any experience of GC Inter-Club finals, having represented Ashby in 2004 (when they lost against Colchester). The latter became only the third player to represent two different clubs in finals, with the others being Nelson Morrow (Hurlingham and Surbiton) and John Spiers (Blewbury and Surbiton). John is the only player to have won with two different clubs (Blewbury in 2007 and Surbiton in 2011).

The teams arrived for a 10:00 start to discover the weather at odds with the forecast: a light drizzle was in the air. They were suitably keen to start, however, and their enthusiasm was rewarded with the rain soon ceasing. The weather eventually became much brighter and acceptably mild.

Ashby made the initial breakthrough of the day with Tim King winning his first game against John Skingsley, 7-2.

In keeping with the rest of the day, balance was quickly restored by John Noble beating Mike O'Brian 7-4.

In the meantime, the doubles was much tighter but Ashby prevailed at the golden hoop.

All three rubbers showed little change in their second games other than the doubles being slightly less close and Skingsley performing better against King. The consequence was a morning session that was shorter than many and Ashby gaining a 2-1 lead at lunch.

The Peterborough club put on a fantastic catering effort to make the finalists feel most welcome and very satisfied at the end of their meals.

Lunch appeared to give Letchworth the better effect and, although Mounfield only won at the golden hoop against Will Gee, they were looking in good shape with winning the first game in three of the rubbers.

Rachel Rowe was the one immediate success for Ashby, with a 7-4 win against David Tutt. She then had a closer second game but when she won at the golden hoop, Ashby were one point from victory.

Gee gave the Ashby team hope by clinically restoring parity in his rubber.

O'Brian and King though were not making enough headway to overcome their deficits. The former fell first and when the latter could not prevent Noble taking their second game 7-6, Letchworth had drawn level.

Fortunately for Ashby, although the crowd all rushed across to the remaining court, there was not a great deal of tension as Gee had established a 5-3 lead in the deciding game of the deciding rubber. He proceeded to keep the pressure firmly on Mounfield and the score went to 6-3 and then 7-3 without too much further drama. Ashby had become GC Inter-Club Champions for the fourth time (each at a different venue).

The Peterborough spectators were highly attentive to the spectacle of the final. They were generally not familiar with high-level competitive play and had plenty of questions for the Ashby club members who had travelled to support their team. These questions covered rules and tactics, with the whole experience hopefully inspiring Peterborough to join the competitive circuit with greater confidence in their ability to understand and execute the sport.

As Tournament Director, John Bowcott left home at an early hour and was in attendance for the whole day. He handed the trophy to the winning team and thanked Peterborough for the enthusiasm and success with which they hosted the final.

Full scores are available on CroquetScores.

(Thanks to Chris Mounfield, Ray Mounfield and Mike O'Brian for providing input to the content of this news item.)

Key statistics

  • Letchworth fielded the same team of Nick Mounfield, David Tutt, John Noble and John Skingsley in each of their four ties in 2017.
  • Ashby fielded Will Gee (4 appearances), Mike O'Brian (4), Tim King (3), Rachel Rowe (3) and David Bell (2) in their four ties.
  • Peterborough became the twelfth venue to host the final in the 18-year history of the Championship. Peterborough is the second most northerly of the venues (after Nottingham) to date. Nottingham (2000, 2001, 2003) and Wrest Park (2008, 2009, 2010) have both hosted the final three times. Letchworth (2011, 2012) and Cheltenham (2015, 2016) are the only other venues to host more than once.
  • Letchworth became the 13th club to reach a final of the Championship.
  • Ashby have appeared in ten GC Inter-Club finals. This year, they appeared for the third year in a row (from 2007 to 2012 they appeared in six consecutive finals). The next most appearances is from Surbiton (nine). No other club has appeared more than twice.
  • Ashby are Inter-Club GC Champions for the fourth time (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017). Surbiton are the most successful club with six titles (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016). Dulwich (2013, 2014) and Tyneside (2000, 2002) are the only other clubs to have won more than once (twice each).
  • Letchworth and Ashby have played each other four times in the Inter-Club GC Championship (2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017). Ashby have won all four of those matches.
  • Letchworth have appeared in every season of the Championship since 2008 (10 consecutive years). Letchworth are the only club ever to have fielded two teams in the Championship in the same season (2008).
  • Ashby have appeared in every season of the Championship (which started in 2000) except for 2001. This is a total of 17 appearances, the last 16 of which have been consecutive.
  • The players (from all clubs) with most appearances in finals are: Tim King (10), Samir Patel (8), Will Gee (8), Don Beck (7).
  • Samir Patel (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016) and Don Beck (2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016) are the only players to have played five times in a team winning the final. Will Gee, Mike O'Brian and Tim King have played in all four of Ashby's winning teams (2010, 2012, 2015, 2017).
  • By being unavailable for the semi-final against Bowdon, Tim King ended a run of 20 consecutive appearances for the Ashby team. He has played 38 out of 42 ties that Ashby have played in the Championship. Ashby have used 14 players in that time (including Nick Mounfield, who captained the Letchworth team for each of their ties in 2017). The other top appearances are Mike O'Brian (28), Will Gee (28), Ray Mounfield (25) and Rachel Rowe (20).

Finalists of the GC Inter-Club Championship

Club Wins Finals Winning years Losing years
Surbiton 6 9 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016 2010, 2013, 2015
Ashby 4 10 2010, 2012, 2015, 2017 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2016
Dulwich 2 2 2013, 2014 -
Tyneside 2 2 2000, 2002 -
Blewbury 1 2 2007 2006
Colchester 1 1 2004 -
Hurlingham 1 2 2003 2002
Sussex County 1 2 2001 2000
Letchworth 0 1 - 2017
Winchester 0 1 - 2012
East Dorset 0 1 - 2005
Auckland 0 1 - 2003
Southport 0 1 - 2001

Final venues for the GC Inter-Club Championship

Venue Total Years
Wrest Park 3 2008, 2009, 2010
Nottingham 3 2000, 2001, 2003
Cheltenham 2 2015, 2016
Letchworth 2 2011, 2012
Peterborough 1 2017
Woking 1 2014
Parson's Green 1 2013
Kenilworth 1 2007
Surbiton 1 2006
Winchester 1 2005 (*)
Colchester 1 2004
Hurlingham 1 2002
* competed in May 2006

Shepley Croquet Club-New CA member club for 2017

by Daniel Atiyah [^]
22nd September (Other News)

The Croquet Association would like to welcome Shepley Croquet Club as a new member club for 2017. The club currently has two small size croquet lawns.

For further information the club contact is Margaret Craven who can be found under Shepley in the club details page, or alternatively please visit the Yorkshire and Humber croquet federation. Please note for any mail correspondence please use the club contact rather than the club address.

Jamie Burch Won the South Of England Championship

pictureJamie Burch receiving the Trophy from Brian Ware, Compton CC President. (Photo: Debbie Lines)

by Chris Williams at Compton [^]
22nd September (Championships)

Round 1 Round 2 Quarter Final Semi Final Final Winner
  Mark Avery

Mark Avery
+17tp -16 +16tp

Mark Avery
+21, +12otp

Mark Avery
+10tp +25tp

Jamie Burch
+17tp, +13otp

  Phil Cordingley
  Debbie Lines

Jack Wicks
+7otp +20

  Jack Wicks
James Hopgood

Robin Brown
+12 -16tp +16

Robin Brown
+3tpo, -1, +10otp

Jonathan Powe
-15tp, +18, +16tp

Robin Brown
Sam Murray

Sam Murray
+25 -9 +9

Mark Ormerod
  Jonathan Powe

Jonathan Powe
+19 -21tp +17tp

  Christian Carter
  David Maugham

David Maugham
-6otp +26tp +13tpo

Miranda Chapman
+17stp, +25tp

Jamie Burch
+20tp, +25tp

  Andy Myers
Keith Aiton

Keith Aiton
+13 +10tpo

Miranda Chapman
+3 +9tp

Roger Tribe
Nigel Polhill

Miranda Chapman
+19 +13tp

Miranda Chapman
  Ed Duckworth

Ed Duckworth
+26tp +24tp

Jamie Burch
+26, +14otp

  Alison Jones
  Ian Lines

Jamie Burch
+9tp -26tp +13

  Jamie Burch

Ian Lines won the Plate.

David Barnicoat won the All England GC Handicap Final

pictureDavid Barnicoat, 2017 winner of the All England GC Handicap Final (Photo: Roger Loram)

by Roger Loram at Ramsgate [^]
22nd September (Golf Croquet)


Over the weekend of September 16th and 17th sixteen Golf Croquet players competed in the All England Golf Croquet Handicap National Final at Ramsgate Croquet Club. Players, who came from all corners of the country, had won their way through previous rounds to play in the final.

The weather was just right for the two days, a pleasant temperature with the wind and the rain holding off which, together with the excellent condition of the lawns, made it perfect for playing croquet.

During the weekend the competitors had to play 15 matches over the two days and at the end of the first day David Barnicoat (6) from Enfield was in the lead with 7 wins from 8 matches with 4 other players in close contention with 6 wins from 8 matches, Nick Archer(-2) from Watford, Richard Jones (4) from Kington Langley, Chris Joslin (10) from Maldon and David Vincent (3) from Blewbury . Many of the matches were close with competition friendly but intense.

David Barnicoat, who only took up croquet less than a year ago, maintained his lead during the second day winning the competition with 13 wins, 2 ahead of second, third and fourth placed players who had 11 wins each. Second place went to Chris Joslin (Maldon) who beat David Vincent (Blewbury) into third place with a higher net hoop score of +22 to +13 and Brian Wilson (Camerton & Peasdown) into fourth with +11

Jonathan Issacs, a Vice President of the Croquet Association came from Brighton to present the trophy.

The Manager, Roger Loram who together with Graham Wallin as ROT ensured the competition ran smoothly. The Refreshments including lunch and afternoon tea were highly acclaimed by all the players and were prepared by Meg Bowyer and other members of the Club .

Expansion of GC Inter-Counties Event

by Bill Arliss [^]
21st September (Golf Croquet Championships)

Expansion the GC Inter Counties

The GC Tournament Committee are very keen to expand the GC Inter County's event so that the present playoff becomes unnecessary. To do this we really need to attract at least two more teams than entered in the present year, i.e. a total of sixteen. The event will be moved in 2018 to one week later giving the three days of the bank holiday for its staging. The starting point for any new entries has to be via an official Organiser who takes on the role of coordinating all players who are qualified for a specific county and to the best of his or her ability ensures that a viable team will turn up on the day. It is also vital that the CA have a single contact who will speak for all qualified players.

If one visits the Tournament pages of the CA web site, one will find a list of all players who have registered as Organisers for both the GC and AC versions of the event. You will note that some counties have Organisers although they may not have played in the current year. Their team may have lost in the playoff or the county may not have sufficient players to form a team. All Counties correspondence is circulated to all Organisers irrespective of whether they are playing in the current year.

If you are interested in playing in this event then you first course of action is to contact your listed Organiser if one is already appointed. Alternatively if your county has not played previously in the event, then you have two courses of action. Find other players who are qualified to play for the county and get one of you to take on the role of Organiser or alternatively take on the role yourself. The CA web site will always publish the appointment of any new Organiser and request players who are qualified to register for that county. Many of you many not realise but by simply clicking on the county in the list of Counties and Organisers will give a list of all players already registered for that county. Its a good starting point.

The process of becoming Organiser is very painless. Simply contact the Tournament Director and let him know of your interest and your name will be added as registered Organiser. This defines you as the contact for anyone wishing to play for your county but is not an entry as such. There is more work once you decide to enter a team for the next event. You will be required to produce a list of potential players, who have agreed to play if a team is formed. together with their eligibility criteria. For a brand new county, we would expect the list to have at least six players to allow for possible unavailability. The tournament committee has to ensure that the 'new' county is not making existing counties non viable and the team put forward is viable.

Provisional entries for the 2018 event are required to be in the hands of the CA Office before the end of October this year to allow for the more detailed planning of the event. If anyone has any further questions, please raise them with me by either phone or email

Bill Arliss
Tournament Director

Hurlingham Mid Week Veterans Tournament Report

by Hugh Carlisle at Hurlingham [^]
21st September (Handicap Tournaments)

Hurlingham Mid-Week Veterans Tournament 12-14 September 2017

This year the ages were mingled into two Swiss blocks with five games and then play-offs. The formula of six leisurely advanced handicap games over three days seemed to work well. The front lawns were in magnificent condition and it was agreed that they had never been better. It says much about the excellent ground staff that after the manager had noticed at 9am on Tuesday that lawns 7 and 10 had not been made ready (due to an internal hiccup) no less than nine men made themselves available to put these lawns into perfect condition by 10 am. But the speed of the front lawns meant that the difference with the back lawns was noticeable, suiting some more than others.

After three almost rain-free days the winners of the blocks were Richard Peperell and John Culhane. Richard won the play off convincingly and gave the handicapper the resisted temptation to reduce his handicap by more than the one automatic step; he has had a remarkable season and it will be interesting to see how he progresses with fewer bisques. Conspicuous among the others were Susan Davies, Andre Machell and David Houston, a welcome visitor from Edinburgh. A good time was had by all.

Phil Nuttall of Bury won the AC All England Handicap

picturePlayers with the President of the CA and the Manager

by Elizabeth Larsson at Wrest Park [^]
17 Sep 2017 (Handicap Tournaments)

The winner of the 2017 All England Handicap Final was Phil Nuttall (16) from Bury, who won all five of his games. In second place was Libby Dixon (18) from Pendle and Craven, with three wins. Neal Bacon (5) from Nottingham and Jeremy Pardoe (8) from Broadwas were third and fourth, also with three wins.

This year's competition began with 168 players playing preliminary heats at 30 clubs; 32 made it to the four area finals. The winners and runners-up from these were Neal Bacon and Adam Huby(7, Watford) at Edgbaston, Douglas Dykes (16, Surbiton) and Julie Sheahan (11, Merton) at Surbiton, Phil Nuttall and Libby Dixon at Fylde and Jeremy Pardoe and Robert Upton (3½, Dyffryn) at Camerton and Peasedown.

This year's final was held at Wrest Park for the first time since 1998 when there were 16 players and all six lawns were flooded for many hours. However now the club's new lawns drain more quickly; a Saturday afternoon downpour caused localised flooding, but the lawns were playable within half an hour even though the rain persisted. Games were limited to three hours and played as full bisque, base 10.

The first round saw +26 wins for Julie against Adam and Phil against Robert. Libby made a promising start against Neal but the bisques ran out, and Jeremy had a narrow win against Douglas. Saturday closed with Phil on three wins and Julie, Libby and Jeremy on two.

On Sunday morning Phil stretched his lead by beating Libby, and Jeremy beat Julie +2 on time. Douglas accounted for Adam and Robert suffered his fourth defeat, this time at the hands of Neal. The last round saw Phil complete a clean sweep by beating Douglas +5 on time, and Robert (the lowest handicap at 3½) finally broke his duck by beating Julie +3 in a tight finish.

What of the play? Well, we saw its infinite variety, as you might expect with such a wide range of handicaps and experience.Lots of good stuff - solid break play and use of bisques to set them up, lawn length take-offs judged to a nicety, and considered leaves. On the other side, there were times when tactical errors and a lack of knowledge of the laws proved costly, as in not recognising a wiring lift when it was due, but these are the views from the boundary. Things are different when you have the mallet in your hand,time is approaching, the bisques have run out, the rain is falling and you are faced with a five yard roquet needing to make a hoop or two to have a chance of winning. Who has not allowed the heart to rule the head and have the hubris of an over-ambitious hoop attempt followed by the nemesis of an easy roquet for the opponent? And even world champions have been known to sometimes play the wrong ball.

Thanks are due to George Collin for managing the event and acting as the ROT. A five round Swiss with eight players can be a nightmare (see Gaunt & Wheeler on this), but Phil simplified his job considerably. Thanks also to Geoff Strutt and John Bevington for organising lunches and teas, Tim Brewer for pre-final admin duties and John Dawson as overall director of the competition.

The All England Handicap is the most democratic event in the calendar and deserves more support. Without more data one cannot judge its state of health, but the numbers have halved since 1998 when there were 357 entries. Would two more area finals draw in more clubs, with an American block final for the six winners? One for the Tournament Committee.

Phil and Libby took away the excellent trophies for their fine performances (along with 2 stoke reductions to their handicaps)

The results are as follows:



Net points


Phil Nuttall (16) Bury 5 +71 1
Libby Dixon (18) Pendle & Craven 3 +18 2
Neal Bacon (5) Nottingham 3 +10 3
Jeremy Pardoe (8) Broadwas 3 -16 4
Julie Sheahan (11) Merton 2 +25 5
Douglas Dykes (16) Reigate Priory 2 +19 6
Robert Upton (3½) Dyffryn 1 -63 7
Adam Huby (7) Watford 1 -64 8

Photo: Standing L-R: Quiller Barrett (CA President), Robert Upton, Douglas Dykes, Neal Bacon, George Collin (Manager)

Seated L-R: Jeremy Pardoe, Julie Sheahan, Phil Nuttall, Libby Dixon, Adam Huby

AGM Notice and Voting

by Dr Ian Vincent [^]
19th September (CA Official News)


The Annual General Meeting of the Croquet Association will take place at the Hurlingham Club on Saturday 21st October 2017 commencing at 11.00 a.m.


1.Apologies for Absence

2.Minutes of the AGM held on Saturday 22nd October 2016

The minutes are on the website at https://www.croquet.org.uk/?d=1493 and will be sent to Home Members on request to the CA Office.

3.Report of Council

The Chairman of Council, Brian Shorney, will present Council's annual report. There will be an opportunity to ask questions.

4.Accounts for the year to December 2016 and Hon. Treasurer's Report

The accounts are on the website at https://www.croquet.org.uk/?d=1786 and will be sent to Home Members on request to the CA Office. There is a commentary on them at https://www.croquet.org.uk/?d=1830.

5.Motion to Amend the Constitution

Currently, the Constitution requires that the chairmen of committees appointed by Council must be members of Council. Council, on the recommendation of its Governance Working Party, would like that restriction to be relaxed, to widen the field from which committee chairmen can be drawn. It therefore proposes:

that in the first paragraph of Clause 25 of the Constitution, which currently reads:

"The Council may appoint committees and sub-committees consisting of members of the Council and other Individual Members and may delegate some of its powers and duties to such committees. The Chairman of such a committee shall always be a member of the Council and the Council shall have the power to elect and remove him and to withdraw the powers delegated to a committee."

the words "be a member of the Council" shall be replaced by "be a member of the Association".

Individual Associates may vote electronically on the website, by post, or at the meeting; Clubs may vote by post or, with a letter authorising their representative, at the meeting. The postal ballot paper may be downloaded from https://www.croquet.org.uk/news/docs/AGMBallotPaper2017.doc. Votes in advance of the meeting must be received by 11th October. A 6 to 4 majority of those voting in both constituencies is required.

6.Election of Hon. Secretary

Dr. I. G. Vincent offers himself for re-election and is the only nomination.

7.Election of Hon. Treasurer

Mr. P. J. Death offers himself for re-election and is the only nomination.

8.Election of Independent Examiner

Marian Hemsted does not seek re-election, having decided to retire after many years service. A successor is being sought.

9.Election of Council Members

The following members of Council retire by rotation and seek re-election under clause 18 (a)(i): Bill Arliss and Roger Staples, who were elected in 2014. No other candidates have been nominated, so there are 2 candidates for 2 vacancies and there will not be a contested election.

10.Benefactors' Book

The names of benefactors will be read.

11.Presentation of Trophies for the Most Improved Players

Apps Memorial Bowl: Andy Myers (Aldermaston); Steel Memorial Bowl: Louise Bradforth (Bath and Cheltenham); Spiers Trophy: Paul Gunn (Wingrave).

12.Presentation of Club Awards

The Townsend Award is to be presented to Cheam Croquet Club, the Apps-Heley Award jointly to Bath and Wrest Park Croquet Clubs, and the Millennium Award to the Sussex County Croquet Club.

13.Presentation of Croquet Association Diplomas

14.Presentation of Council Medal

The Council Medal is to be awarded to Martin French.

15.Any Other Business

16.President's Closing Remarks

Jose Riva won the President's Cup (CA 1st Eight)


by Sam Murray at Hunstanton [^]
19th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

Full report to follow.

  Wins Losses
Jose Riva 12 2
Robert Fulford 9 5
Stephen Mulliner 9 5
Christian Carter 7 7
James Hopgood 7 7
Samir Patel 6 8
David Maugham 4 10
Gavin Carter 2 12

Full scores on CroquetScores

Omied Hallam won the Treasurer's Tankard (CA 4th Eight)


by Eugne Chang at Ramsgate [^]
18th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

This year's Tankard, held at Ramsgate Croquet Club, was won by Omied Hallam, who led from the front with some memorable shooting, hoop running and peeling turns, holding his nerve in a number of close finishes to pip Martin Murray and Eugene Chang to the post on 10 wins. There were four Eights debutants this year learning the ropes - for anyone who has yet to enter an Eight, I would encourage them to do so to experience the atmosphere and format. Nonetheless there were plenty of old hands to (mis)direct us and to retell stories of croquet legends and their winning turns of the past, in full unadulterated detail.

The weather played a huge part in the scorelines, with most of the 8 triple peels completed in the first round of 7, before the wind picked up significantly in the last three days to make even routine hoops and short roquets challenging. Some spectator highlights include Alison defeating Omied in a one-ball game from 1 and 1 with some quality croquet strokes after Omied completed the TPO in two turns, and Nelson edging out Omied in near-gale force winds on Sunday, having missed a short pegout AND the subsequent single ball pegout next turn.

Off the lawn, the Eights experience was majestically enhanced by Alison Jones's enterprise in arranging shared accommodation for most of us in close proximity to Asda, and by the late promotion of her dad, Cliff Jones, retired chef, Michelin star, first class. He and several others chipped in each night to prepare some sumptuous evening meals each day, to add to the exceptional lunches provided by the club. As Nick Parish, chief organiser of the Eights Prediction Contest declared: "[this] must make this the best cooking 8, maybe ever". Food photographs of the event are rumoured to have made it to social media outside the croquet sphere, whilst the newbies amongst us learnt that the secret to an unbeaten day of croquet lies in having leftover cheesecake for breakfast (Martin Murray, 2017).

Our special thanks must go to local members Trevor Longman and Charlie Martin, and we were delighted to take them for dinner on Ramsgate pier on Sunday evening, where Charlie wowed us even further with a delightful turn on the piano.

  Wins Losses
Omied Hallam 10 4
Martin Murray 9 5
Eugene Chang 9 5
Nelson Morrow 8 6
David Marsh 7 7
Nigel Polhill 5 8
Cliff Jones 4 9
Alison Jones 3 11

Full results on CroquetScores

Mark Suter won the Chairman's Salver (CA 2nd Eight)

pictureMark Suter, head and shoulders above his opponents at the Chairman's Salver.

by Sam Murray at Hurlingham [^]
18th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

CA Chairman's Salver
7th-10th September 2017

  Wins Losses
Mark Suter 10 4
Duncan Reeve 9 5
Jeff Dawson 9 5
Andy Myers 8 6
David Goacher 6 8
Robin Brown 5 9
Jonathan Powe 5 9
Ian Lines 4 10

Full results on CroquetScores

Robert Wilkinson won the Spencer Ell Cup (CA 3rd Eight)


by Sam Murray at Ryde [^]
18th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

Ryde hosted the Spencer Ell Cup during a frequently wet and windy week. The lawns were heavy (timed at just under eight seconds on the day before play), but the hoops were tight and firm.

Players took some time to adapt to the pace, with Annabel McDiarmid being the quickest to do so, producing the only triple of the opening round. Wilkinson beat every opponent in the first set of games, with a fluent McDiarmid staying in touch with losses to only Wilkinson and Kibble.

Despite stumbling against late replacement Graham Gale, Wilkinson pulled clear, with the other contenders beginning to trade results, he confirmed his victory with two rounds to spare. He recovered from a comical sextuple attempt to win his final game against pre-tournament favourite, Sam Murray.

None of the players fully settled, with just ten triples completed in the tournament.

Ryde Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club were superb hosts, making use of an excellent new clubhouse to provide fantastic catering and a very warm welcome.

  Wins Losses
Robert Wilkinson 12 4
Chris Williams 8 6
Dave Kibble 8 6
Sam Murray 8 6
Annabel McDiarmid 7 7
Graham Gale 5 9
Mike Town 4 10
Phil Cordingley 4 10

Full results on CroquetScores

Jonathan Lamb won the Selectors' Weekend

pictureIan Vincent presents Jonathan Lamb with the Ranelagh-Weightman trophy (Photo: Richard Wood)

by Richard Wood at Sidmouth [^]
18th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

Selectors' Weekend 2017 Sidmouth, 8-10 September 2017

Jonathan Lamb (Canterbury) beat Andy Dibben (Surbiton) +17 in the final to win the Selectors' Weekend.

This was the first year of a new format for the Selectors', with 16 players divided into two blocks of 8, and the top two from each block to contest semi-finals and a final. With dark falling around 8 p.m. and an unfrielndly weather forecast this looked like a challenging schedule for play at this level, and manager Colin Hemming (Colchester) promised a proactive approach to pegging down long games in order to keep the blocks moving. On day 1 the worst of the weather passed over the English Channel, allowing play to proceed uninterrupted until about 5.30pm, when an intense burst of rain and hail left all lawns waterlogged for the rest of the day. Bryan Harral (Wrest Park) was the early leader in the 'black' block, while the 'red' block had too many unfinished games to identify a front-runner.

Day 2 saw more rain but the courts remained just playable. It produced the event's only two TPs, both involving Jonathan Lamb. Ian Vincent's (Nottingham) triple against Jonathan was characteristically precise, while Jonathan's was described by victim Tim Jolliff (Taunton) as 'very entertaining', involving seven failed peel attempts,a bombard peel of rover and a pegout from behind rover. Against Beatrice McGlen (Nottingham), Jim Field (Bath) took his first break to peg but with an imperfect contact leave. Beatrice followed suit and pegged Jim out, only to see her own ball clip the peg too, leaving a one-ball game from hoop 1. After much entertainment for an enthusiastic crowd, Beatrice eventually ran rover with Jim (for peg) a yard from the peg, and hit the 13-yard return roquet to win +1. Dave Gunn (Nottingham) beat Richard Wood (Sidmouth) at 8.10 p.m. with a pegout that was heard, but not seen, from the boundary.

The plan for the final day was: first play the final round of block games, then complete those pegged down games from earlier that were needed to determine block winners, then to proceed straight to a final between the two block winners. In view of the backlog and the again poor weather forecast it was decided to abandon the semi-finals. Jonathan emerged as sole winner of the red block with 6/7, while Andy pipped Bryan in the black block on who-beat-whom. Jonathan won a well-contested final with some tidy break play to become a worthy winner of the Ranelagh-Weightman cup.

Ian presented the trophy to Jonathan on behalf of the CA, and echoed the feelings of all the players in thanking Colin for his hard work to steer us successfully through a tough schedule, and the team of volunteers at Sidmouth for ensuring that the players were provided with lawns, hoops and catering that befitted the occasion (even if the weather didn't).

News from Canterbury Croquet Club

pictureCanterbury CC (Photo: Frank Hughes)

by Frank Hughes [^]
17th September (Other News)

WHEN the late Maurice Copus invited his neighbours to play croquet on his lawn he secretly hoped this humble start would lead to greater things.
That was nearly 30 years ago.

No-one would have been prouder than he of how the club has since progressed.
In those early days, on a small, uneven, lawn, we slowly built our numbers and began, with Maurice's approval, looking for better facilities.

It was in 1995 that we were offered ground at the privately-run Polo Farm Sports Club in Canterbury.
We were moved around for a while but eventually were offered space for two lawns adjacent to a cricket ground. There we continued to increase our membership and organised internal association croquet competitions.
We entered the south-east association B League and, later, the Unlimited Handicap league.

Before long we won the 'U' league and entered for the Secretary's Shield. The first-round draw was against Newcastle. We didn't realise that we could have asked to play nearer to home so flew north. We won there but were knocked out in the semi-finals. When we won the league again we progressed to the final of the Secretary's Shield. Team spirit and a will to win resulted in victory over High Wycombe in the final. We are told that we are the only south-east league team to have won this event. The club continued to compete in association croquet but golf croquet began to grow in popularity and became the primary source of new members.

For several years the club had known that Polo Farm wanted to sell the land on which we played. When the time came for us to quit we were offered alternative sites that were too poor for hosting matches.
We lost members and playing standards dropped. The club might have folded but for a loyal band of players and the determination of our chairman Barry Sales to find us a new site.
Several options came and went but Barry finally succeeded in persuading Polo Farm to create three new lawns for us on scrubland it had bought. Many thousands of tons of soil were needed to laser-level the ground. It was seeded last autumn and was fit for play by June.

Meanwhile the club had decided that the new ground's delightful setting was worthy of a first-class clubhouse. A building by Passmores was selected but hopes of buying it sank when a grant application failed.
It was then that the Croquet Association came to the rescue with a £5,000 grant. This sum, added to the club's own funds, plus £500 from the South-east Croquet Federation, enabled the building to be erected. Now, thanks to a generous offer by a long-standing member, the club is aiming to fit out the interior.

To help celebrate the opening of the new lawns Jonathan Lamb, who plays for Canterbury during his half-yearly stays in Europe, organised a one-ball tournament which attracted, among others, Stephen Mulliner.
The event has been hailed as a success and the club hopes it can become an annual event.

The club recently scored its first victory in the south-east unrestricted handicap golf croquet league; a sign that playing standards are rising as a result of good lawns.
It is applying for grants to provide toilet facilities and a first-class lawnmower.
This year around 80 people replied to invitations to try out croquet, eight of whom have so far joined the club. Our membership drive will continue in earnest and fundraising events are planned for the close season.

Dennis Scarr won the Bowdon B-Level Advanced Weekend, 16-17th September

by Ken Cooper at Bowdon [^]
17th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

Ten entrants set off on Bowdon's B-Level Advanced Weekend, each one full of hope that this could be 'their year'. The weather looked promising & after a cloudy start all was well until late on Sunday. Alan Mayne & John Greatbanks put a huge amount of work into ensuring that the lawns were ready for play, despite the best efforts of the local magpies! Extra thanks to Alan for his early morning visits to remove the dew. There was a good standard of play with a few tense finishes.

The knockout final of best of three went all the way. Dennis Scarr prevailed -7T, +12, +19, with John Dawson being a very gracious loser. The event was excellently managed by Charles Harding, who won the Egyptian.

As ever the catering was superb and a good time was had by all.

There's a selection of photos from the event at http://www.bowdoncroquet.co.uk/www3/Page_BN_20170917BLevel_WE.html









Sarah Melvin


Barry Keen


Dennis Scarr


David Holland










Dennis Scarr


Sarah Melvin


Brian Kerr


Sandy Greig


John Dawson


Charles Harding


Adam Swinton


Jerry Guest










John Dawson


Adam Swinton


Dennis Scarr


Brian Kerr






FINAL (best of 3)




John Dawson


Dennis Scarr


Dennis Scarr


John Dawson


Dennis Scarr


John Dawson










Brian Kerr


John Dawson


Sandy Greig


Adam Swinton


Charles Harding


Jerry Guest


Barry Keen


David Holland


Sarah Melvin


David Holland


Sandy Greig


Barry Keen


Jerry Guest


David Holland


Barry Keen


Adam Swinton


Brian Kerr


Sarah Melvin


Charles Harding


Sandy Greig


Barry Keen


Jerry Guest


Adam Swinton


David Holland


Sandy Greig


Sarah Melvin


Charles Harding


Brian Kerr














Dennis Scarr (2)




Charles Harding (4)




Brian Kerr (2)




Sandy Greig (3)




Barry Keen (4.5)




John Dawson (4)




Adam Swinton (3.5)




Sarah Melvin (0.5)




Jerry Guest (3)




David Holland (5)



Bristol beat Colchester 6-1

by Robert Wilkinson at Bristol [^]
17th September (Inter-Club)

Robert Wilkinson and David Goacher beat Jack Wicks and Nick Steiner +2
Richard Smith beat Rich Waterman +25
Martin Murray beat Steve Woolnough +12
Robert Wilkinson beat Jack Wicks +17
Steve Woolnough beat Richard Smith +10
David Goacher beat Nick Steiner +12tp
Martin Murray beat Rich Waterman +15

Enfield beat High Wycombe 4-3

by David Frost at Not stated [^]
15 Sep 2017 (Longman Cup)

Enfield beat High Wycombe 4 - 3

15 September 2017

In a repeat of last year's final Enfield won the match by the same 4 - 3 score line. With Enfield 2 - 1 up at lunch it was all to play for in the afternoon singles and with some fairly tight matches it could have gone either way. So a very closely fought match, played in the best possible spirit.

Results [Enfield names first]

Morning Doubles
David Frost (4) and Brian Dawes (18) lost to Keith Pound (5) and Geoff Youd (14) 9 - 25 T

Morning Singles
Michael Broadway (12) beat Richard Peperell (8) 20 - 9 T
John Street (8) beat Ian Shore (20) 20 - 12 T

Afternoon Singles
David Frost beat Keith Pound 26 - 11
John Street lost to Richard Peperell 23 - 26
Michael Broadway beat Geoff Youd 21 - 15 T
Brian Dawes lost to Ian Shore 9 - 15 T

David Frost


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