Latest Croquet News
Results of Council Elections
Nominations for election to the CA Council, to fill vacancies in five constituencies from October 2021, closed on 27th July. The following were the only candidates and so have been declared duly elected, without the need for a ballot:
Peter Allan (South)
Brian Havill (East Anglia)
Andrew Stewart (South East)
Robin Tasker (North West)
Brian Wilson (South West)
East Dorset lost to Hurlingham 3-4
1 FLINT Noel beat HAMANN Mark 7 5
2 HAMANN Mark beat FLINT Noel 7 4
3 FLINT Noel beat HAMANN Mark 7 6
4 HADDRELL David beat WELBY Mark 7 6
5 HADDRELL David beat WELBY Mark 7 6
6 LEONARD Michelle beat SHEEN Roderick 7 5
7 SHEEN Roderick beat LEONARD Michelle 7 1
8 SHEEN Roderick beat LEONARD Michelle 7 5
9 BARROW Michael beat BENSON Clare 7 3
10 BENSON Clare beat BARROW Michael 7 5
11 BARROW Michael beat BENSON Clare 7 5
12 HAMANN Mark beat WELBY Mark 7 4
13 HAMANN Mark beat WELBY Mark 7 4
14 FLINT Noel beat HADDRELL David 7 3
15 HADDRELL David beat FLINT Noel 7 5
16 FLINT Noel beat HADDRELL David 7 2
The Brand New, 'Official', Croquet Association Flag is Available to Buy Online Now
The Brand New, 'Official', Croquet Association Flag is Available to Buy Online Nowby Mark Suter [CA Manager] [^]
28th July (CA Official News)
Out with the old and in with the new!
The Brand New, 'Official', Croquet Association Flag is Available to Buy Online Now
Double sided, printed Full Colour to both sides 115gsm knitted Polyester (two stitched back to back with interliner) Finished with rope and toggle. 1830 x 915mm (6ft x 3ft).
Selection for 2021 Eights and Selectors' Weekend
The AC Selection Committee has made the following selections:
|President's Cup||Chairman's Salver||Spencer Ell Cup||Treasurer's Tankard||Selectors' Weekend|
|Mark Avery||Alain Giraud||Omied Hallam||Alison Maugham||James Brind||Ian Draper|
|Christian Carter||Duncan Reeve||James Hopgood||Chris O'Byrne||Chris Roberts||Nick Steiner|
|James Death||Ian Lines||Stephen Wright||David Warhurst||Martin Murray||Dave Gunn|
|Harry Fisher||Robin Brown||Callum Johnson||Lorna Dewar||Neil Coote||Andrew Gregory|
|David Maugham||Sam Murray||Debbie Lines||Jonathan Wolfe||Andy Dibben||Cliff Jones|
|Stephen Mulliner||Mark van Loon||Aston Wade||Neal Bacon||Beatrice McGlen||Tom Weston|
|Samir Patel||Mark Ormerod||Robert Wilkinson||Andrew Hobbs||Clive Goode||Sophie McGlen|
|Mark Suter||Nigel Polhill||Phil Cordingley||Annabel McDiarmid||Gary Bennett||Bob Thompson|
|Reserves||Reserves||Reserves||Reserves||Reserves In Order 1-4|
|Ian Burridge||Omied Hallam||Chris O'Byrne||Chris Roberts||Andrew Killick|
|Alain Giraud||James Hopgood||David Warhurst||Martin Murray||Paul Pristavec|
|Duncan Reeve||Stephen Wright||Lorna Dewar||Neil Coote||Raouf Allim|
|Ian Lines||Debbie Lines||Jonathan Wolfe||Andy Dibben||Keith Ross|
Note: The President's Cup is in alphabetical order, others (including reserves) are in order of merit.
|Manager||Tournament Referee||Local Contact|
|President's Cup||9-12 Sep||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Chairman's Salver||9-12 Sep||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Spencer Ell Cup||9-13 Sept||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Treasurer's Tankard||9-13 Sept||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|Selectors' Weekend||10-12 Sept||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Previous winners are in the history section.
Aston Wade won the AC Student Championship
Quiller presenting the Dudley Hamilton-Miller trophy to Aston Wadeby Harry Anderton at Oxford University [^]
28th July (AC)
The AC Student Championships have been played! The winner of the singles was the extremely talented Aston Wade of The University of Exeter, and the doubles was won by the University of Oxford team, Harry Anderton and Nick Orr.
This year we had 4 entries into the doubles tournament, two from the University of Cambridge, one from the Imperial College London and one from the University of Oxford, and 8 entries into the singles, with students coming from The University of Cambridge, of Oxford, of Exeter and Imperial College London. The entrants were a real mix, with people from all sorts of different courses, from Medieval History to Finance-and-Accounting to Physics. We had a range of ages also, with postgraduates just finishing off their theses and first year undergraduates playing. The spread wasn't only in academic level and area, but in croquet experience and ability too. With Aston playing off of scratch and Kai Kirchoff, one half of the Imperial College London doubles team, playing AC for pretty much the first time in his life: we then had a whole spread of handicaps in between.
In both competitions, all games were played as level advanced games. We ran the doubles event as a knockout tournament with a third-place playoff and the singles tournament as a Swizz tournament, trying to get as many games as we could into one weekend. Ian Plummer, the Oxford coach, has a website which offered the perfect tournament manager for this.
With a selection of bananas, Walkers crisps and Pimm's and lemonade on the side for the competitors, we started playing on Saturday morning. Pretty much everyone was playing all the time. Between games people would talk about tactics and even get a bit of coaching from more experienced players. That is testament to the atmosphere of the event. One of camaraderie, where people could meet other university age croquet players and would try to help each other improve.
The social that evening gave everyone the chance to get to know each other a little more than the day, with all competitors going for a pub meal at the local for the Oxford players, The Royal Oak, and then going on to a few more pubs in Oxford's centre. Competitors all split off to their respective accommodations throughout the night. Whether bunking with an Oxford student, getting accommodation in an Oxford college or staying in a local Airbnb.
We met up again bright and early, with a few a bit worse for wear, on Sunday morning to play the finals. While these games were played other players took the opportunity to play a few casual games with one another. This gave some of the greener AC players the chance to play some handicap games against one another, which was a nice way to ease the trial by fire they had had the day before, playing level advanced games.
In the singles final we had Mark Baker, Oxford, playing against the unbeaten Aston Wade, Exeter. It was a good game, but as throughout the competition, Aston gave away very few chances for his opponent to make a break. Mark managed to get one in despite this, playing around to four-back with his first ball and leaving a good diagonal spread, but Aston got back in and played to peg over the following turns.
The doubles final was played between Harry Anderton and Nick Orr of Oxford, and Finn Sutcliffe and Lachlan Chavasse of Cambridge. All of these players were meeting each other for a second time, after the Oxford-Cambridge varsity match, which gave it a nice air of friendly, but fierce, competition. The game was a good one, with all players making breaks from tricky situations. In the end Oxford won on time, up by 9 hoops.
After the games had all finished, we had a small presentation of the trophies, with the president of the CA, Quiller Barret, present to say a few words. OUACC would like to thank Quiller for attending on Sunday to present the trophies, Eugene Chang for his help in the organisation of the event, the Croquet Association for sponsoring the event and all those who took part. It was a very fun weekend of croquet for all those who attended.
Weston-super-Mare beat Ripon Spa 4-3
Weston-super-Mare beat Ripon Spa 4-3 to progress to the semi-finals or the GC Federations Shield.
Weston-super-Mare will face the winners of the Phyllis Court v Maldon quarter-final (which is due to be played on 29 July)
Phyllis Court beat Croquet Durham 4-3
Phyllis Court scored a thrilling victory over long distance visitors Croquet Durham last week in the National Golf Croquet Federations Shield handicap competition.
It was thrilling not just for the margin of the victory but also for the way it played out right to the very closing stages of the last game to finish which was superbly controlled by Phyllis Court's Roger Goldring.
The hosts, who had to concede handicap extra turns in every rubber of the fixture, got off to an excellent start with a comfortable 7-4, 7-5 victory recorded by Goldring (handicap -1) and Raghu Iyer (3) in the morning doubles match.
Both morning singles went to a deciding third game with Phyllis Court's Ian Norris (handicap -1) defeating Durham captain Peter Tymms (1) 7-4, 4-7, 7-5, but Robin Coates (0) eventually succumbed to the visitors' impressive Tony McCann (3) 7-5, 6-7, 3-7.
This game Phyllis Court a slim 2-1 half-time lead but with all to play for in the four afternoon head-to head singles rubbers.
Iyer extended that lead with a 7-4, 7-5 defeat of Durham's Dave Parsons (4) with assured performance that summed up the reliability that he has added to his game in the past year.
However, Durham came quickly back into the match when Phyllis Court's Coates, the All England Handicap Champion, struggled to deal the four well used extra turns of Roger Carpenter (3) and the Durham man won comfortably 4-7 , 4-7.
In the number twos head-to-had match, Norris had the difficult task of trying to contain McCann who looked like Durham's best, and although the Phyllis Court man pulled a of hard won 7-6 first game score line, McCann won the next two 5-7, 3- 7.
This tied the team match at 3-3 with just the Goldring versus Tymms match to complete, with Goldring having done well to recover from a 4-7 first game loss, to win the second 7-5.
There was a good contest at hoop five where Tymms eventually nestled in the hoop jaws which forced Goldring into a 'do or die' jump shot which he nailed perfectly, and by time repeated the act at the very next hoop all the other players were looking on attentively.
The next four hoops were traded evenly until, what transpired to be, the pivotal eleventh hoop, where Tymms decided to play his remaining extra turn to attempt an awkward clearance stroke.
Referee and Competition Director Frances Colman was called on judge the stroke which saw Tymms clip a close-by second ball with his backswing.
With that fault, the impetus of the match swung fully in Goldring's favour, he ran hoop eleven well for 6-5 and in doing so, took a commanding position at hoop twelve leaving Tymms it all to do to save the game and overall team match.
Goldring then sealed the matter 7-5 after two full stroke rotations and only then did he allow himself a controlled fist-punch skywards in celebration.
Phyllis Court moved into the quarter-finals of this national competition and will play Essex club Maldon, again home, on Tuesday 29 July.
Phyllis Court: Roger Goldring (-1), Ian Norris (-1), Robin Coates (0), Raghu Iyer (3)
Croquet Durham: Peter Tymms (1), Tony McCann (3), Roger Carpenter (3), Dave Parsons (4)
MP opens refurbished pavilions at Nottingham CC
Lillian Greenwood MP officially opening the refurbished pavilionsby Beatrice McGlen at Nottingham [^]
27th July (Other News)
The MP for Nottingham South, Lilian Greenwood, performed the official opening of the newly refurbished pavilions and 4 new croquet lawns at Nottingham Croquet Club on Saturday 24th July. In front of an assembled crowd of nearly 80 invited guests and club members, Lilian cut the red ribbon after delivering what was clearly a carefully researched, entertaining and apposite speech. She later posted on her Twitter account "Such a pleasure to be invited to open Nottingham Croquet Club's improved lawns and pavilion at Highfields Park today. Forget everything you think you know about croquet: it's accessible, fun & for everyone from 8-80."
The invited guests included representatives from some of the grant funding bodies and other donors who had made this large project possible, along with leaders of various community groups who are now able to take advantage of the improved facilities.
Guests enjoyed a pleasantly warm afternoon playing croquet skittles, ricochet and racing croquet on the new lawns before sitting down to a splendid afternoon tea prepared by club members. This is the first time the new lawns have been used and, although not yet up to tournament standard, they are progressing well and will be fabulous next season.
Mark Suter won the Eastern Championship
Mark Suter receiving the Easterns trophy from runner up and manager Dave Maugham (Photo: Alison Maugham)by James Death at Colchester [^]
27th July (AC - Championships)
Mark Suter was undefeated through the Eastern Championship.
A select field of 6 arrived at Colchester to compete for the title, Mark despatched Ian Burridge 3-0 in short order and settled back to see who he would play from the other side.
David Maugham worked his way past Nick Steiner and Alison Maugham caused the big upset by fighting back from game down to beat Mark Avery.
By the end of Saturday Alison was 2-1 down to Dave. Sunday morning, Alison tied the match 2 all before succumbing in the fifth.
Mark then continued in the same vein of form as he had on Saturday and despatched Dave 3-0 as well to win his first regional title.
Full scores are on croquet scores.
Bowdon beat Woking 4-3
GC Inter Club
Bowdon beat Woking 4-3
Bowdon secured a come-from-behind win against Woking to seal a place in the final!
Trailing 1-2 at lunch, following a very close tussle in the doubles and strong performances from Woking's Bigg and Jones in their first round of singles, Bowdon came roaring back with wins for Moberly against Dawson and Mellor against Jones to give them a 3-2 lead. Woking therefore needed both the remaining singles matches to go their way to make their journey back down the M6 a happy one. When Good, at 5-5, peeled Bigg through hoop 11 in game 3 to allow Bigg first approach at hoop 12 (which he put in the jaws to seal the match), it looked as if they might just do it. Walters however had other ideas. A game down, she fought back with a couple of nice "in-offs" to level the match. Game 3 was a tight affair, with hoops traded throughout, however Walters was able to convert a 6-5 lead at hoop 12 to much acclaim from the 3 or so spectators.
John-Paul Moberly & Angharrad Walters beat Jeff Dawson & Mike Town 7-6 7-6
Jack Good lost to Bernard Jones 5-7 7-6 4-7
Will Mellor lost to Malcolm Bigg 6-7 5-7
John-Paul Moberly beat Jeff Dawson 7-3 3-7 7-2
Angharrad Walters beat Mike Town 5-7 7-2 7-5
Jack Good lost to Malcolm Bigg 7-6 5-7 5-7
Will Mellor beat Bernard Jones 7-4 7-6
Ashby lost to Croquet Durham 2-5
The Croquet Durham team of Roger Carpenter (3), Nigel Martin (3), Tony McCann (3) and Dave Parsons (4) travelled down to play the Ashby team of Christine Mounfield (2), Mick Haytack (3), Ray Mounfield (3) and Martin Wroughton (4) on 26 July at their lawns in The Midlands. On a very hot day with fast lawns, Durham prevailed by 5 matches to 2.
The scores were (Durham names first):
Roger & Nigel beat Christine & Mick 5-7, 7-0, 7-5
Tony beat Martin 7-4, 7-3
Dave lost to Ray 0-7, 2-7
Roger lost to Christine 6-7, 6-7
Nigel beat Mick 7-5, 7-3
Tony beat Ray 7-4, 2-7, 7-6
Dave beat Martin 5-7, 7-5, 7-6
Given the last two result, a close run thing. Many thanks to Ashby as hosts for the usual great hospitality.
Nailsea July Advanced Class Tournament
Chris Donovan and Peter Kirbyby Kathy Wallace at Nailsea [^]
26th July (AC)
This tournament exceeded all expectations. The weather was wonderful after dire warnings of flash floods and lightning from the Met Office. The upper class of eight were competing for the Peter Dyke Ruby Shield. This is a new trophy commissioned to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the founding of the club by Peter Dyke. Peter's first action in 1981 was to go round the pubs in Nailsea selling raffle tickets. For many years he single-handedly coached, refereed, handicapped, set hoops, laid out lawns, managed tournaments and internal competitions and generally ran the club. He has also coached many Juniors who have gone on to become top class players.
The tournament played out as a fitting tribute to Peter's efforts. From the two blocks of four, semi-finalists Chris Donovan, Peter Kirby, Jonathan Lambton and Robert Upton emerged. It was Chris and Peter who won through to give us the most entertaining Nailsea final for a very long time. The hoops were accurately set to 1/16 but, as one expects at Nailsea, they were rigid and not very friendly. The players soon learned not to expect to run them from angles or to bully them. Chris and Peter were both playing accurate breaks but had occasional hoop failures with much muttering from Chris about the hoop-setters. There was a good crowd, all thoroughly enjoying the entertainment. Chris reached 4-back and peg with Peter some way behind. When Peter proceeded beyond 4-back, we expected a contact concession and a pegging out of Chris's red ball. Sure enough, red was positioned very close to the peg. Peter played a take-off from the east boundary to get close to red. There was a gasp as he hit the peg instead! This left him with one ball on hoop 5. He battled on, running hard through hoop 5 to reach red and yellow on the north boundary. It was a gallant effort but came to nought in the end and Chris won +7. Peter Dyke was there to present the shield and must have been pleased to see such a fitting Final. Peter was then presented with a small replica of the shield as a keepsake. Meanwhile his three grand-daughters played on the grass where his daughters had played in 1981.
In the higher handicap class, there were 6 players in an American block. This class didn't disappoint the crowd either. Harvey Smith, aged 14, and handicap 11, took the first game to get to grips with the hoops and lost -2T to Margo Soakell. He then started to fly and won all his remaining games. With a beautiful swing and accurate croquet strokes, he is surely destined for great things. His delightful personality will win him many fans. Joint second in this class were Neil Fillery and Libby Howard-Blood, on 3 wins each
Overall, there were two "biggest upsets" with 7 steps between winner and loser. Peter Kirby (4) beat Robert Upton (0.5) and Harvey Smith (11) beat Neil Fillery (4.5). Geoff Hughes won the fastest game in 1h 39min
Ged Smolskas wins Fylde Jubilee Trophy
Gediminas Smolskas in play at Fyldeby Peter Wilson at Fylde [^]
26th July (AC)
As with so many tournaments this year our numbers were down, we had six. On the plus side it created single banked games and a pleasantly quiet atmosphere during the games. Two time winner John Henderson beat Fylde's Phil Snowden in round 1 with a masterclass of patience. Gediminas Smolskas narrowly beat John in a nail biting finish. Phil beat Ged in the final round. Both players are learning the game rapidly, but Phil pegged Ged out and his extra experience got him home.
Unfortunately by this point we had two withdrawals from our already small field of six. Both absentees had very good reasons. Replacements were brought in.
After the last round with a three way tie out of only four players, the tie breakers all remained equal. Five areas at different distances from the peg were chosen with 2 points for the nearest (2 yards), six points for the farthest ( 8 yards). John, Ged and Phil were asked to secretly select three areas on paper, then cards were drawn to decide the order of play. Ged scored 3 and 4 but missed from 6, but that proved to be the winning score.
The lawns played fast.
O'Donnell wins Wiltshire Cup at Hamptworth 17/18 July
The Wiltshire Open took place on the hottest weekend of the year 17/18 July, with a full complement of 16 players facing Hamptworth's somewhat unforgiving hoops to win the Wiltshire Cup. The players' handicaps ranged from -3 to 2. The Manager divided the players into two blocks of eight with the top four from each block going forward to compete for the Wiltshire Cup. In the blue block, Hamptworth's Tim O'Donnell (-3) had won all seven of his games in the blocks, and Hamptworth's Aston Wade (-3) dropped only one game (6-7) - to Tim O'Donnell in the final game of the first day. In the red block, Nick Archer (Watford) achieved all seven wins and Lionel Tibble (Northampton) five.
The format for day two quarters, semis and final were best of three 13 point games The outcome of the quarter finals resulted in the lower handicap player overcoming their higher handicap opponent, except that Colin Britt 0 (Camerton and Peasdown) beat Lionel Tibble -3 (Northampton) 7-3 6-7;
7-5. In the semi finals O'Donnell beat Britt (7-1 7-3) and Wade beat Archer 7-6 4-7 7-3 leaving club mates Wade and O'Donnell to meet in the final. O'Donnell set off like a train beating Wade 7-2. In the second game O'Donnell tried the same tactic, but Wade came back at him only losing at the 13th hoop with Wade narrowly missing a very long clearance, leaving O'Donnell the victor. Archer took third place with Britt taking fourth. Paul Gunn (Wingrave) won the plate.
Peter Uglow won the Bury C-Level GC
On a scorching hot day 8 players played some quality golf croquet in Bury's National C level qualifier.
Very little separated the top 2 players with the key game featuring 2 Crake Valley members. The game was won by Peter Uglow against Sandra Cornes 7-6. In the end Peter , impressive throughout, won all 7 games during the day whilst Sandra won 5 and drew one of her games. Peter is now planning how to get to the Isle of Wight during their Festival week to compete in the National Finals in September.
The third and fourth places were taken by Bury members, John Cassell and Barbara Duncan both of them new to tournament croquet.
1st Peter Uglow (Crake Valley)
2nd Sandra Cornes (Crake Valley)
3rd John Cassell (Bury)
4th Gail Burnett (Bury)
John Richardson of Newport won the GC B-Level (3+) Series Tournament at Leighton-Linslade CC
Our 7th B-Level tournament featuring twelve players attracted ten from outside clubs and two of our players - ranging from Blewbury, Guildford, Newport, Phyllis Court, Stony Stratford, Wingrave, Wrest Park - and Leighton Linslade.
We had excellent weather, dry and warm, but with a pleasant breeze. The twelve competitors were in two blocks of six. At the end of the block play, the first block had two players with four wins each, with John Richardson of Newport beating Simon Draper with a better hoop difference. Similarly block two also had two players with four wins each, with Wingrave's Richard Skidmore beating Stony Stratford's Elizabeth Bulbeck on hoop difference.
The play offs for the first four places produced two hard fought games from the block winners - with John Richardson beating Richard Skidmore by 7-4. The third and fourth playoff was a win for Simon Draper over Elizabeth Bulbeck by 7-5.
John was presented with a commemorative engraved crystal whisky glass.
Overall an excellent day with some excellent hard fought croquet, with almost 50% of the games going over 7-5, some good company, and a worthy winner.
St Albans beat Tyneside 6-1
St Albans beat Tyneside 6 - 1 in their Secretary's Shield match played today at Nottingham.
St Albans names first:
Doubles: Heather Bennett (2) and Derek Lambert (18) beat Phil Errington (1) and Terry Vernazza (3.5) +8 (26-18)
Stephen Mills (6) beat Derek Johnson (8) +13 (26-13)
Roger Bowman (12) beat Nora Burridge (16) +1 T (16-15)
Heather Bennett (2) beat Phil Errington (1) +7 (26-19)
Stephen Mills (6) beat Terry Vernazza (3.5) +4 (20-16)
Roger Bowman (12) beat Derek Johnson (8) +18 (26-8)
Derek Lambert (18) lost to Nora Burridge (16) -8 (14-22)
Bristol beat High Wycombe 5-1
David Goacher beat Mike Porter +5tp
Richard M Smith beat Duncan Reeve +2
Robert Wilkinson lost to Stephen Wright -26tp
David Goacher beat Stephen Wright +25
Richard M Smith beat Mike Porter +20
Robert Wilkinson beat Duncan Reeve +22
Tony Butcher won the GC Veterans Championship
Tony Butcher with the Alan Oldham Memorial Trivetby Louise Smith at Budleigh Salterton [^]
23rd July (GC - Championships)
The GC Veterans Championship was held over three consecutive, blisteringly hot days, at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club in Devon.
Budleigh's courts were in superb condition, and as always a warm welcome was received from their volunteer members providing refreshments and their chairman, John O'Gorman.
Twenty Two competitors began the event, which due to this number, was run as a cross block format in the initial stages.
Day one consisted of 7 rounds with the Red block proving slightly stronger with 42 individual wins, over Blue block players who gained 35 victories between them.
James Field had a run of seven straight wins, but from the opposing block Liz Farrow (Sussex County) had 6 out of seven, only losing 3/7 to James in the last game on Day one.
Chris Sheen (Colchester) also ended the day strongly with only one lost game to the previous tournament winner, Richard Brookes (Sussex County).
Mike Fensome, (Phyllis Court), Steve Leonard, (Winterbourne Valley), Colin Britt, (Camerton & Peasedown), Tony Butcher, (Southchurch), and David Thirtle-Watts, (Hunstanton) also ended Day one in strong positions with 5 wins from 11 games.
Day two, was probably hotter still with the temperature reaching soaring heights, so the ice creams provided were very welcome!
Liz Farrow continued her excellent run of victories winning all four remaining block games, winning Blue block with 10 wins, as did James Field, (Red block) who never dropped at game at all, topping his block with 11 straight wins.
The remaining places for the Championship Knock out went to Red Block : Chris Sheen 7 wins, Steve Leonard 7 wins and Colin Britt 6 wins. Blue Block, Tony Butcher 9 wins, Richard Brooks 7 wins, David Thirtle-Watts 7 wins.
Again, Liz Farrow, evidently in great form, won her quarter final 2/0 against David Thirtle-Watts with all the other Quarter Finals running to a third game. Steve Leonard overcame Chris Sheen 7/5. 5/7, 7/5, Tony Butcher came back from an initial loss to beat Richard Brookes 6/7, 7/5, 7/4; and James Field did the same with his opponent Colin Britt, 6/7, 7/3, 7/5.
The plate blocks were organised for the players to play the opponents they hadn't yet met, which of course meant players of their own colour blocks.
Red block began with 7 players and, due to a withdrawal, Blue block began with 6 players. Day two afternoon was therefore organised for three rounds for the Reds and two for the Blues, the remainder to be completed the next morning. At the close of Day two, Stephen Custance-Baker, (Taunton Deane) led with three straight wins.
A welcome slight drop in temperature for Day three saw a change of fortunes for the two strongest players at that point in the KO. Liz Farrow was beaten 2/0 by Steve Leonard in the first Semi Final, that was completed speedily, with scores of 7/4, 7/6 to Steve Leonard. The second semi final between James Field and Tony Butcher, again produced some close scores, but Tony triumphed over the so far unbeaten James, 7/6, 5/7, 7/4.
The Shield got underway with Richard Brookes v David Thirtle-Watts, which the latter player won 2/0, and Chris Sheen v Colin Britt. Despite a comeback in game two to win 7/4, Colin Britt eventually lost 1/2 games to Chris Sheen, which moved Chris on to face David in the Shield Final.
The Shield final produced some excellent close run play in the first two games with matching scores, 7/5 to Chris Sheen in game 1 and 7/5 to David Thirtle-Watts in game 2. Some powerful clearances and hoop runs in game three took Chris Sheen to victory with a game result of 7/3.
Meanwhile, the plate blocks continued, a withdrawal from Red block due to injury discounted some of the earlier rounds, but Stephen Custance-Baker continued on form winning all of his games.
It was a closer situation in the Blue block with both Ron Carter and Charles Sale on 4 wins, however a better hoop difference took Charles on to the Plate Final.
The plate final saw a reversal of fortunes for each player, with Stephen Custance-Baker beating Charles Sale 7/2 in game one, and Charles beating Stephen 7/2 in game 2. The deciding game, saw Charles knuckle down, and despite some tactical play from Stephen , Charles took the game 7/3 to win the Plate.
The Championship Final between Steve Leonard and Tony Butcher began after lunch with both players having a decent warm up time before play commenced. The pair seemed very evenly matched with a nip and tuck performance from both, however, Tony made an excellent 3.5yard jump on hoop 10 leaving Steve's blue ball in the jaws. Game one then came to the ultimate finish with Steve running a hoop 12 equalizer, and both players then heading for the golden hoop. Tony's well positioned first ball received two attacking shots from Steve, his second delivered from near the back boundary just clipped Tony's first ball, moving it slightly. However, this didn't do enough as Tony calmly ran the 13th hoop to win 7/6.
In game two, Steve rallied from the previous loss in game one. He took an early two hoop lead, and despite narrowing differences in the scoreline as the game progressed, Steve remained confident, and won 7/5 to equalize the match at one game each.
The final third game in the Championship had a large audience of almost all players and some club spectators, and did not disappoint. It appeared that it could go either way as we turned towards hoop 11 with both players on 5 all. Tony then went 6/5 up which meant Steve needed to win the 12th hoop, which he duly took. Tony again placed an excellent first shot up to the 13th, and this well positioned first ball took him on to a 7/6 victory and the Championship title.
Jack Good won the Lancashire Open Championship
Jack Good receiving the trophy from Abdul Ahmad (Photo: Paul Rigge)by Paul Rigge at Pendle [^]
23rd July (GC - Championships)
What a difference twelve months can make! This time last year, Pendle was the only tournament held in this country so players came from far and wide to enjoy the Covid safe outdoors. This time, we had to compete with an 'A' Level, an 'Open' grade & even the Home International's all scheduled onto our allocated Northern Championship weekend. Unsurprisingly then, the quantity of players entered was down but Quality...more about that later...
Pendle supplied four newly set courts, freshly mown sun-parched surface cut to 4mm meaning that the slightest tap on a ball caused it to travel & travel & travel some more - challenging. Internationally renowned Abdul Ahmad again agreed to manage, but it proved to be a simple matter. Single all-play-all block to sort out full seeding order for the KO title race.
And so to the play in the baking 27o C heat;
Top Seed? - 15yo Jack Good, second seed? - another U25yo, Callum Johnson with the rest of the more established players scrambling for the other slots. (8th Seed - the other U25yo, James Thomas).
The decision was made to start with the Bo3 QF on the first day, but only two games - if all three would be required, the third could wait for the morning. In the event, 3 of the four *did* only need two rubbers to advance into the semi's, but interest turned to the battle taking place between two U25's - Jack(S1) Vs James(S8), both playing the same tactic, shooting hard & straight to either clear or run hoops from distance with neither apparently aware of positional approaches..overnight some suspense, waiting to see how it would be resolved in the "shoot-out" deciding rubber...
After a sweltering night, with no respite from the heat on offer (not many clubs have air conditioning up here..) the out-standing game from the QF started on time with all the other players being granted a late start - mattered not, they all appeared to spectate the contest on offer. Quality battle with Jack prevailing through.
And so to the semi's, with the 'out' players assigned their own 5th to 8th KO games. As befitting the stature of an Ascot Cup qualifier, both of the Semis required the three rubbers allowed to resolve (and the winner of the first game, not progressing..
With all the other places resolved (well mostly) and a few other club members attending to view, the Final started on Court One to a packed veranda (the hoops having been reset for the match over lunch by the manager). I'd like to report that a close contest ensued, but frankly, it really was very one-sided. Rigge had no response to Good's long-range clearances as his own evaporated with miss after miss and he succumbed in two to the blooming rising star - Jack Good.
Dominic Nunns won the COWhorn
Dominic Nunns winner of the COWhornby Roger Wood at Compton [^]
23rd July (AC)
Dominic Nunns makes it a hat-trick of wins
The sun shone from a clear blue sky for the whole weekend providing ideal conditions for outdoor living and adherence to covid restrictions. Saturday's breeze brought some relief during the hottest part of the day but had died away on Sunday leaving all to seek the shade. Having had to cancel in 2020 it was good to get an entry of 16; five new faces and some old friends - Ian Vincent clocking up his 22nd appearance to top George Noble's previous record of 21.
Round 2 of the knockout saw David Maugham fall to a Nigel Polhill triple. Meanwhile Alison, fresh from a +26 win over Andrew Gregory in round 1, beat Ian to earn a match against COWhorn holder Dominic Nunns in the best-of-3 semi-final where she was the weekend's only player to take a game off the eventual winner. Andrew Hobbs won through to the other semi-final where he too won the first game with a fine triple but Nigel won the match. Dominic was now in fine form winning the final with two more triples - all over by 3 o'clock and the peeling prize in the bag.
In the contest for the COWbell all hung in the balance until the result of the very last game. At 4 o'clock four potential winners were in contention but, 55 minutes later, Andrew Gregory's win over Phil Cordingley saw him undefeated in the Swiss and secured the trophy.
Knockout for the COWhorn
David Maugham beat Christopher Crowcroft +17
|Nigel Polhill beat Phil Dunk +2|
|Annabel McDiarmid beat Phil Cordingley +4|
|Andrew Hobbs beat Roger Tedstone +17|
|Alison Maugham beat Andrew Gregory +26|
|Ian Vincent beat Neil Coote +17|
|Paul Castell beat Mark Fawcett +10|
|Dominic Nunns beat Chris O'Byrne +23|
Nigel Polhill beat David Maugham +15tp
|Andrew Hobbs beat Annabel McDiarmid +23|
|Alison Maugham beat Ian Vincent +16|
|Dominic Nunns beat Paul Castell +18tp|
Nigel Polhill beat Andrew Hobbs -24tp +11 +17
|Dominic Nunns beat Alison Maugham -12 +5 +26tp|
Dominic Nunns beat Nigel Polhill +26tp +17tp
3rd place playoff
Alison Maugham beat Andrew Hobbs +16 +17
Swiss for the COWbell
Winner: Andrew Gregory (4/5)
(5/7) Annabel McDiarmid
(4/6) Ian Vincent
(3/5) Neil Coote
(4/7) Paul Castell, Phil Cordingley
(3/7) Mark Fawcett, David Maugham
(2/7) Chris O'Byrne
(1/5) Roger Tedstone
(1/6) Phil Dunk
(0/5) Christopher Crowcroft
Ace peeler: Dominic Nunns
COWpat: Phil Cordingley
John Hague of Dulwich won the Hunstanton round of the CA GC A-Level (0+) Series
John Hague - Janet Kendal - John Gosdenby David Boxell at Hunstanton [^]
23rd July (GC)
John Hague of Dulwich won the Hunstanton round of the CA GC A-Level (0+) Series on 18/07/2021 and the Plate was awarded to the runner-up John Gosden
Day 1 started with a reduced entry of 8 players from 6 Clubs (including 2 from Hunstanton) using an all-play-all format twice over the two days. At the end of Saturday, 8 rounds had been played, with the hope of an early departure on Sunday. The overnight position left John Hague and John Gosden on 7 wins each. John Hague having dropped a game to John Gosden and John Gosden having dropped a game to Chris Jackson. The score line does not adequately reflect the performance of Susan Boxell who joined at the last minute to prevent players having to sit-out a round. She played above her handicap of 11 narrowly missing out on the thirteenth hoop in a couple of games. Day 2 started with a further reduction in numbers by reason of 2 enforced medical withdrawals (Desmond Jarrett & Susan Boxell). The remaining 6 players completed the scheduled rounds in extremely hot conditions, with some closely contested games. The final positions were decided by the number of wins and net hoops as follows: 1st John Hague, 2nd John Gosden, 3rd Chris Jackson, 4th Mike Bilton, 5th Bridget Goodman & 6th David Boxell. The full results are available on croquet scores at: https://croquetscores.com/2021/gc/hunstanton-a-level-series-0. The players expressed their appreciation of the work put in by everyone to make the event so enjoyable.
Guildford beat Cheam 5-2
Doubles Mike Huxley & Julie Tremble beat Ian Rees & Anthony Nicholas 7-3, 7-6
1 HUGHES Beryl beat ADAMS Peter 7 6
2 ADAMS Peter beat HUGHES Beryl 7 6
3 ADAMS Peter beat HUGHES Beryl 7 6
4 MADDOCKS Brian beat HONEYSETT Janet 7 6
5 MADDOCKS Brian beat HONEYSETT Janet 7 2
6 HUXLEY Mike beat REES Ian 7 6
7 REES Ian beat HUXLEY Mike 7 6
8 REES Ian beat HUXLEY Mike 7 6
9 TREMBLE Julie beat NICHOLAS Anthony 7 6
10 TREMBLE Julie beat NICHOLAS Anthony 7 4
11 MADDOCKS Brian beat ADAMS Peter 7 4
12 ADAMS Peter beat MADDOCKS Brian 7 6
13 ADAMS Peter beat MADDOCKS Brian 7 6
14 HUGHES Beryl beat HONEYSETT Janet 7 5
15 "HONEYSETT " Janet beat HUGHES Beryl 7 4
16 HONEYSETT Janet beat HUGHES Beryl 7 4
Tournament Regulations Update
Whilst it is rare for CA Tournament Regulations to be modified during a playing season, an editorial error in preparing the 2021 Tournament Regulations has been identified and it has been decided to publish a correction at the earliest opportunity.
This relates to the applicability of optional laws which are now included within the 7th edition of the Laws of Association Croquet which was accidentally removed along with text which is now contained within the Laws Book. This has now been corrected in the published regulations, and specifically to the preamble to Regulation L.
The National Seniors Championships 12 - 17 July 2021
Despite a horrendous weather forecast for Monday which promised torrential rain all day with thunder and lightening thrown in, the day proved to be an ideal one for croquet. The temperature was comfortable and only a few drops of rain on two occasions. All round Budleigh the roads were deluged and the rain torrential as promised. Consequently a 2 hour 22 point Knock-out with consolation games had been planned and this proceeded without the hindrance of bad weather.
Duncan Reeve [Budleigh -2] and John Wells [Cheltenham 7] played Peter Thompson [York 2] and Barry Holland [Surbiton 2.5] in the final with Reeve and Wells being victorious.
The weather began to become ever sunnier and warmer from Tuesday, the start of the Handicap Singles, peaking on Friday and Saturday with everyone seeking shade whenever possible. The Handicap Singles had a larger than usual entry of 20 with only 2 days to complete whatever form, at as the Class Event gave no real prospect of room for handicap semi-final / final games. A knock-out with a Swiss was played which saw Peter Death [Nottingham 5] giving David Warhurst [Budleigh -1] a 'run for his money' but Warhurst canny play against bisques prevailed.
The Class Event saw 13 of the 39 of the entrants with handicaps ranging from -2 to scratch, A large A Class by any standards. The Tournament Manager had previously asked Simon Hathrell to manage these players and all had 9 games in a Flexible Swiss after one entrant withdrew for health issues. The remaining players were tightly packed between handicaps; 26 between 1 and 3 and just 7 from 4 to 7.
Charlie Martin [Ramsgate 4] AKA 'Billy the Whiz' took the fastest game prize with an astonishing 27 minutes! He also went on to win 5 out of 5 games in his block and took home the J E H Trophy.
The Nigel Graves trophy, handicaps 2.5 to 4, was won by Martin Beacon [Nottingham 3] with 4 games won out of 5 and 3 runners-up with 3 wins.
The de Ansorena Cup, handicaps 2 to 2.5 was a close-run victory. Both Peter Thompson  and Heather Bennett [Nottingham 2] won 4 games but Peter beat Helen so took the trophy.
The Colin Hemming cup, handicaps 0.5 to 2, saw many games go to time and the deciding, final game was no exception. A late start and even later finish saw Ian Draper [Nottingham 1] defeat Alex McIntyre [Nottingham 1.5] +1T [13 -12].
Simon's expertly handled Flexible Swiss saw Duncan Reeve play 2 Tripel and 3 Sextuple peels but this was not enough to win. Chris Williams [Glamorgan -1] played his usual, seemingly relaxed and effortless game and won 9 games out of 9 with 194 net points, the next highest was 68. Oh yes and 5 triple peels as well. Chris took the Trevor Williams Challenge Cup and deservedly so.
Ian Lines won the Blewbury Advanced Weekend
Paul Wolff and Ian Linesby Debbie Lines at Blewbury [^]
20th July (AC)
Blewbury Croquet Club welcomed us on Saturday morning with clear blue skies and warm weather. Nine enthusiastic CPs arrived to enjoy the excellent lawns, which were running to around 12 Plummers. Given the temperatures we were extremely glad that the club had put up a huge gazebo from under which we viewed the lawns and their beautiful backdrop of rolling Oxfordshire countryside.
Ian Lines soon took a lead and finished the first day unbeaten on 5 wins. Despite a late night (the pub took nearly two hours to bring food), he maintained his form and had a further 3 wins on Sunday to finish on 8 out of 8. Second place on 4 out of 5 was Neal Bacon. Congratulations also to Edward Olhausen, the highest handicap in the tournament playing off 5, who won two out of his six games.
Thank you to Paul Wolff for setting the lawns each morning and to June and the catering team for the excellent lunches. The club made us feel extremely welcome and we hope to be back again soon.
Nick Archer won Ryde GC Open
Nick Archer's consistency throughout the two days was the outstanding feature of his inaugural visit to Ryde and his well-deserved award of the Centenary Cup.
Ryde's first ever mid-week Open Series GC tournament eventually got under way with two rain-free days just 24 hours after a heavy overnight downpour had flooded the lawns. Although a little slow in places, the lawns had recovered well from a disastrous winter aided by a considerable amount of manual labour over recent weeks.
Day one's block play went largely to form although Raouf Allim's three wins using an adjusted grip were insufficient to make the cut. Archer went through to the knock-out undefeated, elsewhere four wins were sufficient.
In the quarters Archer beat Stephen Custance-Baker and Chris Roberts beat David Bell, both in two games, whilst Roger Goldring beat Neil Humphreys and Ian Shore beat John Noble in three. In the semis Shore took the first game against Goldring but it was the latter who prevailed to take his place in the final for the second successive year.
Roberts beat Archer in their second game to set up an enthralling decider. In a match worthy of the final neither player could gain a significant advantage until the inevitable hoop 13. With Archer two feet in front and Roberts clearing from behind only one thing could go wrong. It did. As Archer's next ball was peeled into the jaws Roberts' painful disbelief echoed through the watching crowd. Hopes of a possible Phyllis Court one-two had been extinguished.
The final was switched to the superior lawn 1 with temporary seating set up in the car park for spectators. When game one went to Goldring at hoop 13 an upset looked possible but Archer fought back strongly and around 7pm, in Goldring's ninth game of the day, his hopes were finally dashed.
A remarkable run of six successive 13th hoop victories confirmed Pamela Sim as winner of the Ryde Plate.
Thanks undoubtedly must go to the lawn maintenance team for their concerted efforts, as well as to other volunteers who were able to put on simple but effective catering despite closure of the Clubhouse due to Covid.
We are grateful for the enthusiastic entry for this oversubscribed tournament and hope to be able to repeat a similar scheduling next year.
1st Nick Archer
2nd Roger Goldring
3rd Chris Roberts
4th Ian Shore
(Full results available on CroquetScores)
CA Bursary Scheme awards 2021
Bursary Awards for 2021 Have been Made under the New CA Scheme
The CA Bursary Scheme was formulated earlier this year to provide financial support for
potential international players of both Association and Golf Croquet. It is primarily intended to
assist players under the age of 25 who wish to take part in tournaments and other
challenging croquet activities to improve their performance and require assistance with the
Preference is given to applicants who are under 25 but older players may also apply.
Preference is also given to applicants who satisfy the Funding Committee that they
reasonably require financial support but financial disclosure is not required.
A Bursary is a grant to a successful applicant rather than reimbursement of a proportion of
the expenses incurred by him or her.
On 12 July 2021 awards amounting in total to £1,500 were made by the Funding Committee.The recipients were:
- Morgan Case (Sussex County),
- Sam Cuthbert (Cheltenham),
- Jack Good (Bury),
- Aston Wade (Hamptworth).
Details of the Scheme may be found at
Bowdon beat Chester 7-0
Bowdon beat Chester 7-0 on Sunday 18th July.
Results (Bowdon players first):
Brian Kerr and Will Mellor beat Mark Lloyd and Jerry Guest +25
David Cotton beat Robin Tasker +5
Adrian Apps beat David Guyton +6
Brian beat Mark +5
Will beat Jerry +5
David C beat David G +24
Adrian beat Robin +12
High Wycombe beat St Albans 3-2
High Wycombe beat St Albans 3-2 on Wednesday 14th July, played at HW.
On Wednesday 14th July, High Wycombe (Ed Olhausen, Robin Morrison and Raghu Iyer) hosted St Albans (Stephen Mills, Stuart Stafford and Roger Bowman) in the second round of the Longman Cup. High Wycombe were looking for revenge having lost to St Albans in the 2020 final.
In the morning, the doubles match was a tense affair with neither side able to open up any significant lead by the half-way point. Raghu produced the star performance with some great long-range shots and some superb roll shots which helped H/W to a 26-18 win. The singles match between Robin and Roger was a tight and scrappy game with Roger producing enough to score a 15-11 win. 1-1 going into the afternoon.
Ed finally found some form against Stephen and produced two strong breaks to win 26-11. Raghu couldn't maintain his fine form from the doubles and was beaten 26-10 by Roger. 2-2 with one game still being played. Stuart made a strong start to his singles match and opened up a significant lead against Robin. With the clock ticking, St Albans looked to be in the driving seat and Robin was struggling to claw his way back. However, with time running out, Robin finally found his rhythm and produced a couple of excellent breaks to win 25-16. Well done to all players for a great match and congratulations to High Wycombe who move through to the quarter-finals where they will face Letchworth.
The details are (High Wycombe names first):
Ed Olhausen (5) & Raghu Iyer (12) beat Stephen Mills (6) & Stuart Stafford (12) +8
Robin Morrison (10) lost to Roger Bowman (12) -4 (11-15 t)
In the afternoon,
Ed Olhausen beat Stephen Mills +15
Robin Morrison beat Mark Fraser +9 (25-16 t)
Raghu Iyer lost to Roger Bowman -16
CA COVID-19 Guidance Updated from 19th July
The CA's Covid-19 guidance for clubs and players has been updated from 19th July to reflect the removal of legal restrictions at Step 4 of the government's roadmap, which puts a greater onus on clubs to assess their own circumstances and for players to take individual responsibility. The risk assessment to underpin it, which clubs are invited to adapt for their own use, and the guidance for tournaments have also been updated.
CA AC Eights and Selectors' Weekend
The deadline for availability for the CA AC 'Eights' and the Selectors' Weekend is Sunday 25th July.
Players are encouraged to make themselves available for these events. No negative view will be taken if players make themselves available for events they may not consider themselves strong enough for; it is perfectly reasonable for someone to make themselves available for all the events, and to let the Selectors decide. The Selectors will not normally place someone in an event if they would have been placed in a higher event for which they did not make themselves available, so players should avoid self-selecting themselves out of contention by only entering lower events.
Those who have not played in these events before are especially welcome. The selection events provide an excellent challenge to players, and from my own experience are very enjoyable on and off the lawn.
Players can make themselves available by going to the 'Members' section on the CA homepage, and then going to 'Register your availability for selection events'
Anyone with queries is encouraged to contact me directly.
Chairman of AC Selectors
Crake Valley beat High Wycombe 4-2
Michael Bowker (HW) beat David Cornes (CV) 7-1, 4-7, 7-4
Frank Sharps (CV) beat Mark Higgins (HW) 7-3, 7-6
Marc Allen (HW) beat Simon Robins (CV) 7-6, 7-3
Sandra Cornes (CV) beat Nigel Clogg (HW) 7-5, 7-6
Simon Robins (CV) beat Nigel Clogg (HW) 7-2, 7-3
Sandra Cornes (CV) beat Marc Allen (HW) 7-6, 7-6
David Cornes & Frank Sharps (CV) drew with Michael Bowker & Mark Higgins (HW) 6-7, 7-3
On a sunny day the holders High Wycombe met Crake Valley from the north west on neutral ground at Ashby CC.
As previously agreed, the singles took place in the morning with honours shared 2-2 at lunch.
In the afternoon solid performances by Sandra Cornes and Simon Robins saw Crake Valley win both singles to take the game.
At that time very interesting and close contest was ongoing between David Cornes and Frank Sharps (CV) and Martin Bowker & Mark Higgins (HW) with the score 6-7, 7-3. It was, however, agreed to curtail the contest as both teams had long journeys and the Ashby club's members had arrived for their regular "roll up" session.
Final score Crake Valley 4.5 High Wycombe 2.5 so a new name will appear on the shield in 2021.
Andrew Beaumont won the Nottingham B-Level GC Tournament
19 players turned up bright and early for a B level day of GC. Defending champion Lynn Pearcy was hoping to retain her trophy for one last time as she is on her way to bigger events. She started well beating Andrew Beaumont (8) 7-3 in her opening cross block game and quickly followed it up with 2 more wins. She struggled a little after lunch losing her next and then in her last block game against Glynis Davies she came in disappointed having lost 7-4 only to be told that she had qualified for the semi finals by 1 net hoop. Glynis in contrast was disappointed as she had been edged out by Andrew Beaumont by 2 hoops.
In blocks C/D Mark Buckley comfortably qualified for the semi finals in his block but block D was tighter. Everyone was seperated by 1 win and only 7 hoops. Elizabeth Bulbeck (6) coming out on top.
After a coin toss to decide which way to put the semi finals on, it came out that the ladies would play each other in one and the gents in the other. Lynn came through a close match 7-5 while Andrew who had got stronger as the day went on comfortably beat Mark 7-4.
The final was a rematch of the first game of the morning with an appreciative crowd watching, several of the other players eschewing the chance to play off for the minor places. The final was in the balance all the way. Andrew went 6-5 up and Lynn spent some time in control at 12 trying to work an advantage for 13. Eventually she ran 12, Andrew's first ball to 13 went 3yds in front. None of the next 3 balls disturbed the position and Andrew ran 13 at the first attempt to seal the title.
Andrew not only lifted the trophy but a handicap reduction to 6. If he keeps playing like that he won't be in the B series long!
1st Andrew Beaumont
2nd Lynn Pearcy
=4th Elizabeth Bulbeck & Mark Buckley
GC Eights selections
The GC selectors are pleased to announce the following players have been selected for the Ricki Savage, Kate Jones and Suzanne Roberts Eights 2021.
The reserves will be promoted in the order indicated should anyone drop out. Congratulations all.
Would those selected please remember to pay their entry fee for the event for which they have been selected in the usual manner via the CA website TES.
Chair of GC Selectors
Ricki Savage 1st Eight
Reserves in order
Kate Jones 2nd Eight
Reserves in order
Suzanne Roberts 3rd Eight
Reserves in order
Jim Beach won the Cheltenham C-Level GC
This was played in a 'round robin' format involving 16 players being split by handicap and where possible by club into 4 blocks of 4. Each morning block was then seeded for the afternoon 'final' blocks with all the winners going together, likewise the seconds, thirds and fourths to their respective blocks. Although, most of the players were local some had travelled from as far afield as Hamptworth and Glamorgan to play on Cheltenham's fabulous lawns on what turned out to be a glorious sunny day, surely life does not get better than this despite the game's result?
Jim Beach (top seed) now on a 5 handicap went through in his block undefeated despite local girl Carol Cowlishaw taking him to the 'golden hoop'. The 3 other blocks were much tighter affairs with net points having to be used to separate Naomi Whitehead, Jill Bateman and Kathryn Gilden (Cheltenham members) as the eventual winners of their respective blocks. In fact Richard Jenkins was equal with Kathryn but lost out on who beat who.
Block D (positions 13-16) was won by an undefeated Richard Pinder from local club Beckford, while block C (positions 9-12) was also won by another undefeated local club player Martin Pollard from Worcester Norton. Block B (positions 5-8) was much tighter with three players needing to be separated by net points which resulted with Richard Jenkins this time coming out on top. Block A (positions 1-4) was again as predicted by the manager another tight affair with three players sharing the lead and having to be separated again by net points!!!
In the end it was a visitor Jim Beach from Glamorgan who managed to conquer the three Cheltenham's ladies to receive the Barter Trophy from Ivor Brand (manager).
Guildford lost to Sussex County 2-5
Sheffield beat Hampstead Heath 3-2
Sheffield CC beat Hampstead Heath in the Secretary's Shield. Saturday 10th July 2021
After a dramatic start to the day and a hasty relocation to the neutral venue of Leicester a good day's croquet was enjoyed by both teams, especially Sheffield.
At lunch Sheffield were ahead by 2 games to 1. After lunch it looked as though Hampstead Heath were going to take the win - the score was 2 all, and in the deciding match time had gone with Sheffield behind and one turn left. An unfortunate fault on a take off croquet stroke by Hampstead Heath let Eugene Chang in to come from behind to peg out.
Sheffield names first (the morning singles were played as 18 point games)
Eugene Chang (-1.5) lost Gabrielle Higgins (-1) 15-16 T
Mark Simmerson (6) beat Rick Weinstein (4.5) 16-15 T
Margaret Crossland (14) beat. Sandy Nairne (8) 18-10
Eugene Chang & Mark Simmerson beat Gabrielle Higgins & Sandy Nairne 26-21
Margaret Crossland lost to Rick Weinstein 17-24 T
Sidmouth GC Team Challenge 10/11th July
The Three Amigos, Aston Wade, Peter Chadwick and Glynis Daviesby Louise Smith at Sidmouth [^]
13th July (GC)
The weekend of 10th/11th July saw eight teams consisting of three players each gather at Sidmouth Croquet Club for the inaugural event of the Sidmouth GC Team Challenge. Players came from a variety of clubs from around the UK, including Southwick, Hamptworth, East Dorset, Ryde (Isle of Wight), Nailsea and Long Eaton, to name but a few, and of course Sidmouth CC entered a local team consisting of Philip Harris, Steve Pearson and Paul Bradley.
The event is loosely based upon the GC Intercounties format with an "all play all" points race, with matches consisting of one doubles (worth 15 points) and one singles (worth 10 points) game against the opposition. On day one, "Strangers on the Shore", a team consisting of Peter Balchin (Glamorgan), Chris Jackson (Long Eaton) and Debra Hayns (Ryde) got off to an early head start, winning both their opening doubles and singles games, 7/4, 7/5.
In the early matches of the tournament The "IoW Strollers", Roy Tillcock, Pam Sim and Steve Hayns kept apace with "Strangers on the Shore", a double win over the home "Sidmouth" team (doubles 7/6, singles 7/5), helped gain a maximum score in the points race.
Each team had a Joker card chosen at random at the beginning of the day, which gave them the opportunity to gain a further 5 points on a game of their choice within a specific round. Team "Smith & Broomstick", Stuart M. Smith (Sidmouth), Richard Carline (Southwick) and Janet Trueman (Hamptworth) capitalized on their Joker which was allocated to them to use in round 7. They gambled on Stuart Smith winning the singles match which, as this was the " Captain's Choice" round, turned out to be against Steve Leonard from the "Len & Jenks" team. The game finished 7/5 to Smith, and gained a valuable extra 5 points, with Richard Carline and Janet Trueman ("Smith & Broomstick") also wining the doubles match 7/4 over Michelle Leonard and Richard Jenkins ("Len & Jenks").
Joker win gambles also paid off for the "IoW Strollers" in round 3 with a singles win for Roy Tillcock over Peter Balchin, of "Strangers on the Shore" at 7/4. The "J Arthurs" team, Ryan Cabble and Mike Powell (Nailsea), won their Joker match on a doubles game 7/6 over "Strangers on the Shore" Peter Balchin and Debra Hayns. The home team Sidmouth won their Joker round on the singles match in round 5 which ended at 7/5 to Steve Pearson over Richard Carline (Smith & Broomstick).
In round 7, each team knew their opposition but not which players were playing in the doubles or singles matches - with this choice left to the team Captains to decide. Sidmouth wisely played their comfortable pairing of Philip Harris and Steve Pearson in the doubles, who won their game against
"Strangers on the Shore" (Peter Balchin & Debra Hayns) 7/3. "Strangers on the Shore" were sitting closely behind the leaders at this moment, by only 5 points.
By the close of day one "The Three Amigos", Aston Wade (Hamptworth), Peter Chadwick (Budleigh) and Glynis Davies (Northampton) had gained a slim lead of just 20pts over "Strangers on the Shore", with five other teams still very much in contention. Only "The Saints" (Les and Viv Heard and Steve Foster, Northampton) were a lagging a little behind on 50 points, with rest of the teams on between 80 and 125 points as the tournament entered day two. But, there were a further 180 points still to play for.
On day two, the teams played each other again, but in a different combination of players for the doubles and singles games. The opening singles game for the leaders "The Three Amigos" was a high level display of skill, accuracy and tactics, which placed Aston Wade up against Stuart M. Smith from the "Smith and Broomstick" team. A great match, but on this occasion the recently crowned Open Singles Champion, Aston, was beaten by the forthcoming England Team Captain, Stuart. Both of these players lost only one singles match each throughout the whole event.
However, they were not alone in that achievement, with Paul Bradley (Sidmouth), Chris Jackson (Strangers on the Shore), Neil Fillery (J.Arthurs), Ryan Cabble (J.Arthurs), Glynis Davies (Three Amigos), Roy Tillcock (IoW Strollers), and Steve Foster (The Saints), all only dropping one singles game each.
As day two progressed it became a two horse race between "The Three Amigos" and "Len & Jenks" for the top spot. "Len and Jenks" consisting of Steve and Michelle Leonard from Winterbourne Valley, and Richard Jenkins from Hamptworth, had hovered mid table, but found some form on the Sunday.
Maximum points gained with both singles and doubles wins over the "IoW Strollers" and "Strangers on the Shore" in rounds 3 and 4 proved decisive.
But following quietly behind, the Sidmouth team were gathering up the points. Again, the doubles pairing of Philip Harris and Steve Pearson had a win over Ryan Cabble (Nailsea) and Neil Fillery (Taunton) from the "J. Arthurs team", 7/2, with Paul Bradley also winning the singles match against Mike Powell 7/6, gaining maximum match points of 25pts.
Unseasonal weather bought in driving rain showers for much of the afternoon, but spirits remained high. Some of the wet weather gear also raised a smile or two, notably Peter Balchin's "Homepride Fred" attire! "The Three Amigos" played their Joker on the doubles game in round 3, with Aston Wade and Glynis Davies taking on "Strangers on the Shore" (Peter Balchin & Debra Hayns), and winning comfortably 7/2, gaining a valuable extra 5 points. They also took a doubles win over the "IoW Strollers" in round 4 and the "J.Arthurs" team in round 5.
Consistent performances from "The Three Amigos" saw them draw ahead, and by the penultimate round they needed to lose both matches to tumble from the top and "Len and Jenks" needed a full set of wins to leapfrog ahead. Despite "Len & Jenks" winning the next two doubles games, "The Three Amigos" remained strong with a singles and doubles win, and became unassailable.
First place went to "The Three Amigos", Aston Wade, Peter Chadwick and Glynis Davies with 245 points, with "Len & Jenks" coming in a close second, just 20 points behind on220 points.
The Sidmouth team had been in 7th place at the close of day one, but in true tortoise and the hare style, improved their performances on the Sunday, and pipped "Strangers on the Shore" by 5 points, to take a very well deserved third place.
The trophy was presented by Peter Nelson and was a rather lucky auction find purchased by Louise Smith for the event. The Edwardian trophy depicts three mallets supporting the cup, which is rather fitting for this "team of three" tournament. Ryan Cabble generously donated a magnum of champagne that was eagerly accepted by Aston, and Peter took home the Gin & Tonic!
Everyone enjoyed the tournament, despite the weather, and the format of mixing teams with participants of different handicaps and abilities proved very successful, and an invaluable experience for many of the players. We hope this is the start of an exciting new team event within the croquet tournament calendar.
Woking beat Dulwich 5-1
Woking played Dulwich in the GC interclub today (13th July) at home at
Woking. Woking won 5.5 - 1.5, with one match unfinished. Deatailed
results (Woking names first) were as follows.
Jeff Dawson and Mike Town beat Pierre Beaudry and Simon Carter 7-4, 7-6
Malcolm Bigg beat John Spiers 7-5, 6-7, 7-6
Bernard Jones beat Andrew Dymond 7-0, 2-7, 7-6
Jeff Dawson tied with Pierre Beaudry 7-5, 6-7 (unfinished)
Mike Town beat Simon Carter 7-5, 7-5
Malcolm Bigg beat Andrew Dymond 7-5, 7-5
Bernard Jones lost to John Spiers 2-7, 7-5, 3-7
Eleanor Ross wins the National Forest GC Championship July 3rd/4th
We were fairly lucky with the weather but there were scattered showers on Saturday and a fairly short but very heavy downpour during the final on Sunday.
Early on Saturday we were informed that two of the entrants had to self-isolate due to Covid-19. They were both in the same group so we had to hastily reorganise things. However, the event then ran very smoothly and both blocks were completed in time for players, who were interested, to see the football. There were two players with five wins in one block but we could separate them on hoop difference. In the other block Stuart Smith had six wins and there were two players with four wins so we arranged a play-off for 9.00 am on Sunday.
Unfortunately, on Sunday, one of the players in the play-off received a phone call telling him he had to self-isolate so we could then proceed with the semi-finals. Stuart Smith beat Les Heard in two games and Eleanor Ross beat Callum Johnson in three.
In the 3rd/4th play off we had a 19-point game which went the full distance with Les Heard just pipping Callum 10-9.
Meanwhile the plate games were going ahead and it was unclear who the two finalists would be until after the very last game. In the end Steve Leonard and Arthur Rowe made the final.
In the plate final Steve beat Arthur 7-2, reversing his 7-1 loss in the block game.
There were several spectators, including two dogs, to watch the final and they were treated to some top-class play by both players. In the end Eleanor triumphed 7-5, 7-4 but she was made to work very hard for her win by Stuart. The two dogs seemed uninterested in the final but maybe they prefer watching AC where you have rover balls.
My thanks go to all the players, who made my job as manager very easy by playing reasonably quickly and remaining cheerful even after suffering some bad luck. Full results are on Croquet scores.
Wrest Park July Advanced
Wrest Park wild flowersby John Bevington at Wrest Park [^]
12th July (AC)
Lionel Tibble and Gary Bennett were the winners at the Wrest Park July Advanced tournament.
The overall winner was Lionel Tibble with seven wins from eight games, with Gary Bennett winning the prize for the most index points gained amongst the players of handicap 1 and above. There were TPs by Omied Hallam and David Marsh, both at Nick Steiner's expense. Jack Wicks played on Friday, replaced by Bryan Harral on Saturday. Rod Ashwell didn't play on Sunday, so an even number was maintained throughout.
With six minus players, four of handicap 1 and four at 2 and above, there were occasions over the three days when players from the different groups played each other and also when players within the same group played each other twice. The tournament was decided by one of the former: Lionel Tibble v George Collin. George, for rover, had hit both lift shots and pegged Lionel out. He took off to corner 2 leaving a perfect rush and a single ball target. Lionel, near hoop 4 and for 4-back, hit and finished on a two-ball break.
The weather was fine for the most part, but a heavy shower on Sunday afternoon had the players socially undistanced as they all took shelter under the courtside gazebo. Our thanks to Eric Audsley for management and to Eric, George and John for giving the lawns another cut after play on Saturday.
This tournament was advertised as an A and B level tournament. Whereas in GC A, B and C levels are fixed, B level in AC appears to mean anything the club chooses, be it 0, 1 or 2 (not forgetting the Super B variant). Is there a case for standardising the various AC levels as in GC? One for the Tournament Committee.
Lionel Tibble (-1) 7/8
Omied Hallam (-1) 6/8 1TP
David Marsh (-1) 5/8 1TP
Nick Steiner (-1) 1/8
Rod Ashwell (-½) 1/5
Jack Wicks (-1½) 1/3
Bryan Harral (-½) 0/3
Eric Audsley (2) 6/7
Gary Bennett (1) 6/8
George Collin (1) 5/8
John Bevington (1) 4/7
Cliff Jones (1) 3/7
Alan Clark (3½) 3/7
George Woolhouse (3½) 3/7
John Wells (6) 0/8
James Brind won the Newport B-Class
At the start of the final round, four players were on one loss, and all four could win.
If James Brind beat Jeff Farrington, he would win - not only had he played a game more than his rivals, but who-beat-whom would also work in his favour.
If Jeff won, then Brian Havill would win if he beat James Skelton.
Lastly if Jeff and James S. won, they would be tied as they had not played, so a (shortened) game or tie-break would have been in order.
The key game then was James B. v Jeff. James efficiently reached 4-back and peg before Jeff had started, but a poor leave gave Jeff a chance for a break.
He took this chance, made all twelve hoops and pegged out James.
From the contact, James made 4-back before Jeff could take control.
Jeff then had two goes at setting up the break via a stoppo approach to 1, James surprisingly missing the shot in between.
The second go saw Jeff embark on an adventurous 3-ball break, finally foundering at 3-back.
James forgot his lift but hit anyway, ending the turn in front of penult.
Jeff hit back in, made 3-back, then took off to the ball at penult, sailing a few yards by. He then unluckily rush-peeled James through penult! He left James a 25-yarder; James hit and finished.
It was good to see some new visitors to the Club. Ken Jones spoke nicely, saying he would be back. He also claimed to have known your correspondent for 40 years which is an exaggeration. It's only been 39 years! Also a couple from Pinchbeck, Gordon Mills and Simon Conran. Simon may have feared the worst when he was rudely 26ed in his first game, but soon found himself in competitive games, including a +1 against his club-mate.
Winner: James Brind 5/6
Runner-up: Brian Havill 4/5
Richard Williamson won the Sidmouth Advanced Weekend
Richard Williamson receiving the Connaught Cupby Peter Nelson at Sidmouth [^]
12th July (AC)
Following some withdrawals the entry was reduced to eight players with handicaps ranging from 4 to 8. With the reduced number of entries the tournament was organised as an "Egyptian" with three games played on Saturday and two on Sunday. Games were played to advanced rules and were timed with a duration of two and a half hours.
The opening round saw Richard Williamson (Bristol) play John Low (Sussex County) with Williamson winning a close game. This proved decisive as both players went on to win all their remaining games leaving Williamson the clear winner with 5 wins and Low the runner-up with 4.
Mention should also be made of Kevin Wright (Auchincrive) who managed 3 wins although being joint highest handicap.
The weather was changeable and there were showers, but although conditions were challenging at times play was not interrupted at any point.
Handicap changes were Richard Williamson 4 to 3.5 and Jane Babbage 4 to 4.5.
Richard Williamson as winner was awarded the Connaught Cup.
East Dorset June Week
Andrew Gregory presenting a trophy to Tim O'Donnellby David Williams at East Dorset [^]
12th July (AC - Mixed)
Another enjoyable series of events well run by the ever attentive and flexible manager Andrew Gregory.
Handicap, Level Advanced, Doubles, something for everyone.
The Handicap Doubles for the Summer Cups was played over the first two days and the final saw Anthony Dix (-1/2) and Alan Jones (7) beat the Hamptworth pair of Tim O'Donnell (1/2) and Chris Weedon (6) plus 9.
The Handicap Singles Knock-out for the Cripps Memorial Bowl was won by the fast improving Tim O'Donnell (more on him later), beating Sue Longcroft (10) ex East Dorset now York, plus 8.
The Handicap Singles Flexible for the Evans Bowl was won by Anthony Dix (-1/2) who was returning after a 2 years lay off beating Fran Lambert (12) from Newport plus 3.
The C Class for the Cope Cup, played as an 'all play all' saw Mike Rice (11) winning all of his games to take the trophy, with Sue Longcroft, making her trip from 'oop narth' worthwhile, winning the runner up customary bottle of wine.
The B Class was a Draw and Process which were married as David Williams (3.5) had reached both finals but was beaten by our worthy manager Andrew Gregory (2.5) Newport plus 16.
This then brought us to the final of the A Class for the Dorset Salver on the last day, and what a final it proved to be.
The stormy weather had improved during the week and in sunshine on a warm late Saturday afternoon all was calm apart from a certain Hamptworth player who was super charged.
After the holder Jonathan Powe (-2) had taken his first ball to four back, Tim O'Donnell hit in taking his first ball to peg and in the process executed an immaculate triple peel on Jonathan's first ball. His first TPO!!
There followed much 'cat and mouse' with Jonathan reduced to just one ball but after playing into the corners he hit in to Tim's ball close to hoop one, and with some fine long hoop runs to the boundary for position, stuck in hoop six with Tim's balls close by.
This was the opportunity Tim was waiting for and enabled him to complete an all round three ball innings with his second ball, winning plus 8TPO and bringing his handicap down to scratch.
He will always remember this performance and after only playing for four years it is felt that there is a lot more to come.
East Dorset's lawns were in good condition throughout the week despite the heavy rain at times, and it is hoped that more visitors will wish to enter in the future.
The mix of events cater for all levels of play and visitors are made very welcome by the club.
Report Note. Players East Dorset unless shown otherwise.
Al Brown won the Colchester Over 50's Handicap Tournament
The Colchester Over 50's tournament attracted a smaller number of entrants than usual but the 12 participants who made it enjoyed some interesting croquet. The list of participants included handicaps from 1 to 18 and enthusiasts from as far as York and Ramsgate.
The first day resulted in three players on 100% with Dave Westall, Stephen Mills and John Andrews heading the field. All matches were completed by 4.30 to allow the football fanatics to watch the European Cup.
Day 2 was notable for the drizzle which intermitently dampened the spirits. Al Brown seemed to enjoy the conditions and after losing both games on the first day, he emerged as a likely challenger for the Rose Bowl. Graham Bond demonstrated skills of a former age whilst musician Charlie Martin played the right notes. The holder, Stephan Mills remained a strong competitor as far as the final game when Peter Thompson (1) saw him off.
At the end of the final day Al Brown had continued his winning ways ending the tournament with 5 wins from 7. Second was Dave Westall with 4 wins from 6. In 3rd place were Charlie Martin and Stephen Mills (5/8).
The Colchester Club once again excelled in providing delicious lunches and cakes etc.
1st Al Brown
2nd Dave Westall
3rd Charlie Martin and Stephen Mills
Debra Hayns (Ryde) wins Hamptworth National Series B-Level Tournament-26th/27th June
A field of 14 players with handicaps ranging from 2 to 6 took to the much improved courts at Hamptworth for their 2 day National series B level tournament. Two blocks of seven were played on the first day, with each player playing six games and a bye. The top four in each group proceeded to the top eight for day two. The weather forecast for day 2 was dire, with heavy rain, thunder and hail forecast from lunchtime, so the manager (Richard Jenkins) re-formatted his original plan so that the top eight contested three rounds of 19 point games and those playing for the Plate competed as one block of six - all play all one 13 point game. Three ladies fought their way to the semi finals, with Sonia Hemsley (Bransgore) only narrowly missing a place in the final by putting her opponent through on hoop 19! The final between Lynn Pearcy[2H](Roehampton and Hamptworth) and Debra Hayns[5H](Ryde)finished 10-6 to Debra while 3rd and 4th places went to Keith Bryant[6H](Dowlish Wake)who beat Sonia Hemsley[5H] 10-8.
Jane Powell wins Bath B-Level (3+) Series tournament (8 July)
After opening with two tense 7 - 6 wins in the block stage of the tournament, Jane Powell's metronomic hoop running powered her to the final with two more comfortable wins.
In the meantime, the tournament's highest ranked player, Stephen Pearson, looked in good form with two comfortable opening wins.
However, a defeat to Raghu Iyer in the final block match threatened Stephen's route to the semi-final but he progressed through via a better net hoop score in his three games.
Stephen's good form was restored in the semi-final when he swept aside the impressive Stephen Hayns 7 - 2.
Unfortunately, for Stephen, he was unable to match the 'Powell hoop running machine' in the final and Jane recorded a comfortable 7 - 4 win.
Third place went to Stephen Hayns with victory over Patrick Knight who, throughout the block stage, defied his ranking position with a series of impressive jump shots.
Despite this margin of victory in the final, 25% of the games in the tournament went to 7 - 6 and 40% of games went to a two-oop margin or less.
Tony McCann wins the GC Bury B-Level (3+) Series tournament
Eight players competed at Coronation Park, Bury in this GC B-Level (3+) Series tournament.
On a mixed day weather wise, there was plenty of good quality play and close games.
Going into the last round, there were four players in with a chance of victory.
In the end Tony McCann (Croquet Durham) came out on top with 6 wins out of 7, closely followed by Bernard Lord (Bury), Malcolm Daines (Bury) and Glynis Davies (Northampton).
Thanks go to David Barrett, Jean Hargreaves and David Cornes for their hospitality and management of the tournament.
1st - Tony McCann (Croquet Durham)
2nd - Bernard Lord (Bury)
3rd - Malcom Daines (Bury)
4th - Glynis Davies (Northampton).
- 2nd and 3rd places were decided on points(both with 5 wins) and 4th place was decided on points (4 wins)
Tyneside lost to Pendle 2-5
Pendle names first
Robert Essler & Lorna Dewar lost to Phil Errington and Terry Vernazza 16-21
Peter Wilson beat David Millener 26-21
Roger Schofield beat John Portwood 26-3
Robert Essler beat Phil Errington 26-22
Lorna Dewar beat Terry Vernazza 26-20
Peter Wilson beat John Portwood 26-15
Roger Schofield lost to David Millener 26-25 on time
Result Pendle 5 Tyneside 2
Reg Bamford won the Association Croquet Open Singles Championship
Championship Knockout Draw
+20qp, -26tp, +15sxp, -10tp, +17sxp
+26qp, +2sxp, +17sxp
-3sxp, +25sxp, +24sxp, +19sxp
+26tp, -17tp, +13tpo
-14, -17tp, +2, +25tp, +20tp
+26tp, -17qp, +26tp
-4tp, +19sxp, +26sxp, +20
+4, -19sxp, -26sxp, +20, +16sxp
+17sxp, -20tp, +26sxp, +22sxp
Qualification Swiss Final Standings
Qualified for Knockout
4/4 Mark Avery
4/4 Paddy Chapman
4/4 Robert Fulford
4/4 Samir Patel
4/5 Christian Carter
4/5 Reg Bamford
4/6 Robin Brown
4/6 Sam Murray
4/7 Alain Giraud
4/7 David Maugham
4/7 Harry Fisher
4/7 Jamie Burch
4/7 Stephen Mulliner
4/8 James Death
4/8 Joel Taylor
4/8 Nigel Polhill
4/8 Pete Trimmer
Not Qualified for Knockout
3/9 Gabrielle Higgins
3/8 James Hopgood
3/8 Mark Suter
2/7 Andrew Hobbs
2/7 Dominic Nunns
2/7 Jeff Dawson
2/7 Robert Wilkinson
1/6 Chris O'Byrne
1/6 Mark Ormerod
0/5 Martin Murray
Swiss 1. Reg Bamford beat Martin Murray +17 TP
Swiss 2. Robin Brown beat Robert Wilkinson +6 TP
Swiss 3. Jamie Burch lost to Paddy Chapman -13 QPO
Swiss 4. Mark Avery beat David Maugham +24 TP
Swiss 5. Christian Carter beat Joel Taylor +13 OTP
Swiss 6. Harry Fisher lost to Pete Trimmer -20 TP
Swiss 7. Robert Fulford beat Gabrielle Higgins +13 TPO
Swiss 8. Alain Giraud lost to Samir Patel -5
Swiss 9. James Hopgood beat Sam Murray +25 TP
Swiss 10. Stephen Mulliner beat Nigel Polhill +24 TP
Swiss 11. Dominic Nunns lost to Mark Suter -25 TP
Swiss 12. Andrew Hobbs beat Mark Ormerod +9
Swiss 13. Jeff Dawson beat James Death +17
Swiss 14. Robert Fulford beat Stephen Mulliner +15 TP
Swiss 15. Robin Brown beat Nigel Polhill +16 TP
Swiss 16. Robert Wilkinson lost to Paddy Chapman -12 TPO
Swiss 17. Chris O'Byrne beat Mark Suter +5
Swiss 18. Dominic Nunns lost to Mark Avery -17 TP
Swiss 19. James Hopgood beat Martin Murray +17 TP
Swiss 20. Harry Fisher lost to Alain Giraud -20 TP
Swiss 21. James Death lost to Reg Bamford -26 SXP
Swiss 22. Christian Carter beat Sam Murray +26 TP
Swiss 23. Joel Taylor beat Pete Trimmer +8 TP
Swiss 24. Mark Ormerod lost to Samir Patel -25
Swiss 25. Jamie Burch beat Jeff Dawson +15
Swiss 26. Andrew Hobbs lost to David Maugham -13
Swiss 27. Robin Brown lost to Paddy Chapman -26 TP
Swiss 28. Mark Avery beat Stephen Mulliner +15 QP
Swiss 29. Harry Fisher beat Robert Wilkinson +13 TPO
Swiss 30. Jamie Burch lost to Sam Murray -20
Swiss 31. Samir Patel beat Christian Carter +15 TP
Swiss 32. Jeff Dawson lost to Mark Ormerod -7
Swiss 33. James Hopgood lost to Robert Fulford -24 QP
Swiss 34. Gabrielle Higgins beat Chris O'Byrne +16
Swiss 35. Mark Suter beat Reg Bamford +20
Swiss 36. James Death beat Joel Taylor +4 TPO
Swiss 37. Martin Murray lost to Alain Giraud -26 TP
Swiss 38. Dominic Nunns lost to Paddy Chapman -24 TP
Swiss 39. Nigel Polhill beat Pete Trimmer +20 TP
Swiss 40. Stephen Mulliner lost to Scratch -0
Swiss 41. David Maugham lost to Robert Fulford -16
Swiss 42. Martin Murray lost to Robert Wilkinson -25 TP
Swiss 43. Christian Carter beat James Hopgood +26 TP
Swiss 44. Reg Bamford beat Harry Fisher +26 SXP
Swiss 45. Alain Giraud beat Mark Suter +5
Swiss 46. Samir Patel beat Robin Brown +13
Swiss 47. Andrew Hobbs lost to Jeff Dawson -16 TP
Swiss 48. Jamie Burch beat Mark Ormerod +2 TP
Swiss 49. Gabrielle Higgins lost to Sam Murray -19 TP
Swiss 50. Mark Avery beat Chris O'Byrne +7 TP
Swiss 51. Nigel Polhill lost to Joel Taylor -9
Swiss 52. James Death beat Pete Trimmer +25 QP
Swiss 53. Gabrielle Higgins lost to David Maugham -26 TP
Swiss 54. Dominic Nunns beat Chris O'Byrne +12
Swiss 55. Andrew Hobbs lost to Harry Fisher -16 TP
Swiss 56. Martin Murray lost to Pete Trimmer -22 TP
Swiss 57. Nigel Polhill beat Robert Wilkinson +17
Swiss 58. Mark Ormerod lost to Stephen Mulliner -14 TPO
Swiss 59. James Death lost to Sam Murray -10 OTP
Swiss 60. Joel Taylor lost to Jamie Burch -20 TP
Swiss 61. Jeff Dawson lost to Robin Brown -10 TPO
Swiss 62. James Hopgood lost to Mark Suter -20 TP
Swiss 63. Christian Carter beat Alain Giraud +26 TP
Swiss 64. Chris O'Byrne lost to Andrew Hobbs -26 TP
Swiss 65. Gabrielle Higgins beat Dominic Nunns +15
Swiss 66. David Maugham beat Joel Taylor +14
Swiss 67. Reg Bamford beat Jamie Burch +17 SXP
Swiss 68. James Death lost to Harry Fisher -17
Swiss 69. Sam Murray beat Alain Giraud +8 TPO
Swiss 70. Robin Brown beat Mark Suter +20 TP
Swiss 71. Robert Wilkinson beat Mark Ormerod +22 TP
Swiss 72. Stephen Mulliner beat Pete Trimmer +19 TP
Swiss 73. James Hopgood beat Nigel Polhill +5 (23-18)(t)
Swiss 74. Chris O'Byrne lost to James Death -17 QP
Swiss 75. Andrew Hobbs lost to Jamie Burch -24 TP
Swiss 76. Jeff Dawson lost to Harry Fisher -26 TP
Swiss 77. Dominic Nunns beat Robert Wilkinson +13 TPO
Swiss 78. Gabrielle Higgins lost to Joel Taylor -12
Swiss 79. David Maugham lost to Stephen Mulliner -23
Swiss 80. Gabrielle Higgins beat Andrew Hobbs +17
Swiss 81. Pete Trimmer beat Dominic Nunns +14 OTP
Swiss 82. David Maugham beat Mark Suter +8 TP
Swiss 83. Jeff Dawson lost to Nigel Polhill -16 TP
Swiss 84. James Hopgood lost to Alain Giraud -99
Swiss 85. James Death beat Mark Suter +11 TPO
Swiss 86. Gabrielle Higgins lost to Pete Trimmer -9 TPO
Swiss 87. Joel Taylor beat James Hopgood +3 TPO
Swiss 88. Nigel Polhill beat Gabrielle Higgins +19 TP
The draw for the first four rounds of the qualification stage was as follows:
|Grade||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||AOG|
|Mark Avery||2477||David Maugham||Dominic Nunns||Stephen Mulliner||Chris O'Byrne||2310.3|
|Reg Bamford||2674||Martin Murray||James Death||Mark Suter||Harry Fisher||2315.5|
|Robin Brown||2291||Robert Wilkinson||Nigel Polhill||Paddy Chapman||Samir Patel||2326.0|
|Jamie Burch||2523||Paddy Chapman||Jeff Dawson||Sam Murray||Mark Ormerod||2322.5|
|Christian Carter||2426||Joel Taylor||Sam Murray||Samir Patel||James Hopgood||2322.0|
|Paddy Chapman||2624||Jamie Burch||Robert Wilkinson||Robin Brown||Dominic Nunns||2319.8|
|Jeff Dawson||2151||James Death||Jamie Burch||Mark Ormerod||Andrew Hobbs||2326.0|
|James Death||2527||Jeff Dawson||Reg Bamford||Joel Taylor||Pete Trimmer||2318.8|
|Harry Fisher||2521||Pete Trimmer||Alain Giraud||Robert Wilkinson||Reg Bamford||2333.5|
|Robert Fulford||2725||Gabrielle Higgins||Stephen Mulliner||James Hopgood||David Maugham||2323.8|
|Alain Giraud||2331||Samir Patel||Harry Fisher||Martin Murray||Mark Suter||2319.3|
|Gabrielle Higgins||2080||Robert Fulford||Chris O'Byrne||David Maugham||Sam Murray||2325.0|
|Andrew Hobbs||2023||Mark Ormerod||David Maugham||Stephen Mulliner||Jeff Dawson||2326.5|
|James Hopgood||2291||Sam Murray||Martin Murray||Robert Fulford||Christian Carter||2325.8|
|David Maugham||2389||Mark Avery||Andrew Hobbs||Gabrielle Higgins||Robert Fulford||2326.3|
|Stephen Mulliner||2535||Nigel Polhill||Robert Fulford||Andrew Hobbs||Mark Avery||2328.3|
|Martin Murray||1868||Reg Bamford||James Hopgood||Alain Giraud||Robert Wilkinson||2336.5|
|Sam Murray||2284||James Hopgood||Christian Carter||Jamie Burch||Gabrielle Higgins||2330.0|
|Dominic Nunns||2415||Mark Suter||Mark Avery||Chris O'Byrne||Paddy Chapman||2337.3|
|Chris O'Byrne||1902||Mark Suter||Gabrielle Higgins||Dominic Nunns||Mark Avery||2329.5|
|Mark Ormerod||2231||Andrew Hobbs||Samir Patel||Jeff Dawson||Jamie Burch||2309.8|
|Samir Patel||2542||Alain Giraud||Mark Ormerod||Christian Carter||Robin Brown||2319.8|
|Nigel Polhill||2088||Stephen Mulliner||Robin Brown||Pete Trimmer||Joel Taylor||2319.0|
|Mark Suter||2346||Dominic Nunns||Chris O'Byrne||Reg Bamford||Alain Giraud||2330.5|
|Joel Taylor||2171||Christian Carter||Pete Trimmer||James Death||Nigel Polhill||2330.0|
|Pete Trimmer||2279||Harry Fisher||Joel Taylor||Nigel Polhill||James Death||2326.8|
|Robert Wilkinson||2050||Robin Brown||Paddy Chapman||Harry Fisher||Martin Murray||2326.0|
Jamie Burch won the Association Plate
Association Plate Draw
|Round 1||Quarter-final||Semi-final||Final (Draw)||Winner (Draw)|
Association Plate Process
|Round 1||Quarter-final||Semi-final||Final (Process)||Winner (Process)|
In the playoff, Jamie Burch beat Mark Suter +16sxp, +26sxp
European GC Championships Budleigh 12th to 15th August 2021
Nine further players have been awarded Ranking Places following the expansion of the event to 32 players.
The English squad now comprises;
Stephen Mulliner, Rachel Gee, Richard Bilton, Aston Wade, Euan Burridge and Lionel Tibble.
Congratulations to all and good luck.
Chairman GC Selectors
Hamptworth lost to Church Stretton 2-3
Hamptworth hosted Church Stretton in idea conditions on 2nd July.
The teams were:-Hamptworth: Aston Wade (0), Richard Smith (5) and Nick Beard (20).Church Stretton: John Knowles (4.5), George James (6) and Joe Manifold(11)
The scores were as follows, home team first:-
Aston Wade & Richard Smith beat John Knowles & Joe Manifold +8t
Nick Beard lost to George James -17
Aston Wade beat John Knowles +8
Richard Smith lost to George James -1t
Nick Beard lost to Joe Manifold -15t
Church Stretton won 3-2.
Aston and Richard paired up against John and Joe and immediately Aston went round with his ball to rover leaving John and Joe with the need for a quick response. Unfortunately John set off erratically, used most of the team's bisques, and only got as far as three back. The rest of the game consisted of Richard playing very controlled croquet, Aston hitting in and setting up at will, and Joe hardly getting a look in. Aston and Richard won on time 21-13.
On the other lawn Nick played George and started off well with accurate play. George however made his greater experience show and wound the game up 26-9.
With all to play for in the afternoon, Aston played John and carried on where he left off with a big break. John was able to hit back with a good break of his own but when Aston got back in he went through the hoops with his second ball leaving John with too much to do. Aston won 26-18 and it was an absolute pleasure to watch. What a player.
Meanwhile Joe was playing an astute game against Nick. He pulled ahead early on and Nick was unable to get a good break going meaning that Joe's lead slowly increased. Joe won 19-4 on time leaving the match finely balanced.
Richard pulled in front of George in the third game and remained there until there were a few minutes to go. George then managed to peel both balls through consecutive hoops right at the end to pull off a 16-15 win on time securing the match for Church Stretton.
As Church Stretton captain, I would like to put on record what a pleasure it was to play at Hamptworth and particularly the wonderful sportsmanship of our hosts.
Long Eaton Park lost to Broadwas 2-4
Long Eaton was the venue for the long-awaited Midlands GC Federations Shield match between Broadwas (winners of the West Midlands) and Long Eaton (winners of the East Midlands). Both clubs qualified from Level Play leagues but, here, were playing handicapped; Long Eaton having the free turns but not accustomed to that benefit.
Chris Jackson (2) and Stephanie White (7) played very well in the doubles beating Stuart Smith (0) and Fran Wall (5) by 7-6 and 7-5 but both the morning singles went to Broadwas with Howard Freeman (8) beating John Skuse (8) 7-5, 7-2 and late call-up (due to a Covid ping) Barry Kirby (6) overcoming Carol Warren (10) by 7-3, 5-7, 7-6. Lunch at 2-1 to Broadwas.
In the afternoon singles Stuart won 7-6, 7-3 against Chris, Fran and Stephanie left it unfinished at 7-6, 3-7, Barry lost to Joan 3-7, 7-3, 5-7 but Howard continued his winning streak 7-6, 7-5 against Carol.
With new friendships made, compliments all round, thanks to the hosts and a rain-free day it was home in time for tea! Next stop - Sussex!
Letchworth beat Watford 4-3
Letchworth names first,
George Woolhouse 3.5 and John Hall 12 lost too John Smallburgh 3.5 and Robin Barry 9 -5T
David Mathews 3.5 lost too Adam Huby 8 -12
Colin Davies 7 beat Mark Homan 5 +14
George Woolhouse 3.5 lost too John Smallbone 3.5 -14
David Mathews 3.5 beat Mark Homan 5 +6
Colin Davies 7 beat Adam Huby 8 +6T
John Hall 12 beat Robin Barry 9 +14
James Death and Samir Patel won the Association Croquet Open Doubles Championship
Winners: James Death & Samir Patel
Runners Up: Reg Bamford & Peter Trimmer
Winners: Mark Avery & Jamie Burch
Runners Up: David Maugham & Sam Murray
The Championship Draw is shown below; results for all events are listed below and can also be found on Croquet Scores.
|Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner||
Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner
Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner
Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer
James Death & Samir Patel
|Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson|
|Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish|
Christian Carter & Mark Suter
|Christian Carter & Mark Suter|
|Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud||
Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud
Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer
|Jeff Dawson & Mike Town|
|George Noble & Ian Vincent|
Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer
|Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer|
|Mark Avery & Jamie Burch||
Mark Avery & Jamie Burch
Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns
James Death & Samir Patel
|Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell|
|Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill|
Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns
|Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns|
|David Maugham & Sam Murray|
James Death & Samir Patel
|Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge|
James Death & Samir Patel
|James Death & Samir Patel|
2021-07 Open Championships - Doubles - Exported at 06-Jul-2021 08:04
Championship 10/11 James Death & Samir Patel
Championship 8/11 Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer
Championship 3/5 Christian Carter & Mark Suter
Championship 4/7 Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns
Championship 2/4 Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud
Championship 2/4 Mark Avery & Jamie Burch
Championship 4/8 Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner
Championship 0/2 Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill
Championship 0/2 David Maugham & Sam Murray
Championship 0/2 Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge
Championship 0/2 Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish
Championship 0/2 George Noble & Ian Vincent
Championship 0/2 Jeff Dawson & Mike Town
Championship 0/2 Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson
Championship 0/2 Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell
Draw 2/2 David Maugham & Sam Murray
Draw 2/2 Mark Avery & Jamie Burch
Draw 2/3 Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill
Draw 1/2 Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish
Draw 1/2 Jeff Dawson & Mike Town
Draw 0/1 Christian Carter & Mark Suter
Draw 0/1 Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge
Draw 0/1 George Noble & Ian Vincent
Draw 0/1 Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson
Draw 0/1 Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell
Process 2/2 David Maugham & Sam Murray
Process 2/2 Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud
Process 1/2 Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill
Process 1/2 Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge
Process 1/2 Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell
Process 0/1 Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish
Process 0/1 George Noble & Ian Vincent
Process 0/1 Jeff Dawson & Mike Town
Process 0/1 Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson
Z 2/2 Christian Carter & Mark Suter
Z 2/2 Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish
Z 1/1 Mark Ormerod & Mike Town (Z)
Z 1/1 Sam Murray & James Hopgood (Z)
Z 1/2 Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge
Z 0/1 Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud
Z 1/4 Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson
Z 0/1 Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell
Z 0/1 Paddy Chapman & Philip Eardley (Z)
Z 0/1 Philip Eardley & Alain Giraud (Z)
Plate 3/3 Mark Avery & Jamie Burch
Plate 0/1 Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud
Plate 0/2 David Maugham & Sam Murray
Championship 1. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner beat Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson +19 TP(C)
Championship 2. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner beat Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson +25 TP(C)
Championship 3. Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish lost to Christian Carter & Mark Suter -7 TP(S)
Championship 4. Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish lost to Christian Carter & Mark Suter -17 TP(C)
Championship 5. Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud beat Jeff Dawson & Mike Town +14
Championship 6. Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud beat Jeff Dawson & Mike Town +1
Championship 7. George Noble & Ian Vincent lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -17 STP(B)
Championship 8. George Noble & Ian Vincent lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -22
Championship 9. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell +26 TP(A)
Championship 10. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell +26 TP(A)
Championship 11. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill lost to Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns -16 TP(N)
Championship 12. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill lost to Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns -3
Championship 13. Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge lost to James Death & Samir Patel -19
Championship 14. Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge lost to James Death & Samir Patel -11 TP(ASD)
Championship 15. David Maugham & Sam Murray lost to James Death & Samir Patel -26
Championship 16. David Maugham & Sam Murray lost to James Death & Samir Patel -7
Championship 17. Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -7 TPO(ASD)
Championship 18. Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -12 TP(ASD)
Championship 19. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner beat Christian Carter & Mark Suter +16 TP(M)
Championship 20. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner lost to Christian Carter & Mark Suter -18 TP(C)
Championship 21. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner beat Christian Carter & Mark Suter +26 TP(C)
Championship 22. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch lost to Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns -26 TP(N)
Championship 23. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch lost to Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns -8 TP(N)
Championship 24. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -19
Championship 25. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -15 SXP(B)
Championship 26. Paddy Chapman & Stephen Mulliner lost to Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer -9
Championship 27. Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns lost to James Death & Samir Patel -17
Championship 28. Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns lost to James Death & Samir Patel -4
Championship 29. Philip Eardley & Dominic Nunns lost to James Death & Samir Patel -23 TP(P)
Championship 30. Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer beat James Death & Samir Patel +20 TP(ASD)
Championship 31. Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer lost to James Death & Samir Patel -18 TP(ASD)
Championship 32. Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer lost to James Death & Samir Patel -4 OTP(ASD)
Championship 33. Reg Bamford & Pete Trimmer lost to James Death & Samir Patel -20 QP(ASD)
Draw 1. Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson lost to Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish -26 TP(ASD)
Draw 2. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill beat Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell +9
Draw 3. Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish lost to Mark Avery & Jamie Burch -17 TP(ASD)
Draw 4. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill beat Christian Carter & Mark Suter +19
Draw 5. Jeff Dawson & Mike Town beat George Noble & Ian Vincent +17 TP(D)
Draw 6. David Maugham & Sam Murray beat Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge +17
Draw 7. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat Jeff Dawson & Mike Town +17 TP(ASD)
Draw 8. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill lost to David Maugham & Sam Murray -25 TP(DM)
Process 1. George Noble & Ian Vincent lost to Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge -2
Process 2. Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge lost to Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud -13
Process 3. Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish lost to Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill -26 TP(ASD)
Process 4. Jeff Dawson & Mike Town lost to David Maugham & Sam Murray -6
Process 5. Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson lost to Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell -26
Process 6. Alison Maugham & Nigel Polhill lost to Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud -23 TP(ASD)
Process 7. David Maugham & Sam Murray beat Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell +13
Z 1. Mark Ormerod & Tim Russell lost to Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson -11 QPO(ASD)
Z 2. Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish beat Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge +15
Z 3. Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson lost to Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge -17
Z 4. Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson lost to Gabrielle Higgins & Nick Parish -17
Z 5. Paddy Chapman & Philip Eardley (Z) lost to Christian Carter & Mark Suter -13
Z 6. Mark Ormerod & Mike Town (Z) beat Philip Eardley & Alain Giraud (Z) +14
Z 7. Joel Taylor & Robert Wilkinson lost to Christian Carter & Mark Suter -20 TP(ASD)
Z 8. Sam Murray & James Hopgood (Z) beat Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud +12 TP(M)
Plate 1. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat Harry Fisher & Alain Giraud +26 TP(ASD)
Plate 2. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat David Maugham & Sam Murray +14 OTP(M)
Plate 3. Mark Avery & Jamie Burch beat David Maugham & Sam Murray +24 TP(B)
Roehampton lost to Surbiton 2-4
Peter Siddall lost to Sam Murray -25tp
Tim Russell lost to Nick Parish -26
Peter Siddall lost to Nick Parish -26
Tim Russell beat Sam Murray +2
Mark van Loon beat Samir Patel +16tp
Harry Fisher lost to Stephen Mulliner -17tp
James Death won East Midlands Championship
James Death won the East Midlands Championship, which was held at Nottingham from 25th to 27th June. He beat Ian Lines in the final of the Draw, to reach a play-off against Jonathan Kirby, who beat Paddy Chapman in the final of the Process. James won the play-off +17tp +26tp, having completed three sextuples on the first day.
The plate was won by Alain Giraud.
Camerton & Peasedown lost to High Wycombe 3-4
Chester beat Nailsea 4-1
Chester 4 - 1 Nailsea
The results (Chester names first) were as follows:
David Boyd (6) & Paul Watson(9) lost to Graham McCausland (10) & Jon Knowler (12) 12-26
Brian Walton (8) beat Tony Hinchliffe (8) 26-10
David beat Tony 26-13
Brian beat Graham 26-22
Paul beat Jon 26-12
The match was played at Edgbaston to whom we thank for their hospitality and well-prepared lawns.
Selection for CA v SCA
The following have been selected for the CA v SCA match, to be played on the 28th-29th August at York Croquet Club.
Reserve: Roger Staples
Chairman of AC Selectors
Reg Bamford and Richard Bilton won the GC Open Doubles Championship
The GC Open Doubles had had the ideal number of 32 entries for a while, before different reasons meant that some had to withdraw prior to the event. Some new entries allowed the event to return to that ideal size. With 32 players, the initial stage consisted of two blocks of 8 pairs, played on the first day. The top four pairs from each block progressed to the knockout, while the bottom four played in the plate.
The new partnership of Reg Bamford and Richard Bilton started the event as top seeds after their original partners had to withdraw, and they decided to play together. This meant that the next two teams of John-Paul Moberly & Will Gee and Rachel Gee & Ian Burridge, whose average grades were significantly higher than those seeded fourth, were now drawn into the same block.
Sussex County Croquet Club were incredibly welcoming as usual and put lots of effort into the facilities and conditions for the Open Championships. They had unfortunately, but understandably, taken the decision to not open the bar, but were still able to provide superb catering throughout the week, aided by their new barbeque.
The manager sent out the blocks and order of play to the players in advance, as well as the lawns for the first round, but upon arriving at the club on the first morning, there were already problems - it had rained heavily for most of the previous day and some of the lawns had not drained in time, so the manager and club decided to use some different lawns and some secondary colour balls for the first few rounds.
The top two pairs in each block played in the morning, and in block B, that match was tough to call, but Gee & Burridge took it comfortably 7-3, leaving Moberly & Gee on just one win out of three before lunch. The same match in block A was rather more straightforward with Bamford & Bilton leading Tibble & Wade 6-0. Tibble ran an angled hoop 7 to save being whitewashed, but the pair lost the game at the following hoop.
Starting to emerge as one of the stronger pairs was Ryan Cabble and Louise Smith as they quietly but impressively beat a lot of the other pairs in their block. Round 5 saw not only the first, but two games won 7-0 as Moberly & Gee beat Richard Brooks & Morgan Case and Tibble & Wade beat Keith Pound & Ian Shore. The following round saw the number 3s beat the number 1s in both blocks, with Stuart M Smith & Stephen Leonard beating Bamford and Bilton - their first loss, and Euan Burridge & Callum Johnson taking out Moberly & Gee.
Gee & Burridge were undefeated going into the last round of the block, but couldn't finish the day with that feat, having lost to the in-form Cabble & Smith 7-6. Bamford & Bilton finished the block with the unusual result of winning alternate games 7-1, with games 2, 4 and 6 going past hoop 8. Block A finished with 4 clear qualifying pairs for the knockout; block B however, finished with 3 pairs tied on 4 wins for 2 places. Burridge & Johnson were unfortunate as their net hoop score was 5 below that of Simon Carter & Peter Haydon in fourth. Moberly & Gee finished in third.
The knockout consisted of three rounds of best-of-three matches. The top pair in each block played the number 4 in the other block, and the number 2s played the number 3s. Bamford & Bilton had a battle against Carter & Haydon, as did Gee & Burridge against Ben Harwood & Mark Hamilton, although in both cases, the favourites won 2-0. The other two matches both went to three games - the B2 pair (Cabble & Smith) came through against Liz Farrow & Jonathan Isaacs. Smith had a 30 minute purple patch in game 2 in which he hit everything, allowing him and Leonard to take that game, and although finishing second in their block (as opposed to third) lost the match to 'ranking' favourites Moberly & Gee.
It was again hard to predict a winner of the semi-final match between Moberly & Gee and Gee & Burridge, even though the latter had won their block match. Moberly & Gee turned the tables and won the first game 7-4, and the next game was even closer, but after their opponents missed a chance to run hoop 13, they were able to win the match 2-0. The other semi-final appeared on paper to be more straightforward, but it was just as much of a contest and even finished after the others as Cabble and Smith continued with their strong game plan and solid shooting. But still Bamford and Bilton were able to win 7-5, 7-5.
Based on both pair's form coming into the final, Bamford & Bilton were probably slight favourites, but the match would likely be decided by which side had the momentum the longest and who made the fewest unforced errors. Both teams' form had fluctuated during the blocks and both had improved during the knockout. There are plenty of lawns at Southwick so every match in the knockout could be played on a different lawn - both pairs had played on the final lawn already, but on the previous day.
Moberly & Gee won the toss and Moberly played B into position at hoop 1, R and K followed, and Bamford shot at B with Y, clipping it to the side of the hoop. B moved R to the South boundary and from there Bilton ran hoop 1 to 6' West of hoop 2. Capitalising on an opponent's miss, Bamford ran hoop 2, and later had an angled jump shot for a 3-0 lead, but it was rejected. For a few rotations at hoop 6 and 7, R and K were hampering each other and declined to give an advantage. While B and Y played for hoop 7, R tried to create an angle to get to hoop 8 off K, but before that played North of hoop 6, which was declared a fault but not replaced. From there, both sides contested each hoop quite closely, but with Bamford and Bilton having the edge and taking the first game 7-4.
By this time, the 'RBs' were confident in their tactics and of the form difference over their opponents. They had control of most hoops, forcing Moberly & Gee into constant clearing to stay in contention for each. Perhaps the shot of the final was at hoop 7 in game 2 - after Y ran hoop 6, B played into 4 yard straight position, R played to 2' straight in front, K played across from the opposite penalty area, and Bamford played a signature 7 yard 90° block right in front of B, leaving only a rush of B onto Y to R, which misses. After this, Moberly & Gee didn't have enough answers to how Bamford & Bilton were playing. They made the game close, but Bilton was left a 4 yard hoop 12, which he ran for a 2-0 victory.
After beating Farrow & Isaacs and Harwood & Hamilton respectively, Smith & Leonard beat Carter & Haydon in a close 10-9 match for the Shield. The Plate followed the same knockout format with playoffs. Michael Bilton & Michelle Leonard found some rhythm in closely beating Burridge & Johnson 10-9, and Sue Lightbody & Jonathan Claxton 10-4 to reach the plate final. After being second seeds in their block and surprisingly not qualifying for the knockout, Tibble & Wade settled down on day 2 and overcame Neil & Jane Humphreys 10-3 and Brooks & Case 10-5. They then went on to beat Bilton & Leonard 7-4, 7-3.
All results are available on Croquet Scores.
Dennis Scarr won the Middlesborough B-Level AC Tournament
For our twelfth B-level in Albert Park we had just eight competitors, two from the home club and six from Tyneside, Bury and Keswick. Handicaps ranged from 1 to 4.5. Time-limits were 2¼ hrs. A single block, round-robin, was 6/7th completed.
Three rounds on the first day and another three on Sunday produced the following results:
Dennis Scarr beat Errington, Hall, Staples, Jones, Vernazza
Anthony Miller beat Errington, Hall, Jones, Skelton, Vernazza
Stephen Skelton beat Staples, Jones, Scarr
Ian Hall beat Errington, Jones, Vernazza
Terry Vernazza beat Staples, Jones, Skelton
Roger Staples beat, Hall, Miller
Phil Errington beat Staples, Skelton
Ken Jones beat Errington
Given that a number of players faced long journeys home it was decided not to play the 7th round. Final positions were calculated on wins followed by total hoops..
Dennis Scarr accrued 152 points to Anthony Miller's 145; so an extremely close result!
Round 1 Round 4
Hall bat Errington 26-12 Jones bt Errington 22-15
Miller bt Vernazza 25-22 Scarr bt Staples 26-16
Skelton bt Staples 25-12 Miller bt Skelton 26-13
Scarr bt Jones 26-4 Hall bt Vernazza 22-11
Round 2 Round 5
Miller bt Errington 26-24 Scarr bt Errington 26-9
Staples bt Hall 26-18 Skelton bt Jones 16-8
Vernazza bt Jones 23-19 Vernazza bt Staples 20-17
Skelton bt Scarr 23-22 Miller bt Hall 26-17
Round 3 Round 6
Errington bt Staples 26-16 Errington bt Skelton 23-13
Miller bt Jones 26-8 Scarr bt Vernazza 26-7
Scarr bt Hall 26-2 Hall bt Jones 25-14
Vernazza bt Skelton 19-18 Staples bt Miller 26-17
Sue Nicholas won the Guildford & Godalming GC C-Level Tournament
A field of 12 formed two blocks of six to compete for the MaD Cup, a C level tournament held at Guildford and Godalming on Saturday 26 June. The weather was kind to us so play was in proper 'summer conditions'.
The handicaps ranged from two players on 6 to some on 11. With level play and no extra turns there were some unexpected upsets during the morning.
However the two lowest handicapped players, Mark Green (Roehampton) and Sue Nicholas (Cheam) won through their blocks to fight it out for the top spot. Sue took the trophy by winning 7-5.
Lynn Edge (GGCC), a player returning from a long absence came through to beat Paul Brown (Sussex) 7-6 and claim the third place.
Thanks to all those who competed and to our 'caterer for the day', Roseann Sullivan who kept the contestants well fed with a delicious lunch.
Nottingham lost to Bowdon 1-6
Euan Burridge & Ian Burridge
John-Paul Moberly & Angharrad Walters
Roehampton lost to Cheam 2-5
Roehampton hosted Cheam in an exciting and surprisingly dry Murphy Shield match on 28 June. Cheam led 3-0 after the morning singles and doubles. Roehampton raised their game after lunch to take two of the afternoon singles. But Cheam managed to take the other two to run out 5-2 winners and set up a QF against Guildford and Godalming. Visiting Roehampton is always a huge privilege, both for the immaculate lawns and the warm, friendly hosts. A big thank you from the Cheam contingent.
1 Hughes Beryl beat Tumath Mike 7 5 4 5
2 Hughes Beryl beat Tumath Mike 7 3 4 5
3 Maddocks Brian beat Wilkinson Anne 7 2 4 6
4 Maddocks Brian beat Wilkinson Anne 7 2 4 6
5 Rees Ian beat Pearson John 7 4 3 2
6 Rees Ian beat Pearson John 7 3 3 2
7 Halton Nicholas beat Cook Robert 7 4 3 3
8 Halton Nicholas beat Cook Robert 7 5 3 3
9 Maddocks Brian beat Tumath Mike 7 6 4 5
10 Tumath Mike beat Maddocks Brian 6 7 5 4
11 Maddocks Brian beat Tumath Mike 7 2 4 5
12 Wilkinson Anne beat Hughes Beryl 7 4 6 4
13 Wilkinson Anne beat Hughes Beryl 7 5 6 4
U25s croquet summer improvers Wrest Park 24th and 25th August
Calling all under 25 year old players. If you're looking to improve either GC or AC or both and whatever your current standard is, then this 2 day course is for you. Please contact Lionel Tibble on anglion#btinternet.com to register your attendance. Alternatively register via the CA website fixtures page, go to event information for more details.
Mens & Womens Championship
Prize Winners from the Mens and Womens Championship (Photo: Robert Wilkinson)by James Death at Cheltenham [^]
20 Jun 2021 (AC - Championships)
The Mens and Womens Championship started on Wednesday 16th June with the mixed doubles. It was the largest field for a long time with 12 pairs. Format was 2 blocks of 6 with top 2 going into a knockout. Sarah Hayes as manager planned to get through 4 rounds of games on the first day but even with time limits of 2hr 45, sufficient games went to time that the 4th round didn't happen as the evening approached.
Thursday and the singles started. Mark Avery was the first to finish a match, done by 11.30. The closest matches in the Mens draw were Burridge/Trimmer & Suter/Giraud. A resurgent Ian Burridge came back from game down, winning the second +1 before running away with the third. Mark Suter also came back from game down with two triples, the second being just +5tp. Avery, having sat around for several hours then had to play Suter in the second round but only finished the first game before stopping for the night.
In the Womens draw, the close early match was Beatrice McGlen against Jane Morrison, Beatrice eventually winning in 3 games.
Friday was quarter final day but the two Mark's being behind restarted at 8.30 to help keep the event on track. Mark Avery winning in three. Managers nightmares started forming as the morning rain turned into flooded lawns by lunch, all lawns were unplayable for several hours. Lawns 4&5 were the first to recover, followed by 1. On 4 James Death finished his match against Jamie Burch and Sarah Hayes beat Wendy Wu on 5. Several doubles games went on at about 5.30 with several players clock watching before the England football match at 8. One game was pegged down due to the agreed leave to watch the match.
On Saturday Harry Fisher resumed 1-1 against Ian Burridge and finished him off by 11 o'clock. Paddy Chapman finished his match against Christian Carter and Stephen Mulliner beat Mark Avery having had all of Friday off due to waiting for an opponent and then the flood. Chapman and Mulliner then played their semi final and traded triple peels in the first two games. In the third Paddy did a qpo and pegged two out with a large lead. After some cat and mouse Stephen hit while for hoop 3 and finished on a 10 hoop break. In the other semi final James Death was in control against Harry Fisher and won 2-0.
In the womens semi finals Gabrielle Higgins was ruthless against Lorna Dewar winning +26 +26, Sarah Hayes beat a tiring Beatrice after a close first game. This was after Beatrice had come through a close match against Alison Maugham. The pegged down doubles went back on and Omied Hallam and Heather Bennett beat Mark Suter and Sarah Hayes, meaning Mark and Sarah had to play their last block game against Alain Giraud and Annabel McDiarmid to resolve the block starting at 7.30pm. A quick triple from Mark was enough to qualify for the semi finals top of their block.
Sunday morning and the tournament had doubles semi finals and singles finals to go. Doubles semi finals started at 9am, Death and McGlen beat the Maughams playing alternate shot. Dave and Alison finishing one break passing their son to each other while playing each stroke. In the other game Gabrielle and Christian had a chance to win but the pegout was missed from about 5 yards. This allowed Suter and Hayes back in and eventually won +1.
Singles finals followed starting at about 11am, Gabrielle and Sarah both played well but Gabrielle hit more and ran out a comfortable winner. James and Stephen had an exciting final, a quick quad from James in the first, a triple to Stephen in the second. In the decider James went to 1back second turn, Stephen failed 1 third turn and James had a 6 yard shot for a potential sextuple fourth turn but missed. Stephen laid for a sextuple of his own but the break slowly disintegrated and he broke down at 1 back and 3 back. James failed to punish the error and Stephen progressed to 4 back and peg. James hit what would have been his last shot and started a sextuple of his own. Only 3 peels done and he pegged Stephen out leaving 4back and peg against 4back. Stephen forgot his contact and missed his lift and the following 40yard shot he was given before James finished with a turn that had an equal number of poor shots and extravagant shots to rescue it, only scattering the crowd twice!
In the Du Pre plate knockout Robin Brown beat Pete Trimmer in the final.
The initial prizegiving was then done, where David & Eileen Magee got a lot of thanking for the endless number of tasks they did to help the event run in the background. They were seen always smiling, and Julia Lowery who entered all the results in croquet scores. Then the mixed doubles final took place. Beatrice got round after a couple of false starts, James then got in and played a perfect cannon to 1 and 2 but failed the hoop badly. Sarah got round and with the lift missed, Mark made no mistake with a triple peel to retain the mixed doubles title.
Full results are at https://croquetscores.com/2021/ac/mens-womens-and-mixed-doubles including commentary from the singles finals by Joel Taylor
Rachel Gee won the GC Women's Open Championship
Judith Rowe (plate) & Rachel Gee (Cup) winners, GC Women's Open Championship 2021 (Photo: Frances Colman)by Frances Colman at Nottingham [^]
28th June (GC - Championships)
Rachel Gee wins the newly styled GC Women's Open Championship (11-14 June)
Rachel Gee won the first edition of the newly styled Golf Croquet Women's Open Championship, now awarded the high Grade 2 Championship status by the CA.
She started as red hot favourite, of course, and didn't disappoint, running through the three-day tournament without dropping a game, to further extend her already remarkable unbeaten record of 30 ranking games, coming into this Championship.
Some late withdrawals taxed the management's skill in sticking to the stated aim of replicating the British Open Championship as far as possible, with a full 'best of three games' format throughout, whilst a quality field, that included Scotland international Lorna Dewar and former MacRobertson Shield (AC World Team Championship) player Debbie Lines, remained impressive for this inaugural event.
Multiple revisions of the playing format were planned as the participation numbers fluctuated (with disappointing 10 withdrawals in total) and finally a 'two blocks of seven players' arrangement for the reduced field of 14 was scheduled, with x-games provided for those with long sit-outs that unpredictable 'best of threes' inevitably provide.
The Blocks, Day 1
The first round of the block games pitted Gee (Ashby, handicap -4) versus her mother Judith Rowe (Ashby, 7), and although the former Women's World Champion took that unusual challenge easily in her stride, the four hops that Judith did score had the distinction of being the most that her daughter conceded all tournament!
Celest Gee (Ealing,8) succumbed to an existing ankle injury after one match and her withdrawal reduced the Red block to six but did little to move things along as the early two game matches gave way to a string that went to a third game decider.
It seemed that Michelle Leonard (Winterborne Valley, 3) was involved in most of these while Rowe had the longest waits on a tough opening day that saw four rounds completed, but not until 19.15.
Sophie McGlen (Nottingham, 2) had the shot of the day that really must be recorded at this point for the sake of the feat, made all the more remarkable because it was achieved in only her seventh ever GC match.
She scored hoop 5 with a jump (not an overused skill in her more familiar AC career), managed somehow to miss the centre peg (which was correctly positioned [we checked]) and also ran hoop 6!
Sophie had only entered this Championship thanks to a lucky conversation at the Mary Rose Final (where she was pictured in a bobble hat for the front page of the last Gazette), and hasty AC to GC learning exercise at Phyllis Court with Frances Colman and Chris Roberts three weeks before this tournament, had revealed that this very straight hitter could go far in this as yet unfamiliar game.
The Blocks Day 2 - Clear winners but a scramble for the other qualifying places
Cathy Turski (Nottingham, 4) was another injury drop-out on the morning of day 2, by the end of which, it was clear that the Day 1 whip cracking by manager Colman had been a wise move, when both blocks needed play-offs to determine one third and two fourth placed qualifiers for the championship knock-out on Day 3.
Gee qualified with ease from the blue block undefeated, along with Leonard who did it the hard way by going to a deciding game in three matches, while Andrea Huxley (Guildford, 1), Ann Brookes (Colchester,1) and surprise package Lynne Pearcy (Roehampton, 2) had to play-off for the remaining two places.
The Red block was rather more straight forward, with Dewar (unattached, -1) mirroring Gee's undefeated show, topping the table to qualify along with Lines (unattached, -1) and Glynnis Davies (Northampton, 3) both on three match wins.
Davies had done well to beat the seedings to finish in second place on net hoops and Jane Pringle (Aukland,1) was unfortunate to go into the play-off for the fourth qualifying place after recoding an upset win over Lines.
The Red block play-off pitted McGlen against Pringle, and just like their deciding block game, it went to the 13th hoop with the former looking for a repeat of the earlier result, and she achieved it after a degree interactive drama.
Meanwhile, the Blue block had three players chasing two places and Pearcy sneaked past Brookes 7-6 to claim the first one, before Brookes then had to beat Huxley twice, 7-4, 7-4 to claim the other.
Huxley had carried an injury all tournament and deserves much praise for soldering on to this point before understandably calling it a day.
The Plate Final - Manning v Rowe
A full 'best of three games' match was very well contested between the only other players left standing and was very well contested between Marian Manning and Judith Rowe who had both grown in confidence as the tournament had progressed
Rowe took the first game 7-3 and Manning reversed that score line in game 2 to set up a deciding game after lunch which Rowe took 7- 5, winning the plate and a deserved handicap reduction to 6.
Quarter and semi-finals
Gee brushed aside McGlen 7-1, 7-3 but Leonard took three games (of course) to defeat Davies who had had a super tournament 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 as did Leonard who reduced her handicap from 3 to 2.
Dewar survived a real scare when she dropped her first game to Brookes and went to hoop 13 in the second game before recovering to get home 5-7, 7-6, 7-5.
The shock result was in the Pearcy v Lines tie however when the former scored a terrific 7-1 first game to establish a momentum and then followed that with a close 7-6 win.
Pearce took this confidence into her semi with Gee, was cock-a-hoop to have got that far and enjoyed the experience for playing Gee, despite the 7-4, 7-2 score lines.
Dewar recovered from her tough quarter and despatched the understandably tired Leonard 7-4, 7-3.
The Final - Gee v Dewar
The remaining players chose not to pursue the bowl event (for positions 5 to 8) beyond its semi-final stage or to play the 3rd/4th play-off match, but instead settle back to watch the Championship Final which, thanks to Dewar's qualification now had an international flavour.
Dewar contested most of the hoops but was let down by her scoring strokes, which was a shame given that she had looked so assured throughout the tournament.
On the other hand, Gee was machine like and she punished Dewar's errors savagely on her way to a 7-2, 7-2 victory.
The presentations were of course a 'Family Affair', with the silverware, a brand-new cup and plate, going to daughter and mother respectively, and proceedings ended with a plea form manager Frances Colman and winner Rachel Gee, to make this tournament grow by 'selling it' to all competitive women players.
See you all a Surbiton for the 2022 Women's GC Championship.
18 year old Aston Wade is the new Open GC Champion
Aston Wade won the GC Open Championship (Photo: Samir Patel)by Stephen Mulliner at Sussex County Croquet Club [^]
28th June (GC - Championships)
Sussex County CC again played host to the GC Open and provided courts in the now-expected excellent condition despite having heavy rainfall in the preceding days. The pandemic was no doubt to blame for the fact that the field was three short of the normal 32. However, on the plus side, there were no fewer than eight aged under 30 with Aston Wade and Euan Burridge still in their teens. The players were divided into four all-play-all blocks with the top four qualifying for the knock-out stage. Reg Bamford had missed the 2020 event owing to quarantine restrictions and was back to regain the title that he and Stephen Mulliner had kept to themselves for 20 years despite the best efforts of John-Paul Moberly and others to end the duopoly.
Block A was headed by Bamford and Euan Burridge. Euan took the middle game in their block match and was otherwise undefeated, playing in his usual high-powered style which sometimes led to breaks in play to retrieve lost balls! Jonathan Claxton, a Dulwich member, took up GC in September 2019 and qualified for the knock-out comfortably with an impressive 4/6, including a 2-0 win against the ever-competitive Lionel Tibble, the only other player to take a game off Bamford and became the fourth qualifier.
John-Paul Moberly, the England captain, looked to be in impressive form in Block B which he won undefeated, dropping just one game to Richard Bilton. Richard survived tough battles with Tim Jolliff and Morgan Case and finished second with 4/5 (Robert Clark sadly had had to withdraw with a painful back). Tim Jolliff was a clear third with 3/5 and a play-off led to Andrew Hobbs getting the other qualifying spot.
Block C was won by an undefeated Ian Burridge with Rachel Gee in second place. Stuart Smith had displayed great giant-killing skills in the 2020 block stage but had a tougher time this year but qualified comfortably behind Roehampton's Tim Russell who won four tight matches for third place.
18 year old Aston Wade played his first GC event in August 2020 and stole the show in Block D with six impressive wins with straight hitting, good medium-range hooping and sensible tactics. He calmly recovered from 4-6 and 5-6 down in his games against Stephen Mulliner, who does not often fail to convert such leads. Mulliner also lost to Steve Leonard in three games but ended up with 4/6 and second place with better net games than either Leonard or Ryan Cabble who was making a welcome return to the GC Opens and showing much improved form.
The knock-out stage produced only one semi-surprise in the defeat of an in-form Ian Burridge by the ever-determined Steve Leonard 7-4, 4-7, 7-4. However, Stephen Mulliner and Euan Burridge had to battle over three games to get past Jonathan Claxton and Tim Russell, the latter being a full-value 7-6, 6-7, 7-6 result. The other ties went as expected with Reg Bamford, Richard Bilton, Aston Wade, Rachel Gee and John-Paul Moberly all progressing to the quarter-finals in straight games.
Life became more interesting in the quarter-finals. Richard Bilton at his best is a match for anyone and accounted for Reg Bamford 7-5, 7-5 with a blizzard of 5 yard hoops. Aston Wade is a very well-mannered young man but Rachel Gee might be forgiven for wondering as she was despatched 7-5, 7-0. John-Paul Moberly and Euan Burridge traded high-speed clearances but the England captain always had the edge and won 7-5, 7-3. Stephen Mulliner and Steve Leonard were the last to finish with Mulliner grinding out a 7-5, 5-7, 7-2 victory.
Moberly started his semi-final against Mulliner in awesome shooting form and swiftly won the first 7-4. Mulliner changed styles to respond to the barrage with some success and a precision block from the east boundary at 11 when 5-5 enabled him to take the second game 7-6. Moberly profited from a failed block attempt at 5 in game 3 and went on to lead 6-4. Mulliner took on a boundary shot at 11 and ran it to just short of the peg to get back to 6-5 but just missed the 7 yarder at 12 and John-Paul was through to his fourth final in five years and the Bamford/Mulliner hegemony was finally over.
In the other semi-final, Aston Wade continued to impress by taking the first game against Richard Bilton by a comfortable 7-3. However, Bilton responded by taking a tight second game 7-6 and it was all to play for in the third. Nonetheless, Aston continued his calm and accurate game and took the third 7-4. It was already an extraordinary performance by someone who, albeit with some earlier AC experience, had played his first ranked GC event in August 2020.
If there were any bookies at Southwick, they would have been offering short odds on John-Paul, given his experience, temperament and firepower, being fifth time lucky and finally getting his name on the Open trophy. However, the opponent always has a say!
Game 1 began with John-Paul winning the toss and playing Blue to 4 feet dead in front of hoop 1 but Aston promptly middled the 21 yard clearance. Game on! John-Paul built a 5-3 lead but was pulled back to 5-5 and, after Aston nailed the clearance at 11 with his Yellow ending 4 yards north of 12, John-Paul missed the half-court return and found himself 6-5 down. Aston went for the 7-5 win with Yellow but glued it to the east upright. With John-Paul in good jumping position, Aston's next stroke with Yellow was a very mature play away, leaving the hoop for Blue but ensuring that Yellow could play to 13. John-Paul took 12 but, after Aston had played Red to four yards north of 13, missed twice and Aston ran 13 cleanly to lead 1-0.
John-Paul responded by dominating game 2 almost from start to finish, reaching 5-1 and taking the game 7-3. What now? Aston quickly led 2-0 but John-Paul ran hoop 3 with Blue for 2-1 and stopped 3 yards north of hoop 4. The response from Aston - run hoop 4 from 22 yards for 3-1! The next two hoops were shared and hoop 7 became a battleground with four rotations before it was resolved by successive boundary attempts - with John-Paul failing and Aston succeeding for a 5-2 lead. John-Paul took hoop 8 for 5-3 but Aston always had the upper hand at hoop 9 and eventually ran it smoothly from the boundary for 6-3 and one hand on the trophy, perhaps? But others have failed to convert from this position so what would he do? The answer was simple. John-Paul played Blue to 4 yards south of 10 and Aston took on a 15 yard hoop with Red and ran it, barely touching a wire, for game, match and title! It was an extraordinarily mature and impressive performance by a young player in his first Open Championship when playing one of the best players in the world. Aston's rate of improvement has been simply phenomenal, with his grade rising from 1,650 to 2,358 in less than a year and one can only wonder what might lie ahead. With Aston and Euan Burridge improving so fast, England's prospects for the next Golf Croquet World Team Championship now look distinctly hopeful.
The Bowl was played as a block of six followed by a final in which Lionel Tibble came from behind to defeat Tim Jolliff 5-7, 7-6, 7-5. Richard Brooks won the Plate final with a 7-3, 2-7, 7-3 victory over Robin Wootton.
Southwick's welcome and catering was as good as the courts and warmly acknowledged by the players and spectators.
National Veterans Tournament - Budleigh Salterton 2021
The tournament started on Monday 21st June, the summer equinox and longest day. A long day it certainly was for the competitors. The initial two pairs played to go forward to the main X & Y Knockout with the Tournament Director, Roger Mills and the Tournament Manager, losing by 6 points to 4!! However, as the rain greeted the players and continued throughout the day, it has to be said that not having to play again was an acceptable result. Eight pairs battled on playing 2 hour 22 point games and all ended-up very wet playing on imminently unplayable lawns. Jane Babbage, Budleigh and Richard Williamson, Bristol triumphed over Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli, Blewbury, and Alan Cottle in the X final and took the Sussex Trugs. David Buckman and John Millen, both Canterbury Club battled Erica Malaiperuman, Nailsea, and Jonathan Wolfe, Taunton Deane, for the Y final. Buckman and Millen prevailed and took the Gilbert Spoons.
The weather turned on Tuesday morning and for the rest of the week the conditions were almost ideal. Warm sun and a gentle breeze persisted into the evening. Budleigh's superb lawn, maintained by Richard Quelch, gave little excuse for balls going off-line. The Handicap Singles played in 2 blocks of six with a play-off on Thursday morning between David Buckman  and Andre Machell , Watford. Buckman won with a convincing 26 - 7 and took home the double-plinthed [?] Meredith Trophy.
Thursday afternoon saw the start of the Class play. Health problems and pre-event injuries bedevilled this event with 3 withdrawals. One pre-start, for which the manager was able to call in friend to cover and two during the course of play of the handicap block. The manager is, now, really au fait with Tournament Regulations for incomplete blocks. Thankfully the correct result was easily determined.
Prize giving was 15 minutes late at 4.15pm but tea and cake were gently consumed and even an 'Otter' or two. Glass based prizes were offered for the most triple peels, a player's first triple peel and the fastest game. Surprisingly there were no triple peels at all and the Tournament Manager presented himself with a bottle of Malbec for the fastest game at 1 hour 4 minutes.
The A Block of 8 players, -1.5 to 1.5 played to a suggested Order of Play with no time limit although 2 hours 30 minutes was the anticipated bogey time. All matches finished bar one delayed by the inevitable marathon and the unfinished match pair were happy to 'call it quits'. Paul Castell, Sussex County, won 6 out of 7 games and carried-off the Rothwell Challenge Cup. Winning the A block also made him the highest placed over 75 so he also took the Alan Pidcock Trophy.
Once again there was a large entry of B Level Handicaps but not enough time for two blocks to play off and the handicap block had to be taken into consideration to ensure it was tenable. Thus in a tight block, Handicap 2 to 3, the Tournament Manager, Chris Donovan, won 5 out of 6 games and took the Felixstowe Cup.
The C Block, handicaps 4 to 6, saw David Marcus, Sussex County, win 6 out of 7 games and take the bottle of wine and a 'memento', a black enamel coated croquet figure made from nuts and bolts. [Must approach the CA for another trophy.]
The D block was won convincingly, despite the withdrawals, by Kevin Wright, Auchincruive visiting Budleigh for the first time. Wright took, therefore, the Strickland Cup.
All prizes were presented by Peter Nelson, Sidmouth, who is a South West Federation elected Council Member. He emphasised the warm welcome received by all and the huge effort put in by John O'Gorman, the Club Chairman. John is a novice Tournament Secretary but had been setting hoops, putting out the balls and 'ball-wash buckets', taking food orders, and generally ensuring all went smoothly. Both Peter Nelson and Paul Castell noted the quality of the lawns and thanks were given to all the background workers without whom no tournament would function.
Frank Sharps won the GC C-Level Series at Hunstanton
Frank Sharps won the GC C-Level at Hunstanton 27th June (Photo: David Boxell)by David Boxell at Hunstanton [^]
28th June (GC)
Frank Sharps (Crake Valley) won the C-Level Series at Hunstanton on Sunday 27 June 2021 undefeated in an All-Play-All contest of 8 players. Anthony Prewer (Ryde) took second place with 5 wins and two players finished with 4 wins each. Paul Williams (Leicester) finished in third place with a better hoop difference than Jean Faulkner (Broadwas) who took fourth place. The full results are available on croquet scores at https://croquetscores.com/2021/gc/hunstanton-c-level-series-7 . The players expressed their appreciation for the fine state of the lawns and for the work of all concerned in making an enjoyable event.
Simon Carter won the Woking Open GC
Simon Carter won the Woking Mid Summer GC Open (Photo: Simon Carter)by Simon Carter at Woking [^]
28th June (GC)
The Woking Mid Summer Open Championship took place on 14th and 15th June. Managed superbly by Bernard Jones, this popular and long standing fixture in GC calendar was fully subscribed at 16 entrants. The format was all-play-all, with a hefty 8 game schedule on the Monday. We were blessed with hot, sunny weather with contrasted with the 2019 event which was rained off. Richard Brooks led the charge, beating Simon Carter to emerge as the leader at the end of day one with the latter chasing his tail. As is often the case, the event was not decided until the penultimate round, wherein Richard faltered and Simon edged ahead to win for the second time, exactly a decade after the first. Richard Brooks was runner up. Thanks were given to Bernard and the catering team for a thoroughly enjoyable event.
Mark Buckley won the GC B-Level Series at Hunstanton
Mark Buckley won the GC B Level at Hunstanton 26th June (Photo: David Boxell)by David Boxell at Hunstanton [^]
28th June (GC)
Mark Buckley (Leicester) beat David Cornes (Crake Valley) 7-6 in the final of the B-Level Series at Hunstanton on Saturday 26 June 2021. Glynis Davies (Northampton) beat John A Richardson (Newport) 7/2 in the third / fourth place play off. The full results for the crossed blocks and semi-finals are available on croquet scores at: https://croquetscores.com/2021/gc/hunstanton-b-level-series-3 . As usual we are grateful to the grounds staff for the preparation of the lawns and the team of helpers who made everything ready for play and assisted in the end of day closure.
Bowdon beat Nottingham 5-2
Bowdon beat Nottingham 5-2 today, 24th June
The details are (Bowdon names first):
- Adrian Apps (3.5) & Mike Flannery (14) lost to Viv Staley (11) & Debbie Watson (14) -7
- Nigel Matthews (6) beat Mark Lansdale (10) +14
- Barry Keen (14) lost to Mark Fraser (8) -2
In the afternoon,
- Adrian Apps beat Mark Lansdale +2
- Nigel Matthews beat Mark Fraser +9
- Mike Flannery beat Viv Staley +11
- Barry Keen beat Debbie Watson +11
Hamptworth beat Roehampton 4-3
After the first session of play it was advantage to the visitors. Roehampton had won both of the singles matches, but Hamptworth had taken the doubles.
The score became 3 -1 to Roehampton when they took the first of the afternoon singles, but two victories to the home side made the scoreline 3 - 3 with the last of the singles matches in progress. To add to the tension, the final singles match was poised at 1 - 1, it was all on the final game. Hamptworth's Tim O'Donnell took the final game to secure a 4 - 3 win for Hamptworth.
Hamptworth: Tim O'Donnell (-3), Aston Wade (-1), Steve Bennett (1) and Dave Cooper (2)
Roehampton: Tim Russell (-2), Mark van Loon (-3), Dan Pearce (-1) and Lynn Pearcy (2)
Dulwich lost to Hurlingham 2-5
1 Doubles Benge (Dul) Penny and beat Beacham (Hur) Malcolm 7, 5, 7 5, 7, 3
1 Doubles Lomas (Dul) Tim beat Bagwell (Hur) Henry 7, 5, 7 5, 7, 3
2 Singles Read (Hur) Martin beat Batty (Dul) Philip 7, 5, 7 5, 7, 1
3 Singles Wellby (Hur) Mark beat Taylor (Dul) Miriam 7, 7 2, 4
4 Singles Benge (Dul) Penny beat Beacham (Hur) Malcolm 7, 7 4, 2
5 Singles Bagwell (Hur) Henry beat Lomas (Dul) Tim 7, 4, 7 5, 7, 4
6 Singles Wellby (Hur) Mark beat Batty (Dul) Philip 7, 7 5, 4
7 Singles Read (Hur) Martin beat Taylor (Dul) Miriam 5, 7, 7 7, 3, 6
Colchester beat Woking 4-3
Colchester beat Woking 4-3
Rob Fulford & Jack Wicks (Colchester) beat Mike Town & Annabel McDiarmid +12tp(F)
Rich Waterman (Colchester) beat Nick Harvey +22
Malcolm Bigg beat Michael Heap (Colchester) +25
Fulford beat Town +11
Wicks beat McDiarmid +25tp
Bigg beat Waterman +11
Harvey beat Heap +7
Watford beat Wrest Park 4-3
Watford vs Wrest Park
25th June 2021 at Watford
Result: Watford beat Wrest Park 4-3
Teams & handicaps:
Brian Havill (0.5)
Gary Bennett (1)
Nick Archer (1.5)
John Smallbone (3.5)
George Collin (1)
John Bevington (1)
Cliff Jones (1)
Eric Audsley (2)
Scores (Watford names first):
Brian Havill & Gary Bennett beat George Collin & John Bevington +16
Nick Archer lost to Eric Audsley -3
John Smallbone beat Cliff Jones +10
Brian Havill beat George Collin +4
Gary Bennett beat John Bevington +7
Nick Archer lost to Cliff Jones -7
John Smallbone lost to Eric Audsley -15