16 players with handicaps ranging from 2 to 8 enjoyed an excellent 3-day tournament at Budleigh Salterton over a rather cold, but dry Bank Holiday weekend. In fact we did get a good helping of sun on Sunday afternoon and the shorts did come out for a brief period! The tournament was played in excellent spirit and expertly managed by Cliff Jones. All players should note that the Budleigh Salterton lawns are now in excellent condition and were playing superbly. The club should be congratulated on their hard work over the past 2 years.
Three players in particular showed excellent form throughout the tournament and it was no surprise when after 3 days of competition they were locked in a tie for 1st place. The 3 players in question, Richard (son of Dick or perhaps little Dick) Dickson, David (I wish I could play like my brother) Trimmer and Christopher (I think I'm playing better now) Crowcroft could not even be separated by who beat whom. Manager Cliff Jones devised a play off where each player had one ball and the winner would be the 1st to make 12 hoops and hit the peg. Sounds simple? - well a turn ended after a break of 3 hoops was achieved, and each player had the option of a lift at the start of every turn. It made for an interesting spectacle and lasted for about an hour, with Chris Crowcroft of Winchester finally coming out on top. This certainly seems to be a fairer way of resolving a tied tournament than the more traditional shoot out at the peg.
Richard Dickson from Hamptworth, with a handicap of 3 won a special award for triple peels. He achieved 2 during the tournament and nearly a straight triple against Tony (the next new mallet will work even better) Bower. However Tony was sharp eyed and spotted that Richard roqueted a ball twice after he'd peeled rover from what appeared to be a seemingly impossible angle.
In addition Rodney (never mind the croquet, lets go and eat) Parkins organised an excellent pub meal on Sunday evening for 8 players in nearby Otterton.
by Daniel (I play fast sometimes) Mills