Simon Carter won the All England Golf Croquet Handicap Championship
Fourteen finalists contested this event, with handicaps ranging from plus 6 to minus 3. Pat Hetherington, the manager, divided player into two blocks on the first day, with the top three from each block going forward to a winner's block on the Sunday. Last year's winner, Tim King, was finding life a little tougher with his newly acquired handicap of minus 3 and was knocked out of the running early on. Marcus Evans, minus 2 and a strong player in the world's, proved a formidable opponent, though newcomer John Gibbs from Dulwich (plus 2) just beat him in a David and Goliath style match. Sadly, this tour de force was not enough to secure John a place in the final block.
Sunday started with a strong showing from the Strover family firm, with both Dick and Jock playing well. Dick took a game off newcomer Simon Carter from Sydenham, (minus 1), though Jock-hoping for revenge for a 7-6 defeat by Simon on Saturday-lost to him 7-4. Marcus again played strongly, with his 'shock and awe' method intimidating his opponents, though was narrowly beaten by Simon Carter 7-6. Simon used his one bisque to consolidate a 2 point advantage to put Marcus under pressure. In the last game of the day, Simon beat a very determined and consistently on form Tony Blok 7-5. This meant that Simon and Marcus were level on 5 wins, but since Simon had beaten Marcus earlier, he squeaked through to take the title.
Thanks are due to Jennet Blake for organising the event, and to Pat Hetherington and her team for managing the final and serving up such delicious food.