Surbiton brought out the big guns at Winchester on Saturday to record a decisive 6-1 victory against East Dorset and so conclude the sometimes contentious story of the 2005 Golf Croquet Inter-Club Championship.
However, in fairness to East Dorset, the score-line disguised three hard-fought matches which ended up in Surbiton's favour.
Reg Bamford and Stephen Mulliner took over two hours to see off Chris Daniels and Tom Weston 7-4, 7-6. Hoop 1, game 1 itself took about 15 minutes to resolve although thereafter play improved. The Parkstone pair looked favourites to square the match when they led 5-4 and 6-5 in the second. However, an excellent short range jump shot by Bamford gave Surbiton hoop 12 with Black, next to play and jammed up against 5, unable to approach 13. Mulliner took good position at the hoop only to be cleared by Weston from 20 yards but Tom's subsequent attempt at 13 from near corner 3 failed and Reg finished off.
In the meantime Samir Patel had defeated Roy Edwards 7-6, 7-2 to give Surbiton a 2-0 lead while William Ormerod had taken the first game against Charlie von Schmieder to keep the Parkstone flag flying. Unfortunately, this one game had taken two and a half hours, with a large part of the problem being the need to double-bank, and it was agreed to suspend this match after lunch to allow the opposite matches to get under way. In each case the Parkstone player took the opening game although, as that was happening, the fate of the tie was being decided in the top singles through two rapid Surbiton victories. Several hours later (well two, really), the Surbiton boys brought home the bacon and it was felt only fair to turn William's 1-0 lead in the suspended match into a win. Hence 6-1 and many thanks to Winchester and to the crowd (all three).
Memo to the Golf Croquet Committee: probably not a good idea to involve double-banking in future because there is so much waiting around for the other game to get away from your next hoop.
R. Bamford & S. Mulliner beat C. Daniels & T. Weston 7-4, 7-6
S. Patel beat R. Edwards 7-6, 7-2
C. von Schmieder lost to W. Ormerod 5-7
Bamford beat Daniels 7-2, 7-4
Mulliner beat Weston 7-1, 7-2
Patel beat Ormerod 5-7, 7-2, 7-3
von Schmieder beat Edwards 4-7, 7-3, 7-4