As usual play started on Saturday in two blocks of eight, the top two in each then went through to the semi-finals.
R Fulford bt B Arliss 7-1 7-4
J Wicks bt C Sheen 6-7 7-4 7-4
R Fulford bt J Wicks 5-7 7-5 7-5
Interesting note: At some time on Saturday Rob won 15 consecutive points (two 7-0's and the winning point on the game before.)
Colchester hosted the fifth East Anglian Open Golf Croquet Championship over the weekend of 19th & 20th May. The weather was almost perfect being dry, bright and warm, the lawns fast and true although slightly lacking in grass. Sixteen started out in two blocks and it looked hard to predict who would be successful from the blocks.
So it proved! In block A , Robert Fulford was, of course, an obvious favourite and duly won his matches. However, for the remainder it was far less clear cut and eventually Chris Sheen joined him in the semi-finals. The other block however was really open. The two favourites, John Spiers and Tim King, failed to progress and it was Jack Wicks and a resurgent Bill Arliss who ultimately succeeded. Bill showing much of his old form and touch despite a demanding schedule.
In the semi-finals, Robert despatched Bill 2 games to nil, much as he had everyone else he had played and Jack overcame Chris 2 games to one. Thus an all-Colchester final was set up. It was assumed that Robert would carry all before him but to Jack's great credit he played really well taking the first game 7 - 5. Could he hang on and win a famous victory? Robert, although not playing as well as earlier in the weekend, clawed his way back and took the second game also 7 - 5. We had an exciting final game in store! Robert, as ever looked composed, but Jack took an early lead. In the end shear persistence together with some renewed accuracy enabled Robert to fight back and, despite a valiant effort by Jack, together with Robert playing the wrong ball when the correct one was about 2 feet in front of the winning hoop, he won the final game 7 -5 and the tournament for the fourth successive year. Chris Sheen pipped Bill Arliss for third place.