The Second Eight competitorsby Freda Vitty at Royal Tunbridge Wells
A Golf Croquet Second Eights was held for the first time for a trophy donated by Tim King in memory of his sister, who died earlier this year and prize money from Chris Sheen's company, Musk's. It was played at Royal Tunbridge Wells; this is the first time they have hosted a National Competition (and hopefully it will not be the last). Having completely re-laid their lawns three years ago, they were in excellent condition and although lush and a little slow, were the truest running I have played on for some time. Also, whatever the technical side of the lawn composition, the hoops remained firm for the whole competition without adjustment or tapping in Egyptian style, despite the combined shooting power of Nick Butler, Bill Arliss and Tom Weston.
A last minute replacement from the local club, Mick Greagsby, who although playing in his first major competition, was not out-classed, despite not winning a match. He has only been playing for a year and is now even more enthusiastic, having had his first taste of top competition. Support from the locals was evident and they aspire to playing their club games on a different level.
The worthy winner was Nick Butler, who also managed the competition admirably, winning 7 out of 7 best of 3 matches. Bill Arliss and Freda Vitty both had 4 wins out of 7. Keith Webb form Southwick with 3 wins had some very close matches, one of which was against the winner.
This match had the small crowd and several of us players enthralled, not just for the quality of play and closeness of the result, but because we may have seen a record being set for the most out-of-sequence balls being played! Keith peeled his red with yellow at hoop 8 in the third game and both players continued with out-of-sequence balls through hoop 9 and 10, this being the winning hoop for Nick with his black; about to shake hands, it struck them that something was not quite correct. Under the new rules, black was replaced and Nick played blue making the winning hoop anyway.
The weather held up for the whole weekend play and our thanks go to the members of the host club, who provided a comfortable and friendly atmosphere throughout.
(Editor's note: The two incomplete matches meant that either Bill Arliss, Richard Brooks or Tom Weston could have finished 2nd and Freda Vitty and Keith Webb enter the mix in filling the places down to 6th.)
Keith WEBB beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-3, 7-6
Tom WESTON beat Jane PRINGLE: 7-6, 7-2
Nick BUTLER beat Richard BROOKS: 7-6, 7-3
Bill ARLISS beat Freda VITTY: 7-5, 6-7, 7-4
Nick BUTLER beat Freda VITTY: 7-4, 7-1
Richard BROOKS beat Bill ARLISS: 7-5, 7-5
Tom WESTON beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-6, 7-6
Keith WEBB beat Jane PRINGLE: 7-3, 7-3
Richard BROOKS beat Jane PRINGLE: 7-6, 3-7, 7-6
Freda VITTY beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-6, 6-7, 7-1
Bill ARLISS beat Keith WEBB: 7-5, 7-5
Nick BUTLER beat Tom WESTON: 7-3, 7-3
Bill ARLISS beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-5, 6-7, 7-4
Nick BUTLER beat Jane PRINGLE: 7-1, 7-6
Richard BROOKS versus Tom WESTON, incomplete: 6-7, 7-5
Freda VITTY beat Keith WEBB: 7-6, 5-7, 7-5
Tom WESTON beat Freda VITTY: 7-2, 5-7, 7-4
Keith WEBB beat Richard BROOKS: 7-2, 7-3
Nick BUTLER beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-2, 7-4
Jane PRINGLE beat Bill ARLISS: 6-7, 7-6, 7-5
Nick BUTLER beat Keith WEBB: 5-7, 7-3, 7-3
Bill ARLISS beat Tom WESTON: 7-3, 7-5
Freda VITTY beat Jane PRINGLE: 7-2, 7-3
Richard BROOKS beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-2, 7-6
Freda VITTY beat Richard BROOKS: 7-2, 7-4
Jane PRINGLE beat Mick GREAGSBY: 7-4, 3-7, 7-4
Keith WEBB versus Tom WESTON, incomplete: 3-7, 7-6
Nick BUTLER beat Bill ARLISS: 7-5, 3-7, 7-6
Name | Matches | Won | Games for | Net games | Hoops for | Net hoops | Position
Bill ARLISS | 7 | 4 | 10 | 2 | 114 | 13 | .
Richard BROOKS | 6 | 3 | 7 | -1 | 78 | -13 | .
Nick BUTLER | 7 | 7 | 14 | 12 | 106 | 42 | 1
Mick GREAGSBY | 7 | 0 | 3 | -11 | 80 | -33 | .
Jane PRINGLE | 7 | 2 | 5 | -7 | 82 | -24 | .
Freda VITTY | 7 | 4 | 10 | 2 | 101 | 5 | .
Keith WEBB | 6 | 3 | 9 | 2 | 93 | 8 | .
Tom WESTON | 5 | 3 | 8 | 1 | 86 | 2 | .