Dick Strover won the Golf Croquet Veteran's Championship
Unfortunately due to clashes in the overall programme there was only a small field of fourteen for this event but nevertheless it was quite a strong field and produced some excellent competition. We were very pleased to welcome Horst Haack and Peter Ocklemen from Germany and Desmond George from Switzerland. Despite an atrocious weather forecast it is rumoured that Manager Bill Arliss had made special arrangements that rain should only fall during the night or during lunchtime so luckily waterproofs were not much used.
Initial play was in two blocks of seven, each play each other twice. At the end of day one it looked like a run away in both blocks with Dick Strover and Chris Sheen leading their blocks with a 100% record. This changed in the following morning with Dick conceding one game to Horst Haack and then loosing his final two games to his brother Paul. Chris managed to hold on to his record until his last game where he shared the honours with Bill Arliss.
The final block records were :
|Block A||Block B|
|1||Dick Strover||9||Chris Sheen||11|
|2||Tom Weston||8||Bill Arliss||9|
|3||Horst Haack||8||Cliff Jones||6|
|4||Paul Strover||7||Richard Brooks||5|
|5||Keith Webb||5||Ken Wallman||5|
|6||Desmond George||4||Maggie Webb||5|
|7||David Edwards||1||Peter Ockleman||1|
All players went through to the final knockout with places in the knockout decided by block position. Both block winners received a bye in the first round which was played on Wednesday evening. Block B was more successful snd during the following morning produced a semi final line-up of Dick Strover vs Bill Arliss and Chris Sheen vs Cliff Jones. Playoff for places was arranged for the losers in each round.
In the first semi final Dick got an early lead but Bill fought back and took hoop eleven to lead 6-5. Unfortunately in trying to block Dick at hoop twelve he managed to block himself from 13 and Dick took the first game 7-6. In the second Dick again raced away but the fight back was not strong enough and Dick clinched the set with a 7-4 win. The second semi was a closer affair with Chris taking the first game 7-4 but Cliff coming back to take the second. 7-5. Cliff was shooting extremely accurately but suffered a 'blob' at hoop twelve in the third allowing Chris to finish with a 7-5 win.
Chris took the first game in the final 7-5 but Dick's shooting accuracy improved slightly to give him a small edge and had two 7-5 wins in games two and three to take the title. Bill and Cliff played a single 19 point game for 3rd and 4th place which Cliff won 10-8.
As there was an uneven number in each block, it meant that there had to be a bye in each round of the blocks. However to keep the competition moving, the two players with byes played one another in a 19 point game during their bye. Due to the organisation of the block rounds, this meant that each player played his equivalent seed in the other block. This game did not count towards the block result but produced some good matches. Dick Strover also won the Manager's bottle of 'Plonk' for the biggest winning margin in the 'bye' round.
Despite all the recent rains, the lawns at Budliegh played quite fast and in the main were very true. As usual the players were superbly fed and watered by the Budleigh club ladies.