David Nicholson won the first advanced weekend at Hamptworth Croquet Club, beating Kevin Carter by +3
James Tuttiett beat Nigel Polhill for the third place.
David Nicholson - this one being the Winchester publican - played seriously well, remained unbeaten and deserved his victory. The courts were in very good condition and the hoops challenging. It was also the managing debut of Richard Stevens, who performed well despite choosing a baffling arrangement of blocks and KO.
"Where on earth is Hamptworth?" everybody asks. Well, you had better find out because this is a club that is going to be important. It is situated in rural Hampshire between Salisbury and Southampton.
However, two attributes make this club stand out. The first is the beauty of the setting - on the edge of the New Forest, surrounded by rolling hills and trees. The second is the facilities and hospitality.
Unusually the croquet club is part of a golf club, so the clubhouse, with good food and drink, is just a short buggy ride away (I kid you not). Richard, along with the local luminaries - David, James Tuttiett, Richard Dickson - made us all so welcome. Cups of tea and bacon baps were available on arrival, a bottle of bubbly arrived to share at noon each day and there was a general air of nothing being too much trouble to ensure everybody enjoyed themselves.
The club currently has just the two lawns but there is space and the intention to prepare two more. When this becomes a four lawn club its tournaments will be up there with the very best. Meanwhile it remains a little gem which must be experienced..
David Nicholson beat Kevin Carter +3
Kevin Carter beat James Tuttiett +25
David Nicholson beat Nigel Polhill +21
James Tuttiett beat Richard Wood +17
Kevin Carter beat Lawrence Whittaker +13
Nigel Polhill beat David Williams +14
David Nicholson beat Richard Dickson +17
Richard Dickson beat Richard Wood +13
Lawrence Whittaker beat David Williams +15
Nigel Polhill beat James Tuttiett +3
James Tuttiett beat Richard Dickson +23
James Tuttiett beat Nigel Polhill +23
James Tuttiett beat Kevin Carter +22
Nigel Polhill beat Richard Dickson +8
Nigel Polhill beat Kevin Carter +8
Kevin Carter beat Richard Dickson +13
David Nicholson beat David Williams +23
David Nicholson beat Lawrence Whittaker +20
David Nicholson beat Richard Wood +26 tp
David Williams beat Richard Wood +20
Lawrence Whittaker beat David Williams +1
Lawrence Whittaker beat Richard Wood +3