Broadwas beat Dulwich 4-3 to win the inaugural Golf Croquet Inter-Club Shield, known as the Murphy Shield.
The final of this new level play Golf Croquet competition for teams of four with a combined handicap of 12+ took place on a wet day under grey skies at Blewbury on 29 September. Dulwich had successfully overcome Bury St Edmunds, Phyllis Court and Sussex whilst Broadwas had beaten Ashby, Kenilworth and Belsay Hall so both teams arrived excited but somewhat tense. The lawns were well prepared but very wet and showed signs of end of season wear especially in front of hoop 3 on lawn 1 - not the best location to be playing 13th hoop deciders!
John Guy (3) got Broadwas off to a good start with a win over Sue Lightbody (4) 7-6, 7-5 whilst the doubles was all square one game all and John Edwards (4) had come back from 4-7, 7-5 against Mark Ormerod (4) when hot soup was served to warm us all up. The afternoon session saw Broadwas' Dave Parsons (2) and Stuart Smith (2 having reduced from 3 at the weekend) complete a victory taking six straight hoops to win 6-7, 7-5, 7-3 against Ed Dymock (2) and Simon Whiteley (4). Mark Ormerod completed an excellent win for Dulwich winning his deciding game 7-4 over John Edwards. So 2-1 to Broadwas with the four singles matches to play.
Dave Parsons (suffering from toothache) went down to Ed Dymock 6-7, 5-7 and John Guy went down 5-7, 5-7 to Mark Ormerod, who maintained his excellent winning run in this competition, so Dulwich nosed ahead. The two captains Stuart Smith and Simon Whiteley were in a three game struggle where big-hitting Simon was roqueting Stuart's ball to all parts of the lawn (and the other lawn as well!) but finding the ball returned right in front of the hoop. The match went to the tricky 13th hoop and resulted in a 7-4, 5-7, 7-6 win for Broadwas to level the match 3-3. Retiring to the clubhouse for tea and biscuits and to watch the final match that was running late it became clear that John Edwards had taken the first game 7-4 against Sue Lightbody but lost the second 2-7 so the whole tournament would go to the final game of the final match - tension was running high. Sue won the first hoop but John came back strongly with some long distance hoop runs including one the whole length of the lawn and took a lead 4-1. Sue kept her head very well to keep the game going to 6-4 down with an excellent hoop but John eventually was left with a tap-through on hoop 11 to complete a victory for Broadwas in the inaugural Golf Croquet Inter-Club Shield (Murphy Shield). John Handy, Tournament Director, refereed throughout the day and presented the magnificent shield together with individual smaller shields to all players.
Thanks to Jim Bartlett, June and Susan at Blewbury for hosting us and to John for organising and refereeing the tournament.
With such a tightly fought contest it was no surprise that the final hoop count was Broadwas 105, Dulwich 105.
Dave Parsons (2) and Stuart Smith (2 but eligible as 3) beat Ed Dymock (2) and Simon Whiteley (4) 6-7, 7-5, 7-3
John Guy (3) beat Sue Lightbody (4) 7-6, 7-5
John Edwards (4) lost to Mark Ormerod (4) 4-7, 7-5, 4-7
Dave Parsons lost to Ed Dymock 6-7, 5-7
Stuart Smith beat Simon Whiteley 7-4, 5-7, 7-6
John Guy lost to Mark Ormerod 5-7, 5-7
John Edwards beat Sue Lightbody 7-4, 2-7, 7-4