The Ripon Rowel GC Singles Cup has been won by Jacob Carr (Tyneside & Ripon Spa) at the Ripon Spa Hotel. The weather was beautiful all weekend and 14 players enjoyed the early season sunshine.
Top-seed Jacob won all 6 of his block games without undue difficulty and then proceeded to win both his quarter-final and semi-final in two games, the most hoops conceeded being the five against Pam Mead (Phyllis Court) in the first game of the quarter-final. Meanwhile, second-seed Tim King was slightly less fluent, coming top of the second block despite losing 6-7 to Freda Vitty (Auckland) and then only managing to come through his semi-final 7-6, 7-6 against Derek Old (Belsay Hall).
Tim began the final with a deft hoop 1 and 2 but then proceeded to win only two of the next 14 hoops. Jacob played calm, precise croquet, being especially skillful with controlling the striker's ball in controlled clearance shots. At 1-5 in the second game, the final was heading towards a swift and disappointing conclusion for Tim. However, he did not panic and began to find some good shooting form to put Jacob under pressure for probably the first time in the weekend. The result was at last a few imperfections from Jacob and Tim being able to take the game to the 13th hoop. The crowd were now interested in seeing a third game and Jacob gave Tim a huge chance by falling just short with his first approach. However, Jacob was in the right place to at least force Tim to take on a jump shot and despite being relatively straight forward, his timing let him down and Jacob deservedly took the title (7-3, 7-6).
Pam and Helena Fensome (also Phyllis Court) were the two surprise packages of the tournament. They both played steady, composed croquet and deservedly reached the quarter-finals, where they also joined Freda, Jane Pringle (Auckland) and Ray Mounfield (Ashby). Phyllis Court is currently a growth club, becoming more active on the national scene. Helena will be representing her native Finland at the World Championship in July.
The Ripon Spa Hotel was as welcoming as ever and although unfortunately Sam was not fit enough to play, Fergus Thompson managed calmly and effectively, while also playing.