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Martin French won the COWhorn; Strat Liddiard won the COWbell

[<<] [>>] by Roger Wood at Compton
July 30/31 2011 (AC)

Compton Open Weekend, 2011: Warm weather prevailed and the refereeing debate following the recent World Golf Croquet Championship generated added heat during lively clubhouse discussions. Under the new grounds maintenance regime the quality of the lawn surfaces has improved steadily and several regulars remarked favourably on progress since last year, a trend it is hoped to continue. Lawn speed was relatively quick but with very little rain in recent weeks it was difficult to keep hoops in dry ground as firm as required. We welcomed two newcomers to the event: local member Craig Oakley and John Hall from Letchworth.

The four strongest players on paper won through to the semi-finals of the knock-out, and the top two, Martin French and Roger Tribe, contested the final which went to a nail-biting third game. Martin got the first break, only to founder at 2-back trickling to his pioneer, allowing Roger to progress to penult and peg. Martin hit the lift and took his backward ball to the peg and pegged out Roger's ball. The lift was missed and, when Martin just crept through 4-back and his slightly hampered shot at the escape ball slid passed into baulk, all seemed lost. But Roger, having made penultimate, unaccountably bounced off rover attempting to run hard to the south boundary and Martin finished to win by 2, thereby winning the COWhorn for the third time after a gap of 22 years!

In the Swiss Strat Liddiard proved hard to beat and in fact no-one did, his stately progress around the lawns proving decisively effective. Only Graham Gale and Mary Knapp looked to be in contention but they were unable to catch up.

Peeling finishes were rather thin on the ground this year: only Roger Tribe with three triples achieved more than one, although Graham Gale's quadruple (his first in tournament play) deserves special mention. So Roger took the Ace Peeler's prize and the COWpat (awarded this year for the 7th time) went to Andrew Gregory.

Knockout for the COWhorn

Round 1

Carole Jackson beat Graham Gale +24
Louise Bradforth beat Jon Diamond +8

Round 2

Dave Kibble beat Alex Jardine +13
Ian Vincent beat Andrew Gregory +24
Paul Castell beat David Hopkins +19
Roger Tribe beat Carole Jackson +26tp
Gordon Hopewell beat Louise Bradforth +16
Dick Knapp beat Strat Liddiard +5
Martin French beat Craig Oakley +20
Mary Knapp beat John Hall +24

Round 3

Dave Kibble beat Ian Vincent +3
Roger Tribe beat Paul Castell +26tp
Dick Knapp beat Gordon Hopewell +3
Martin French beat Mary Knapp +14


Roger Tribe beat Dave Kibble +20
Martin French beat Dick Knapp +9


Martin French beat Roger Tribe +5 -17tp +2

3rd Place

Dave Kibble beat Dick Knapp +4

Swiss for the Cowbell

Winner: Strat Liddiard (4/5)
(4/6) Graham Gale
(3/5) Mary Knapp
(4/7) Paul Castell
(3/6) Jon Diamond, Ian Vincent
(2/5) Andrew Gregory
(2/6) Alex Jardine, Craig Oakley
(1/3) Louise Bradforth
(1/4) Gordon Hopewell
(1/5) Carole Jackson
(1/6) John Hall, David Hopkins

Ace Peeler: Roger Tribe

COWpat: Andrew Gregory


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