The Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club Spring Tournament attracted 41 players who took part in some or all of the events. We welcomed a good number of visitors from around the country who joined more from the West Country, many on home turf.
The Mixed Doubles started the week on Monday with 14 pairs competing for the Daldry Cups. First round winners continued in the Knockout which had strong local interest as the final pairings were Elaine Norsworthy and Jackie Hardcastle from Budleigh against Brian Pollock from Budleigh and Richard Wainman from Cheltenham. The game was played on Saturday afternoon with spectators enjoying the tussle which gave Elaine and Jackie victory by five points. First round losers reached a final which saw four Sidmouth members competing. Derek Andrew and Philip Harris overcame Peter Miller and Graham Harford and earned themselves a bottle of wine each.
On Tuesday 26 players met in singles matches in the Open Handicap Knockout. Martin Yates of Budleigh came up against Alain Giraud of Ealing in the final. Alain has a handicap of -.5 while Martin is a 12 so had 12 .5 bisques available to him to assist him in his struggle against a formidable opponent. He reached the peg with one ball and Hoop 6 with the other before the ammunition ran out. Alain had already gone to 4 Back with one ball and soon expertly finished the game to win +8 and collect an inscribed glass goblet.
The main competition event is the Class Singles with players split up according to handicap into 6 blocks and having games against the others in that section. The A Block was a strong one with ten players on handicaps ranging from -1 to 1.5 giving them 9 games to complete. By Friday evening the winner of the Godfrey Turner Challenge Cup had to be Alain Giraud who had already completed 8 wins. He had still to play Cliff Jones on Saturday in his final game. In the event Cliff won that after Alain had made a good start with his first ball round to 4 Back and was already making progress when he failed at the 6th hoop attempting to do the second peel on his triple. Cliff was playing as deftly as ever and completed a triple himself to prevent Alain enjoying a clean sweep. Nine triple peels were completed during the week, a reflection of the good standard of competition in this block. Cliff and Dave Mundy finished on 7 wins apiece and Bob Burnett and Martin Granger-Brown on 5.
The B Block of 6 players finished with Elaine Norsworthy and Michael Lester both of Budleigh on 4 wins each and Michael going into a final against the winner of the C block on the strength of his victory over Elaine. His opponent was Richard Williamson of Bristol who won all six of his games and defeated Michael in the final 2-0 in a best of three match to earn the Woodlands Quaich. Runners up to Richard were Adam Wimshurst and Brian Shorney of Budleigh on 4 each.
The D and E blocks both produced clear winners in Roger Hendy and Graham Harford both of Sidmouth who met in their final which gave Roger victory and the right to hold the J.K. Brown Memorial Cup for the year. The F Block for the Pat Tunmer Cup saw another clean sweep of victories and Roger Mills as the outright winner.
Jackie Hardcastle and Philip Harris both achieved their CA Silver Awards with breaks of 12 hoops in a single turn. Handicap reductions saw Alain Giraud following his recent reduction to -.5 earning a further improvement to -1, a worthy result from his consistent performance. Cliff Jones went from scratch to -.5 , Richard Williamson from 4.5 to 4 and Ian Friedlander from 10 to 9.
The trophies were presented by Jack Smith, our new Club Chairman. Alain as the winning player in the A class event
thanked the manager, Julie Horsley, for the smooth running of the
week. He congratulated the club on the condition of the lawns that had withstood the wet weather well in the middle of the week and appreciated the hoop setters, caterers and bar helpers who had helped ensure a most enjoyable tournament.