Kevin Carter won the Isle of Wight Championship and Mike Cockburn regained the Mary Robinson Challenge Shield.
What seemed like weeks of rain were causing few headaches at the Ryde Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club as to whether the four croquet lawns would be ready for the Ryde "Festival of Croquet". In the event there was plenty of time to prepare, so much so that the A Class winner, Kevin Carter, commented on how well they played, and the fact that it was a pleasure to be at a club with properly set championship hoops. In fact these were nearer 1/16th than 1/8th for the B Class and nearer to 1/32nd for the A Class, which caused a few little problems with hoop running on the first day, but everyone became used to them.
There was glorious weather from the outset, with a breeze to cool things a little.
The Isle of Wight Championship Trophy was first competed in 1922 and is, of course, a Class A Advanced Level Play event. The Mary Robinson Shield named for and presented by a former Croquet Chairman of the club and is a handicap singles, played at various times, but this year forming part of the "Festival".
Entries were slightly down, but in the end there were five visitors (with wives). Making a welcome reappearance were Graham Thompson (handicap 3) and Mike Cockburn (4.5) from Compton (Eastbourne), Derek Beard (6) from Taunton. First timers were Avril Machiavelli (6) and Kevin Carter (0) from Surbiton (and other places). Ryde was represented by Philip Kennerley (1), Pamela Sim (11) and Richard Harris (11). The event was managed by Philip in place of Cliff Jones.
The proposed early start in American blocks was delayed while there was a rearrangement of the events, with Mike gallantly giving up his place in the A Class event to Avril. Although not having the opportunity to play Advanced level against Kevin on top form, all came out well in the end!
Friday, day 1. With three rounds played, Kevin was unbeaten and Avril, Philip and Graham had won one game each. A pattern was to follow. In the handicap, Mike and Richard had two wins each and Pamela and Derek one each.
Saturday, day 2. Three rounds were completed in the A class and round 7 was pegged out, with Kevin again unbeaten and each of the others having added one further win to their scores. Pamela had an excellent day winning all three of her matches, Derek with two wins and Richard responding to the presence of the CP photographer gaining a great victory over Mike. Final scores were Pamela 4, Richard 3, Derek 2 and Mike 2.
After play, everyone relaxed with champagne provided by Kevin, and players were joined by spouses and guests for a celebration dinner at the club in the evening provided and cooked by members and organised by Pam.
Sunday, day 3. The final rounds of the A class were almost all completed with Kevin continuing unbeaten. Avril rested her knee, and players relaxed over tea and watched the handicap final. In the morning, Pam as group winner played Mike, which turned out to be the closest of matches, going to time (3 hours) with Mike just ahead by 3 hoops. Meanwhile Richard was in sparkling form against Derek, thwarting his opening gambit and setting up several breaks, finally pegging out Derek's yellow and making a perfect finish with black for a 7 hoop win.
The final was again close, but Mike had certainly regained form and was hitting in from ever increasing distances, while Richard was more off target in similar situations. On time, Richard needed to make a break with black from hoop 3, but ended up missing the rush so putting paid to any hopes. Mike came out a worthy winner by 11 hoops on time to regain the trophy for the second time to equal Richard's wins in the competition.
A Class - The Isle of Wight Championship
Kevin Carter 9
Philip Kennerley 4
Avril Machiavelli 2
Graham Thompson 2
B Class - The Mary Robinson Shield
Mike Cockburn Winner
Richard Harris Runner up
Isle of Wight Championships
Kevin Carter beat Philip Kennerley +11
Avril Machiavelli beat Graham Thompson +7t
Kevin Carter beat Graham Thompson +15
Philip Kennerley beat Avril Machiavelli +22
Kevin Carter beat Avril Machiavelli +12
Graham Thompson beat Philip Kennerley +1at
Kevin Carter beat Graham Thompson +11
Avril Machiavelli beat Philip Kennerley +5
Kevin Carter beat Avril Machiavelli +20
Philip Kennerley beat Graham Thompson +20
Kevin Carter beat Philip Kennerley +17
Graham Thompson beat Avril Machiavelli +3
Kevin Carter beat Avril Machiavelli +26
Philip Kennerley beat Graham Thompson +16
Kevin Carter beat Graham Thompson +13
Philip Kennerley beat Avril Machiavelli +7t
Kevin Carter beat Philip Kennerley +14
Mary Robinson Handicap
Mike Cockburn beat Derek Beard +9
Richard Harris beat Pam Sim +2t
Mike Cockburn beat Richard Harris +9
Pam Sim beat Derek Beard +6t
Mike Cockburn beat Pam Sim +12
Richard Harris beat Derek Beard +20
Richard Harris beat Mike Cockburn +19
Pam Sim beat Derek Beard +7
Pam Sim beat Mike Cockburn +15
Derek Beard beat Richard Harris +14
Derek Beard beat Mike Cockburn +7
Pam Sim beat Richard Harris +12t
Mike Cockburn beat Pam Sim +3t
Richard Harris beat Derek Beard +7
Mike Cockburn beat Richard Harris +11t