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Keith Ross won the Sidmouth B-Level Advanced Tournament

[<<] [>>] by Colin Walls at Sidmouth Croquet Club
19 August 2012 (AC)

Keith Ross won the Sidmouth B Level Advanced Tournament, beating Richard Wood in the Final +12

The Tournament this year featured players from as far afield as Penrith and the Pyrenees, but also 5 players from Sidmouth itself. Sidmouth Chairman, Elaine Woodward , said that some years ago, although Sidmouth had one or two A class players, it was difficult to find more than one player eligible to enter this B level advanced tournament. To find five or so, as as the club has in each of last few years, shows that the overall standard in the club has improved.

Play was conducted at first in two blocks, chosen to have a similar spread of handicap levels in both. In block A, David Marsh, supported by his family, won six games out of seven, as did Keith Ross. Keith has been better than scratch at times in the past, but a break from the game has seen his handicap move to 2.5. He still plays with an ancient all wood mallet whereas most of the opposition have carbon fibre handles on theirs. Modern technology was no help in this case.

Because Keith had beaten David in their game, Keith went on to the final. In block B Robert Moss started strongly, being the only player to win all of his first three games, but top Sidmouth Player Richard Wood eventually
caught up to six games all, and, having beaten Robert in their game, went on to the final.

The final was a very close-fought game, with chances on both sides and errors on both sides. At one point Richard looked to have an opportunity to produce a winning break, but went off the lawn on a fine take-off. This was particularly galling as local knowledge should have told him that the movement of the whole lawn a foot to the West last winter had produced a significant slope at that point (well, significant at the level of precision play involved here). Eventually Keith held his nerve and his lead to win the game and the tournament, clapped by the many spectators. The Regency Salver was duly handed to Keith on the first leg of its journey to the Pyrenees.
Keith expressed his appreciation for the work put in by groundsmen, hoop setters and the manager Nancy Temple.


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