Marcus Evans won the Nailsea & District Croquet Club Advanced Weekend Tournament, becoming the first player to do so three times (six other players have previously won it twice). In this he was greatly assisted by Kriss Chambers failing to defend his title, with the feeble excuse that he was getting married that same day - in Cyprus, which is why there is no photo of him under an arch of croquet mallets.
Eight players competed in an all-play-all block for the trophy in wind, rain, and occasional sunshine. The manager (also your correspondent) began the weekend by boldly announcing there would be no time limits, and any ties after 7 rounds would be broken by play-offs rather than the always-controversial who-beat-whom or net points. However, after only 3 rounds were completed on day 1, he swiftly imposed 2.5 hour time limits for the four remaining rounds on day 2, only to be confounded immediately by a rare "teapot" from Richard Smith. Richard's opponent Jaimie Mussi ran several superb hoops to catch up in the ending, but having levelled the scores he was unable to continue to keep this up at penult, thus allowing Richard back in to take the winning point. Despite this, only one game remained unfinished, it was pegged down with the scores level and later abandoned as a draw.
Jaimie could consider himself quite unlucky to lose another close game when he managed a grievous on opponent against Jerry Guest, in the process of rushing Jerry's peg ball to his own peg ball. Jaimie's other peg ball went off the court next to Jerry's 4-back ball, and Jerry played an excellent turn to snatch victory. Despite this, Jaimie finished joint 4th (with Steve Woolnough), and was awarded the prize for best performance by a player of scratch or above.
Bristol's Robert Wilkinson had a good tournament, completing 3 triple peels on his way to 6/7 and the runner-up prize, but lost out to Marcus (in a somewhat attritional affair) who finished undefeated on 7/7. Marcus also had 3 triples but awarded the peeling prize to Robert on the basis that one of his efforts came in the only game to be played to Super Advanced rules. The lawns had, as ever, been meticulously prepared by volunteer club members, with the firmly-set hoops offering sufficient challenge that introducing further interactivity by way of Super Advanced was largely unnecessary. The playing surface continues to improve, but no improvement is necessary in the kitchen where other members provided superb lunches and teas for the tournament players.
Marcus Evans beat Nick Steiner +26tp
2 Jaimie Mussi beat Steve Woolnough +16
3 Robert Wilkinson beat Nick Saxton +21tp
4 Richard M Smith beat Jerry Guest +24
5 Richard M Smith beat Nick Steiner +4
6 Marcus Evans beat Jerry Guest +5
7 Steve Woolnough beat Nick Saxton +10
8 Robert Wilkinson beat Jaimie Mussi +21tp
9 Marcus Evans beat Robert Wilkinson +19
10 Richard M Smith beat Steve Woolnough +12
11 Jerry Guest beat Jaimie Mussi +2
12 Nick Steiner beat Nick Saxton +12
13 Steve Woolnough beat Jerry Guest +24
14 Robert Wilkinson beat Nick Steiner +26
15 Marcus Evans beat Nick Saxton +22
16 Richard M Smith beat Jaimie Mussi +1tpo(t)
17 Marcus Evans beat Jaimie Mussi +25
18 Steve Woolnough beat Nick Steiner +14
19 Robert Wilkinson beat Jerry Guest +21tp
20 Jaimie Mussi beat Nick Steiner +25
21 Nick Saxton beat Jerry Guest +21
22 Robert Wilkinson beat Richard M Smith +22
23 Marcus Evans beat Steve Woolnough +26tp
24 Marcus Evans beat Richard M Smith +26tp
25 Robert Wilkinson beat Steve Woolnough +16
26 Jaimie Mussi beat Nick Saxton +25
27 Nick Steiner beat Jerry Guest +13