A week of contrasts in the weather, but an enjoyable one for the Ryde Club meant an excellent week for the annual festival. We welcomed old friends and found time to enjoy some of the events ourselves. Some of the visitors stayed for the week and enjoyed the walking also.
Three of the competitors in the Mary Robinson Challenge Shield "warmed up" in showers and strong winds at Hamptworth in an SCF Association league match on the Friday before. They made up the majority with fourth player, Derek Beard from Devon playing in this and the Advanced the following weekend. The wind was even stronger on Saturday and caused problems with aiming and competitors dodging tree debris. Philip Kennerley and Derek Beard were overnight leaders, but the lessening of the wind and shelter on lawn 4 encouraged Richard Harris to win all his matches on Sunday to win the shield for the third time. Thanks to Philip for managing.
Mid week was for level play Golf Croquet Singles, with Tuesday and Wednesday devoted to the lower handicaps. With insufficient visitors, the CA event had to be called off, but there were so many Ryde volunteers that Roy Tillcock had to arrange a sixteen draw main competition and fit in twelve more high bisquers on Thursday. The first day was two round robin competitions of eight players each. All played all in 13 hoop games and on the second day, Roy devised a play-off competition of groups of four playing 19 hoop games. A shorter competition took place on Thursday.
Winners were - Group A - Stuart Peters, Group B - Pam Sim, Group C - Jim O'Keefe, Group D - Molly Deakin and Group E - Ken Hicks.
Five players made return visits to the Island to join Philip Kennerley. Defending champion, Kevin Carter (Surbiton) was once again with Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli, and Richard Williamson, with Derek Beard (and Jean) returning from the walking. The event was managed by our old friend, Cliff Jones, who also took time to play! No time limit Advanced play was the order of the day with all playing all. This meant three matches on the Saturday and two on Sunday, which was just as well because some were very closely contested in some glorious sunshine and blue skies.
By Sunday lunchtime, the competition was wide open, with Kevin, Cliff and Richard having three wins each, Avril with two and Derek and Philip with one each. The handicaps ensured that the two lowest, Kevin and Cliff played each other in the final round. The impasse was soon resolved with Cliff racing away to a +22 point win. This made him unbeatable on four wins as even if Richard beat Avril, Cliff had beaten Richard so would have won on the head to head result.
As it happens, Richard having advanced to rover and penult from 1back, lost to Avril just before the final I hour time limit.
Final places were - First, Cliff Jones (4 wins), 2nd - Avril Rangoni-Machiavelli (3), 3rd - Richard Williamson (3), 4th - Kevin Carter (3), 5th - Derek Beard (2) and 6th - Philip Kennerley (1). Avril gained a handicap reduction from 4 to 3 1/2 . Cliff Jones last won the Isle of Wight Championship Bowl in 1994 - exactly twenty years ago!
Twenty one players sat down to an excellent Festival supper at the Club on the second Saturday.