Ranelagh Gold Cup weekend at Roehampton Club on 25th/26th July 2015
The premium prize of the Roehampton Club croquet calendar is the Ranelagh Gold Cup which was presented to the Club by the Croquet Association years ago following the demise of the former Ranelagh Club nearby. The two day weekend tournament is an Association croquet open event which attracts players of the highest standard. This year there were 18 entrants, several with handicaps of minus 1.5 and others better than scratch. The tournament was ably managed for the third successive year by Michael Town from the Woking Club.
The lawns were in excellent condition and many of our guests were very complimentary about their flatness and high quality. Despite stormy weather forecasts for the weekend and heavy rain on Friday, we had a fine and blustery day on Saturday and a wet and blustery day on Sunday. Heavy rain fell on Sunday morning and most people became thoroughly soaked but play continued uninterrupted and everyone played six rounds, some played eight. The standard of play was high and the younger players including Jack Wicks and Christian Carter kept everyone on their toes with some fast and furious action; the power and accuracy of their shots were invigorating. The pleasing number of spectators from the Club were well entertained.
Jack Wicks (Colchester) won the Cup with seven wins out of eight. Already sporting a Great Britain shirt,
Jack's handicap was reduced to minus 2 at the end of the tournament. His single lost match was against Mark Ormerod (Hurlingham) who triumphed after a long, tactical battle with only two balls left. At the start Mark's clip was on hoop two, five hoops behind Jack's on four back. He managed, by means of some accurate long roquets and an extended two ball break, to get to the peg. He pegged out eventually with a 20 yard shot from corner one to win +5. The runner up was another international, Jeff Dawson from Woking (6/8) followed by Mark Ormerod (4/6) and Tim Russell (4/6).
Leo Hawkins (Hampstead Heath) was another successful young entrant who was returning to croquet this year after a 15 year absence. He entered with an estimated handicap of 8 and surprised everyone with the quality of his play, winning 4/7, including at least one triple peel! After due consideration by the CA handicapper, David Mooney, he left with a new handicap of 1! We expect to see more of him in future. In addition there were many other top players from local clubs who laboured long and hard and appeared to enjoy themselves, including our own Mike Hann, David Mooney and Peter Siddall.