"The Peels", a Croquet Association handicap tournament, was held at Nottingham from 11th - 15th May and managed by Bob Thompson. Charles Ostler and Philippine Hallam won the Peel Memorial Silver Challenge Bowls for the men's and women's singles events and Charles Ostler and Sue Wileman the Lady Murray Challenge Cups for the mixed doubles. He concluded his report below by noting that once again the caterers are to be congratulated on proving a wide and varied menu.
Thirteen ladies competed for the Peel Memorial Silver Challenge Bowl. The event was played as a flexible Swiss for the first three days, with the top four progressing to a knockout. For the second consecutive year Dr Philippine Hallam (Nottingham, h/c 16), won the Ladies Silver Challenge Bowl, beating Julie Horsley (Sidmouth, h/c 12) +3T, after a delayed start which led to the ladies' final finishing at 6:45 in the evening. This was because earlier in the morning her semi-final game against Beatrice McGlen (Nottingham, h/c 1), had to be suspended after an hours play to enable Philippine to take her toddler son to A&E, where doctors did their magic to repair a dislocated elbow (in the afternoon he was happily toddling around the club, showing no ill effects). Upon her return Philippine then went on to beat Beatrice +6T. A very emotional day's play for Philippine and not just for running hoops. Julie Horsley played Jeanne Ackermann (Nottingham, h/c 11) in their semi-final, winning +7. Jeane, a nonagenarian, had played at her best in the prelinimary rounds winning 4 of her 5 games; it had been noted that her hitting-in was of a remarkably high percentage.
The men's singles event was competed for by sixteen players. The format was the same as in the ladies' event. Bob Thompson, (Nottingham & Pinchbeck, h/c 4), Omied Hallam, (Nottingham, h/c 0) and Charles Ostler (Pinchbeck & Hunstanton, h/c 9) were joined in the semi-finals by Ian Draper (Nottingham, h/c 6), who had earlier on Sunday morning won a two ball play-off between himself, David Brydon, (Nottingham CC, h/c 4) and Richard Stevens, (Hamptworth CC, h/c 6). Starting from corner four, Ian ran three hoops to win. Convincing wins for Ian Draper +19 over Bob Thompson and Charles Ostler +15 over Omied Hallam saw a men's final between Ian and Charles on a glorious sunny afternoon. For Ian the final was only the second game of the event where he was giving bisques to his opponent, Charles used two of his bisques early in the final, gaining just a hoop per bisque used. There was some interaction as neither finalist could establish a commanding lead until Ian carefully took his first ball to penult. With a bisque standing on the sidelines, Ian was careful not to leave Charles an easy opportunity to use it. Little by little Charles managed to gain the advantage and won by +4T, with a bisque standing.
Eleven pairings competed for the Mixed Doubles event, played as a knockout. On Thursday morning, the 2015 winners, David Brydon and Julie Horsley (h/c 7), lost to Charles Ostler and Sue Wileman (h/c 10.5), +3T in the first round. In the second round, the establishing pairing, playing partners for over 24 years, of Brian Shorney and Jane Hull (h/c 8) beat husband and wife, Richard and Diana Stevens (h/c 10) +9. The semi-finals saw Charles and Sue overcome Brian and Jane +5T and Omied and Phillipa Hallam (h/c 5) beat Beatrice McGlen and Sandy Brown (h/c 6) +3T. In the final, Sue Wileman established a good break to penult, Omied had a chance for a long hit-in from near hoop 3, but hit the peg. Charles continued to make progress and the pairing won +26.
Handicap changes: Charles Ostler 9 to 8, Julie Horsley 12 to 11, Richard Stevens 6 to 5 and Ian Draper 6 to 5.