On the hottest day of the year so far, Colchester beat Dyffryn in the Mary Rose competition yesterday by 6 games to 1.
In what is meant to be a regionally-based draw, odd numbers in each region had thrown together two of the most widely separated croquet clubs in the country. Dyffryn drew the short straw and were faced with the long trek up the M4 and around the M25. They did the trip in a very impressive time, though, and by the time they had shaken off the two pursuing police cars we managed to start the match about 20 minutes before the scheduled 11:00 am.
All three of the morning games could have gone either way. The Haslam-Tuthill match finished first after some disagreement over whether a lift or a contact is conceded when a ball peels its partner through 1-back and then goes on to make 1-back and 4-back itself. The other singles game (Mahoney-Ham) was more closely fought, but the doubles players went the full 3 1/2 hours, with Colchester managing to peg out in the final turn after time had been called.
In the afternoon, Richard Smith dispatched Paul Pristavec clinically +26. David Haslam had a reasonably comfortable win over Kevin Ham, and Terry Mahoney ran the final four hoops and stole the game +1 after Chris Tuthill had pegged out just one of his balls. Finally, in a game that will be remembered more for the dogged determination of both players rather than for any skill or flair that they exhibited, Gary McElwain and Colin Hemming slogged it out for the full time, finishing a full 45 minutes after everyone else, with Gary overtaking Colin's initial lead and holding on to win +4 (25-21).
and, incidentally, it's a contact.
Richard Smith(1) & Colin Hemming(4) bt Paul Pristavec(2.5) & Gary McElwain(3) +3
David Haslam(4) bt Chris Tuthill(4) +10
Terry Mahoney(5) bt Kevin Ham(6) +6
Richard Smith bt Paul Pristavec +26
Gary McElwain bt Colin Hemming +4T
David Haslam bt Kevin Ham +10
Terry Mahoney bt Chris Tuthill +1