12 pairs from Hurlingham and the home counties competed in Hurlingham's Bank Holiday Monday Golf Croquet Handicap Doubles event, held on the 28th of August. A full range of handicaps from -1 to 10 were on show and, a record for this event, eight were married couples, though two couples chose to play with other partners!
After an absorbing 5 rounds, played in beautifully sunny conditions, 6 pairs were in contention for the Hurlingham Whisky Tumblers going into the last round of the Swiss, with the Norrises and Leonards on 4 wins out of 5 and 4 pairs on 3 wins. The final matches were therefore crucial in deciding the leading places and closely fought. Ian and Delia Norris from Phyllis Court, with their trademark careful and accurate play, came out on top for the third year in a row with 5 wins out of 6. 3 pairs ended on 4 wins; on the basis of who beat whom Freda and John Knight from Reigate Priory were declared runners-up, beating Jason Carley and Louise Taylor and the Leonards into 3rd and 4th places respectively.
Well done Hurlingham pair Clare Benson and Anne Stephens who came 5th equal. Anne rarely plays GC but filled in at the last minute for Tony Bingham, forced to withdraw after an operation for a troublesome appendix (and making a remarkable recovery to manage the event). She acquitted herself admirably. It was also good to see relative beginner Robert Creighton joining more experienced spouse Rosanne in their first croquet tournament together. While their combination didn't trouble the leaders Robert followed instructions and showed great promise, his frustration at not executing shots perfectly showing how much he cared; one to watch for the future!
Overall a very successful tournament showing off Hurlingham to perfection and with a loyal following. Who will beat the Norrises next year?