Bob Stephens Open One-Ball event - Hurlingham, 28 October 2018
Despite the potential confusion of a clock change twenty players assembled on time in the cricket pavilion while manager Mark cleared puddles off lawns 7 and 10. It was a strange sort of squally day, sunny spells interspersed with rain and at one point a hailstorm. Players didn't know whether to wear waterproofs or take off layers because it was too warm.
Level Advanced Knock-out event
In the level advanced section, eight entrants played an X/Y knock-out with all games the best of 3, Trevor Longman (Ramsgate) convincingly upset the seedings, beating in succession Alain Giraud (Ealing), Alan Chance (Hurlingham), and Mark Ormerod (Hurlingham) in the final, despite being the lowest ranked on AC handicap.
Trevor was duly presented by Croquet Chair Tony Bingham with the Bob Stephens Trophy (a silver hip flask), and Alain took the award for winning the consolation Y event, having beaten Tim Russell (Roehampton) in the final. Meanwhile, snug in the main Club house after lunch Jonathan Lamb (Canterbury) and Kevin Carter (Surbiton) were enjoying a game of backgammon. Hallam (Nottingham) came third in the X.
Swiss Handicap event
12 played in the Swiss, from 6 clubs, including 4 from Hurlingham. Handicaps were calculated by the CA's recommended method, as the lower of: 20, 2.5 times GC handicap and AC handicap. This produced 1-ball handicaps in the range 0 to 20; match bisques were 1/ 3 of the handicap difference. Games were triple-banked with a 35 minute time limit, seldom needed.
After 5 or 6 rounds, depending on how quickly matches had been finished, 3 players were in contention on 4 or 5 wins (1-Ball handicap): Peter Spiller (Hurlingham, 9) was 5/5, Tony Elliott (Hampstead, 6) was 4/5 and Peter Adams (Caversham, 12) was 4/6. In the final round Adams beat Spiller and Tony Elliott also won but based on win percentage and who beat whom Spiller (5/6) was declared the winner as he had beaten Tony Elliott (5/6) earlier. Elliott meanwhile had started another game, which if he had won would have affected the final result, but this was declared void as everyone wanted to get home! Though Adams (5/7) had beaten Spiller he had a lower win percentage!
Overall, despite the extremely variable weather, the participants enjoyed the tournament, and it was good to see a number of new faces, including some who had travelled long distances for a one-day tournament. Get your entry in early next year as several potential entrants had to be turned away