Raghu Iyer won the Hurlingham Midweek Veterans Association Croquet
Our annual Veterans AC tournament was held over three days of late summer. Conditions were kind, with hoops set for 1/8" clearance on Hurlingham's lush but quick lawns. That and the evident skills of the competitors produced many excellent turns and games of high quality.
The format was handicap advanced. Handicaps of players ranged from ½ to 20. To avoid forests of bisques the contestants were divided into two groups: the "Top Guns" from 0 to 8 and the "Cannons" from 9 to 20. With odd numbers in each group the top-tournament-ranked 9 handicap was promoted to Top Gun. Cannon players had bisques off a base of 8 to enable break-building. Opponent pairs among the Cannon players were also allowed to play ordinary handicap rules if they mutually agreed for any game. Surprisingly few of such off-format games were played; the Cannon players knew and mostly played to the advanced format, though some for the first time.
With only two formal games per day, stress was avoided and contestants had time to enjoy themselves with good company in pleasant surroundings. Additional friendly games were available for those who wanted more. At the end the top prizes were awarded to two clear winners of the two event classes. Congratulations to Raghu Iyer (Phyllis Court) who beat the field of Cannon players with five wins out of six, with Anne Stephens (Hurlingham) coming second.
And equal congratulations to Carole McLoughlin (Ealing) who achieved the same result of five out of six wins against all the other Top Guns, with Charles Ostler placed second. Honourable mentions go to Hugh Carlisle (Hurlingham), Nick Furse (Merton) and Robert Upton (Dyffryn), all of whom equalled Charles with four wins but were thwarted from second place by his 48 net points.