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East Dorset (Parkstone) August Week

[<<] [>>] by Rob Edlin-White at Parkstone
5th August 2000 (AC - Mixed)

The star of the week was undoubtedly Gabrielle Higgins, young enough to be
the grand-daughter of many of the field, who charmed everyone from day 1 and
had beaten most of us by day 6, carrying off a haul of trophies: the
handicap singles knockout, the B-block (despite being the highest bisquer in
an advanced level block), and with David Price the doubles "Y" event. Her
handicap rightly went down from 8 to 7, and I for one as another 8 would
have liked 2 or 3 bisques against her. Peggy Nutland also distinguished
herself, getting down from 7 to 5 and being runner-up to Gabrielle in 3

The week was managed with clarity and rigour by Hamish Hall who also played
and functioned as a referee. David Harrison-Wood was a meticulous and
assiduous hoop setter, initially interpreting the range of 3 to 4
thirty-seconds of an inch as meaning exactly 3, because "an eighth is
trivial". Later on the request of the manager he painstakingly reset them
all to nearer to an eighth, to the relief of many. The 5 lawns provided more
than enough capacity for the 20 players given the amount of leave taken. Two
hours play was lost on Wednesday in a thunderstorm, but the week was
generally hot, sunny and dry.

The A-Block was won by David Harrison-Wood who won all of his 6 games
including a straight TP and what he wanted to call an ITP (interrupted
triple peel). Dulcie Birrell won a close C block, having the best point
scores of the 3 players who won 4 out of 6 games.

50% of the class events went to the 3.25 hour time limit, as did all the
doubles but one. The X doubles final was started without time limits; David
Harrison-Wood and Jane Matthews eventually won after 5.5 hours play.

Two strokes deserve special comment; firstly the Gugan escape in which a
ball hampered at 1-back misses the target ball but runs 2-back; secondly the
Crowe roll in which the striker's ball in a pass roll hits the peg and stops
in a wired position, then the croqueted ball catches up and knocks it to a
favourable spot.

For anyone who hasn't sampled Parkstone I should add that there is a well
appointed bar and pavilion shared with tennis players, and convivial lunch
arrangement in which croquet stops and players eat together. There was no
great pressure to fit in lots of games nor to be available to play until
dusk. There are pleasant surroundings to visit when not required for play.
Club members are welcoming and very friendly.


Handicap Singles X (knockout): Gabrielle Higgins
Runner up: Peggy Nutland
Handicap Singles Y (Egyptian): ? (to be decided)
A block: David Harrison-Wood
B block: Gabrielle Higgins
C block: Dulcie Birrell
Doubles X: David Harrison-Wood and Jane Matthews
Doubles Y: David Price and Gabrielle Higgin


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