The first National Forest GC Doubles tournament was played on August 29/30th at Moira in North West Leicestershire, home of Ashby Croquet Club. Subtitled "Total Zero Plus" to reflect minimum joint handicaps, it attracted Ashby club members and players from the North East, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Essex and 18-year-old Ellie Ross, currently living in the West Midlands but wearing the all black colours of a New Zealand international.
Manager Ray Mounfield decided on an all-play-all 3 games format with a generous time limit. Two courts play similarly and the third has different characteristics so all pairs were allocated matches on each court.
The first day's play, at times in heavy rain, saw most pairings complete three rounds, with four teams finishing on 2 match wins. All matches were ended within their set time limits [first game in 70 mins, 2 games in 130 mins, 3 games in 180 mins.]
Sunday started drier and brighter. First on court were Jane Tewson and Paul Durkin and Judith and Arthur Rowe to play their held over game and complete round 3. The end of the 4th round saw Ellie Ross and Christine Wood and the Widdison duo each on 3 wins with the likelihood of one of them winning the tournament.
Round 5 was a nail-biter. The final deciding two games were being played out simultaneously, Ross/Wood v Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons against Ann Brookes and Jane Pringle. The two fancied teams failed to defeat their opponents, leaving the manager with the headache of 3 pairs on 3 match wins. Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons each had 9 game wins so it came down to hoop difference. Jane and Paul had scored 13 more hoops and were declared winners. They were surprised and delighted to be taking home the much admired and unique trophy designed and made by Mike O'Brian during the first few weeks of "lockdown".
All players agreed that, despite Covid-19 restrictions, the two days had gone well and this previously untried format had worked well, with only one game being timed out.
Full results on CroquetScores