Hamptworth lost to Church Stretton 2-3
Hamptworth hosted Church Stretton in idea conditions on 2nd July.
The teams were:-Hamptworth: Aston Wade (0), Richard Smith (5) and Nick Beard (20).Church Stretton: John Knowles (4.5), George James (6) and Joe Manifold(11)
The scores were as follows, home team first:-
Aston Wade & Richard Smith beat John Knowles & Joe Manifold +8t
Nick Beard lost to George James -17
Aston Wade beat John Knowles +8
Richard Smith lost to George James -1t
Nick Beard lost to Joe Manifold -15t
Church Stretton won 3-2.
Aston and Richard paired up against John and Joe and immediately Aston went round with his ball to rover leaving John and Joe with the need for a quick response. Unfortunately John set off erratically, used most of the team's bisques, and only got as far as three back. The rest of the game consisted of Richard playing very controlled croquet, Aston hitting in and setting up at will, and Joe hardly getting a look in. Aston and Richard won on time 21-13.
On the other lawn Nick played George and started off well with accurate play. George however made his greater experience show and wound the game up 26-9.
With all to play for in the afternoon, Aston played John and carried on where he left off with a big break. John was able to hit back with a good break of his own but when Aston got back in he went through the hoops with his second ball leaving John with too much to do. Aston won 26-18 and it was an absolute pleasure to watch. What a player.
Meanwhile Joe was playing an astute game against Nick. He pulled ahead early on and Nick was unable to get a good break going meaning that Joe's lead slowly increased. Joe won 19-4 on time leaving the match finely balanced.
Richard pulled in front of George in the third game and remained there until there were a few minutes to go. George then managed to peel both balls through consecutive hoops right at the end to pull off a 16-15 win on time securing the match for Church Stretton.
As Church Stretton captain, I would like to put on record what a pleasure it was to play at Hamptworth and particularly the wonderful sportsmanship of our hosts.