The National Seniors Championships 12 - 17 July 2021
Despite a horrendous weather forecast for Monday which promised torrential rain all day with thunder and lightening thrown in, the day proved to be an ideal one for croquet. The temperature was comfortable and only a few drops of rain on two occasions. All round Budleigh the roads were deluged and the rain torrential as promised. Consequently a 2 hour 22 point Knock-out with consolation games had been planned and this proceeded without the hindrance of bad weather.
Duncan Reeve [Budleigh -2] and John Wells [Cheltenham 7] played Peter Thompson [York 2] and Barry Holland [Surbiton 2.5] in the final with Reeve and Wells being victorious.
The weather began to become ever sunnier and warmer from Tuesday, the start of the Handicap Singles, peaking on Friday and Saturday with everyone seeking shade whenever possible. The Handicap Singles had a larger than usual entry of 20 with only 2 days to complete whatever form, at as the Class Event gave no real prospect of room for handicap semi-final / final games. A knock-out with a Swiss was played which saw Peter Death [Nottingham 5] giving David Warhurst [Budleigh -1] a 'run for his money' but Warhurst canny play against bisques prevailed.
The Class Event saw 13 of the 39 of the entrants with handicaps ranging from -2 to scratch, A large A Class by any standards. The Tournament Manager had previously asked Simon Hathrell to manage these players and all had 9 games in a Flexible Swiss after one entrant withdrew for health issues. The remaining players were tightly packed between handicaps; 26 between 1 and 3 and just 7 from 4 to 7.
Charlie Martin [Ramsgate 4] AKA 'Billy the Whiz' took the fastest game prize with an astonishing 27 minutes! He also went on to win 5 out of 5 games in his block and took home the J E H Trophy.
The Nigel Graves trophy, handicaps 2.5 to 4, was won by Martin Beacon [Nottingham 3] with 4 games won out of 5 and 3 runners-up with 3 wins.
The de Ansorena Cup, handicaps 2 to 2.5 was a close-run victory. Both Peter Thompson  and Heather Bennett [Nottingham 2] won 4 games but Peter beat Helen so took the trophy.
The Colin Hemming cup, handicaps 0.5 to 2, saw many games go to time and the deciding, final game was no exception. A late start and even later finish saw Ian Draper [Nottingham 1] defeat Alex McIntyre [Nottingham 1.5] +1T [13 -12].
Simon's expertly handled Flexible Swiss saw Duncan Reeve play 2 Tripel and 3 Sextuple peels but this was not enough to win. Chris Williams [Glamorgan -1] played his usual, seemingly relaxed and effortless game and won 9 games out of 9 with 194 net points, the next highest was 68. Oh yes and 5 triple peels as well. Chris took the Trevor Williams Challenge Cup and deservedly so.