Chris Roberts wins Roehampton GC Open Series
The inaugural Roehampton GC Open Series was held on the 18th and 19th June. Two dropouts during the week, left the event as a 14 player cross block, with a welcome family contingent of four Spanish players (father,son, aunt and uncle). Three players won five games on the Saturday, Tim Russell, Chris Roberts and Paul Gunn. All four Spanish players belied their handicaps and D grade rankings, with Steve Leonard falling particular victim to their excellent positional play. They found Roehampton's fast lawns to their liking. Six players finished on four wins with the younger Ignacio Gross missing out on a quarter final place on net hoops.
The quarter finals saw Tim Russell beat Carlos Ariza 7-4, 7-5; Nick Yates (playing in his first GC Tournament having taken up croquet in November) beat Paul Gunn 7-4, 5-7, 7-3, Chris Roberts beat Steve Leonard 6-7, 7-4, 7-3 and Jonathan Claxton beat Ignacio Gross senior 4-7, 7-4, 7-4.
The semi-finals saw Chris Roberts prevail against Jonathan Claxton 7-4, 7-5 with his customary hard hitting and the other semi-final saw Nick upset Tim, 4-7, 7-4, 7-3 with an astonishing display of accurate clearing (one missed shot in three games), perfect positioning and long hoop running. Nick is a fine croquet prospect and it was a little consolation to Tim that he has been training him in both codes of the game since he started in November.
Unfortunately, Nick couldn't keep up the degree of relentless clearing he showed against Tim in the final. A keen Padel player, he found out that two days of GC can be quite tiring and Chris's experience and good play ensured he ran out a comfortable 7-3, 7-4 winner. Well done Chris and thank you for being RoT.
The Bowl was an all Spanish affair with Ignacio Gross Sr beating Carlos Ariza 10-7. Another Roehampton newbie, Andrew Wilson won the Plate beating Ignacio Jr. 7-3, another very creditable performance in his first GC Tournament.