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Division 2 GC Counties

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pictureSomerset (L to R) Dom Aarvold, Andy Loakes, Stephen Custance-Baker (capt) and David Goacher

by Ivor Brand at Sussex County Croquet Club
23rd August 2022 (GC)

Somerset worthy champions, being undefeated at the Div 2 championships at Southwick. Team of Dom Aarvold, Andy Loakes, Stephen Custance-Baker (capt), David Goacher, Jim Field and Jonathan Isaacs.

So, congratulations to Somerset who bounce straight back to Div 1 next year. Joining them in a well deserved 2nd place will be Devon led by Stuart Smith.

The format for this tournament is 8 counties playing a round robin in a best of 7 games and as I can confess it is full on. So, it was with regret that I have to mention that a county (who has no name) had to withdraw late on the Wednesday evening leaving the aforementioned format in peril. The easy option was to scratch them and give every county a 2-hour bye, which would be disappointing and frustrating for all concerned. It was decided this would be unacceptable and hence a hectic two days of phone calls and emails to plug a gaping hole!!! The solution came in the way of a 'Misfits' team of whom I am indebted to everyone who answered the call to take a turn as a 'Misfit' even if it meant playing against their own county as I did. Special thanks to Andrew Stewert and David King who were the mainstays for the 'Misfits' and Roger Sutton who helped me initially find players from Southwick at short notice. By the way, the 4 in the photo also took a turn at being a 'misfit'.

My gratitude also goes to David Bell (RoT) who only had to make 2 decisions and the catering team who provided us with sustenance over the weekend. Finally to Louise Smith who kindly took on Croquet Scores for me and allow me time to think. In the end I believe it was a successful saved weekend that at times was hanging by a thread. Last minute that heroes that stepped in as a 'Misfit' include:

Deborah Albertsen who was minding her own business watching her son play Saturday morning in flip flops.

Neil Humphries who was also minding his own business playing a game with his wife Jayne Sunday morning.

Naomi Whitehead who thought she was going to watch her husband Darryl play Sunday afternoon.

Hope to see you all next year at a more relaxed event


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