Croquet England Logo
Croquet England Logo

Kington Langley lost to East Dorset 3-4

[<<] [>>] by Chris Weedon at Kington Langley
4 Aug 2023 (AC - Longman Cup)

On 4th August (sorry Hilary!) East Dorset travelled to Kington Langley nr Chippenham with a team consisting of Chris Rice, Alan Jones, Chris Weedon & Steve Leonard. Morning play consisted of Rice & Jones playing doubles and winning a closely fought game 23-21 against John Grimshaw and Margaret Murray, whilst Weedon comfortably won his singles game +14 vs Ian Wills. Leonard narrowly lost 16-17 to Richard Way on golden hoop. So at lunch ED were 2-1 up knowing 2 wins out of the 4 afternoon singles would see them through to the semi final.

But it did not start well....Leonard was comprehensively beaten by opposition number 1 Grimshaw 26-6: all in a very quick 1 hour 15 mins. Jones seemed to be comfortably ahead as was Weedon with Rice struggling to keep up with her opponent who had 3 bisques. Jones's opponent who needed to leave by 5pm suddenly found some hidden form and ran hoop after hoop and won +6 before dashing off. So ED managed to turn a 2-1 lead into a 2-3 deficit. Weedon, as expected, won 23-18. So with the scores at 3-3 it was all down to Rice...

EDITORS WARNING... please stay seated to read the next bit, but grab a stiff drink first!!!

With Murray having the chance to peg out and win, Rice was given a lifeline as the opponent missed with one ball but pegged out her other ball. So with Rice on 2 back & 4 back & opponent on peg it seemed a lost cause but Rice is not a quitter: she ran a hoop, then another, and would then go to oppos ball and send it to boundary and go back to meet up with her other ball Time and again Rice would send her opponent to the boundary and the opponent would fire at peg and miss. Rice then started to believe she could win this, with both balls on penult she then peeled one and ran the other, up to rover and peeled the first ball, but her striker's ball stuck on the wire. She then tried a clearance on Murray's brown which was close by and missed to the boundary. Then time was called... 25-23 to KL!

Murray hit in, but the take-off to the peg was hampered by the hoop, and it ended 10 feet from the peg, which was then missed. Still 25-23!

Rice calmly hit in with the boundary ball from a distance of at least 12 yards, and must approach and run rover and peg a ball out to take it to golden hoop shoot out… Could she actually peg both balls out and win? No… but she did peg out one ball and take it to a shootout… opponent this time decided to shoot at Rice's ball and missed. So the confident Rice had no doubt that she could hit that skinny little centre peg from 6 yards: confidently doing so and somehow managed to snatch victory from what looked an impossible position to drag ED over the line and win 4-3 and into the semi final to play Sussex.

Sorry this is so long, but I was getting excited, and it certainly was very tense at the end. To think that I was on the point if heading home after being threshed in my second game! A great day was had by all.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed on this news web page are those of the Editor and contributors. Croquet England is not responsible for statements other than those clearly identified as being made on its behalf. The full editorial policy is available online. The Web News Editor is the Croquet England Office.