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Sextuple and 3 TP's at Crake Valley Cavendish Clock

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pictureNeil Adams receives the Cavendish Clock from David Cornes

by David Cornes at Crake Valley
9th August 2023 (AC)

After the wettest July on record, Twelve AC players took to the superb lawns at Crake Valley over the weekend of 5th & 6th August.

Two blocks of six saw most games being decided by the high quality of initial break play.

By early Sunday afternoon, at the end of 5 rounds, there were two players in Block A on 4 wins - Rick Harding (Southport) and Charles Harding (Bowdon): Charles progressing by virtue of "who beat who". In Block B three players had secured 4 wins out of 5. Neil Adams (Westmorland), Mike Sandler (Bowdon) and Steve Skelton (Keswick) all had a win each against each other, resulting in Neil progressing on hoop difference (of plus 95!). In the group stages both Neil and Rick had achieved a triple peel.

Moving to the final, Neil took early control and overcame Charles by 26-4 TP. A great achievement for someone relatively new to Croquet. In his acceptance speech Neil, reflected on how (as a novice) he had admired James Death winning the trophy in 2020 and had inspired him to work out how to successfully play the Advanced game.

A most significant achievement occurred in the 3rd and 4th place play off, where Mike Sandler only got to play 3 shots as Rick Harding achieved a SEXTUPLE. This was fantastic to watch and, we believe, this is the first time it has been achieved at Crake Valley. Dave Nick achieved the feat at Southport in 2006 but there is no record of a sextuple being achieved in tournament play at Crake. Liz Wilson (NW Federation AC handicap officer) presented Rick with his paperwork to receive a Platinum Award from the CA. An emotional Rick praised the Crake Valley club saying "A great event and testimony to your team improving the lawns. Amazing that there were 3 TPs and an SXP with a field average handicap of above scratch: that is not possible without the right playing conditions."


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