Nottingham August Week
This year saw 44 players from 15 clubs compete on the 9 lawns at Nottingham Croquet Club in the annual tournament. In all, over 250 matches were completed over the 6 days.
The Big Handicap, the Robin Hood Cup, involved 40 players with a range of handicaps from -2 to 16. After 4 days of flexible Swiss competition to find the top 8, the knockout was complete by Saturday morning resulting in a final between Peter Death (7) and Omied Hallam (-1), both Nottingham players, which Omied won +17.
The Open Singles (A class) had 13 competitors in the range -2 to +2, and was played as a flexible Swiss until Friday lunchtime, followed by a knockout for the top eight. In the semi-finals Joel Taylor (Roehampton, -2), beat Richard Huxley (Nottingham, -0.5) and Omied Hallam beat Ian Vincent (Nottingham, -1). Omied beat Joel +17 in a single game final (more on that later).
There were 18 entries in the B-level, with handicaps ranging between 3&8, played as a flexible Swiss until Friday lunchtime, followed by a knockout for the top four. In a very close final, Ken Jones (Bury, 3.5) beat Heather Bennett (St. Albans, 3) by +3.
The C-Level only had 4 entries of 8-11 handicap and was played as two American blocks with the final between Julian Gibson (Middlesborough, 8) and Mick Owens (Nottingham, 11), which Julian won +22.
The D Class (full bisque base 10 handicap singles) was similarly played as two American blocks, the second of which could not be completed due to player availability. Block 1 was won outright by Tom Dewar (Nottingham, 16) and his position in the second block clinched victory, with Cathy Turski (Nottingham, 16) taking second place.
16 pairs entered the Handicap Doubles knockout and the final pairing is the reason the Open Singles was played as a single match, rather than best of 3. The defending champions, Omied Hallam and Mark Lansdale (Nottingham, 8) once again reached the final and played Phil Eardley (Surbiton, -2) and Cathy Turski. After a very tense game, which entertained the gallery immensely, Omied and Mark retained the trophy +4(t).
It is yet to be confirmed but it is likely that this is the first time the Open Singles, Big Handicap and Handicap Doubles have been won by the same player.