Croquet England Logo
Croquet England Logo

Phyllis Court beat Meldreth 4-2

[<<] [>>] by Christopher Roberts at Phyllis Court
26th August 2023 (GC - Federations Shield)

Phyllis Court, From henley-on-Thames is through to the National Final of the GC Federations Shield following a narrow 4.5 - 2.5 win over Meldreth, from Cambridgeshire, on Saturday.

Handicap Play is never easy to predict and all the more so when playing the, soon to be phased-out, 'extra-turns' variant of the game, which will be giving way to the Advantage game next season.

Phyllis Court had experience aplenty at the top of their team with captain Chris Roberts (handicap -2) staying with the same team that beat Sheffield convincingly in the quarter-final three weeks ago.

Roberts again partnered Phyllis Court number four player Paul Franklin (8) in the morning doubles and the pair combined well to see-off the four extra-turns of Meldreth's John and Sue Bishop (4 and 6 respectively) and use Franklin's own two extra turns to better effect.

Roberts' jump over two balls at hoop six in the first game made up for his unfortunate grievous peel (croquet's version of a own goal) at hoop five and better end game tactics by the Phyliis Court pair, gave Franklin a less than easy last hoop angled shot to win the first game 7-6.

This loss seemed to knock the confidence of the Meldreth pair in game two and Phyllis Court won comfortably 7-3 to get the first match win on the scoreboard.

Both morning singles were long drawn-out affairs and gave Meldreth heart when Phyllis Court's Patricia Mulcahy (5) went down to David Edwards (5) 4-7, 6-7.

There was disappointment too for the hosts' Andy Jones (2) who, having won his first game 7-4 against Roger Wallbridge (6), failed to convert his first approach advantage to the final hoop of the second game, missed a long range hoop shot and lost 6-7, denying Phyllis Court a lunchtime lead when that rubber was suspended at one game each.


Phyllis Court got off to a cracking start in the afternoon's second round matches by winning the first games of all four matches.

Roberts had to defend six extra turns against John Bishop whose clearances were good but lacking in control of the striker's ball on too many occasions and the Phyllis Court player was again able to out manoeuvre his opponent tactically to win 7-6, 7-5.

Franklin's performance to defeat Sue Bishop 7-2, 7-4 was probably the star turn of the day and put Phyllis Court in a great position at 3 -1 up in the team match, with three rubbers to finish, but Meldreth were not done yet.

Jones and Muchahy both lost the second games of their matches against Meldreth's Edwards and Wallbridge respectively and there was last hoop drama in the deciding games of both contests.

Mulcahy fell 7-5, 1 -7, 6-7 to Wallbridge and that brought Melderth right back in to the team match 3-2, as all eyes fell on Jones and Edwards.

Jones bravely took on a long hoop, remembering his late morning miss from the same position, and this time lodged in the jaws of the hoop. Edwards got too much height into his attempted jump which sailed over the hoop crown and Jones tapped in for the game, match, and fixture 7-5, 4-7, 7-6.

Jones suspended morning match became a dead rubber and was halved by agreement.

This will be Phyllis Court's second final appearance in three years and they will look to emulate their success of 2021 against new opponents Chichester & Fishbourne. This match will be played at Surbiton Croquet Club on 19th September.


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.