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Roehampton End of Season Tournament

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pictureCurrent and previous winners of the Hussars Cup (Photo: Mike Pattison)

by John Pearson at Roehampton
11th September 2023 (AC - Handicap)

The Tournament for the Hussars Cup (first played for in 1911) started with a crisis - for the Manager at least. He had only learned late on the previous evening from an email sent earlier that Barry Holland (Surbiton) , one of the 7 previous winners in the field, would not be able to play. Cue worries about how to organise a 15 player field. But Dame Fortune shone on him. On passing through the Club gates at 8.30 on Saturday his 'phone rang; a Roehampton member, Nick Yates (who had won the AC B Level back in May), wondering if, by any chance, anybody had dropped out!

The rest is, as they say, history. Nick, making light of his 1.5 handicap, the second lowest, romped to victory. In doing so, he came back from the near dead in the third round to deprive Stephen Wingrove (Purley Bury) of a tremendous win. Stephen had used his 2 bisques and had both his balls for the peg, whilst Nick had barely started. Despite the lateness of the hour at the end of a long and very hot day, Nick impeccably played both his balls round to record a win that had looked most improbable.

At the end of the fourth round, only Nick and Diana Wilson (also from Roehampton, (who has spent this year concentrating on her GC, including playing in the recent World Championships and reaching the KO stages) had 4 wins each, leaving them to play each other in the effective Final. And it must also be recorded that that by lunchtime on the first day Diana had already notched up two 26-0 wins, the first against 3rd placed Alan Clark (High Wycombe), his only loss, and the second against the only minus player in the field (and double former winner), Jordan Waters (Merton).

In the Final Nick took his first ball to rover, with Diana then taking hers to peg, helped by the use of more of her bisques than she would have liked. Then, on Diana breaking down, Nick hit in and gave her no further chance, proving an impressive winner.

Mention might also be made of Susan King (Bristol) playing her first tournament. With a handicap of 16, after a tentative first couple of rounds getting used to the lawn speeds and double-banking, she is to be congratulated on 3 straight wins, albeit on time.

After the presentation, Roehampton's Croquet Captain, Mike Pattison, took the opportunity of taking a photo for posterity of the now 7 winners present, but also including David Openshaw, one of the most eminent of the former champions - in 1978!


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