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  • John Davis joint winner Treasurers Tankard

    by Martin Murray at Guildford and Godalming [^] -> bottom
    20th September (Level-Play Tournaments)

     

    John Davis and Nigel Polhill share title in the dark.

    Treasurer's Tankard 2018

    This tournament was memorable, but not for the best reasons. The problems started on the first morning, when one of the players arrived 45 minutes late, citing traffic problems on the motorway. The weather was fine and sunny, but this only added to the problems, as the lawns were very fast, and two of them were bumpy after suffering in the dry hot summer. By lunchtime it was clear that quick games would be a rarity; the slowest game was pegged down to let round 2 commence, but it was well after tea-time that round 2 finished. Although a start was made on round 3, none of the games was finished when darkness fell at 8 pm.

    It was generally agreed that an earlier start, 9.30 am, was desirable on Friday morning, but round 3 was not completed by lunch-time, so again the slowest game was pegged down. This pattern continued, so that by darkness only five rounds had been completed, though by now four games were pegged down, all involving the same player. An early leader had emerged, John Davis, playing his first Eight for 31 years, being unbeaten with four wins and one game pegged-down.

    By now there was obvious concern that the event might not finish, so two pegged down games were started (double banked on the same lawn) at 9 am on Saturday morning. These both duly finished reasonably quickly, so round 6, held over from Friday, started more or less at 10 am. In round 7 John met his first defeat, at the hands of Ian Vincent, who was now only two games behind.

    Play on Sunday and Monday again started at 9 am with pegged down games, but with three rounds to play on Monday, and several games still pegged down, there were still fears that the event would not finish. A late game on Sunday saw Nigel Polhill, unbeaten in the second series, take second place from Ian, and it was clear that Nigel, on 7 wins, was the only player likely to catch John, now on 9 wins.

    This position was maintained in round 12, where both Nigel and John won, and the priority now was to get their remaining two games started as soon as possible. Thus an exciting game between Ian and Graham Gale, which reduced to a two-ball ending when Ian, in pegging out Graham's forward ball, accidentally pegged out his own ball as well. With both balls on 3-back, and the potential of impasses, the game unfortunately had to be abandoned to allow Graham to play Nigel.

    It felt inevitable that round 13 would result in a win for Nigel and a loss for John. Any other combination would make John a clear winner after 13 rounds, and we could all go home. John's earlier steadiness had wavered somewhat, and he fell well behind James Hawkins. A late rally failed to save the game, while Nigel, by now playing with fluency and confidence after six straight wins, beat Graham fairly easily.

    Now the two important games in round 14 could be started, John versus Ian about 5.30 pm, and Nigel versus Martin Murray not until almost 6.30 pm. With darkness inevitable at 8 pm, it seemed the best (or only?) chance of a clear result was for John to win, but Ian started out by building a clear lead. Another rally by John was again insufficient, and Ian eventually pegged out as darkness fell. Nigel's game was still some way from finishing, but both he and Martin carried on. By about 8.20 pm, with the balls almost invisible, Martin had got to rover and peg, but Nigel hit a 17 yard lift shot. Arthur Lindley, a Godalming member, brought out a powerful hand-held lamp which helped Nigel to complete a break from 4-back and peg out just on 8.30 pm.

    So Nigel's run of eight consecutive wins had been just enough to catch John on 10 wins, both being the only players to complete all 14 games. In all six games were left uncompleted, indeed two games in round 14 never even started.

    The remaining two players in the event, not involved in the final action, had mixed fortunes. Chris Martin, playing his first Eight,showed obvious promise for the future, whereas David Harrison-Wood had a miserable time; frequently pegged down, and struggling for form, he lost confidence, and completed only 10 games.

    Full results at:

    croquetscores.com/2018/ac/treasurers-tankard/

  • Nottingham beat York 8-3 (AC Short Croquet)

     by John Davis at Nottingham Croquet Club [^] -> bottom
    26 Sep 2018 (The Short Croquet Inter-Club Trophy)

     

    York travelled to Nottingham for the first semi-final of the CA's Short Croquet Inter-Club competition. The Indian summer provided very pleasant playing conditions and Charlie, Nottingham's groundsman, had done a wonderful job of preparing four half-sized lawns. The York team arrived with captain Alison Larard as designated driver.

    After a welcoming tea or coffee, play got under way. The morning session featured Mark Lansdale (with a SC handicap of 4) & Paul McGuire (7) against Alison Larard (7) & Carolyn Kirk (10) and two games of singles: Ellen Gee (7) v Denise Foster (10) and Mike Hedge (8) v William Bosanquet (8). Mark & Paul won the doubles fairly easily but the singles were much tighter, with narrow victories for Ellen and William.

    So 2-1 to Nottingham at lunch. Excellent fare provided by Bob Thompson was followed by two sessions of pre-drawn singles. The first session was split 2-2 with victories for Ellen and Mike for the hosts and Alison and William for the visitors. All to play for in the final session. After much serious ebb and flow with either result possible, the hosts finally took all four games. The highlight was a +1 golden hoop in extra time for Paul against Carolyn, who had only started playing croquet in June. This was one of those matches that was a lot closer than the final score suggests. Nottingham now play Penrith in the final.

    With three sessions of 75 minute, full-bisque games on short lawns, this competition is an excellent introduction to competitive croquet for newcomers to the game, and deserves to attract a bigger field of entrants next season.

  • Nottingham win GC Inter-Club

    by Ian Burridge at Phyllis Court [^] -> bottom
    22 Sep 2018 (Golf Croquet Inter-Club)

     

    Two first time finalists contested this year's Golf Croquet Inter-Club Final. Nottingham offered to play the match at Phyllis Court who arranged an excellent day with a couple of dozen spectators braving the inclement weather. Nottingham have managed to field the same team in each round of the competition, Ian Burridge, Richard Bilton, James Death and Euan Burridge. Phyllis Court were represented by Charlie Von Schmieder, Raouf Allim, Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring.

    Nottingham got off to a good start convincingly won the doubles. Meanwhile James Death had won a long first game against Roger Goldring and Euan Burridge and Chris Roberts we're one game each after Chris stole the 1st game at hoop 13. Richard Bilton took the opportunity to get a single banked "aftrenoon" game in against Raouf Allim before lunch and after a shaky start the recent Ascot Cup winner found his form and took a 1-0 lead into lunch. James finally overcame Roger after a 2hr 15min 2 game marathon. Whilst the others enjoyed an excellent lunch Chris Roberts finally overcame Euan's resistance in game 3 to give Phyllis Court hope.

    The rain continued unabated after lunch and Ian Burridge quickly won his first game against Charlie von Schmieder sealing it with a 5 yard jump shot at hoop 10. Richard wrapped his match up with some spectacular hoop running in game 2 including hoop 6 from between 3 and 4 followed by hoop 7 with its next shot. Euan put up little resistance after Roger ran hoops 2 and 4 from 25 yards in game 1 and the match was still in the balance at 3-2 to Nottingham. Meanwhile James had take the first game against Chris. Charlie looked as though he would cause an upset in his second against Ian when he took a 6-5 lead but a careless positional shot allowed Ian to flick to 13 and secure the match and the title for Nottingham a few shots later.

    Quiller Barrett performed the prize giving before the spectators left to find somewhere dry and warm. All that was left was for James to finish his match in the worst rain of the day, winning in two to make the final score 5-2 to Nottingham.

    Full results can be found on Croquet Scores:

    croquetscores.com/2018/gc/ca-inter-club-final-phyllis-court-vs-nottingham

  • Solomon Cup Results

    by Nick Harris at Sussex County [^] -> bottom
    23 Sep 2018 (Level-Play Tournaments)

     

    On the same weekend and in weather remarkably similar to that experienced at Compton with "welcome sunshine after lunch" on Sunday, Dominic Nunns won the Solomon Cup before the sun came out with a clinical +26, +26TP in the B O 3 Final against Paul Castell. 
    Omied Hallam (Nottingham) won the Consolation Swizz with 5 wins from 6.

    The Sussex Tumbler - the "B" Level Round Robin - went to Edinburgh in the hands of Dr David Houston who finished with 5 wins from 5 with Paul Wolff the runner up on 3 from 5.

     
  • James Death wins Southport Tournament

    by James Hawkins at Southport [^] -> bottom
    16 Sep 2018 (Level-Play Tournaments)

     

    James Death defeated a strong opposition to win the Sandiford Salver at 
    the Southport Advanced Weekend on 15-16 September.

    Death played some fast and elaborate croquet, squeezing ten games into 
    the two days. On the way he completed three triple peels, one triple on 
    his opponent, a quad, a straight quad, and the not-often-seen quintuple 
    peel on opponent. Credit must go to Peter Wilson, who managed the event 
    and succeeded in scheduling enough games to satisfy James's appetite for 
    croquet throughout.

    John-Paul Moberly made his Southport debut after recently relocating to 
    the North West, and won six games out of seven to take second place.

    Results:

    James Death - 10/10

    John-Paul Moberly - 6/7

    Paul Rigge - 6/8

    Alain Giraud - 5/8

    Omied Hallam - 4/8

    Richard H Smith - 2/6

    Liz Wilson - 2/6

    Dave Gunn - 2/7

    James Hawkins - 2/7

    Peter Wilson - 2/7

    Derek Knight - 1/6

    Dennis Scarr - 1/6

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