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  • 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

  • Richard Bilton wins Ascot Cup (GC)

     by Stephen Mulliner at Sussex County CC [^] -> bottom
    28th September (Golf Croquet Championships)

     

    Richard Bilton wins his first GC "major"

    The final of the English National Singles Championship for the Ascot Cup is the last major event of the domestic GC season and was hosted by Sussex County CC on 15 and 16 September. The Southwick courts were in excellent condition, complemented by sunny weather over the weekend. The grades of the top four players were only narrowly separated in the 2,500 region which paved the way for close contests. It was anyone's guess who would eventually prevail. 
    The 16 competitors played best-of-three 13 point games in four blocks of four on Saturday to determine the top two who would progress to the championship KO Stage. In Blocks A, B and C, the top seeds Ian Burridge, Stephen Mulliner and Jonathan Powe each dropped only one game in completing three wins each. Block D was more closely contested with Richard Bilton losing in three games to a resurgent Will Gee. However, Will then lost to Chris Roberts so Richard just won the block on net hoops.

    Rachel Gee regained her European GC Champion title at Budleigh this May with a superb display of shooting and hoop running against Pierre Beaudry in the final. She is, as they say, no mug at GC. However, she was comprehensively "mugged" by Richard Bilton in their quarter-final encounter. Richard appeared to have adopted a successful strategy of "not missing" and swept into the semi-finals by 7-3, 7-1. There he faced Stephen Mulliner (to whom he had lost three matches earlier in the season) who had beaten Peter Dowd 7-3, 7-4.

    The other half of the draw featured two close encounters. Lionel Tibble was in prime form in game 1 against Jonathan Powe who has become one of the most consistent of the top players in both AC and GC. Lionel's speciality is the controlled centre-ball clearance from any range up to 15 yards which prods the opponent ball away by a dozen yards or more while Lionel's ball hugs the current hoop like a long-lost cousin. It is infuriatingly effective. However, the magic left him during game 2 and Jonathan recovered to win 4-7, 7-4, 7-5.

    Will Gee is one of the most entertaining players to watch. He can oscillate between brilliance, the opposite and brilliance in as many strokes. The opponent and the spectators often have no idea what is coming next (and neither, it is suspected, does Will). But he can grind it out as well and duly did so against Ian Burridge after losing a tight opening game, prevailing by 6-7, 7-3, 7-5.

    Richard Bilton and Stephen Mulliner ended their first two games at the 13th hoop with Richard hanging on in game 1 by remorseless clearing, especially in the later stages. He made an excellent start in game 3 by roaring to a 5-1 lead with a succession of long hoops. Stephen staged a brief rally but, after a prolonged duel at 10, Richard ran a very angled hoop to clinch his place in the final by 7-6, 6-7, 7-3.

    The other semi-final started in the opposite way to the Powe/Tibble quarter-final. Jonathan Powe's consistency made short work of the opening game as Will struggled to hit straight. However, Will upped his game and fought back to take the match 3-7, 7-5, 7-5.

    The Gee roller-coaster continued in the opening game of the final where Richard Bilton astonished everyone except perhaps himself by taking the opening game 7-0. When did that last happen at this level? Once more, Will dug deep, fought back and took game 2 with a trademark jump through hoop 12 from 4 yards. This set the scene for a dramatic conclusion with Will bidding for his third Ascot title and Richard seeking his first GC "major". As it turned out, Richard maintained his impressive accuracy in both hooping and clearing and this was enough to develop and maintain an edge that translated into victory by 7-0, 5-7, 7-4. It was a very well-deserved victory and confirms the significant improvement he has made this season and his place as one of the top young players in the game.

    The Plate was played as a 19-point single game knock-out. The final was contested by David Dray and Manuel Alvarez-Sala, the youngest of four brothers who make up half of the top eight GC players in Spain, who was able to step in when a player had to withdraw at the last minute. Manuel won a tight contest by 7-4, 7-6.

    Warm thanks are due to Sussex County for hosting the event and preparing the courts so well, including having four mown on Sunday morning.

  • CA School of Croquet

    by Lionel Tibble at Wrest Park CC [^] -> bottom
    23rd August (Other News)

     

    The August 21st and 22nd 2018 two-day Summer School, hosted once again at Wrest Park CC, attracted five enthusiastic and talented young croquet players from across the country.

    From L to R they are Eden Rogers, Euan Burridge, James Galpin, Albie Willett and Ryan Gray.

    More had registered but unfortunately three pulled-out due to last-minute difficulties.

    James, Albie and Eden were part of last year's intake and had brought along another of that successful group of Ipswich young players, Ryan.

    A combination of AC and GC tuition interspersed with GC and AC one-ball round-robins helped to keep boredom at bay for these up-and-coming stars of the future.

    Thanks to Ian Burridge for taking some of the AC tuition and especially to the parents for trekking across country.

  • Barlow Bowl Results

    by Ian Lines at Cheltenham [^] -> bottom
    13th August (CA Official News)

     

    The Barlow Bowl was won by an undefeated Sarah Hayes with the runner-up Beatrice McGlen being presented with the Eastbourne brooch.

    The Longman Cakestand was a long and hard fought battle and there were still 3 contenders after tea earlier today. Sophie McGlen and Julia Lowery both played extremely well - the eventual winner with 4 wins out of 5 was Wendy Wu.

    So both the Bowl and Cakestand are held by Cheltenham Members and the Club Vice President - Eileen Magee - was kind enough to do the presentations.

  • CA beat SCA

    by Charles Waterfield at Middlesbrough [^] -> bottom
    2 Sep 2018 (Other News)

     

    The CA retained the Glasgow Quaich, with a 17-7 win over the Scottish CA in the annual match, held at Middlesbrough CC on 1/2 September.

    When the Scots came to Albert Park two years ago (winning 16-8) their team, including two minus players, was nominally the stronger; this time round the comparison was more in favour of the CA's - as it turned out. We were fortunate this year to have wonderfully warm and sunny conditions over the whole weekend.

    Most competitors were able to join in a convivial supper at a local restaurant after play on the Saturday. Thanks are owed to Glynis & John Parks and to Barbara & Peter McDermott for helping in the pavilion over lunch-times.

    CA

    Beatrice McGlen (Nott'm) -0.5

    Andrew Killick (M'bro) 0.5

    Phil Errington (Belsay Hall) 1

    Derek Watts (Tyneside) 1

    Charles Waterfield (M'bro) 2.5

    Roger Staples (M'bro) 2.5

    SCA

    John Surgenor (Glasgow) 1

    Derek Knight (Beverley) 2

    Alan Wilson (Balgreen) 1.5

    Alistair Malcolm (Meadows) 4

    David Houston (Meadows) 5

    Bob Darling (Balgreen)

    All games were level advanced (double-banked) with fairly tight time limits 2.5 hrs for Singles, 3 hrs for Doubles. On Saturday a round of Doubles was followed by two rounds of Singles in the afternoon. On Sunday there was a second round of Doubles and a final round of Singles. In the case of Singles the top three in each team played each other; the lower three likewise. For Doubles, pairings were across the two 'blocks'.

    Final Result: CA 17, SCA 7

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