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  • Nottinghamshire win GC Championships

    by Bill Arliss at Southwick and Compton [^] -> bottom
    22nd August (Golf Croquet Championships)

     

    This was the first year of a revised format for this event with the introduction of a second division. A lot of effort had gone into trying to expand the previous format with the use of a second venue as we do with the AC Inter Counties, but this was not practical with the shorter games GC provides. The best solution was to run the event as two entirely separate competitions at different venues. For 2018 we had seventeen entries which were split into a first division of eleven and a second of six with the respective venues being Southwick with eleven lawns and Compton with five. It was considered essential to maintain six teams in division two to ensure a workable and enjoyable format could be used. We did not want the new arrangement to be killed off in the first year by very dissatisfied second division customers. Unfortunately one of our new teams in the second division, Buckinghamshire, had to withdraw at the last moment due to medical problems but some quick action raised a CA Select team and the playing schedule was maintained.

    Our additional entries for 2018 came from Nottinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire, the latter team having previously played in the event. Ivor Brand took over the management of the division two event at Compton.

    At Southwick the competition started with an all play all giving us a total of eleven rounds with each team having a Bye round. I am sure most players expected that Nottingham with four -4's on board would manage a 100% record but quite obviously Kent had other ideas and in round 2 managed a 2-1 win over Nottinghamshire. I suppose this was to be expected as Kent were only just behind in the handicap stakes having two -4's supported by two -3's. Kent managed to keep their winning form for the rest of Saturday but were still in second position at the end of the day as Kent had taken their BYE round but Nottinghamshire had not. Both Nottinghamshire and Kent had six match wins but were closely followed by Somerset with five wins and Northamptonshire with four. Although rather dull for most of the day, the rain had managed to keep away.

    Four rounds were needed on Sunday morning and early afternoon to complete the all play all. Yorkshire/Durham started the day well by taking out Kent with a 3-0 win whilst Nottinghamshire finished the session with three 3-0 victories. Somerset carried on in their winning ways to finish a very creditable third with seven wins and the overall figures after the all play all are shown below. Luckily for the Manager, no ties to sort out and all teams were quickly ranked in results order and separated into four pairs and a three for the final two games. Each of the four pairs played one another twice with the doubles and singles roles being reversed in the second meeting. The intent of the format was that each team in the pair had to had to win both of the final matches to claim the upper position in the pair. If the matches were shared, then the result of their game in the all play all would determine the upper placing.

    COUNTYMATCHESGAMESPosn.
    Nottinghamshire9261
    Kent9222
    Somerset7193
    Durham/Yorks6164
    Northamptonshire6145
    Hertfordshire5146
    Dorset4157
    Middlesex3138
    Leicestershire399
    Hampshire21110
    Sussex1611

    In the Championship pair, Nottingham had to win both final matches as Kent had won their first meeting but they managed two 2-1 victories to claim the title. In the second pairing Somerset and Yorks/Durham shared the 2-1 wins but Somerset took third place with their 2-1 win over Yorks/Durham in the first meeting. In pair three, Northampton ensured they kept fifth place with a 2-1 and a 3-0 win over Hertfordshire. In the pair four matches Middlesex gained two 2-1 victories over Dorset to claim seventh place.

    The bottom three teams were treated differently in that they each played each other once but by splitting the singles and doubles into separate rounds, they were able to complete the three matches in only two rounds. Hampshire ensured they were free from the relegation zone by beating both Leicestershire and Sussex 2-1 and taking ninth place. Leicestershire beat Sussex 2-1 taking tenth place.

    CA President, Quiller Barrett, finished off the day by presenting the trophy to Nottinghamshire.

    Bill Arliss 
    Manager Division One

    The second division was played at Compton and used an all play all twice format. It was originally intended to complete the day with a play off as the likelihood of a tie was quite large. However at the end of the all play alls, the results were well defined as the table below shows and it was agreed by the Manager and all teams that no play off was necessary and a reasonable finishing time could be maintained.

    The six counties battled on well prepared lawns and by the end of the first day Glamorgan hand a slender lead over the following chasing pack all seeking to finish as champions and so secure their pending promotion to division 1 next year. The air show was a bonus to witness and the 'Red Arrows' provided a great display for us all to enjoy. (some the of croquet was'nt all that bad either) Only a few games went to time which again reflected the excellent conditions of the lawns that the grounds man had prepared. At this point I should apologise for the extra 20+mins that I and my opponent Richard took on the 13th hoop in round 1.(after this initial hiccup time was caught up and the event ran generally to time)

    The following table shows the full results from the all play all format.

    COUNTYMATCHESGAMESPosn.
    Glamorgan8201
    Surrey6172
    Oxfordshire5173
    Worcestershire5154
    CA Select4105
    Berkshire2116

    Thanks goes to all the staff at Compton especially Hillary for helping to make the tournament run smoothly and most importantly an enjoyable weekend, which I hope will be repeated next year?

    Ivor Brand 
    Manager Division Two

    Promotion and Relegation

    No doubt this is very much in the minds of some Organisers but it will depend to some extent on the number of teams that enter next year. Whatever the outcome, the top two at Compton are guaranteed a place in the first division next year but the number of relegations may only be one if the total entry does not exceed eighteen.

    Any potential new teams are warned to have their proposals ready by the end of the season as any growth more than one will require a change in venue which has to be arranged this year.

     
  • England win GC Home Internationals

    by Rachel Gee at Surbiton [^] -> bottom
    22 Jul 2018 (Golf Croquet Championships)

    Nottingham club members Rachel Gee (England) and Ian Burridge (Wales)

    England won the second Golf Croquet Home Internationals in convincing fashion; winning fourteen out of a possible eighteen matches and only dropping one match that was completed.

    After the inaugural tournament at Carrickmines in 2017, Ian Burridge offered to buy a trophy for the event, so the weekend started with Ian presenting the trophy to J-P for England's win last year! All 16 players then headed straight out to test themselves against Surbiton's challenging conditions.

    England got off to the perfect start by winning 6/6 matches without dropping a game. First up was the doubles; and British Open Doubles Champions John-Paul Moberly and Tobi Savage were able to put the 2017 draw against Martin "It's all luck" Murray and Alan Clark behind them with a convincing 2-0 win, a score matched by England's Jonathan Powe & Rachel Gee against the new Scottish pairing of Robert Darling and Rosemary Saunders-Robertson. England continued their good start into the first round of singles as each player didn't concede more than 6 hoops in their matches.

    In the other first round test between Ireland and Wales, the score was much closer. Ireland, fielding a much-changed line-up compared to 2017 (with only Simon Williams playing again), prevailed 3.5-2.5 after Evan Newell beat Garry McElwain in the crucial last singles match with the score tied at 2.5-2.5. The only singles match to go the distance and reach a third game was Ireland's Jane Morrison against Wales' Sarah Melvin which Morrison dominated 7-0 in the third. In the other singles matches Wales' no. 1 Ian Burridge beat Ireland's no. 1 Simon Williams, however Ireland won the other as Charlie von Schmieder beat Peter Balchin. Wales' points came from the doubles in which they won 3 out of 4 games.

    Now onto the second round (after the usual excellent Surbiton lunch) and, in order to stay in the competition, Wales now had to beat England and Scotland had to beat Ireland. The singles round was played first to reduce to the number of games needing to be played on Sunday. Welsh captain Burridge continued his good form in this event by beating England captain Moberly in straight games, playing particularly well at hoop 12 in game 1. Ian played numerous consecutive centre-ball clearances from the boundaries which he described as "some of the best shots I've played". Unfortunately for Wales, that was as good as it got as the other three singles matches went in England's favour, leaving Wales needing to win all four games of the bo2 doubles matches to salvage an unlikely draw.

    Scotland were also on the receiving end of some good play from their test against Ireland, where all the singles went in Ireland's favour, apart from Newell vs Darling which was left tied at 1 game all and would be resumed if it mattered later.

    This was it for Saturday's play, and most of us headed to The Royal Oak for some well-deserved liquid (and solid) refreshment. Simon Williams was very generous with his spare red wine, particularly to the English players (we wondered if this had anything to do with our upcoming fixture the next day…!).

    We began Sunday by starting the final round of tests; so England faced Ireland in the title decider and Wales faced Scotland for the wooden spoon (in a repeat of the final round from 2017). The doubles matches from round 2 were left to play after the final round if they were relevant. Both tests were surprisingly one-sided with Wales winning 4-1 after a tie in both of the bo2 doubles matches and Burridge, Balchin and McElwain all winning their singles matches 2-0. The match between Saunders-Robertson and Melvin was left at 1-1 as the test result was already beyond doubt.

    England beat Ireland with a decisive 4.5-0.5 final scoreline after Savage came back to take game 2 against an in-form Morrison and again the match was left at 1-1 once the overall result had been decided. Williams and von Schmieder claimed a game off Moberly and Savage and Powe dropped a game to von Schmieder but, apart from that, it was plain sailing for England as they wrapped up the Championship and retained the title of Golf Croquet Home International Champions.

    All the unfinished games were left apart from the doubles between Wales and England as Wales could still snatch a draw if they won all four games. Moberly and Savage wrapped up the first game against Burridge and Melvin 7-4 meaning an England win was confirmed. The other doubles match was abandoned, and the second game went 7-1 to England, with Savage running the 8th hoop with the final shot of the event backwards!

    Many thanks to event director and manager Rachel Gee for organising and managing, to Surbiton for hosting and to George Noble and his team of cooks and lawn setters. Thanks also to Tournament Referee Jay Dyer who refereed for us all weekend, and was even kept interested by a couple of Bray slice attempts from Savage.

    Report by J-P Moberly.

  • National AC Seniors Tournament

     by Julie Horsley at Budleigh Salterton [^] -> bottom
    21st July (Level-Play Tournaments)

     

    Players found conditions this year challenging with the lawns and hoops, that some games where going to 4 hours. Maybe the sun and heat had something to do with it. So unusually the Manager had to impose time limits on Blocks A and B on the last day in order to finish the tournament at a reasonable time for players to travel home.

    On Saturday morning there was no clear winner in most blocks and there were some very close finishes this year.

    On Saturday morning In A block for the Trevor Williams Cup, Simon Hathrell, Tim Jolliff and Jonathan Lamb were all on 5 wins with all having to play each other. In the first game Simon beat Jonathan , but lost to Tim in the second, giving him 6 wins. Tim won his first 2 games giving him 7 wins. Jonathan Lamb was now out of the running having lost his first 2 games.

    In the meantime Jim Field on 4 wins at the start of the day was now on 5 and playing Simon in their last game, which he won to give him 6 wins and second place. In his last game Tim beat Jonathan to give him 8 wins.

    End results Tim Jolliff 8/9, Jim Field 6/9, Simon Hathrell 6/9 Jonathan Lamb 5/9 Jonathan Wolfe 5/9. Dave Mundy. Dave Gunn and Peter Moore all 3/9, David Wise and Richard Wood 2/9

    In B block there were 4 with 4 wins each on Saturday morning - Stephen Custance-Baker, Peter Nelson, Roger Mills and Bob Thomson. Stephen and Bob won both their games, Roger lost both his and Peter won 1 lost 1 so tie between Stephen and Bob, each with 6/7 wins, but earlier Bob has beaten Stephen so won the Colin Hemming Cup.

    In Block C John Dawson had a clean sweep winning all 7 games so winning the de-Ansorena Cup, runner-up was Mike Taylor with 5/7 wins.

    In Block D the last game would determine who won the Nigel Graves Trophy as both Brian Shorney and Richard Peperell were both on 4/6 wins with Richard on his Bye and Brian to play. Brian managed to win with 5/6.

    In E Block Judith Moore won the small silver goblet with 4/5 wins, Sam Watts, Pat Jackson and Rosemary Bradshaw all on 3/5.

    The Handicap singles for the Quiller Cup was won for the second year running by Brian Shorney with runner-up Richard Jackson. Brian was lucky to win it again as he only entered on the Monday saying he had thought he had entered as last years' winner.

    The consolation event was won by Bob Thompson who having been knocked out in round 2 by Tim Jolliff went on to win all his remaining games.

    The Doubles final was between David Wise/Gerald Osborne-Burke and Philip Harris/Susan Rogers with Philip and Susan winning.

    There was a tie for the consolation event between Dave Mundy/Tony Bower and Tim Jolliff/Jonathan Wolfe.

    The Fastest games was - as usual - won by Jim Field.

    Peter Death on behalf of the CA presented the trophies and thanked everyone for all the effort they had put into making the tournament happen.

  • GC B Level Tournament

    by Richard Bilton at Nottingham [^] -> bottom
    19th July (Golf Croquet)

     

    A strong field of 21 players - 10 on handicap 3 or 4 and one on 2 - came to Nottingham to compete in our 12th GC B Level Tournament. There were 4 blocks of 6 and the top two from each would progress to a knockout, meaning a total of 8 games for the winner. The day before the tournament and too late to redraw the blocks, three people withdrew, but luckily from different blocks, so one person from three blocks had to sit a round out.

    Play got underway at 9:30, the first three rounds finishing with no close games at 12pm for lunch, kindly prepared by Ian Vincent. At this stage, 2 people from three blocks and one person from the other had won 2 games; Andrea Huxley had won three games.

    After all of the block games, the top performing player from three blocks hadn't lost a game, and Roger Stroud made the top spot in his block though narrowly losing 6-7 to Gavin Taylor. Second place in three of the blocks won 3 games and Andrea Widdison got through on 2 wins due to Jane Tewson going to hoop 13 in all of her block games but only winning one of them.

    All of the Quarter Final encounters went to hoop 12 or 13, Louise Taylor beat husband Gavin 7-6 and Noel Gill also won 7-6, while both Andreas won their matches 7-5. Before the Semi Finals, Louise Taylor announced that she didn't want to go any further in the knockout and gave Andrea Huxley a straight run to the Final. Meanwhile, Noel had another close win, scraping through a very tightly contested match against Andrea Widdison 7-6.

    Louise, having dropped out, gave Andrea Widdison an automatic 3rd place. After two very close rounds in the knockout, the Final began just before 7pm, but with plenty of light and spectators remaining. Both players battled for the first hoop, which Andrea eventually ran. Hoop 2 was considerably quicker but despite a great 14-yard clearance by Andrea at hoop 3, a nice jump by Noel and a slightly over hit approach to hoop 4 which trickled through, soon put him into a 3-1 lead. There was some good hitting from both players at the middle hoops but they both went to Noel to put him 4 clear. After this, it seemed as though Andrea had lost something, she managed to force a mistake from her opponent and run an angled hoop 7 to get back to 2-5, and after Noel lost control of a clearance and the hoop at 8, the comeback was on, but Andrea's concentration had been affected and Noel was soon back in. At 2-6 down, Andrea had nothing to lose and played some good clearances at hoop 9, but with his opponent's balls on the south boundary, and his red in the jaw, Noel took the match 7-2. Noel Gill won his first B Level tournament at Nottingham to qualify for the National Final at Camerton & Peasedown in October.

    Results on www.croquetscores.com

     
  • Mike Hedge wins GC C Level Tournament

    by Richard Bilton at Nottingham [^] -> bottom
    18th July (Golf Croquet)

     

    The C Level at Nottingham, run by the federation, has not been run for a couple of years, which meant that for the first year back, now a CA national series tournament, it was somewhat under-subscribed. Eight players entered, which allowed for a very straight-forward format of an all-play-all block, the winner of the tournament being the player with the most wins, followed by net hoops and so on.

    Play commenced at 9:30, with three rounds before lunch at 12pm, at which time Mike Hedge had won his first 3 matches and three people had won 2.meticulously prepared by NDO Dave Gunn.

    Going into the final round, there were two people on 5 wins and two on 4 wins. Mike's 2-7 loss to Ann Udall could have cost him the tournament if Ann had won her last game or at least got more hoops and Mike lost another. In the end, Mike won his last game, and was therefore the only player on 6 wins out of 7.

    Final placings: 
    1. Mike Hedge 
    2. Diana Dunkley 
    3. Ann Udall 
    4. Glynis Davies 
    5. Nigel Akers 
    6. Andrew Beaumont 
    7. Vivienne Heard 
    8. Anne Hopper

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