Omied Hallam has provided the following report and pictures of the Doubles Weekend he managed on 26th/27th July:
20 of Nottingham’s elite players got together for the 2nd annual Hallam Handicap Doubles tournament, which was set up by Omied and Brian Hallam the year before to encourage up and coming players to play competitive association croquet. The weekend comprised 5 different events: – Handicap Doubles; most hoops made by higher handicapper; most Peels made by higher handicapper; fastest game; and a quiz. Over the weekend, while the sun beat down on the players and with scrumptious food in their bellies, there was a fantastic atmosphere of fun and enjoyment for all. The final was Will Gee and Michelle Caulkett vs Omied Hallam and Ian Draper, who only narrowly got to the final beating Michael Finnigan and Neal Beacon in a series of croquet challenges finishing with a ball placed in each corner of the lawn and see who could get it closest to the peg.
The final was a very cagey and tactical affair with Will Gee doing what he does best, consistently hitting in across the lawn, and forcing Omied to try the same. With Michelle and Will edging their way forward and Michelle playing some great croquet strokes, Ian finally got a chance at a break and managed to 3-ball it round till penultimate. With one hour left Will had no other choice but to go for broke, peeling partner ball around 3 hoops but unluckily jamming it in 3-back and leaving his ball on 4-back. After a bit of back and forth Omied managed to drag a break together to get to peg with 6 minutes left. Omied and Ian were now on penultimate and peg, with Will and Michelle both on 4-back. Will took his ball round to peg jamming partner in 4-back with 1 min to spare. There was just one minute left with one hoop in it. Omied walked on the lawn, hit in and spent the rest of the time available to hit the ball out of 4b and set a leave, giving Will a big shot to hit … which he only missed by mm. Omied and Ian managed to win for the 2nd year in a row.
The final results were:
Most Peels – Sophie McGlen
Most Hoops – Neal Bacon
Quickest Game – Omied Hallam and Ian Draper
Quiz – Sue Wilemen and Derek Blow
Doubles – Omied Hallam and Ian Draper
Manager’s favourite player – Justine Schneider
The Brian Hallam Award (for most encouraging partner) – Rob Edlin-White
The weekend was dedicated to Omied and Sanaa Hallam’s late Father Brain Hallam, who passed away at the end of last year.