Nigel Owen Is New National Grassroots Champion
The national tournament to find the 2023 Grassroots Champion took place at Hunstanton on Sunday, 24th September and saw players from around the country playing in four blocks to become the number 1. Nigel, who didn't lose a game throughout the day came through victorious having a 7-4 victory in the semi final against Cheltenham's Graham Brooksbank and in the final, a 7-5 win again Dee McKibbin from Phyllis Court. Many congratulations to Nigel who becomes the 3rd member of the Club to add his name to the Cup.
Frances Broadway Retains The Chairman's Cup
The Chairman’s Cup was held on 21st September and Frances Broadway won through to the final to reclaim the Cup for a second year. Many congratulations Frances.
As reported by Brian Dawes “We had an enjoyable and reasonably sunny day until the 5th round of the group stages when very heavy rain appeared as forecast and waterlogged lawn 1. After sheltering from the downpour and completing the group stage, the delayed final was moved to lawn 2. Nicola won group A with 4 wins, while in group B Frank and Frances both had 3 wins each but Frances narrowly won on hoop difference. Despite a brilliant day’s play up until this point by Nicola it was Frances who forged ahead and won the match thanks to some superb hoop running and great clearances.”
Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary
A fabulous afternoon of celebrations took place on Bank Holiday Monday, 28th August 2023, as over 75 members, family and friends united to celebrating the Club's 30th Anniversary. The weather shone and in addition to raising a glass from The Croquet Arms, we played some croquet related games, enjoyed a lovely buffet and our longest and newest members (John Street and Angela Beanlands respectively) joined Chair Nicola Hyde in cutting the cakes.
Enfield East Take On Newport Elms
10th August 2023 - Enfield East (Ian Moore, Graham Curtis, Chris Twomey and Nicola Hyde) took ourselves off to Newport to take on the Newport Elms in the EACF GC Handicap League. The weather was lovely, the games were close and we returned home triumphant with a 12-6 win and appetites sated with a home cooked cream tea!
Nigel Owen Wins The Sheila Rudling Cup
3rd August 2023 - 16 members with handicaps of 8+ battled it out under clear and for once dry skies in a series of GC level play games. There were some great performances, especially from some of our newer members, and the semi finals between Nigel Owen and Julie Emery, and Frances Broadway against Graham Curtis provided some tense moments. Ultimately Nigel won with a 7-5 win over Frances Broadway.
28th July 2023 - For the first time in several years, despite a really close series of games, we could not make it through to the next stage of the EACF B Level tournament. All due credit however though to Chelmsford who have been our main adversary over the years and to whom we succombed on with a 10-8 scoreline. It was pretty neck and neck all day - rounds 1-3-4 were all shared but we lost 302 in round 2 of the singles which was the deciding factor. We've had a great run and will be back in 2024 stronger and wiser!
EACF GC Handicap Latest
18th July 2023 - Enfield East led by Captain Dave Hill and comprising Ian Moore, Frank Palmer and Nicola Hyde, had a lovely day at Letchworth where, as always we were well looked. The lawns were freshly cut and pretty fast. We started off ok and shared the honours for the doubles and round one of the singles, we then took 3 of the 4 games in round 2 to go into lunch with a 2 game lead. As often happens lunch changed the day and we only managed 2 wins in rounds 3+4 and lost the match 8 - 10. All the games in round 3 were very close and on another day we may have triumphed!
Delivery Day of the Benches
13th July 2023 - Our croquet players and spectators will be sitting happily on three benches donated by Palace Shopping. The management team at the shopping centre were looking for a new home for the benches, and our club was the lucky recipient. The Club sends its thanks to Palace Shopping for the generous donation.
Advantage GC Doubles Tournament - 6th July 2023
Thanks to all that took part in yesterday's 30th Anniversary Doubles Tournament - the largest entry for a day-long tournament we've had hitting our maximum of 24
players on the lawns at a time. Many thanks especially to Suzanne Twomey and Peter Ruddle, who were both late replacements for dropouts, and to Graham Curtis for soldiering on as a solo doubles
pair after his partner David Barnicoat retired with back problems after the first match - our best wishes to David.
The standard of play was very good, and the Advantage set-up led to lots of tight games - 16 of 33 games played went to 7-6. At the other extreme, the biggest win of the day was a 7-0 win for Cheryle Bridgeman and Angela Beanlands against Andrew Yianni and Suzanne Twomey. Thomas Halliday will always it remember the tournament for his first competitive bouncing jump shot.
In the final, both pairs had chances to win, but Brian Dawes and Jean Dawes eventually prevailed 7-6 against Colin Carver and Gillian Porter to win a pair of wine bottles, with Brian generously handing one to Gillian as a consolation. Across the day, Brian and Jean won 6/7 matches, including five 7-6 wins.
Brian & Jean 7-6 Colin & Gillian
Brian & Jean 7-6 Nicola & Alan
Colin & Gillian 7-3 Kim & Frank
1st - Kim & Frank - 4 wins, +9 hoop difference
2nd - Brian & Jean - 4 wins, +2 hoop difference
3rd - Peter Brock & Julie - 3 wins, +4 hoop difference
4th - David Frost & Peter Ruddle - 2 wins, -2 hoop difference
5th - Thomas & Jenny - 2 wins, -6 hoop difference
6th - Sue & Marian - 0 wins, -7 hoop difference
1st - Alan & Nicola - 4 wins, +5 hoop difference
2nd - Colin & Gillian - 3 wins, +2 hoop difference
3rd - Graham (& David Barnicoat) - 3 wins, -2 hoop difference
4th - Angela & Cheryle - 2 wins, +7 hoop difference
5th - Andrew & Suzanne - 2 wins, -7 hoop difference
6th - Michael & Frances - 1 win, -3 hoop difference
EACF GC Open - 4th July 2023
A very wet match today as Northampton visited. A win for Enfield would put four teams level at the top of the table, or Northampton could go out in front alone.
June's Alternate Strokes AC Competition
Thursday, 1st June saw 14 club members including 9 who had never really played full AC before, turnout to play this tournament. Due to numbers, our AC experts - Thomas, John Street, Michael Broadway and David Frost – each played at least one match where they played for both sides and all acted as coaches for the novices. Three rounds were played and whilst there was no formal winner, we’re pleased to highlight that Graham Curtis won all three matches he played and Frances Broadway won two and only lost the third by one point. Some great performances all round!
Buzz Off Bees
A few unwanted visitors arrived on the lawns recently in the form of a swarm of bees that took up home in a treee alongside the lawns. Fortunately, one of our members had a direct to her brother in lawn bee-keeper who came down, carefully removed the nest and found them a new home.
Our 400th Competitive Club Match - and it was a home derby!
Thursday 11th May saw the Club's 400th competitive team match and what a tight match it was too. The Enfield derby featuring Enfield East and Enfield West in the EACF GC Handicap tournament was played in sun and rain with the odd rumble of thunder! The opening doubles were both won by Enfield East whilst the following singles went from one side to another. Ultimately, Enfield East won 10-8 and a nice glass of fizz was enjoyed under the canopy of our gazebo! Congratulations to Thomas Halliday, Frank Palmer, Dave Hill and Nicola Hyde against a valiant side of David Frost, Alan Bateman, Mary Grove and Nigel Owen.
And we also had the chance to try out our new Advanatage Handicap Scoreboards - which were great!
A little Club history follows bringing us up to date with today's 400th game.
Following our formation as a club in 1993, we first entered tournaments in 1997, losing 2-4 away to Watford in the Beds and Herts AC League in our first match. Since then, we've entered at least one inter-club tournament every year, and now typically enter four or five tournaments every year.
Our club competition wins are as follows:
4x Hector Shield (AC Beds & Herts League: 2000, 2003, 2012, 2015)
4x EACF GC Handicap League (2009, 2011, 2012, 2021)
4x EACF GC B-Level League (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022)
2x Chairman's Cup (AC EACF Playoff Winner: 2000, 2015)
1x Longman Cup (AC National Handicap: 2016)
The earliest line-up we can find is from Enfield's second match, a visit to Wrest Park in 1997, in which the team was Ian Davidson (9), Basil Lawrence (14), Joan Lawrence (24), and Wendy Spencer-Smith (24). Only Joan managed to score a point for Enfield, being one point ahead when time was called. Among the Wrest Park team were John Bevington and George Collin, who are still regular opponents for us!
The earliest match report we can find is from 1998, in which Wrest Park's newsletter reports: "A first visit to Enfield for all of us. John [Bevington] and Peter [Berry] arrived early enough to head into Enfield in search of breakfast and found a small cafe with excellent egg and bacon sandwiches. The two lawns are in a secluded corner of Bush Hill Park and have been converted from what used to be a putting green, so there are a few dips and slopes but nothing to worry about unduly. The lawns are surrounded by some fine shrubs which have been infested with a number of barbarous blackberry canes. A clean sweep was prevented by Basil, using his bisques intelligently against John, who had managed to get one ball round but then failed to hit in when it mattered."
Much more information can be found here in the Club's History.
Robert Fulford Masterclass
As part of our 30th Anniversary programme of events, we were honoured to have a masterclass from Britain's No 1 GC and AC player, Robert Fulford.
24 of us gathered on the lawns on Monday, 8th May to hear wise words around mallet swing, positioning of balls, general strategy and the what to do/what not to do's in games and some hot tips around jump shots. He also recommended Ian Burridge's book, Golf Croquet for Tournament Players.
A both informative and enjoyable day all round - and thanks to Gillian Porter for arranging lunch.
Michael Broadway Wins Club's Advantage GC Tournament
4th May 2023 - The last time we contested an Advantage GC tournament, bunting lined the streets for a major royal event, and Nicola Hyde faced Michael Broadway in the final. Eleven months later, how little has changed!
Twelve players contested the block stage, with the two low handicap players, Thomas and Kim, both struggling with the number of hoops needed for a win, winning one match between them. After five rounds of block play, Michael Broadway faced Mary Grove in one semifinal, winning 7-2, while Nicola Hyde played Gillian Porter in the other, winning 7-5. Nigel was unlucky to miss out on the semifinals with four wins from five in the block.
Michael was on song all day, dropping only a single hoop in a 6-7 block defeat to Gillian, and this continued into a 7-1 victory over Nicola, reversing the result from last year. Congratulations Michael!
Colin Carver and Jeanette Sexton played their first tournaments - thanks for entering! - and Michael earned a handicap reduction to 4.
The Season's First Win -Round 1 : The Murphy Shield
Our first season’s Club win on Monday, 24th April with Enfield beating Watford at Cassiobury Park in this B level play match 4-3. It was a very tight competition. The best of three singles between Enfield’s Dave Hill and myself against Watford’s Eddie Chung and Steve Dennis all went to three matches culminating in a one-all draw. The partnership of Brian Dawes and Kim Taylor in the doubles against Kevin Connolly and Alan Clark also went the whole way with Watford taking a one point lead. Ultimately though, both Brian and Kim won their singles giving us that much needed two points to take us to round two when we shall be meeting Ealing.
Congratulations to David Frost and Kim Taylor who took part in the GC A Level Series Tournament at Wrest Park (22nd-23rd April) with some great success. Kim played some fine croquet and came second whilst David Frost also had a scorching weekend of play winning the Plate.
APRIL 2023 - FREE INTRODUCTORY SESSIONS TO CROQUET
On Tuesday and Saturday mornings (starting 4th April and finishing 22nd April) we shall be hosting a series of 2-hourly sessions on the game of croquet. You will be taught how to hold a mallet, hit the ball and the art of aiming the ball through a hoop. You will also learn a little about the two versions of the game played at our club - Golf Croquet and Association Croquet.