Croquet in the News - May 2020 - with thanks to Phillip Hawes for sharing with us.
Andrew Fall Wins Hurlingham GC B-Class
by Tony Bingham at Hurlingham
28th August (GC)
This popular event was contested by 16 players with handicaps 3 to 7, hailing from 6 separate clubs in the south and south east. The weather was kind throughout.
On day one all played all in two separate blocks. In Blue block Jane Powell (Ealing, 5 handicap) won with 6 wins and second place was between Andrew Fall (Enfield, 4) and Charlie Sale (Ealing, 4) both on 5 wins. On net hoops Andrew was placed first with 16, Charlie had 15. Commiserations Charlie!
Red block was won by David Graham (Ealing, 5) from Martin Read (Hurlingham, 5) both on 6 wins and the same 15 net hoops, but David had beaten Martin 7-6 in their match after Martin had previously looked unstoppable. Bridget Goodman (Ealing, 3) was 3rd on 5 wins.
In the semi-finals Andrew was too strong for David, winning in two games. Jane and Martin's semi was much harder fought, Jane eventually winning 2-1, her reliable play countering Martin's occasional brilliance.
The final was equally close: Andrew took the first game 7-5, Jane came back strongly winning 7-1 and she started the third better, going 2 hoops up. By this time a good crowd had gathered to watch the fun. The 3rd hoop was crucial, Andrew turning the tide and keeping his momentum to go 5-3. The 11th hoop saw a tense battle before Andrew won it, effectively Jane's last chance. Though she made it 4-6 Andrew had prime positions on hoop 11 and Jane could not clear. 7-4 to Andrew, who thereby retained his title.
Third place was taken by David who beat Martin again, this time in two games. The second day consolation blocks were won by Malcolm Beacham (Hurlingham and Sussex County, 5) who won all his games and Robert Cook (Cheam, 3) with 4 wins. Over the two days almost one in 5 games went to the golden hoop. All enjoyed the excellent conditions and customary Hurlingham hospitality and thanked Tony for his impeccable management.
Picture shows Andrew 'mallet shaking" with Jane Powell Photo:Robert Cook
We were delighted to welcome the family of Joan and Basil Lawrence on Saturday, 12th September to formally dedicate the bench that they have kindly given the Club in their memory. Joan and Basil were founding members back in 1993 and it's lovely that we have a lasting reminder of their great contribution.
The bench is a very welcome addition to our lawns and already being much used!
Our One-Ball Champion
The final of this annual competition was held on 20th September, at Surbiton, with 23 participants.
The winner was Michael Broadway, whose club is Enfield but who qualified through the Watford heat and his handicap is 12. Players were invited to ‘wear something green’, the house colour of this year’s charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. Michael (pictured, with Kevin Carter) wore a resplendent white three-piece suit with a green bow-tie.
While Michael received the engraved crystal decanter for his 7 wins from 8 games, his nearest rivals received runner-up goblets: Colin Groves (6, Woking) and Stephen Wright (-3, High Wycombe).
The final is always played in a great spirit, this year aided, too, by lovely weather. Surbiton put on its usual feast, and also generously donated the surplus income, after costs, to our charity fund.
This year’s competition was both delayed and curtailed, with only half the number of heats: 22, and a much smaller number of players in those heats: 214.
It is a tribute to all of our regular supporters that we still managed to raise £3633, along with a further £563 Gift Aid, for charity.
A number of this year’s heats were unusual. Two had no players! Both Tunbridge Wells and Bowdon were unable to go ahead with their heats but each had a whip-round anyway and raised impressively large contributions to the final total. Conversely, Lym Valley held two heats: one just before lock-down and another just before the final. High Wycombe was another club which managed to get in its heat early: at xmas 2019. Finally, we made a first-time welcome to Carrickmines, Ireland, which held its heat and raised a significant amount but because Macmillan does not operate in Ireland, they donated it to a local charity instead.
Let’s hope we shall be back to normal next year, but with all this generosity and innovation, there is nothing too bad about the ‘new normal’ ......
10:10 Club Tournament - 1st October 2020
Well done everyone who played in our 10:10 competition on Thursday 1st October. 16 competitors plus 3 voluntary timers meant this was our biggest turnout of the season. It very nearly didn't go ahead because of the weather forecast, which was quite a bit worse than the weather we experienced on the day. Ian kindly volunteering his gazebo helped ensure that we could at least keep the clocks dry and that's why we finally gambled on the weather and went ahead.
Those who played will know that Nicola and Frances came first and second but I think the pleasure of playing quick fire games in a competitive friendly environment whilst still managing to distance made it an enjoyable day for all despite the threatening clouds. Interesting also that 17 of the 20 games were completed inside the 20 minutes allowed and that the only games not completed in time were still high scoring matches that finished 6-4, 6-5 and 5-5.