Thursday, June 26, 2014
Last week saw the return of the national Veterans’ Championship to Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club, one of the very few venues in the country large enough to host major tournaments, writes Elaine Marsh.
Tournament Director Richard Hoskyns paid tribute to the high standard of Budleigh’s ten courts and commented that the entry was larger than that last year, when the event was held at Sussex County Croquet Club.
While half of the entrants were from Budleigh and Sidmouth Croquet Clubs, the rest came from as far afield as Cheltenham, Hurlingham, Roehampton Nottingham and Edinburgh.
With a minimum age limit of 60, the event demonstrated that croquet is one of the few sports which can be played to a high standard in later life, although of course many players are much younger.
Frequent Budleigh visitor Jane Hull had a very successful tournament winning the Meredith Cup in the handicap knockout, while she and regular partner Brian Shorney won the Longman Trophies for the handicap doubles.
The runners –up were Budleigh members Adam Wimshurst and Scylla Blackwell. The consolation doubles for first-round losers was won by Quiller Barrett (president of the Croquet Association) and Richard Hoskyns, who beat Jamieson Walker and Budleigh’s Rosemary Bradshaw. Rosemary also won her class singles with four wins from five games to take the Strickland Cup, again for handicap play.
Competitors in the B Class played level advanced croquet.
Roehampton’s Peter SIddall had one of the lowest handicaps in the class and was the clear winner of the Felixstowe Cup.
Three players vied for second place with Jamieson Walker just coming out on top. Budleigh’s Jane Babbage achieved a handicap reduction from 6 to 5.
The A class singles event saw the second 2014 final to be contested by block winners Dave Mundy and Cliff Jones.
Once again it was Jones who eventually succeeded, gaining a third consecutive win over his rival to take the Rothwell Challenge Cup. Two Budleigh members – Chris Donovan and Tony Bower – were runners up in their blocks with three wins from five games.
The Pidcock Trophy for the Over 75s’ Championship was won by Don Gaunt, author of a well-regarded book on the tactics of the game.