Thursday, August 28, 2014
Following two wins in quick succession, Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club now find themselves top of the area’s South West Golf Croquet Level Play league table for the first time in a long time, writes Rob Weeks.
Last week the team travelled to picturesque Swanage, where the croquet ‘lawns’ are situated in the outfield of a cricket ground.
This was a new experience for all of the Budleigh players who are used to playing on some of the best lawns in the country. But this was something completely different - the whole area was on a slope and consisted of a series of dry bumps and grassy hollows.
Some of the team managed to adjust to these conditions better than others. David Hicks, for example, watched his opening shot go bouncing down the hill for 20 metres then turn sharp right before nestling in the jaws of the hoop.
The jaws of the opposition, meanwhile, were rested firmly on the albeit uneven ground.
Young star Harry Dodge confirmed he is one of the best players in the country by winning all four of his matches but one of the notable successes of the day was achieved by Bob Donald who narrowly defeated veteran scratch player William Ormerod.
The rest of the team also rallied and the end result was a win for Budleigh by five points. A somewhat dispirited Swanage captain later admitted that this was the first time ever that Swanage have lost a home match. Not wishing to rest on their laurels, the Budleigh team unanimously decided that a couple of weeks practice on the Club’s grass car park would be beneficial before the next visit to Swanage.
A few days later, Budleigh entertained a team from Kingston Maurward near Dorchester but the visitors were never in contention as Budleigh romped to a 17-3 win.
Those inflicting most damage on KM were Bob Donald, David Hicks, Peter Mallen, Kay Scales and yours truly who all scored maximum points.
The top position for Budleigh may be short-lived, however, since they can be pipped at the post by East Dorset who have to play Exeter in the near future. On the other hand, if Exeter manage to beat or draw with East Dorset, then Budleigh will win the league. Come on Exeter!