Thursday, August 29, 2013
The Sidmouth Croquet Club held the annual B-Level Advanced tournament recently, writes Colin Walls.
This very popular event attracted sixteen players and several reserves in the eight-to-two handicap range.
Six of the players were from the Sidmouth Club and others were from as far away as Penrith, Canterbury, Nottingham and the south of France.
Sidmouth managed to provide good weather for the first two days, as well as nice sea views and all the players enjoyed three games a day of intense competition with varying results.
The first part of the tournament took the form of two blocks with eight players in each. Richard Wood (Sidmouth, handicap 2) and Chris Donovan (Budleigh, h2) competed for the top spot in Block A, Wood pulling off a narrow victory by three hoops on time. In Block B Tim Jolliff (Taunton, h2.5) beat Keith Ross (unattached, h2).
The final was contested on a wet and most unpleasant afternoon by Richard Wood and Tim Jolliff.
The conditions did ease slightly during the afternoon and the game was keenly contested.
Both players started well and Wood appeared to be taking an early lead when he unfortunately jammed in hoop six.
Jolliff seized his chance and gained control of the game for a long period. However, his breaks were not without mistakes and Worth hit in with a long roquet when the opportunity arose and then started to catch up. He had the opportunity to overtake on the last turn of the timed game, but his difficult approach, with his second ball, from corner two to hoop one back was not quite good enough and he failed to run the hoop giving Jolliff the game, plus three on time.
Tim Jolliff was therefore the overall winner of the tournament and was presented with the Regency Salver by Sidmouth Croquet vice chairman Peter Nelson. The players all agreed that the tournament was thoroughly enjoyable and we suspect that Howard Bowron (Penrith, h6) enjoyed it as much as anyone because, playing level, he beat both Keith Ross (h2), last year’s winner and Tim Jolliff (h2.5), this year’s winner, the two lowest handicap players in his block. Bowron quickly became known as ‘The Giant Killer’.