Croquet in its purest form
The premier internal competition of Sidmouth Croquet Club is for the Humphrey Hicks Trophy, writes Colin Walls.
This is croquet in its purest form, using Advanced rules and no handicaps. In the semi-finals Derek Andrew overcame Mike Taylor by 17 hoops, and Tony Dustan-Smith beat Richard Wood by four hoops. The final is the best of three untimed games. Tony Dustan-Smith (handicap 1) is an old hand at this, but Derek Andrew (handicap 6) was a newcomer to the situation. The first two games of the final were dominated by large breaks, one game going to Derek by 16 hoops and the other to Tony by 11 hoops. The final game was postponed to the next day and attracted enthusiastic spectators. Both players suffered from big match nerves and made mistakes, but there were also some superb recoveries. In the end Andrew held his nerve the best and his name will be inscribed on the trophy for the first time.