Federation win over Exeter
Sidmouth play their part in Vets’ championship
Eight members of Sidmouth Croquet Club entered the National Veterans’ Croquet Championship held at Budleigh Salterton last week.
Players from all over the country enjoyed a wonderful week of croquet in superb weather conditions.
Cliff Jones won the Veterans’ Championship and was awarded the Rothwell Challenge Cup. David Clarke and Robert Hammond entered for the Pidcock Trophy, with David reaching the final.
David Temple, Peter Hills and Ken Wallman contested the Felixstowe Cup, with David losing the final to Michael Lester, the holder.
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Derek Powell and Nancy Temple were among the players competing for the Strickland Cup for higher handicap players, which Nancy won by beating Michael Lester’s wife, Marie.
Nancy also won the Meredith Cup for the open handicap knock-out event. Ken Wallman and his partner John Taylor (Reigate) won the doubles and with it the Longman Trophies.
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To cap a very successful tournament for Nancy, she also won the Y doubles (Gilbert Spoons) partnered by her husband, David.
All trophies were presented by Quiller Barrett, President of the Croquet Association.
? The Advanced League team of Cliff Jones, Richard Wood, Richard Mills and Peter Hills were at home for their second match of the season against division favourites, Bear of Rodborough, on one of the hottest days of the summer so far.
Following a quicker than expected journey, three of the visitors got their day off to a pleasant start with some early morning relaxation on Sidmouth beach while waiting for their fourth team member and the home players to arrive.
However, once play got under way, everyone was on edge as the lawns were terrifyingly fast, following the recent dry weather, and the slightest error frequently spelt the end of turn.
Unusually, the doubles was the first game to finish, Richard Mills and Peter being dispatched by their much higher-ranked opponents. Cliff won his game shortly afterwards, while Richard Wood never got going and eventually lost on time. Sidmouth trailed 1-2 at lunch.
Richard Mills’s afternoon game provided an interesting problem for laws aficionados, when Richard left the lawn believing that his turn was over because he had played a wrong ball.
Only after his opponent was well into his next turn was it realised that Richard had, in fact, played the right ball.
Cliff, as usual, provided an authoritative solution to the problem and the game resumed quickly.
Sidmouth needs more qualified referees to spread the load and, with the benefit of Cliff’s tutoring, it is hoped that a number of members will take the exam later in the summer.
The spectators who came to watch some high quality croquet instead of England’s exit from the World Cup came to the wrong place.
Concentration dropped in the heat and simple shots were missed by all the players. Combined with the challenging conditions, this resulted in none of the afternoon games finishing – a most unusual outcome for the Advanced League. Overall, the visitors coped better, running out narrow winners on time in all four games to take the match 6-1.
All the players were relieved to get back into the relative cool of the pavilion enjoy Gill Hodge’s tea.
?Last Monday a Sidmouth team of Helen Pryor, Muriel Philpott, Colin Walls and Paul Griew travelled to Exeter for a SW Federation B League match.
A doubles and two singles were played in the morning. The Sidmouth players had to adapt quickly to playing on three-quarter sized lawns and, with the fast conditions, had to be careful not to send the balls off the lawns.
Muriel and Colin each won their singles matches 20-7 and 20-11, respectively, but the doubles pairing of Helen and Paul (in his first SWF match) were not so successful, losing 10-16.
After lunch, four singles matches were played. Helen, Muriel and Colin all won, but Paul, though playing well, struggled against a much more experienced player, eventually losing 10-15.
The final hoop of the afternoon saw Helen miraculously run hoop one back from the corner spot!
After a lovely tea, the tired and exhausted players returned home to cool off.
Result: Exeter 2, Sidmouth 5.