Hardy croquet players fight it out at Sidmouth
CROQUET - The Robert Case Shield and Tankard is an afternoon competition of light-hearted attempts at important croquet shots.
The Robert Case Shield and Tankard is an afternoon competition of light-hearted attempts at important croquet shots.
This year 29 members took part, each striving to gain points by successfully completing eight set pieces designed to test their skill at various association croquet strokes.
The Shield competition was won by the holder, David Temple, in impressive style with Elaine Woodward, also in good form, in clear second place.
In the Tankard competition, where players' handicaps are added to their scores, the winner was Philip Harris, who only started playing this year and is obviously showing considerable aptitude for the game. Graeme Pryor was the runner-up.
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Good weather and good humour prevailed throughout the afternoon and was followed by an enjoyable get-together over a lavish cream tea.
l The Colclough and Sidmouth Cups, a three-day doubles competition, is open to all members of the club. Higher handicap players are partnered by those with a lower handicap, games being played over 18 points. This year 10 pairs competed in two groups with winners and runners-up playing in the semi-finals.
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Croquet players are a hardy lot and, whilst bad weather may result in friendly matches being rearranged, there is no such concession for tournament play.
Providing there is no standing water on the lawns, and under advice from the groundsman, competition play may well proceed under conditions that would cause a stoppage in other sports. On this occasion the weather forecast was poor and rain had been falling steadily for some time, but, nevertheless, the tournament got the go-ahead and manager, Helen Pryor, was not required to revise the playing programme.
One notable success at the group stage was Tony Philpott managing to peg-out and win the game after running all eight hoops without the assistance of a partner ball.
In one semi-final, John Dixon and Martin McInerney beat Margaret Piper and Keith Thorley and, in the other, Ian Friedlander and Pam Bowra beat Graham Harford and Ann Ractliffe.
The final was played on Sunday afternoon with the weather much improved and, although John and Martin had beaten their opponents at the group stage, this time the tables were turned and an 18-10 win ensured that the cups were won by Ian and Pam.
l Sidmouth players, Peter Hills, Julie Horsley, Peter Miller and Nigel Grant, travelled to Southwick near Brighton for the National Seniors' Championship.
This is a tournament open to players aged 50 or over and all 11 lawns were needed to cope with more than 50 entrants.
The manager of the event was our own Julie Horsley!
This was a huge task, but Julie is now very experienced and her hard work, efficiency and great ability to remain unflustered, resulted in a trouble-free event.
Julie even found time to complete her own programme of games.
Though no trophies were won by the Sidmouth contingent, all had reason to feel some sense of achievement - Peter Miller reached a Knock-Out semi-final, Peter Hills scored more than 50 per cent, and Nigel Grant gained a notable scalp.