Mills so mighty in Cunningham Salver Golf Croquet Singles Tournament

The Cunningham Salver Golf Croquet Singles Tournament for players with handicaps 8 to 11 was played last month, writes Mike Taylor.

Twenty members entered – some players who had been playing for a number of years and six newcomers, including one who only recently joined.

As this is handicap play, the higher handicap players get “extra turns” against the more experienced players.

All played four games in each of four blocks followed by two semi-finals between the winners of the blocks – John Dixon, Anne Reece, John Davies and Roger Mills. This resulted in a final between players with the same handicap – John Davies, who has been playing for a couple of years, and Roger Mills, who joined this year.

After a closely-fought game, Roger emerged victorious by one hoop.

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The following day, the Hatherley Cup was played for by ten players in the handicap range 4 to 7.

There were only two blocks for this Tournament, everyone playing four games. These mostly Association Croquet players were not quite as adept at using the extra turns as were the higher handicap players the previous day.

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The final was between Peter Hills (5), a longstanding member of the Club, and Rosemary Bradshaw (7), an experienced player new to the Sidmouth Club. Another close final ensued with the lead changing several times.

When time was called after 45 minutes of play, Rosemary found herself the winner by one hoop.

A week later the Golf Croquet Doubles Tournaments took place.

Eleven couples played in the High Handicap Doubles, with everyone playing four games within two blocks.

Most players won one or two games, but in Block A two pairs won three games with the winner decided by “who beat whom”. Block B had a clear winner, having won all four games. The runners-up in Block A were Margaret Piper and Ann Gedge; in Block B Richard and Maureen Thurlow.

The final played by Pamela Bowra/Diana Davenport against Philip and Marian Harris, was a match that could have gone either way. In the end, Pamela/Diana won by one hoop.

The Cunningham Salver Doubles Open Tournament was held the next day with a record entry of 12 couples participating in two blocks.

In Block A, both Philip and Marian Harris and Peter Hills/John Coombes won three of their games with Philip and Marian reaching the final as a result of a block win against Peter/John. The runners-up in Block B were Colin Walls/Paul Griew and the winners were Keith Thorley/Pamela Bowra, who won all their four games.

Philip and Marian played well in the final, but struggled a little against the more experienced pairing of Keith and Pamela, who eventually won by two hoops.

Congratulations to all the tournament winners, especially to Pamela Bowra, who with different partners won both doubles tournaments (winning ten games over the two days) and to Philip and Marian Harris, who were the runners-up in both doubles finals.

Thanks are due to Helen Pryor for managing the events and to referees Howard Quarrell and Ian Friedlander who, during the four tournaments, kept an eye on the proceedings and ensured fair and correct play by all.

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