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Last week Sidmouth CC played three golf croquet matches - rather a lot in one week, writes Richard Thurlow.
First up, the Sidmouth SE side welcomed a team from East Dorset.
Sidmouth did not get off to a good start and, after 10 games had been played, just three had been won – one double and two singles with another singles drawn.
After lunch, despite the team’s best efforts, things did not improve, Sidmouth winning only three more games!
Anne Reece won two singles games and Rob Matthews won a single and a doubles, but three players did not manage a single win as Sidmouth lost 13.5-6.5.
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The next match took place at Swanage on a very sunny, hot day. Despite Swanage’s sub-standard lawns, in reality, marked out areas of the cricket outfield, the team played better.
After eight games, Sidmouth SE was in the lead with four-and-a-half to the three-and-a-half of Swanage.
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Twelve games were played after lunch, but the Sidmouth players could not get to grips with the very uneven surfaces and managed to win only five more games.
The handicaps were better balanced, but the home side had the advantage of knowing the lawns.
The players of the day were Margaret Piper and Roy Hubbard who each won thee games. Anne Reece did well again and managed two wins and a draw. Swanage took the match honours, 10.5-9.5 with the home captain commenting that he was surprised that Sidmouth had won 9½ games on their difficult lawns!
The final match of the week was an away match against East Dorset in the Level Play League.
With Sidmouth’s handicap range of 2-5 against East Dorset’s 1- 4, the Sidmouth team was up against it. There could be no complaints about the quality of the lawns which were excellent.
Before lunch, Sidmouth managed to win only one singles game and draw a doubles out of the eight games played. In the afternoon, as the sun continued to beat down on the players, Sidmouth managed to win three more games, out of the 12 played.
Most of this result was down to the superior skill of the home side, some of whom play in many of the Croquet Association Open Tournaments.
The Sidmouth player who had the greatest success on the lawns was Philip Harris (handicap of two), who won two games and drew another - resulting in over half of Sidmouth’s tally of games!
The final score was a resounding win for the home side, East Dorset 15.5, Sidmouth 4.5.