Sidmouth croquet team enjoys 2018 tour to Austria

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 October 2018

Sidmouth croquet players in Austria.

Sidmouth croquet players in Austria.

Archant

Following last year’s successful tour to Ireland, Sidmouth Croquet Club decided that the confines of the UK were again too small and took a team to Austria, having arranged to play a friendly fixture with a club in Vienna during the first weekend of September, writes Richard Thurlow.

Shortly before departure we were advised that some players would be shipped in from Saltzburg and the Czech Republic and we would be playing the ‘Austrian team’.

We thought it impolite to question why the Czech number one qualified, but it transpired that he lives very close to the border! (It’s the Schengen Agreement!)

All games were played as level (no handicapping, which didn’t benefit us as all their players were stronger) and to advanced Association rules.

The match was predominantly singles, each player having four games. Sidmouth lost the singles 9-7 and also lost the two doubles games played. Considering the strength of the opposition, the team of Peter Nelson, Chris Donovan, Roger Hendy and Andrew Thomas acquitted themselves well.

The games were played on superb lawns in 30 degrees of heat. Our hosts looked after us very well and wined and dined us every evening. The team (accompanied by spouses) spent a further four days in and around Vienna. It was a memorable trip and we hope to go back.

● Sidmouth A Team (Richard Wood, Peter Nelson, Chris Donovan and Colin Walls) has won the South West Federation Parkstone Division Three title after a thrilling play-off against Bristol, writes Richard Thurlow.

The final score was 4-3 and this was only achieved by coming from behind in the final turn of the last game to win by three hoops.

The match was played on neutral ground at Taunton on lawns that were a very worn and challenging.

Promotion to Division Two is not automatic and we have to play the bottom team (Budleigh Salterton) from that division as the final hurdle.

● More croquet at www.sidmouthherald.co.uk

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