Sidmouth croquet team tops Federation League after win at Lym Valley

Generic croquet. Ref shsp 8970-23-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Generic croquet. Ref shsp 8970-23-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Croquet Club were involved in two exciting matches last week; one under croquet ‘golf’ rules, the other under ‘association’ rules, writes Richard Thurlow.

In ‘golf’ croquet players accumulate points for running hoops, each hoop being contested consecutively, with the first player running the hoop winning a point, before moving onto the next hoop.

In ‘Association’ croquet each player has to run all the 12 hoops in turn, using the other balls to help.

Having drawn their match against Exeter earlier this month, the club’s level play golf croquet team hoped to do better against a team of five from Cornwall on Thursday, May 25.

Sidmouth started well, winning three of the four doubles games, but of the six singles games that followed in the morning session, five were lost and one drawn.

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By lunchtime, Cornwall were leading by six-and-a-half games to three-and-a-half, with 10 singles games still to play.

But what a transformation after lunch! Sidmouth’s team of six somehow found their form winning seven, with drawn games and one game lost.

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The last game, in particular, was exciting. With the score at five hoops each, time expired and with the final ball to be played, Steve Pearson managed to run hoop 11 to clinch the victory. Well done, Steve – no games lost this match!

This all left the final score as, Sidmouth 11.5, Cornwall 8.5.

Meanwhile, the club’s association ‘federation’ team won their second league match away to Lym Valley last Thursday.

Lym Valley is a small club in Uplyme with only 15 members.

They play their croquet on one three-quarter size lawn and a full-size lawn on the cricket outfield, challenging conditions for our players used to much better playing surfaces!..

The morning doubles game was played on the three-quarter size lawn, and, despite have to give away six bisques, the Sidmouth partnership of Philip Harris and Jon Ball, after conditioning themselves to the lawns, played tactically to beat the Lym Valley pairing 26-18.

Andrew Thomas played the singles game on the wetter cricket outfield lawn against Ken Wilcox and never came to terms with the slowness of the lawn losing 26-2.

Three singles games were played in afternoon. Andrew played his game on the dryer three-quarter size lawn and, quickly getting the pace of the surface, played more confidently to win 26-12.

Philip had to give seven bisques away and lost 25-11 on time.Jon, having gained confidence from winning the morning doubles, and despite having to play on the wetter lawn, played carefully to win his singles game 26-11.

This all led to an overall 3-2 success for Sidmouth who sit top of the Federation League after two matches.

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