Sidmouth handicap final a real nailbiter
The Sidmouth June mid-summer tournament was held all last week in generally good croquet playing conditions.
The Sidmouth June mid-summer tournament was held all last week in generally good croquet playing conditions. A rather disappointing entry of 20 competitors, mainly from Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton, were placed in four Class blocks consisting of players with roughly similar handicaps, but playing on level terms. In addition, and at the discretion of tournament manager, Julie Horsley, those players requesting to play handicap singles games were entered in a two block all-play-all competition with block winners proceeding to the final. Julie was also kept busy organising non-block games for those wanting to play in their 'free periods'. Some keen players could even be seen taking part in "fun doubles" games as late as 8.30pm!The Handicap Singles final was played between Julie Horsley (Sidmouth) and Robert Hammond (Sidmouth) who won their block games in style. Robert eventually came out the winner +6 after a close game in which both players made good progress in the early stages but, with three clips on the peg and with Robert needing three attempts to peg-out, the final turns provided quite a nailbiting finish. As a result of his performances during the week, Robert's handicap was reduced from seven to six.Winners of the Class events were as follows: Block A: Challenge Cup - Richard Mills (Sidmouth); Block B: The David Rawkins Cup - Richard Williamson (Bristol); Block C: The Fortfield Cup - Brian Pollock (Budleigh Salterton); Block D: The Dwerryhouse Cup - Jeannette Pollock (Budleigh Salterton).The fun doubles event was won by the partnership of Richard Williamson (Bristol) and Mitch Watts (Cheltenham), whilst the Egyptian competition was won by Ken Wood (unattached).As is happily becoming the norm, caterer Gill Hodge, groundsman Colin Whitehall and the hoop-setting team were praised for their invaluable contribution to an enjoyable week.l After a good start to the season against Cornwall, Sidmouth's B league team were brought down to earth with a crash, suffering a 6-1 defeat at the hands of Budleigh Salterton. Nevertheless, all was not lost - Sidmouth's captain, Muriel Philpott, managed to salvage a good +9 win, the weather was fine, the hosts friendly and the tea excellent!