Sidmouth's Clarke stuns handicap tourney opponents

PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:19 18 June 2010

Although the May Budleigh Salterton Handicap Weekend Tournament attracted only three Sidmouth Croquet Club entrants this year, David Clarke made his mark.

Although the May Budleigh Salterton Handicap Weekend Tournament attracted only three Sidmouth entrants this year, David Clarke made his mark by winning the prize for the fastest game. Incredibly, he ran hoop 1 from baulk with each of his first turns using the second ball to roquet the first, then peeling and running hoop 2 all in his third turn. At this point his opponent had not entered his fourth ball into the court, whilst David had already scored four points! The sun shone and with unusually little wind all present enjoyed the splendidly prepared lawns in a tournament ably managed by Peter Jones of Budleigh.Back on home ground, the first Sidmouth Federation League match of the season took place against Exeter. The weather was sunny, but also cold and gusty, and the lawns were very fast which frequently caught out both sides. The Sidmouth team of David Clarke (captain), Richard Mills, Graham Harford and Robert Hammond put on a fine performance with only Harry Midgley of Exeter staving off a whitewash by narrowly winning both his games +1. David Clarke once again demonstrated his speed round the lawns by winning one of his games in 1 hour 33 minutes. Result: Sidmouth 5 Exeter 2. On the same day, the SW Federation Golf Croquet League got going with the Sidmouth team of John Coombes (captain), Pam Bowra, Margaret Piper, Anne Reece and Keith Thorley visiting Porthpean (Cornwall), writes John Coombes. This was an enjoyable and successful match with the "Cornish Alps" as a backdrop to a stunning 14-6 victory, including all four of the doubles. The star was undoubtedly Keith Thorley who was playing in his first match for Sidmouth. Not only did he win all three of his singles, but also both of his doubles with partner Anne Reece. The Cornish hosts were most welcoming and provided an excellent cream tea to finish off a very pleasant sunny, if blustery, day. Altogether a very good start to the Golf Croquet season.l The first weekend internal tournament of each season is for the Dorothy Toye Cup and this year a total of 10 players took part, split into two groups with games being played over 14 points under handicap conditions. Winners and runners-up from each block resulted in semi-final pairings of Margaret Piper against Robert Hammond and Barbara Clarke against David Clarke. Margaret followed a convincing +12 win against Robert by pulling off a +10 win against David in the final. A very satisfactory couple of days for Margaret, who only lost one of her six games and then only by one hoop to the tournament manager, Derek Powell.


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