Thomas is terrific as Sidmouth edge out East Dorset in classic encounter

Players from across Europe played in the competition at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club over the wee

Players from across Europe played in the competition at Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club over the weekend. Ref exsp 8620-23-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Croquet Club played host to a team from East Dorset in the South West Federation Golf Croquet League, writes David Butler.

The first two sessions consisted of four doubles games and two singles game.

Play during the first three games was interrupted by a heavy shower but, after play continued, Sidmouth lost all four doubles games, winning the two singles. Another four singles games were then played, each side winning two and losing two. So when play stopped for lunch East Dorset held a 6-4 lead.

The first four games after lunch produced three Sidmouth wins to see the overall score to 7-all.

The next four games again saw Sidmouth win three and lose just one to take the home side into a 10-8 lead.


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For the final two games (20 were played in the match), East Dorset played two of its better players.

Roger Parsons, with a handicap of seven, which meant three ‘extra turns’, beat Sidmouth’s (handicap four).

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The contest therefore was down to the final game with Andrew Thomas, one of Sidmouth’s recent additions to the team, who is proving his worth in both golf croquet and association croquet, playing for the home side needing to avoid defeat for the team to claim overall victory.

Andrew, with three ‘extra turns’ played John Speigal, a very experienced player. At the eleventh hoop the score was 6-5 to East Dorset, when the time went.

When time is called eight more shots are played - two for each of the four balls, in the usual order of play. Andrew did well to promote one of his balls by hitting it with his other one, so it lay near the hoop. With his turn for that ball he then hit it into the jaws of the hoop. John then attempted a ‘jump shot’, hoping to jump over Andrew’s ball and win the game. (having forgotten that he was already in front!) But it knocked Andrew’s ball through! This meant the game between the gentlemen ended 6-all and that meant an overall Sidmouth match success ten-and-a-half to nine-and-half.

Unsurprisingly, Andrew Thomas, for the second match running, was named Man of the Match as he had come through the day unbeaten in four games with three wins and that last gasp draw.

Both Margaret Piper and Ian Simpson had two wins, the other three team players each winning one game. Well done to all the team, who played well against a club who are well known as worthy opponents.

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