Tough contests for croquet players

The Robert Case Shield and Tankard consists of a series of croquet set pieces, each based on a situation which occurs in actual games.

For instance the pegging out challenge starts with two balls near the edge of the lawn 12 yards from the peg; players have to peg both of them out using the standard roquet, croquet, continuation sequence of the association croquet game. This challenge represents the final winning sequence of a match and inspires the competitors to great efforts resulting in an average score of 6.4 out of 8.

At the other end of the scale the split shot average score was only 1.8 out of 8. In that challenge the players have to send one ball 17 yards to the middle of the lawn, and another 10 yards to a hoop with just one hit.

David Temple (handicap 4) scored a tremendous 44 points out of 66 to win the Robert Case Shield, but Graeme Pryor's second place achievement of 41 points off a handicap of 14 was extraordinary. For the Robert Case Tankard, players’ handicaps are added to their scores to give the higher handicap players something to try for. This was won by Marian Harris (handicap 24) whose score of 32 was better than that of 11 players with lower handicaps, with an honourable mention for Rob Matthews.

The afternoon was completed by Gill Hodge's usual excellent tea.


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The Colclough and Sidmouth Cups are Sidmouth Croquet Club’s main Association doubles tournament, writes Helen Pryor.

At this event a low handicap player is partnered with a higher handicap player by the tournament manager. This makes for an even contest and gives less experienced players the chance to see how the experts play.

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On Friday and Saturday the eight couples, divided into two blocks, played three games.

On Saturday afternoon the semi-finals were played between the top two pairs in each block (X).

At the same time, though they were not in the running for the cups, the other players played Y semi-finals. The weather was rather wet at times, but this did not dampen spirits and there were some close, and not so close, games played.

As usual, some players were disappointed with their results, and others very pleased. But that is the way of croquet!. In the semi-finals (X) Roger Mills and Pamela Bowra beat Peter Nelson and Anne Reece, and Philip Harris and Graeme Pryor beat Ian Friedlander and John Davies.

On a sunny Sunday morning all players were in action to gain positions 1 to 8, some of the newer members with high handicaps playing well under the guidance of their partner. The final between Roger Mills and Pamela Bowra and Philip Harris and Graeme Pryor was exciting game. However, after the 2� hours’ time allowed, Mills and Bowra had pulled ahead and won the match by three hoops. While this was going on all the other players were in action to decide final positions. Most of the players, joined by other members, then enjoyed a good buffet lunch. Following this, there was a presentation of 'prizes for all', everyone going home with a small token as a thank you for playing! The winners will be presented with their cups at the Croquet AGM in October.

Budleigh Salterton hosted the National Seniors’ Croquet Championship this year and six Sidmothians went along to try their hand along with some 50 or so other over 50s from all over the country.

The tournament has seven different sections and remarkably, Sidmouth managed to win three trophies. Rosemary Bradshaw won the handicap knock-out. Peter Miller and his partner won the handicap doubles, and Peter on his own won Block E.

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