Tricky Federation match for Sidmouth

Sidmouth did not get off to a good start in their first Golf Croquet match of the season with a home defeat to Budleigh Salterton by 11.5 games to 8.5, writes Mike Taylor.

John Coombes did well in winning not only his doubles (with partner Anne Reece), but in also gaining 1.5 points from his two singles. In addition, Paul Griew and Keith Thorley put up good performances to win their doubles and gain a share of their singles.

Thanks are due to Rob Matthews and his assistants for their careful hoop setting and lawn preparation.

?Sidmouth were hosts to a three-man team from Wellington for the first of the SW Federation Intermediate League fixtures. The match comprised five games – one doubles and four singles. In the morning, Sidmouth’s Graeme Pryor and Barbara Clarke had a convincing win +14, but Colin Walls lost a tough match against the Wellington captain, by three hoops. After lunch, in brilliant sunshine, Colin played well, beating his opponent John Pugsley +18. Graeme and Barbara both lost their matches by six hoops and one hoop, respectively. Final result: Sidmouth 2, Wellington 3.

?Sidmouth made the long trip to St Austell for their first match in the Federation League (highest handicap league involving the use of bisques) with a new look team of four players. It was windy with occasional drizzle, which made some aspects of play, especially roqueting, particularly difficult. All players took a while to settle into their games.

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Team manager, Roger Hendy, combined well with captain Peter Hills, to win the opening doubles convincingly +17. Derek Andrew, in the morning, did exceptionally well to overtake his opponent to win. However, Richard Godfrey could not overcome his opponent’s many bisques, but fought on gallantly with few opportunities to hit in.

In the afternoon, Richard unfortunately lost again, playing against Cornwall’s top player, who was in magnificent form. Roger, Derek and Peter won their final games, the latter with a “golden hoop” after the scores were equal at the end of normal time.

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Cornwall were magnificent hosts - having offered lunch rather than the usual tea - they then provided both!

Even their dog mascot could not help Cornwall overcome what proved to be a strong Sidmouth team.

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