Wrest Park

Club GC tournaments 2019

Singles day     23 June

report by Richard Keighley

On a warm and dry day, this annual tournament attracted a field of 12 members with handicaps ranging from -1 to 12. Manager Richard Keighley split the players into two blocks of six to play on an all-play-all basis.

Both blocks were keenly contested. Three players in each block managed a total of four wins each and had to be separated on total net hoop count and then by “who beat whom”. In Block A, there had been an early shock when Terry Collis (7) beat top seed Les Heard (-1) by 7-5, but Les went on to win the remainder of his games. His achievement was equalled by Terry and also by Ross Bagni (1) but Les won the block on the strength of his win over Ross with whom he had shared an equal net hoop count. In Block B, Paul Gunn (1) was beaten by Richard Keighley (3) 7-3 but went on to have four wins, a feat equalled by Richard and the day’s surprise package, Tony Meredith (9).

The finishing order was decided on a cross-block basis. Les and Paul battled to the golden hoop, which Les won to claim the trophy. Similarly, third place was taken by Ross who overcame Tony 7-6 and Terry beat Richard 7-5 to complete the top six. It was good to note that every competitor had won at least game during the day, and that there had been a surprising number of 7-6 games.

As a result of their efforts, Terry’s handicap was lowered to 6 and Tony’s from 9 to 8. In fact, he is only 10 index points away from being a 6. Their respective fine form is reflected in the success to date of the Handicap League team, which is in the lead with two matches remaining.

Winner Les Heard accepts the trophy.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club  

Doubles day     13 July

report by Richard Keighley

Winners George and Susan Savage
with runners-up Rob Chatwin and Shirley-Ann Hughes

Twenty members, all immaculately dressed in white, assembled for this popular tournament on 13th July. Pairs were drawn on the day, with names being plucked from two pots comprising low handicappers and high handicappers respectively. All went well, except there was a collective gasp when George and Susan Savage were drawn to play together.

Player-manager Richard Keighley created two blocks of five pairs, each pair to play all others in the same block. In Block A, Rob Chatwin and Shirley Ann Hughes were the clear winners with four wins out of four. They were closely followed by the pairing of Tony Meredith and Peter Lovell with three wins. The pairs of Marilyn Robinson/Eddie Fisher, PeterAspinall/Pam Lovell and TerryCollis/Anne Speake all recorded one win each.

Block B was a much tighter affair. Roy Bradbury and Peter Jones looked as though they were going to complete a clean sweep, but they were thwarted at the 13th hoop of their final game by Richard/Skidmore/Sue Meredith and finished with three wins. That achievement was matched by George and Susan, who won the block with a superior hoop count of +12 to+9. Two teams achieved two wins, namely Richard and Sue and Richard Keighley/Vivienne Horner. There was no luck for Chris Harrison/Maria Kaskow but their occasional whoops of delight enlivened the proceedings.

A threatening sky mid-afternoon prompted the decision to invite the block winners to play each other for the trophies and for the remainder of the field to play on if they wished. The final was a closely contested game which had to be settled at the golden hoop. The winning hoop run was made by a delighted Susan Savage.

The traditional tea party followed with a fine selection of cakes and the presentation of the cups to George and Susan, and congratulations also to the gallant runners up, Rob and Shirley Ann. The close finish was not the only one which occurred over a remarkable weekend of sport!