Wrest Park

GC A level tournament 8/9 June

report by manager Richard Keighley

The tournament was won by Chris Roberts, who beat John Noble in the final.

A strong field of 16 players assembled in damp and blustery conditions for the block stage of this tournament at Wrest Park. In the “A” block, joint top seed Nick Archer (Watford) lost his first three games but won three out of four of his remaining games, only to find that he had missed out on qualification for the knockout stage by a single hoop on countback. Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court) won all seven of his games, and he led the other qualifiers who were David Bell (Leicester and Ashby) with six wins, Les Heard (Northampton and Wrest Park) with 4 wins and Mike Hills (Northampton) with three wins.

In “B “ Block, Tim King (Ashby) won all seven of his games followed by Roger Goldring (Phyllis Court) with five wins, John Noble (Letchworth) with 4 wins and David Thirtle-Watts (Hunstanton) with three wins.

Sunday dawned sunny and warm and the standard of croquet matched the weather. In the quarter-finals, Chris Roberts defeated David Thirtle-Watts (7-2, 7-6) and Roger Goldring beat Les Heard (7-4,7-3). John Noble was taken to three hard- fought games by David Bell (7-4, 6-7, 7-2) and Tim King recovered stongly after losing his first game to Mike Hills (4-7, 7-3, 7-0).

In the semi-finals, John Noble played extremely well to beat Tim King (7-5,7-5) and club mates Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring fought out a long and very close match which Chris won (5-7, 7-5, 7-5).

The final was a classic between two players on top form, both matching each other with long clearances and impressive hoop running. In the deciding game, Chris took a 4-1 lead but John fought back to level at 5-5, then ran the 11th hoop and had a clear chance to seal victory at the 12th. He missed and Chris took him to the 13th hoop which he ran successfully at 7.15pm to clinch a fine win(7-4, 5-7,7-6).

Manager Richard Keighley presented both players with an engraved glass and thanked both his club colleagues and spectators for their considerable help and support, and also Tim King for acting as Referee of the Tournament and for submitting full details to Croquet Scores.

Winner Chris Roberts with runner-up John Noble. Photo by Gill Brewer.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club