Wrest Park

2021 All England Handicap final
4-5 September

George Collin and Tim Brewer were Wrest Park’s representatives at the All England area final at Surbiton. As both the winner and runner-up were unable to play in the final George and Tim found themselves promoted and played in the final at Sidmouth. There is a report on the CA website, and George has provided a personal report and photo.

Tim Brewer in play at Sidmouth, with Gill looking on.
Note the thatched courtside shelter.

George Collin and Tim Brewer didn’t do badly enough at the Surbiton Area Final to avoid being invited to the final at Sidmouth. Nice green lawns and fine weather.

A Swiss event should involve at least two rounds more than a knock-out – which would have been fine for the eight players planned to be in the final. Unfortunately the CA had accidently invited nine. So a Sidmouth member, Ed Dolphin, was roped in to make it an even number (but couldn’t be the winner). Inevitably, after the inadequate five rounds, Ed was unbeaten, with four others on three wins, including George. And of course, those four had not all played each other. So the prize was awarded to Phil Snowden (14) from Fylde, based on net hoop scores. George “I could have been a contender” Collin was only mildly peeved, having beaten Phil.

Also present was John Coutts. He has only recently resumed playing croquet, after a gap of over thirty years. He was a regular at Wrest Park tournaments from about 1975 to 1985 and won the All England in 1974 and 1975.

Another local connection was Phil Harris, a Sidmouth member not playing in the final. He graduated from the National College of Agricultural Engineering, Silsoe, in 1972. However, he only took up croquet in retirement.

Sidmouth have a beautiful lawn-side shelter with a thatched roof. Might that be sufficiently “English Heritage” to persuade EH to permit us to have one?

Ed Dolphin (12) Sidmouth     5 wins, but ineligible

Philip Snowden (14) Fylde     3 wins and overall winner

Ged Smolskas (12) Bury     3 wins and runner-up

Cliff Hunter (8) Surbiton     3

George Collin (0) Wrest Park     3

Tim Brewer (3) Wrest Park     2

John Coutts (6) Rother Valley     2

Richard Leach (16) Bury    2

Ian Wills (9) Kington Langley     1

Margaret Murray (11) Kington Langley     1

© Wrest Park Croquet Club