Wrest Park

Club GC tournaments 2021

Players at the Singles tournament. Winner Les Heard holds the cup, flanked by runner-up Marilyn Robinson and Richard Keighley. Photo by Ross Bagni.

Singles tournament     13 June

report by manager Richard Keighley

Even in the absence of last year’s winner, George Collin, a strong field of 11 men and the redoubtable Marilyn Robinson gathered to contest this popular level play tournament. The thermometer was rising rapidly as block play began promptly.

The top seed in Block A was Les Heard (-1), also a previous winner. He was obviously the man to beat but only Tony Meredith (7) put real pressure on him before succumbing 6-7. Tony’s successful day was rewarded by a reduction in his handicap to 6.

Block B was a much more intriguing affair. Top seeds were Paul Gunn (1) and Ross Bagni (1) but Richard Skidmore (5), who had been the runner up at the B-level at Leighton-Linslade on the previous day, beat Paul 7-5 and Ross 7-6.  Richard also beat Eddie Fisher (10) 7-4, so by lunchtime had become the clear favourite to meet Les Heard in the final.

However, Richard’s form dipped in the afternoon whilst Marilyn went on to win four games out of five to head the group. A highlight for Eddie was his victory over Ross which earned him 19 points on his card. His success was also testimony for the regular Wednesday morning GC sessions as there was an obvious and welcome general improvement in play.

The final was a single 13 point game played in the full heat of the afternoon sun. It proved a step too far for Marilyn who lost 7-3 but who had exceeded her expectations by winning her group. The cup was presented to Les Heard, unbeaten all day, and the group assembled for a photograph which brought back memories of the motley bunch who went in search of the “Treasure of Sierra Madre”.

It was universally agreed that it had been a very enjoyable day without too many demands on the participants.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club  

Doubles tournament     17 July

report by manager Richard Keighley

Last minute withdrawals left a field of 16 players which the manager divided into two groups of eight, one featuring those with the lowest handicaps and the other those with the higher handicaps. Under laboratory conditions, he then drew a name from each group and, almost miraculously, avoided pairing up spouses or those from the same family.

This process produced some interesting combinations and it was difficult to pick out any obvious favourites. Two blocks of four pairs were formed and play began on a fine and warm Saturday morning.

Block A: Les Heard and Una Pengelly had a quick win (7-2) against Tony Meredith and Pam Lovell but that proved to be their only success. The real battle was between Rob Chatwin and Susan Savage who were pipped (6-7) by Richard Keighley and Sue Meredith. Rob and Susan went on to beat both Tony and Pam and Les and Una, but had to settle for second place in the block to Richard and Sue who won all three of their games.

Block B: The needle match proved to be between George Collin and Viv Heard against Judith Pengelly and Stuart Stafford. The latter pair prevailed (7-6) and then went on to beat both Marilyn Robinson and George Savage and Chris Harrison and Peter Lovell by the same score. Marilyn and George S became runners-up in this block by beating George C and Viv.

After lunch, the tournament proceeded on a knock out basis with semi-finals and a final. In the main competition, Richard and Sue beat Marilyn and George S (7-4) and Judith and Stuart beat Rob and Susan (7-3). The final was closely contested before Judith and Stuart won (7-5). Sue Meredith had given a good account of herself all day and her hoop running was excellent as her confidence grew with a series of wins. However, on this occasion, it was not quite enough. Rob and Susan and Marilyn and George S took third and fourth places respectively and the Plate was won by George C and Viv.

The manager congratulated Judith and Start and presented them with the “handsome” trophies. There was general consensus that it had been a very enjoyable day of croquet.

Winners Judith Pengelly and Stuart Stafford with
runners-up Richard Keighley and Sue Meredith.