Wrest Park

Ken Wheeler Shield 24 July

This one-day event is a GC Inter Counties tournament for counties within the East Anglian Federation, the teams being made up of players eligible to play for that county by birth or other criteria. The counties represented were to have been Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, but Essex had to withdraw and was replaced by a scratch EACF Select team, which (as the report has it) was rounded up by Brian Havill and included our own Richard Keighley.

Manager Terrey Sparks’s report, available on the EACF website, describes the format and scoring system. As Richard featured in the denouement the final paragraphs are repeated here:

Play commenced at 10am and, bearing in mind doubles pairs not used to each other, the match proceeded at a determined and at times a slow pace. However, progress it did with the field being led by the EACF for all the first 5 rounds, closely followed by Norfolk & Cambridgeshire. After the end of the fifth round EACF had amassed 8 points followed by Norfolk & Cambridge on 6 points each, and Bedfordshire on a creditable 4 points. At this point Suffolk and Hertfordshire were eliminated from the competition.

Proceeding to the Gold Medal Round, each team played a combination of 3 singles games which attracted 3 points per win added to their team score. The EACF started to falter and only managed to pick up 1 win. However, both the Bedford and Norfolk teams upped their game, each picking up 2 wins and each attracting 6 points. But the real surprise was the ending. With Norfolk on 12 points and the EACF on 11 points it fell to the last game in which David Ball (Bedford) was playing Richard Keighley (EACF). David's Bedford team could not overhaul Norfolk if he won but would stop the EACF Select team winning and hand the final result to Norfolk - which he did, much to the Norfolk team's joy.

A very interesting and competitive day enjoyed by all, with thanks to the Wrest Park Club for allowing the use of their excellent facilities.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club