Wrest Park

Mary Rose 2024

Tim running rover.

22 June     v Watford (away)     lost 2-5

John Bevington (½) & Tim Brewer (2½) lost to Brian Havill (½) & Nick Archer (1½) -11

Peter Rothwell (5) beat Stephen Mills (3) +11

Tim Nurse (8) lost to Jonathan Lambton (3) -24

John Bevington lost to Brian Havill -18

Tim Brewer lost to Nick Archer -17

Peter Rothwell beat Jonathan Lambton +26

Tim Nurse lost to Stephen Mills -24

Watford are proving to be our nemesis in this competition, this being the third time we have lost to them in four years. In the doubles Tim was the first to score a point. Nick hit in and went to 4-back, but missed a short shot when setting up the leave and left John an easy start which he took to 3-back. The game became more interactive, but on at least three occasions when Tim had a rush to his hoop Brian or Nick hit in from distance to frustrate our efforts.

Peter’s game against Stephen Mills began with both players going round to 4-back with both partners stuck on hoop 4. Peter somewhat riskily then took his forward ball to peg before going round with his back ball but lost control after 1-back and Stephen took full advantage by advancing his own forward ball and pegging Peter out, but the peg prevented him from joining up. Peter took position at 2-back but left it short and significantly angled. Stephen decided it was un-runnable and left it where it was, laying up at hoop 4. After a long look, Peter took the opposite view and set up an exciting finish by running the hoop and leaving a 14 yarder across the lawn which he then hit to set up a 3 ball break, which was completed to win +11. Wrest Park’s congratulations were matched by Watford’s criticism of Stephen’s last shot.

In the afternoon singles John missed a hampered shot after running hoop 5, Brian went to 4-back and took his other ball round in a textbook break, winning shortly afterwards. Nick was less conventional but equally effective, and the end came when Tim failed hoop 4 off partner leaving the balls cross-wired across the hoop. Nick played off the east boundary to a position where he couldn’t be hit. Tim had a go at the sliver of partner showing, but missed and that was that. Tim Nurse found Stephen determined to make up for his loss in the morning, but Peter continued his good form, taking his first ball round to 4-back and then his other ball to peg, leaving a tight diagonal spread described in good humour by his opponent as “a bit cruel”! Jonathon missed the lift and Peter went on to win by +26, gaining 28 index points in the day. Weather sunny and warm, and thanks to Jonathan for lunch.

© Wrest Park Croquet Club

The morning session at Watford,
with Tim Nurse, Nick Archer and Stephen Mills in play.

v Pinchbeck (home)     2 May     won 4-3

John Bevington (½) and Tim Brewer (2½) lost to Adrian Kirby (0) and Gordon Mills (3) -24

Tim Nurse (9) lost to Charles Ostler (3½) -18

Peter Rothwell (8) beat Mike Bowser (4) +24

John Bevington beat Adrian Kirby +20

Tim Brewer lost to Gordon Mills -5t

Peter Rothwell beat Charles Ostler +4t

Tim Nurse beat Mike Bowser +1t

Peter and Tim Nurse were making their Mary Rose debuts and this was their first experience of Level Advanced play. To their great credit they both won their afternoon singles to get us over the line by the narrowest of margins, but, as is often the case in this competition, the scoreline is only half the story.

We agreed on three-hour time limits, which after the morning’s play seemed more than adequate. John and Tim B failed to make anything of the few opportunities on offer, but Peter’s play was in stark contrast, going to 4-back early on and then doing two peels of a TP before running out an easy winner, so we were 2-1 down before everyone sat down to a good lunch provided by Bryan and Sharman Harral. The weather was relatively kind: no rain or wind and some sunshine in the afternoon.

All four lawns were used for the afternoon singles which eliminated the delays and possible confusion that can be caused when double-banking. Given that three of the games went to time this probably a wise move. John recovered his form with an early break to 3-back which included a fluke peel of partner through 1. Adrian’s form of the morning rather deserted him and John won after a good finishing turn.

Tim B was struggling out on lawn 4 but recovered before eventually losing on time, so it was now 3-2 to Pinchbeck and all depended on Peter and Tim N. Peter finally got home in spite of (I think this is what happened) forgetting a lift and laying up near corner 3! Tim sometimes failed to heed the Walker Brothers advice to make it easy on yourself, but held on to win +1t to give us the match win. Phew!

Many thanks to team organiser Bryan Harral for looking after us all day, and to the grounds team for getting the lawns cut the day before.

Peter running 2-back.