Open Croquet Tournaments
Last week was a busy one for the croquet players with several tournaments, competitions and social events taking place.
Our two Croquet Association open tournaments for association croquet players were eventful but successful, and enjoyed by all participants. The late withdrawal of our tournament manager Cliff Jones due to ill health meant that Philip Kennerley was asked to stand in, and he did a very good job.
12 people (Philip, Harry Oldham, Pam Sim and Elaine Salisbury from Ryde) took part in the Mary Robinson Challenge Shield handicap event which was run as a Swiss tournament (players with the same number of wins play each other). It was won by Geoff Johnson from Watford (handicap 4), with Peter Thompson (3) from Hull runner up. Play was suspended on Thursday afternoon to mark Richard Harris’ funeral – Richard had won the tournament a number of times and would have loved to have been involved in this one in a different way. Unlike previous years, the tournament was held over three days instead of two with two 3¼hr matches per day instead of three, and this proved to be far less tiring and therefore more enjoyable for the players.
The IW Championship Bowl was a level play 2-day tournament using advanced rules. The handicap range was 0 to 5 and seven competitors took part, two from our club (Philip Kennerley and Jonathan Smith). Saturday turned out to be even wetter than Thursday and play was abandoned part way through the afternoon when the lawns flooded. Players managed 5 or 6 games with a 2hr limit, and the eventual winner was Peter Moore (0) from Exmouth. Ryde’s Jonathan Smith (4½) played very well and came second, although he was visibly tired out by the end of his fourth match on the last day.
Many people commented on the excellent state of the lawns, and special thanks must go to groundsman Steve Simmonds who with help of John Sim worked till it had gone dark on one occasion to get the lawns cut before the next forecast deluge. Also much appreciated were the excellent lunches and refreshments and cake provided by helpers from the club. A very successful few days of fairly high standard association croquet: hopefully we could encourage more spectators and supporters next year?!