Southern Challenge & Ryde Open GC
Last week was another busy one for Golf Croquet tournaments.
Over 2/3 July a club team of six players went over to Southwick to take part in the Southern Challenge division 1 competition. After a highly successful two days of singles and doubles matches against the other competing teams Ryde Lawn finished up second overall – despite beating the winners Ramsgate in the final round, they had one more win overall. Another Ryde Lawn team went to Surbiton to play in the Southern Challenge division 2 and came third so it was a great performance all round!
Then over 9/10 July three mainland players and nine locals contested this year’s Ryde Open GC Tournament. After the round-robin play on Saturday top seeds Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court) and Roy Tillcock (Ryde) led their respective blocks with the four least successful players relegated to the Plate competition.
Sunday brought not only a change in the weather but a remarkable change of fortune for both Robin Thornton and Jim O’Keeffe. Robin, with no block wins to his name progressed with only one further defeat to win the Plate in a best of three final against Richard Jenkins (Hamptworth).
Jim’s lucky leprechauns clearly thrive in the rain and after narrowly squeezing into the knock-out with just 2 wins there began a transformation of Damascene proportions. After recovering from a first game deficit Jim reversed his quarter-final tie against Roy and then proceeded to demolish third seed Stuart Peters in the semis to set up an unexpected final against Chris. Jim lost the first game, won the second on a dramatic tie-break and willed on by a very partisan crowd proceeded to take the third game and the match to win the Centenary Cup for the first time.