Rachel Gee has won the National Forest GC Championship, recovering from two games down in the best-of-five final against Ian Burridge to win 5-7, 3-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we had to reduce the number of entries to twelve for this year’s event. The players in block A played on lawn one whilst block B games were played on lawn two. The two top seeds, Ian Burridge and Rachel Gee won all five of their games. The other semi-finalists were Arthur Rowe and Graham Good who won four out of five.
Ian and Rachel both won their semi-finals fairly comfortably in two games although Graham took Ian to the thirteenth hoop in their second game. The two finalists then asked if they could play best of five games in the final and, as we had plenty of time to do this, I agreed. Ian won the first two games 7-5 and 7-3 but Rachel hit back and took the third game 7-5. Ian got off to a very good start in the fourth game and led 5-0, then 6-1. Rachel then produced a quite remarkable fight back and after some very intense and highly competitive play managed to win 7-6. The fifth game was just as close, Rachel led 6-4 but Ian won the next two hoops and it was 2 games all and 6-6 in the decider. Rachel hit a good first ball to hoop thirteen and after few minutes of good clearances ran the hoop to win the most exciting final I can remember in this competition.
Euan Burridge and Tim King both won five out of six games in the plate but Euan’s hoop difference was four better than Tim’s so that was enough for Euan to win another very close event.
The rain mostly held off and there were some periods of bright sunshine and everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Hopefully next year we can revert to sixteen players.
I’d like to thank Martin Wroughton for preparing the lawns, Tim King for setting the hoops and Euan for putting all the results on CroquetScores. I’d also like to thank all the players for taking sensible precautions, playing in a very friendly and good-natured way and for keeping to the timetable, thus making my job as manager very easy.
We are pleased to announce that we have received an award of £1530 of lottery money from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund, which will offset our loss of income this year resulting from the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on our usual programme of events.
This award is part of a £35 million national emergency fund to help community sports organisations during the crisis.
Our grant will make up the shortfall of membership subscriptions, tournament entry fees and taster session income. Although our income from subscriptions and tournaments have not been as severely impacted as originally forecast, thanks to the generosity of members and the National Forest AC and GC tournaments going ahead albeit on a reduced scale, it is our taster session income that has been particularly badly hit, with all sessions for visiting groups expected to be cancelled until at least the end of July.
Of course we still have the usual outgoings in terms of lawn maintenance costs, so we are delighted that Sport England have been able to step in to ensure that our finances continue to be sound despite the difficulties we have experienced this season.
Six players contested this event in delightful summer weather at Ashby, in what was believed to be the first fixture in the CA calendar anywhere in the country to be completed this disrupted year.
Having just six players meant that we were within the current Covid-19 limit on gatherings, whilst being able to play the event as an all-play-all competition. The Egyptian scoring scheme was adopted to increase the likelihood of a discrete winner after 5 rounds. This was fortunate as 3 players finished with 4 wins, having all beaten each other! Heather Hardy emerged as the winner as she had lost her first game, so ended up with a higher index than Roger Watson and Arthur Rowe. The eagle-eyed will notice two players in the picture less than 2 metres apart – they were husband and wife Roger & Debbie Watson from Nottingham who had to play each other in the final round on Saturday.
4 wins: Heather Hardy, Roger Watson, Arthur Rowe 1 win: Richard Sanville, Debbie Watson, Mick Haytack
Just a reminder that we have some lawn working party sessions arranged for Sundays 8th, 15th and 22nd of March from 10am to 1pm, ahead of the new season. Any help on any or all of these dates would be much appreciated. Hope to see you there – please contact Martin if you need any more details.
COUNTDOWN Tues 21st Jan Five Countdown stalwarts competed in another hard-fought battle. The top two placings were the same as last year, but this time with Christine finishing as the winner and Eileen runner-up.
ANNUAL QUIZTues 18th Feb Despite some roads still being flooded in places in the wake of Storm Dennis making travel quite difficult, we had a good turnout of 16 for the quiz, arranged into five teams, with questions on everything from place name origins to advertising slogans. The toughest round turned out to be the one on international football strips, but perhaps most worryingly the round on which most scored full marks was on mental disorders! And in a major surprise, the Long Eaton ‘Clueless’ team beat Mick and Co in the board games round! First place overall went to The Stumps (the Haytacks and friends), with the Black Sheep in 2nd and Clueless 3rd.
WINTER WALK Sun 1st March The weather couldn’t decide between winter and spring, with a rain shower at the start and then bright sunshine punctuated by a brief hail shower. Seven of us enjoyed a circular walk of four miles around Calke Park and the Dimminsdale nature reserve, finishing with hot drinks and refreshments.