After a quiet start in terms of interest, we suddenly had a flood of last-minute entries for our B-Level competition, resulting in a full field of 12 players from as far afield as Cumbria and London. Ray, Judith and Richard were the Ashby representatives.
After six rounds of matches, David Cornes of Crake Valley CC was the clear winner with 6 wins. Five players finished on 4 wins; in order of hoop difference, these were Glynis Davies (Northampton) +10, Gill Hindshaw (Beckford) +9, Charles Sale (Ealing) +8, Richard Sanville (Ashby) +6, Mark Buckley (Leicester) +4.
Many thanks to Martin for managing the tournament, assisted by Janet H.
Sun 9th August, MoiraManager and reporter: Richard
The Max Morris Trophy (GC handicap singles) is our longest-running club competition, having been contested every year since 1994, and not even a global pandemic could prevent it from taking place this year. We had eight players, the highest number since 2016, with six rounds of games against different opponents. What started out as an overcast morning soon gave way to a hot and sunny afternoon.
Everyone won at least two games, but the clear overall winner was Ray with 5 wins, including a 7-6 win over Rupert, having trailed 2-6 at one stage. Even more remarkably, Ray was competing in his first competitive croquet of the season, having only picked up his mallet ten days before, following an extended period of lockdown. Lesley finished as runner-up on 4 wins with a superior hoop difference to Richard.
Like the 26-point league the previous weekend, the 14-point league was contested by Ashby, Pinchbeck and two Nottingham teams. Richard, Adam and Heather represented Ashby. We finished 2-1 winners against Nottingham B but lost to Pinchbeck and Nottingham A by the same scoreline. Pinchbeck won the competition with three match wins. Ashby finished runners-up by virtue of winning one of our games against Pinchbeck (well done, Heather).
Here is the full report from manager Bob Thompson:
After several years of being left on the back burner, the Federation 14pt AC League was back in action at Ashby on one of the hottest days of the year. Four 3-man teams entered the 14pt AC League competition, Ashby, Pinchbeck, Nottingham A and Nottingham B hosted by the Ashby club on Saturday 8th August. With Covid 19 restrictions, the teams were mindful of self-distancing during the day and all equipment being washed down before and after play. The format was for three 1.5 hour timed single handicap games, played to base 4.
The morning play saw Nottm A win 2-1 over Ashby, Pinchbeck won 3-0 against Nottm B. The early afternoon saw Ashby 2-1 winners beating Nottm B and Pinchbeck produced another maximum 3-0 win against Nottm A. The late afternoon saw Pinchbeck securing a 2-1 win over Ashby 2-1 and Nottm B a 2-1 win over fellow club members Nottm A.
All teams finished with a match win, more than 70% of the matches were won/loss by 5 hoops or less. With an impressive 3 out of 3 match victories, Pinchbeck won the 2020 FEMCC AC 14pt League competition. Patricia Duke-Cox, Federation Chair, thanked everyone for taking part, the Ashby club for hosting and presented the salver. Many thanks to the Ashby club for hosting the event in these trying times, hopefully we shall be back to normality next year. It was pleasing to note that there was a 50/50 split of ladies and gents, it being the first games played in a federation event for some whilst the seasoned player would have to check their handicap cards to recollect the number of events attended. During the blistering heat of the day players made use of the shade aside the hedgeline wherever possible, one player settled himself in corner two of lawn three with water bottle, binoculars and paperwork, he was hoping to extend his bird spotting experiences, but he was required to break cover now and then to run the occasional hoop. One player intended to go home and cool down in the pool. For another player who couldn’t get enough croquet, had arranged to play GC with fellow club member Mike O’Brian who came along to watch the play and renew acquaintances.
The Ashby team of Arthur, Mick and Heather won 2-1 against Pinchbeck, but lost 1-2 in the matches against Nottingham A and Nottingham B (the eventual winners).
Here is the full report from the manager Bob Thompson:
Four 3-man teams entered the 26pt AC League competition, Ashby, Pinchbeck, Nottingham A and Nottingham B (substitutes for a ‘Covid 19 lockdown’ Leicester), hosted by the Nottingham club on Sunday 2nd August. With Covid 19 restrictions, the teams were mindful of self-distancing during the day and all equipment being washed down before and after play.
Of the 2.5 hour timed handicap games, played to base 8, surprisingly, seven games were completed within the time limit. At lunch both Nottm A & B had 2-1 winning results over Ashby & Pinchbeck respectively. The afternoon play saw both Nottm A & B extend their winning ways, once again with 2-1 results. The late afternoon saw a grand finale between the Nottingham teams. Roger Watson (h/c 8 Nottm A) quickly dispatched Bob Thompson (h/c 2 Nottm B) +26 with bisques standing. Mark Lansdale (h/c 11 Nottm A) was leading Andrew Beaumont (h/ 8 Nottm B) with time looming when Andrew (for the second time of the day), hit in from distance and made a very decisive break to peg, leaving Mark in overtime to hit in and needing several peels to have a chance, Andrew won +8t. An excited endgame then ensued between Philip Morgan (h/c 18 Nottm A), playing his first competitive game for the club and the very competitive Debbie Watson (h/c 14 Nottm B), Debbie winning +5t. Both Debbie and Philip mentioned that they had learnt so much about the game. Both Roger Watson (h/c 8 Nottm A) and Andrew Beaumont (h/c 8 Nottm B) were undefeated on the day with 3 wins.
Congratulations to Nottingham B in winning the event, we look forward to 2021 when hopefully we shall see Leicester once again competing. Many thanks for the sterling work that members of the Nottingham club have undertaken in the past months in ensuring that croquet has been able to continue in these trying times.
Before the match we had two problems to resolve. Firstly, Jane’s handicap had gone from 2 to 1 three days before the match. We checked with the tournament organiser and found that handicap changes in the week before the match do not preclude someone from playing. Half an hour before the match Rupert had a mini explosion in his kitchen and he had to deal with that immediately. Luckily, Martin was available to play the first game against Marc. We had a very pleasant match and as our visitors had a long journey home, we left one of the singles matches undecided.
Ashby: Jane Tewson (1), Mick Haytack (3), Rupert Knapton (3), Martin Wroughton (4) High Wycombe: Michael Bowker (2), Keith Toovey (3), Marc Allan (8)
Round 1: Jane and Mick 7-3, 7-5 Michael and Keith Martin/Rupert 7-6, 7-6 Marc
Round 2: Jane 7-3, 7-6 Michael Mick 7-3, 6-7 (unfinished) Marc Rupert 3-7, 5-7 Keith
Seven ladies met to play for the Perry Bowl. Apart from a rather intense deluge during and just after lunch, which made play interesting to say the least, it was sunny and warm. Eileen and Jenny shared play so we had six rounds. They, Heather and Lesley E had two wins each with Julie, Lesley L and Judith taking three. After calculating hoop difference (a learning curve for Lesley L, thank you Judith) Julie was declared the worthy winner on +9, thus taking back the trophy she last won three years ago. Congratulations Julie. Lesley L finished as runner-up on +7.
Unfortunately, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions on the numbers able to compete in competitions, the Coors/Bass tournament is not viable this year, so we have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the 2020 event. Entries for 2020 will be carried forward to 2021, unless teams opt to have their entry fee refunded.