Short Croquet at York

Sept 19th & 20th, York

Mick and Heather both played in York Croquet Club’s annual short croquet (a small-lawn version of AC) tournament. Mick finished second out of 18, winning six games out of nine. His final match was against Andrew Beaumont from Nottingham, who he had previously played three times in the 26-point game and lost every time, but in this game Mick says he played very well and beat Andrew 14-2 in seventeen minutes.

Richard wins the Charity One-Ball Plus club heat

Sat 5th Sept, Moira Manager & reporter: Richard

This year’s national Charity One Ball final has been delayed by four months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so we in turn had to rearrange our One Ball Plus club heat which eventually went ahead on the first weekend of September.

As last year, we had six players in the 13-point tournament, but with reduced time limits (45 or 50 minutes for each round) which allowed us to complete an all-play-all competition. A game was recorded as a draw if the scores were level following the completion of the two turns after time is called. This was the case in the game between Mike and Rupert which finished 6-6. Only two of the 15 games were completed within the time limit, both involving Mick.

The overall winner was Richard with 5 wins out of 5. After trailing against Adam throughout his first game, Richard managed to snatch victory 8-7 in the final turn, and after that played consistently well. Heather and Mick both finished on 3 wins, with Heather winning the game between them.

Results: 1st Richard (5 wins); 2nd Heather (3 wins, beat Mick); 3rd Mick (3 wins, lost to Heather); 4th Rupert (1.5 wins, drew with Mike, hoop diff. -7); 5th Mike (1.5 wins, drew with Rupert, hoop diff. -17); 6th Adam (1 win).

Many thanks to everyone for their generous donations to Macmillan Cancer Support, totalling £70. When combined with the Christmas/New Year donations (£77) we have raised a magnificent total of £147, plus gift aid, for the charity.

Richard will represent Ashby in the one-ball national final at Surbiton on Sept 20th. Although the money raised entitles us to an additional place in the final, none of the other participants are available that weekend or willing to travel.

Ashby through to Murphy Shield GC final

Camerton & Peasedown 2-4 Ashby

Wed 2nd Sept, Camerton & Peasedown

The Ashby team of Mick, Rupert, Martin and Richard have won their Murphy Shield semi-final 4-2 at Camerton & Peasedown, reversing last season’s outcome when the Somerset side won at Moira.

After trailing 0-3 at lunchtime, the home team staged an afternoon comeback, but Mick’s 2-0 win in the singles secured the overall win for Ashby.

Ashby’s first-ever Murphy Shield final will now be against East Dorset, at Cheltenham on Wednesday 23rd September.

Camerton & Peasedown: Maureen Boys (3), Rosalind Key Pugh (3), Brian Wilson (3), Patrick Knight (5)
Ashby: Mick Haytack (3), Rupert Knapton (3), Martin Wroughton (4), Richard Sanville (6)

Mo and Ros 3-7, 7-4, 2-7 Mick and Rupert
Brian 5-7, 6-7 Richard
Patrick 5-7, 4-7 Martin

Mo 5-7, 5-7 Mick
Ros 6-7, 7-3 Rupert (match unfinished)
Brian 4-7, 7-6, 7-5 Martin
Patrick 7-4, 7-6 Richard

Murphy Shield match at Camerton & Peasedown

Paul and Heather win the Clive Pearson Doubles

Mon 31st August, Moira Manager: Martin

After a very close National Forest GC doubles tournament over the weekend (see separate report), the doubles theme continued on bank holiday Monday with our internal Clive Pearson GC competition. This turned out to be even closer, with all five pairs finishing on two wins out of four! Paul and Heather were the clear winners on a hoop difference of +9 , thanks to wins of 7-0 and 7-1 in their first two games. Runners-up were Jane and Richard on +1. Not far behind were Ray and Rupert, Mike and Julie, and Christine and Mick. Many thanks to Martin for organising the tournament.

Paul and Jane win the National Forest GC Doubles

Aug 29th & 30th, Moira Manager: Ray

Six pairings competed in our first National Forest GC Doubles, a new national tournament at Moira. In an extremely close all-play-all competition, with each match consisting of three 13-point games, three pairs finished on 3 match wins, the top two of these also finishing level on games won. Hoop difference was therefore the deciding factor, with home players Paul Durkin and Jane Tewson declared the winners, finishing just ahead of David and Andrea Widdison.

Here is Ray and Chris’s full report:

The first National Forest GC Doubles tournament was played on August 29/30th at Moira in North West Leicestershire, home of Ashby Croquet Club. Subtitled “Total Zero Plus” to reflect minimum joint handicaps, it attracted Ashby club members and players from the North East, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Essex and 18 year old Ellie Ross, currently living in the West Midlands but wearing the all black colours of a New Zealand international.

Manager Ray Mounfield decided on an all-play-all 3 games format with a generous time limit. Two courts play similarly and the third has different characteristics so all pairs were allocated matches on each court.

The first day’s play, at times in heavy rain, saw most pairings complete three rounds, with four teams finishing on 2 match wins.  All matches were ended within their set time limits [first game in 70 mins, 2 games in 130 mins, 3 games in 180 mins.]

Sunday started drier and brighter. First on court were Jane Tewson and Paul Durkin and Judith and Arthur Rowe to play their held over game and complete round 3.  The end of the 4th round saw Ellie Ross and Christine Wood and the Widdison duo each on 3 wins with the likelihood of one of them winning the tournament.

Round 5 was a nail-biter.  The final deciding two games were being played out simultaneously, Ross/Wood v Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons against Ann Brookes and Jane Pringle.  The two fancied teams failed to defeat their opponents, leaving the manager with the headache of 3 pairs on 3 match wins.  Tewson/Durkin and the Widdisons each had 9 game wins so it came down to hoop difference. Jane and Paul had scored 13 more hoops and were declared winners.  They were surprised and delighted to be taking home the much admired and unique trophy designed and made by Mike O’Brian during the first few weeks of  “lockdown”.

All players agreed that, despite Covid-19 restrictions, the two days had gone well and this previously untried format had worked well, with only one game being timed out.

Scores on CroquetScores

Jane and Paul with the National GC Doubles trophy

Arthur wins B-Level at Nottingham Week

Arthur played in the Nottingham Annual Tournament (AC), and managed to overcome a few tough opponents to win the B-level trophy. He’s the second Rowe to grace the trophy, daughter Rachel having won it in 2009.

Arthur with the Nottingham B-Level AC trophy

Ashby GC B-Level results

Sat 15th August, Moira

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.

Ray wins the Max Morris Trophy

Sun 9th August, Moira Manager 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.

1st Ray Mounfield (5 wins)
2nd Lesley Leitch (4 wins, +5)
3rd Richard Sanville (4 wins, -2)
4th Heather Hardy (3 wins)
2 wins: Julie Boulton, Mick Haytack, Martin Wroughton, Rupert Knapton

East Midlands 14-point AC League

Sat 8th August, Moira

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.

East Midlands 26-point AC League

Sun 2nd August, Nottingham

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.