Golf Croquet Knockout

GOLF CROQUET KNOCKOUT TOURNAMENT: The Moira Quaich (Level play singles)

Manager: Mike O’Brian

Each match consists of one 13-point game (except the final which is the best of three games). Level-play to CA rules, no time limit, full-size lawns. A draw takes place to determine the first round order. Games other than the final can be played at any mutually agreed time on or before the closing date for the round. Please enter results on the sheet on the notice-board. Games not played by the closing date will be awarded to the entrant able to play. Date and time of the final to be decided by the manager in consultation with the players.

Previous winners:
2003 Nick Mounfield
2004 Nick Mounfield
2005 Tim King
2006 Ray Mounfield
2007 Tim King
2008 Arthur Rowe
2009 Mike O’Brian
2010 Arthur Rowe
2011 Mick Haytack
2012 Tim King
2013 Not contested
2014 Arthur Rowe
2015 Tim King
2016 Tim King
2017 Tim King
2018 Tim King
2019 Mike O’Brian
2020 David Bell


Here is the draw for the 2020 Golf Croquet knockout competition.  Mike drew the names out of the hat, completely at random in case you are wondering, witnessed by Richard.  As there are 19 entrants, three preliminary matches are needed to reduce it to the main round of 16. When you have played a match, please email the result including the actual score to Richard S so it can be included on the website.

Preliminary round:
Julie Boulton 5-7 David Bell
Eileen Buxton 4-7 Lesley Leitch
Richard Sanville 3-7 Mick Haytack

GC Knockout 2020

Round 1Round 2Round 3FinalWinner
David Bell 7David Bell 7David Bell 7
David Bell 7, 7David Bell
Lesley Leitch 6
Mick Haytack 2Heather Hardy 3
Heather Hardy 7
Adam Wheatley 2Arthur Rowe 6Christine Mounfield 2
Arthur Rowe 7
Christine Mounfield 7Christine Mounfield 7
Martin Wroughton 6
Tim King 7Tim King 2Ray Mounfield 3Jane Tewson 2, 4
Judith Rowe 3
Ray Mounfield 7Ray Mounfield 7
Mike O'Brian 3
Rupert Knapton 7Rupert Knapton 6Jane Tewson 7
Derek Buxton 5
Paul Durkin 6Jane Tewson 7
Jane Tewson 7

Entrants: 19

After one or two postponements, the final eventually went ahead on Sunday 18th October, with David winning against Jane 7-2, 7-4.

David wins the Moira Quaich for the first time, and is the first new name on this trophy for nine years.


Entrants: 16


The results from the preliminary round were:
Paul Durkin 7-4 Lesley Leitch
Mick Haytack 7-1 Janet Harker

The 2018 final between Tim and Rupert was finally played in July 2019! Tim won by 2 games to 1.

Entrants: 18


FINAL: Tim King beat Chris Mounfield 7-2, 7-4
Losing semi-finalists: Mike O’Brian; Mick Haytack
Entrants: 16

FINAL (Friday 28th October):  Tim King beat Ray Mounfield 7-5, 6-7, 7-6
Report by Mike: I can’t remember what happened in the first two games [of the best-of-three final] other than Tim won the first 7-5 and Ray won the second 7-6.  I couldn’t see what happened in the third game as it was played out in the dark. The “crowd” had to move to the other end of the lawn to watch the thirteenth hoop being run by Tim to win the match. Well done Tim!
Losing semi-finalists: Mike O’Brian; Mick Haytack
Entrants: 16

FINAL (Saturday 31st October):  Tim King beat Mike O’Brian 7-3, 6-7, 7-6.
After around three hours of play, Tim recovered from 4-6 in the final game to win 7-6.
Losing semi-finalists: Derek Buxton; Arthur Rowe
Entrants: 16

FINAL (Thursday 18th September):  Arthur Rowe beat Chris Mounfield 6-7, 7-2, 7-3.
Losing semi-finalists: Rupert Knapton; Mike O’Brian
Entrants: 10

2013 Competition not held

FINAL (Sunday 14th October):  Tim King beat Ray Mounfield 7-5, 7-3
After the events of Friday to determine the destination of the Buxton Vase, another final, another Mounfield … same King.  This time, Ray being the opponent in the climax to the Ashby Croquet Club level-play knockout on Sunday 14 October.

Ray went into the final with good hope after having beaten Tim in the Bottle Challenge the previous day.  The only difference being that the Bottle Challenge involved a single 13-point game.  The final was the best of three games.  On the Saturday, Ray had started without much confidence, having lost his previous game 0-7 to Howard Cheyne.  Against Tim, after losing another three hoops to be 0-3 behind, Ray had kept on battling and came back to win 7-5.  Surely, this could be the basis for further success on the following day.

The final began with another strong start for Tim and he was 4-2 up after six hoops.  Once again though, Ray refused to make life easy for his opponent, drawing back to be level at 5-5 with some extremely tenacious play, especially at Hoop 10.  At this point, Tim was facing the prospect of a repeat of the previous day but he was able to play a brave 12-yard clearance when Ray was poised to win Hoop 11.  This shot gave Tim renewed belief and, without too many more scares, he took the first game 7-5.

The second game began even more strongly for Tim, winning Hoop 1 this time.  He had found his confidence, starting to hit many of his longer clearances, although missing more hoops than would be ideal.  He was 4-2 up again and then made the final all but certain by winning the seventh and eighth hoops.  Ray did delay the matter by winning Hoop 9 but he failed to take enough advantage from getting his ball into the jaws of that hoop.  Tim wrapped up the final at Hoop 10.

After this last formal action of the 2012 season, various members of the club put their efforts into some court maintenance.  The season has been truly spectacular in terms of bringing the courts back to a good state; the surface is smooth and consistent again, allowing players to benefit from the overall levelness of the courts.  However, such conditions will not remain without ongoing hard work; Martin Wroughton has led the efforts to great effect but he needs as much support as others can provide.

Tim has not won the knockout since the trophy became the Moira Quaich, having last won in 2007.  He became the first player to win the event three times (the other time being 2005), moving ahead of Nick Mounfield (2003 & 2004) and Arthur Rowe (2008 & 2010).

Losing semi-finalists: Mike O’Brian; Chris Mounfield
Entrants: 11

FINAL (Thursday 29th September): Mick Haytack beat Chris Mounfield 7-6, 7-3.
Losing semi-finalists: Arthur Rowe; Tim King
Entrants: 10

FINAL (Tuesday 7th September): Arthur Rowe (3) beat Rupert Knapton (5) 7-1, 7-2 to earn a handicap reduction to 2 and regain the Moira Quaich trophy.
Losing semi-finalists: Chris Mounfield; Mike O’Brian
Entrants: 11

FINAL (Wednesday 14th October): Mike O’Brian beat Ray Mounfield (7-3, 7-3).  Mike reports that the only spectators were the noisy birds.  The manager won 7-3, 7-3, dispelling the myth about playing and administrating not being wise. Modesty forbids any further details.
Losing semi-finalists: Chris Mounfield; Arthur Rowe
Entrants: 11

FINAL (Sunday 12th October): Arthur Rowe (h’cap 3) beat Tim King (h’cap 1) 7-6, 6-7, 7-4
Losing semi-finalists: Chris Mounfield; Mike O’Brian
Entrants: 12

FINAL: Tim King beat Mick Haytack (7-5, 7-4)
Unconventionally but under diary pressure at the end of the season and with the blessing of the Tournament Manager, who was present, Mick and Tim exported the knockout final to the hallowed grounds of the Ripon Spa hotel on Friday 5th October.  With the O’Brians and the Buxtons in attendance, the crowd was possibly as big as was ever going to be the case but apologies to everyone else who was holding open their diaries to fit in this pinnacle of the club season.  Tim had a marginal advantage having played three tournaments before at Ripon but whatever the result Mick could look at the benefits of having played a serious game before embarking on the real purpose of the weekend: competing in the Yorkshire Open Doubles.

The final was nothing too memorable.  In the best-of-three thirteen-point games, Tim played with enough consistency and rhythm to give little away and Mick never really found his very best play to put any pressure on the lower handicap player.  Tim won the first 7-5 without much drama.  He then proceeded to find an extra gear and was soon 6-1 up in the second.  To Mick’s credit, he did not roll over and capitulate at this point, winning the next three hoops and getting himself into pole position in the jaws of hoop 11.  However, he failed to clear Tim’s ball that was about four to five yards away on a difficult angle.  Tim was able to pull off a fittingly superb way to win any match.  The double-banked, non-Ashby players were able to join in the applause and then realize that they had been sharing the court with such an important event!

With the club matter out of the way, Mick and Tim went on to further battles over the weekend together with their respective playing partners but that is another story.  Perhaps the only other way to give the knockout tournament a higher profile would be to make the semi-finals also best-of-three games and put these on the same day as the final.  However, this would also require greater diary co-ordination so perhaps this format is an unrealistic dream.  Thanks to all who competed this year; good luck for next season!   Report by Tim

Losing semi-finalists: Mike O’Brian; Mike Haytack
Entrants: 18

FINAL (played Tues 26th Sept): Ray Mounfield beat Mike O’Brian (7-4, 7-5) in front of a large audience (Eileen throughout the match, Chris for the second game and Arthur for the last two hoops!)
Losing semi-finalists: Tim King; Richard Sanville
Entrants: 13

FINAL: Tim King beat Geoff Ellott (7-3, 7-2)

IT’S A KNOCKOUT! 2005 FINAL (Report by Tim)

With all the jokers having been played in earlier rounds and Luxembourg being disqualified as an appropriate venue, Stuart Hall was noticeable by his absence on Sunday 18th Sept. The event manager even fled the country at the thought of this final.  Investigations are still ongoing as to whether the rumours are true that the event prize had been pawned to fund this particular travel bonanza.  However, the good news is that said manager has no access to club funds and, thus, is expected to eventually return to the country.

With respect to the game itself, the only surprise of the afternoon was that a large crowd of excitable young ladies was missing to watch two such fine specimens of the male of the species.  Surely someone had made a mistake with the date and time on the publicity for the event. Otherwise, Geoff Ellott showed dogged resistance and made few glaring mistakes while Tim King had the greater range of experience to call upon to counteract Geoff’s best efforts.  As a consequence, the scoring was neither swift nor comprehensively one-sided but Tim eased, on the whole, to a comfortable 7-3, 7-2 victory, as would be expected by the respective handicaps.  The debate could still rage as to the possible benefit of seeding for this event but, on the other hand, although other members present requested the use of pegs for the second game, even the dog did not bother to turn up as a spectator on this occasion.

Congratulations to Geoff for giving himself the chance to win the event, to Mike O’Brian for being the driving force behind this important club event and to Tim for living up to his billing.  Now everyone is back in the melting pot for next year’s event.  Good luck to all!

Losing semi-finalists: Ray Mounfield; Mick Haytack
Entrants: 16