Saturday 4th January saw nine members of the club at at Merthyr Mawr to play a five round Swiss competition in Golf croquet.
Kevin and Jay arrived at nine o’clock to line and switch the courts. Later Mike assisted by setting new hoops into lawn 2. With eleven iron hoops and one wire hoop, play got underway at ten o’clock as planned.
We played handicap golf croquet 30. Minute time limit 7 points (first to 4.) With nine participants manager Kevin played Mr Bye in the first round. The random draw for opponents, saw Mike Parry beat Peter Balchin 4-0 inside 15 ninutes. This match proved decisive as at the end both Mike and Peter had four wins. A Swiss completion is decided on who beat whom. So Mike was victorious.
We left at one o’clock to have lunch at the Watermill on the Ogmore road it was a very convivial meal. I think a new tradition has been born.
The mallets are now next and tidy on the mallet rack. Number one lawn has been moved one yard away from the pavilion. We now have new white liner. As is usual we have a fair selection of worm casts.
Though the winter solstice is just month away. Golf croquet continues to be played one afternoon a week at Merthyr Mawr. Monday at 1;30, is the default but the weather does not always cooperate so it some times changes. Regulars already receive a confirming email on Sunday. Send me an email if you want to be added to the list. K6ham@icloud.com
Sue, Mary, Mike, Jim, and myself, had a good session sorting out the hut. Our main room now has only Croquet stuff. All the other stuff Is now in the mower room or the bin. We worked on the mallet rack and the notice board. But had to take them down as they were not quite right. The long table however is up. There may be a problem with water ingress and we have two buckets in the corner by the toilet.
Despite the best efforts of Kevin and Garry, Robert was in three finals this year. Consequently the Dyffryn Cup was played on Tuesday after the standard finals day. Weather remained fine for the 2:30 start. Sarah 1, played Robert 2.5.
Through most of the game Sarah was ahead but Rob still had his bisques in hand and at one point he thought long and hard about taking one, but no. The extra turns When taken were not fruitful and after 3h 30m Sarah won 26-16.
The association doubles was won by Paul and Rob, they faced Garry and Clive and 12 bisques. Play started later than planned at 1:30. Though rain threatened it never materialised.
After 45 minutes play, with half the twelve bisques gone Clive is on four, Rob is on five., Garry blobs hoop one. He takes a bisque with a poor hoop 2 pioneer, but it comes off, and and he goes around to penult with a controlled leave.
This is not a dynamic game. Paul had his second hit of the game after 1 hour 45 minutes. At 2h 45m the hoops are Paul 1 Robert 2 back facing Garry penult Clive one back with one bisque and the innings. After 3h 40m Paul runs hoop 1.
A time limit is set at 6:30. This inspires Paul, who runs hoop 2 and then does a 10 hoop 2 ball break stopping at rover. With one hour to play the score is Paul rover Rob 3 back Garry penult Clive 2 back and no bisques.
12 minutes to go. Clive has just run 2 back has a pioneer, at three back and gets it., But the turn ends. Rob is for rover blue and red are both peg balls. Everybody plays but nothing happens till Clive hits in and runs four back as time is called. He has a rush to penult but it the resulting shot at the hoop is not easy and penult is blowed. Paul and Rob win by the magical plus one on time, in the growing darkness.
It was drizzling when Jim and Kevin put out the hops for the finals day. First, the Golf handicap singles between Robert Upton (1) and Jim Beech (8) at 10:15. Robert did some excellent long clearancesand the score was 6-3 to Robert approaching hoop10. But Jim still had e extra turns and used them to good effect, to level the score and be first up to hoop 13, and in a hoop running position. Two more good balls went up. Rob sent his yellow trough the hoop by two inches. Jim crafted a lovely jumpshot to win 7-6.
In the second game, Jim was 5-3 up with two extra turns remains. It was a long thoughtful hoop 9 won by Rob. Jim took an extra tun to gat one foot infrint of hoop 10.and the hoop was successful 6-4. Rob won hoop 11 but lost hoop 12. Jim wins 2-0.
There will three finals on Saturday 12 October. Singles in the morning, and association doubles in the afternoon.
Peter Balchin and Kevin Ham beat Mary Huntley and Jim Beach in the final of the Golf Croquet Handicap doubles. There was always the threat of rain and when it came it was heavy but short. As Mary had five extra turns and Jim had four it was a game to be won and lost on the use of the extra turns. In the first game the score was 3-1 to Mary and Jim with one extra turn used, and on there one hoop Peter and Kevin were peeled. They never lost the lead and the fist game which took two hours, was theirs 7-6.
Peter and Kevin changed their tactics concentrating on extracting the extra turns. Helped by some good long clearances they won the second game 7-5.
In the third game Mary and Peter were more circumspect with their extra turn use and were 5-2 down but using five extra turns at hoop 8, gave them the hoop. All extra turns were gone at hoop 12. Kevin had first approach and was plum in front of 13. It was good and Kevin ran hoop 13. The final score after over five hours play, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6.
The original plan was to have finals on the weekend 21/22. However this is the weekend of the golf croquet home internationals. Peter a participant in this event has reached the golf doubles final. I therefore have decided that the finals weekend will now be the following weekend, 28/29 September.
This is not an excuse to put off the games you have to play. Telephone someone today!