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Premier Croquet at Hunstanton
Hunstanton Croquet Club was honoured this year to be selected as the venue to host the prestigious singles event ‘The Presidents Cup’.
This tournament staged on an annual basis around the country comprised of eight of the very best in the croquet world ranging from England, Scotland, Spain and The Channel Islands, produced over the week-end of 7th – 10th September much to the appreciation of the spectators some of the best croquet seen at the club.
At the end of a gruelling four days of intense play youth prevailed and the magnificent cup was presented by the President of The Croquet Association Quiller Barrett to the youngest player taking part, Jose Riva of Spain.
|Samir Patel (Eng)
||Chistian Carter (Eng)
||James Hopgood (Sco)
||Stephen Mulliner (Eng)
|Jose Riva (Spain)
|Gavin Carter (CI)
||Robert Fulford (Eng)
|David Maugham (Eng)
Photo David Thirtle Watts
(GC) Club Doubles - Saturday 19th August 2017
Sixteen contestants entered this year’s doubles which the manager split into two groups of four.
Group A, Terrey Sparks & Caroline Harper, Pauline Donner & Ian Wilson, David Boxell & Christine Thirtle-Watts, Noel Gill & Pat Baillie
Group B, John Reddish & Gwenda Mackenzie, Chris Ward & Anne Gill, Roy Donner & Janet Kendal, Su Debenham & Myfanwy Dunford
Each round of games timed at 1 1/2 Hours consisted of each team playing twice for which two points were allocated for a win. At the end of the rounds Group A leaders were Pauline & Ian with 10 points followed by David & Christine on 7. Whilst in Group B the undisputed leaders were Chris Ward & and Anne Gill on 8 points. However, the partnerships of John & Gwenda and Roy & Janet tied for second spot on 6 points apiece. As Roy and Janet had beaten John & Gwenda earlier in the round they were allocated the second place.
The following semi-final between Pauline & Ian & Roy & Janet resulted in a win for Pauline & Ian 7 - 5. In the other semi David & Christine upped their game a gear against David & Anne to run out 7 – 0 winners.
After a break for mid-afternoon tea the final round between David & Christine and Pauline & Ian took place before an appreciated crowd. However, David & Christine continued to maintain their form and dominated the game running out the overall winners 7 -2.
(GC) Week – End Invitation Tournament – 5th & 6th August 2017
Saturday (Singles): Consisted of 20 players split into two sections of 10 depending on handicaps one section playing level singles and the other handicap each, playing 40 minute timed games with 8 extra shots. Each group was then split into 2 groups of 5 who then each played 5 games across the blocks with the winners and runners up playing each other to determine who went through to the final round.
Handicap: In Group A, winner Ann Udal played Maureen Croft in a semi-final which was won by Ann 7-4. Whilst in Group B the winner Vivian Heard met Roy Donner in a group B semi-final in which Vivian ended up winning 7-3. In the resulting Final Ann Udal managed to beat Vivian Heard 7-3 to run out the overall winner.
Level Play: Things finished closer in the level play where there were 3 players each finishing on four wins in Group A, Les Heard, Pauline Donner & Colin Robinson. In a count back Les totalled +14, Pauline +9 & Colin on +5 which determined that Les played Pauline in the first semi-final which in a close game went in favour of Les 7-5. In the second group two players led the group husband and wife Steve & Anne Dennis on 3 wins apiece who unfortunately met in the second semi-final in which Anne ran out the winner 7-5. In the resulting final Last year’s winner Less Heard in magnificent form ran out the overall winner against Anne Dennis 7-1.
Sunday (Mixed Doubles) Level Play: 24 entries split into 12 pairs by top and tailing played a total of 6 games of 40 minutes duration each played under the Egyptian format to determine the winner from an initial rating of 100. Right from the start the pace was set by the pairing of Jeffery Brocket and Karen Jones, despite being closely pursued by Les Heard/ Anne Gill & Roy Donner/Pat Dawson they managed to see off all opposition by winning all their games to end up the overall undisputed winners.
Final Rating 1st: Jeffery Brocket (Northampton) & Karen Jones (Chelmsford) - 126, 2nd: Roy Donner (Hunstanton) & Pat Dawson (Hunstanton) - 118, 3rd: Les Heard (Northampton) & Anne Gill (Hunstanton) - 110
GREEN SHUTTERS DOUBLES (Handicap) Tournament – 27th JULY 2017
Twelve entries with handicaps ranging between 2 to 14 were split into six doubles teams to contest for this year’s Green Shutters salvers. The tournament was played on an all play all basis with timed games of 40 minutes and 8 additional shots.
The teams were as follows – David Thirtle-Watts (2) & Faith Harman (14), Pauline Donner (4) & Gwenda Mackenzie (14), Roy Donner (7) & Anne Gill (14), David Boxell (6) & Ian Wilson (14), Noel Gill (6) & Susan Boxell (10), Pat Dawson (8) & Christine Thirtle-Watts (11).
With 3 games completed prior to lunch there was no out right leader as three teams had three wins a piece. The final two games finished with two teams on four wins. Following a check on hoops for and against, Roy & Anne were declared winners over Pat & Christine by a small margin of 6 hoops.
It was good to see four of our high handicap players entering, especially Faith playing in her first tournament.
GREEN SHUTTERS SINGLES (Handicap) TOURNAMENT – 6th July 2017
Twelve entries split into two groups contested this year’s Green Shutters Singles (handicap) tournament, with the top two in each block proceeding to a semi-final. The two blocks consisted of players with handicaps ranging from 4 to 14 playing timed games of 40 minutes plus 8 shots.
Block A Pauline Donner 4-David Boxell 6-Noel Gill 7-Janet Carpenter 8-Ros Etheridge 11-Ian Wilson 14
Block B-Chris Ward 4-Roy Donner 7-Pat Baillie 8- Christine Thirtle-Watts 10-Susan Boxell 11-Gwenda Mackenzie 14
In Block A Pauline managed to overcome the free shots against her and finished her matches with 5 wins taking her in to the semi-finals. The second place was a much closer affair with Noel & Ros completing 3 wins each but with Ros beating Noel 6-4 taking her in to the semi-finals.
In Block B Gwenda made good use of her free shots to finish on 4 wins and headed the group. As with block A we had another tie between Chris & Susan on 3 wins each, with Susan following her 7-6 win over Chris taking her place in the semi-finals.
The semi-finals commenced with Pauline v Susan and Ros v Gwenda. Both games were close affairs with Susan beating Pauline 7-5 and Gwenda taking the game against Ros on the 13th 7-6.
The final between Susan & Gwenda was a nip and tuck with Susan completing her victory 6-4 and winning for her first time the Green Shutters Singles Salver.
(GC) ‘B’ Level Qualifying Tornament: - 1st July - The Storey Cup
Paul Durkin Michael Bilton Tony Lee Henry Hobbs
Eighteen entrants from an over-subscribed entry gathered at the club for this years ‘B’ Level Qualifying (GC) tournament. Split into groups of three with the group winners plus the best runner up proceeding through to the knock-out round. This turned out to be Michal Bilton, Henry Hobbs and Tony Lee all on a maximum of 5 wins each. However, in determining the best R/U proved more difficult for the manager as three players had finished on three wins each which meant that a count back had to be carried out to determine who went through. This turned out to be Paul Durkin +2, closely followed by Janet Carpenter+1 and Derek Buxton -4.
The First semi between Tony Lee and Paul Durkin, Tony ran out the winner 7-6 whilst in the other match Michael overcame Henry 7-6. In the resulting final after some very determined and intelligent play Tony ran out the overall winner of the tournament 7-4. Paul overcame Henry in the 3rd/4th play-off.
1st: Tony Lee - Hunstanton. 2nd: Michael Bilton - Richmond Par. 3rd: Paul Durkin - Long Eaton. 4th: Henry Hobbs - Enfield.
(GC) Open Level Tournament - 2nd July - The Hampson Salver
The winner - John Noble (Letchworth)
Twelve entries split into two groups contested this year’s open Level tournament with the top two in each group proceeding through to the knock-out round. In Block ‘A’ this turned out to be Duncan Hector and John Noble with 5 & 4 wins respectively. In Block ‘B’ this was a little more difficult as Peter Dowd, David Widdison and Les Heard had all four wins a piece. To compound matters all had beaten each other which meant that a count back had to be conducted to decide who had to be withdrawn. A Les was on +14, Peter on +10 and David on +6, David was the unlucky one.
The following three matches played late into the evening sun provided some of the most entertaining Golf Croquet seen at the club all finishing on the 13th hoop keeping the watching audience glued to their seats. John Noble (Letchworth) won over Duncan Hector (Hunstanton) , whilst in the other match Peter Dowd beat Les Heard both from the Northampton club. In the final despite a shaky start John Noble last year’s winner managed to make a remarkable recovery to take the game to the final 13th hoop and eventually retain the trophy for the second year.
Report: Terrey sparks. Photos: David Thirtle-Watts.
Club (GC) Level Play Champinship
Played during a very hot sunny day with the temperature reaching the high 80’s F, sixteen club members varying in handicaps between 12 – -1 this year had entered the GC level play Club Championship.
Split into seeded blocks of four, each played the other block members twice to determine who would procced to the semi – finals on the greater number of wins.
In Block ‘A’ this turned out to be the seeded favourite Duncan Hector (-1) who had won all his six games, who met in the Semi- Final Block ‘C’ winner Chris Ward (5) who also had an unblemished record of six wins. However, things were not that simple in Block ‘C’ where three players John Reddish, Pauline Donner & Noel Gill all stood on four wins apiece. As the manager could not determine the winner by using the ‘who beat whom’ formula he had to revert to hoop difference where the winner turned out to be Noel Gill (8) who went on to meet the Block ‘D’ winner Terrey Sparks (2) who also stood on maximum wins.
The first semi – final produced the first major upset of the day with Chris running out the winner beating Duncan 7 – 4. Whilst, the other semi between Terrey & Noel proved to be a very close and tense affair affair with neither player taking dominance until the penultimate hoop when Terrey took the final two final hoops to seal the game 7 -5.
In the final round Chris got off to a shaky start allowing Terrey to run the first four hoops for no reply. Despite a recovery by Chris, Terrey was not going to let his lead slip and traded hoop for hoop running out the winner 7 -3.
Over 50’s (AC) Handicap Tournament
Barry Pilgrim of the Bodham Club playing in his first listed C.A. Tournament and winning 7 of his 8 games won the Jane Neville-Rolfe Salver played over the week-end of the 9th-11th June 2017 under the usual Hunstanton sunny weather. Playing steadily and with confidence and using his bisques wisely earned him a handicap reduction from 10 – 8. In second and third place respectively came Mike Bowser and Hugh Carlisle.
Apart from the croquet a highlight of the tournament was the appearance of a Red Kite over the lawns with a display of aerobatics to thrill the crowd until he was seen off by the local Oyster Catchers who noisily mobbed him into retreating. However, 30 minutes later the Kite returned only this time to be met by the Rook Squadron who dished out similar treatment. Who says croquet is boring.
Grass Roots – 25th May 2015
Despite a decade of not being contested the first internal tournament of the summer ‘The Grass Roots Qualifier’ got under way under a blazing sun comprising of 7 club members with-in the handicap bands of 8 plus. Originally 8 members entered but unfortunately Pat Dawson had to withdraw after going down overnight with a stomach bug.
Played as a level round robin swiss each player played each other to determine the winner by the number of wins with the top three going through to the national final at the Nottingham club on the 24th September next.
At the end of the days play two players Christine Thirtle-Watts and Janet Carpenter both stood on 5 wins out of 6 games however, to determine the first place and as Christine had beaten Janet she was declared the winner and Janet second place. In third place on 4 wins came Pat Baillie.
1: Christine Thirtle-Watts 5/6 (Handicap Reduction to 10).
2: Janet Carpenter 5/6
3: Pat Baillie 4/6
4: Noel Gill 3/6
5: Janet Kendal 2/6
6: Ian Wilson 2/6
7: Gwenda Mackenzie 0/6 (Handicap Increase to 18).
Gwenda and friend - Just what I always wanted'
Eric Miller’s Funeral
It is with regret that I have been informed that former member Eric Miller recently passed away after a long illness in a nursing home in Snettisham. Due to his illness Eric has not been seen at the club for some years. However, with his wife Rita who also passed away last summer they were often seen together at the club together.
Eric served on the Committee for several years and as one of his interest, was carpentry proved most useful around the club carrying out all the maintenance. Also being a avid model aircraft enthusiast meant that his week-ends were spent flying taking him away from representing the club which he was well qualified to do.
Our condolences go to his family
Terrey Sparks Hunstanton Croquet Club Secretary
John Reeve died on 16th February 2017
John presenting the Prichard Trophy in 2015
It is with sadness that I have to inform the membership that following a fall on 16th February 2017 former member John Reeve passed away peacefully. His son Duncan also a previous member informs me although physically frail he was in good form to the end.
John was an active member in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and served on the committee for some years, in fact holding the office of Chairman for the period 1994 -1997. John last visited the cub during May 2015 when he presented The Prichard Trophy to the winner George Noble.
Our condolences go to his family.
Terrey Sparks Secretary