GC World Championship Presentation
Report in pictures by Ray Hall
Ready for the Presentation
Appreciative crowd after the Final
Speech by Patricia Duke-Cox, CA Vice-President
Aston Wade, winner of the Plate
Karim Ghamry won the Bowl
The Shield was won by Stuart M Smith
World Champion Matthew Essick receives the trophy from Ian Burridge, WCF President
and is congratulated by 2019 World Champion, Ben Rothman.
Winners and losing finalists with Ian Burrdge and Mike Town, Tournament Manager
Steve Leonard wins the Alan Oldham Trophy
The players gathered at Sussex County ground at Southwick in Sussex for the GC Veterans Championship on 19th July with the weather forecasters predicting the highest temperatures in the UK ever. The entry had reduced to 20 from the maximum of 24 mainly due to the forecast high temperatures. However the rest of the competitors arrived at Southwick not knowing what the following three days would hold.
In the event the first day was the worst as far as temperatures were concerned. Being on the south coast they did not get up to the 40c seen in some parts of the country but they did reach a steamy 32c. The players had heeded all the warnings and were prepared with sunglasses, water bottles and sun cream to do battle against the elements and their opponents.
The lawns at Southwick were in excellent conditions as always having been well watered during the recent dry weather and plenty of iced drinks were available throughout the days. The programme also allowed them to take some fairly leisurely lunches.
Day 1 consisted of two blocks playing 6 rounds each with the remaining 3 rounds being completed the following morning. The top 4 from each block would go forward to the quarter finals. In the Red Block Don Beck was top with 8 wins followed by Richard Brooks and Helena Jansson on 6 wins each. The final place from this block was decided on net hoops and was taken by Andrew Fall. In the Blue Block Steve Leonard won all his nine games followed by Liz Farrow on 8 and Tony Butcher on 6. The last place was again decided on net hoops. It went to David Wise.
The quarter finals of the championship were played in the afternoon of Day 2 with matches consisting of best of three games. Temperatures had lowered a little making the conditions slightly more comfortable. There were some very close matches but the eventual semi-finalists were Don Beck to play Liz Farrow and Tony Butcher to play Steve Leonard. Day 2 also saw the start of the Plate for the remaining 12 players who took part in a cross-block with 6 rounds.
On Day 3 the semi-finals of the Championship were played first thing in the morning with the result that after three very close games all going to the 13th hoop, Liz Farrow beat Don Beck and with three games not quite as close Steve Leonard beat Tony Butcher. The losing quarter finalists played a knockout for the Shield with David Wise beating Helena Jansson and Richard Brooks beating Andrew Fall. The Plate competitors had also completed their cross-block.
So after lunch we were ready for the finals. In the Championship final Liz Farrow took the first game 7/6 but then lost the next two 2/7, 3/7, so Steve Leonard was our winner receiving the Alan Oldham Trophy from Croquet Association Vice-President Jonathan Isaacs. Richard Brooks beat David Wise to win the Shield and after a playoff Steiner Olsen from Norway beat Chris Sheen to take the Plate.
This year, for the first time, players over 75 could compete for the Brooks Vase which was to be presented to the player who gave the best performance in that age group. This year it went to Richard Brooks himself having reached the quarter finals.
22nd July 2022
Annual Sussex County v Hove Beach Match
The Annual "Witches of Southwick v Hove Beach" match - played on the seafront, last night, with lots of Pimms and Food. The format was doubles - level play.
Southwick Team (in alphabetical order): Carl, Francis, Linda, Morgan, Munchie Mike (Capt), Pat, Sandra, Sue, & Trish.
The photo was taken at 8.30 pm with the match drawn at 4-4. Francis and Morgan gallantly volunteered to play a decider, in the fading light, before forty whooping spectactors all drinking up the last wine.
To the roar of the home supporters Graeme Kerr (for Hove Beach) hooped the 12th and led his team to glory - 7-5 - you've never seen such a "victory dance"!
AC 14 pt competition
A small AC 14pt competition was held today. It's a shame more AC players don't take part because the 14pt game is a great form for a day's event.
Six players from Sussex County, including newcomer David Dickins and two visitors from Medway and Rother Valley had 4 games over the day. Simon Fenn-Tye (who is one of Frances' Short Croquet students) won all his games and therefore the competition. No doubt his handicap will be coming down quickly.
Congratulations to Simon and thanks to all the players for supporting the competition.
AC Ladies Day
The SECF Ladies AC tournament was held at Southwick on 6th July. Sadly, only 5 teams entered and even they had problems filling 3 places.
Anyway, the ladies who did play enjoyed the day and we had some excellent AC singles and doubles. All games were 14 point and 1.5 hours so a busy day. In the end, Surbiton were winners and congratulations are due to their team who were worthy winners. Purley Bury was runner up.
It was so lovely to see so many players who have supported this event over the years. Thanks to you all!
GC Ladies Day
The SECF GC Ladies Day took place on 8th July at Southwick.
12 teams took part - one being a combined SECF team arranged by the manager as West Chiltington could not field a team. Tunbridge Wells also had major problems and could only produce 2 players.
All went well, however, and most teams got in their 3 games each of the 6 rounds. Luckily, players were generous with their time and substituted at various times for Tunbridge.
Games were timed at 50 mins then 8 shots to finish. Draws were allowed.
The results were always close which was heartening and it was good to see some new players, together with the 'oldies' of course.
Surbiton won narrowly with 6 wins (a win is 2-1 or 3-0 in each round). They won 15.5 games. Littlehampton were a close second with 5 wins and 12 games won. In 3rd place were Sussex and Reigate both with 4 wins but Sussex won 8 games to Reigate's 8.5 games.
Well done everyone. It was a delight to see Southwick so busy. The lawns were fast and true. Thanks to you all for supporting the event. Please let me know if you did not like the new level play singles in each round, or if you have any suggestions to improve the day.
Grateful thanks to Daphne Gaitley for not only playing all day but being Referee of the Tournament as well. Thanks to all the other referees. We enjoyed an excellent lunch and tea thanks to Linda Gavigan and her team: Tony and Hilary Jolly, Nigel Barton and Sally Fairman (President of the Joint Club).
Thanks to Frances Low for organising and managing both these competitions.
No mercy shown by Sussex B against Medway
SCCC 6.5. Medway 0.5
The Sussex B team of Ian Cobbold, Noel Gill, Brian Aikens and Jonathan Isaacs traveled to Medway on a hot July day. The team fielded by Medway was stronger than that who played against Sussex A but with their lowest handicap player having a handicap on 6 up to the highest with a 9, on paper, they were somewhat outclassed with our players ranging between -1 and +1.
This proved to be the case in practice despite some spirited play from the Medway team. The result was SCCC B 6.5 Medway 0.5.
The reason for the 0.5 was caused by the Medway player really suffering from the heat (30C) against Ian Cobbold, their round was at 1 game all and as the total match was already decided so Ian very kindly agreed to offer his opponent a draw.
Medway were extremely hospitable and a pleasure to meet. We think they realised that they should have entered the U or R league and hope they will field teams for those events next year.
Stronger team wins out against Medway
The SECF level play league match played at Southwick on 7th July proved to be a one sided encounter. This was not surprising considering the handicap difference between the two teams totalled 47, the largest I can remember in many years of playing in this competition.
We must give credit to the visitors for being prepared to travel down with a team who each had a handicap of 10, to take on our minus players. In my email exchanges with their organiser I was told that they weren’t going to be a low handicap team but I wasn’t expecting quite such a difference!!
To avoid any individual embarrassment I won’t detail the scores in this report but will just give the overall picture.
Sussex A won the match 7-0 scoring 90 hoops to Medway’s 29 which included them winning a consolation game in one of the best of three singles.
The Medway team enjoyed their day out and appreciated our excellent lawns.
Richard Brooks (Sussex A captain)
Level League win over Merton
Sussex County A entertained Merton at Southwick on 4th July in this SECF level play league match.
We started as favourites with our teams handicap totalling -5 compared to the opposition’s total of +7.
Our visitors had a good journey down from London and we were able to get the match underway a few minutes before the scheduled start time of 10.30.
By 11.30 we had completed the morning games with Sussex holding a 3-0 lead having won the each of the best of threes in two games.
Everyone decided that it was too early for lunch so after a short drinks break we played one game in each of the afternoons four singles. We were leading 1-0 in all of these singles when took lunch but Merton could have still have turned the match around if they won all of the possible remaining eight games!
It wasn’t to be for the visitors as soon after the resumption we had won three of them each by 2-0. Merton did get a consolation by winning the last to finish by 2-1.
So well done to my team for getting this 6-1 victory.
On a personal level I was pleased to reduce my handicap from -1 to -2 a position I’ve not held since April 2020 or three handicap cards back in my case!
Richard Brooks (Sussex A captain)
SCCC start R league with a convincing win at Woking
In the SECF R League, 2021 Champions SCCC got off to a good start with a 6-1 win away at Woking on Tuesday 21st June. A good morning session saw Tony Jolly (2) and David King (3) win their doubles match against Bernard Jones (2) and Max Byfield (4) by 2-0. In the singles, there were 2-0 wins for both Graham Tucker (6) against Maggie Boyd (10), and Linda Gavigan (6) against Richard Blythen (6). In the afternoon singles, Tony beat Bernard 2-0, Graham beat Richard 2-1, and Linda beat Maggie 2-0, while David lost 1-2 to Max. Graham’s two wins brought his handicap down to 5.
Matches are Level Play, best of three games. Total team handicaps must equal at least 16, with the two lowest handicaps on each team playing in the doubles. In the afternoon singles, matches are played between players in their handicap order.