AC Annual Midweek Tournament 2023
For the first time in several years we were able to run all three classes in this annual AC competition, one of only two now organised by Sussex County. This sounds good, but it masks an underlying problem I shall return to; first, the competitions.
This event was a block of 6 players and was won by Steve Chapman who won all his games. Steve is a relatively recent croquet player; he first appears in our GC competitions in 2019 and in CA events a year later. His overall game win rate in GC competitions since then is 75% which is an impressive start. This was his first foray into 'official' AC competitions and I think one can confidently predict it will not be his last, nor his only competition win either. Congratulations to Steve on his achievement. The trophy now used for this competition is one of the Club's two Daldy Cups; originally a CA trophy for the All England Handicap competition, it was won outright by Miss Margaret J Daldy and later presented to the club of which she was a long term member, winning 18 competitions here between 1932 and 1957. Something for Steve to aspire to!
This event was also a block of 6 players and was won by Stephen Wingrove. Stephen plays at Purley Bury and is another improving player, with a 71% game win record this season. He won all his games to take the (not as impressive a cup as the C Class unfortunately!) Scott Cup. Congratulations to Stephen.
The A class event had 8 competitors and was initially started as an American block; however, after the first round the Manager took the decision to convert to a Swiss to reduce the number of games played, rather than risk having to work out the winner of an incomplete block. Given 5 games were played over the two days that was probably the correct decision.
The competition was won by club member Paul Castell who beat all his opponents, including the two players with a lower handicap than his. Paul has been a croquet player at the highest level for decades: his competition record goes back to 1998 with more than 2200 CA competition games played and 17 tournament wins over the period. He has also been a dedicated club supporter and has won 16 club trophies since 1996 - this competition's trophy, the Abbey Challenge Cup being won now for the third time. Congratulations Paul!
Does this competition have a future? I noted at the start that we have not run 3 classes for a number of years. With an entry handicap range this year from -1 to 14, to run fewer than 3 classes would have been impossible as the range in each event would have been too great. The sad fact is that this entry was at the lower limit of viability - you cannot realistically play an AC competition with less that 6 players. I first played in this competition in 1997 and at that time it was a whole week with class events, handicap singles and doubles, and all lawns occupied to fit them in. In 2008 it reduced to a weekend tournament and in 2015 relinquished the weekend to become a midweek event. With fewer (and aging) players of Association Croquet and not so many like Steve Chapman taking up the format I fear it does not have a great future.
John Low (Manager)
|Paul Castell (-0.5)||5||N.Coote +18,T.Jenkins +8,M.Fawcett +26tp,J.Isaacs +18,L.Farrow +3|
|Tudor Jenkins (-1)||3||J.Tuttiett +26tp,P.Castell -8,J.Daniels +6,M.Fawcett +24,L.Farrow -17|
|Neil Coote (0)||3||P.Castell -18,J.Tuttiett -3,J.Isaacs +9,J.Daniels +11,M.Fawcett +3|
|Liz Farrow (2)||3||J.Isaacs +11,M.Fawcett -3,J.Tuttiett +3,T.Jenkins +17,P.Castell -3|
|Mark Fawcett (-1)||2||J.Daniels +12,L.Farrow +3,P.Castell -26tp,T.Jenkins -24,N.Coote -3|
|John Daniels (0)||2||M.Fawcett -12,J.Isaacs +26,T.Jenkins -6,N.Coote -11,J.Tuttiett +6|
|James Tuttiett (1)||1||T.Jenkins -26tp,N.Coote +3,L.Farrow -3,J.Isaacs -12,J.Daniels -6|
|Jonathan Isaacs (2.5)||1||L.Farrow -11,J.Daniels -26,N.Coote -9,J.Tuttiett +12,P.Castell -18|