B Class Advanced Tournament 8/9 July 2017 Winner Andrew Wise

After various dropouts and late additions, we had the full complement of 16 players – perfect for four lawns and with 11 different clubs represented. Players travelled from as far afield as Blackpool, Nottingham, Brighton and Sidmouth to take part in this tournament where matches were played level with Advanced Rules.

The conditions were challenging from the start and got worse. The lawns were green but sufficiently fast that most of the players found if quite difficult to get in front of the hoops. However, the firm hoops, although accurately set to a 1/16, were the main problem for most. There was frustration and disbelief as balls bounced back time after time. As the temperature soared towards 30C, the ground dried out even more, the lawns speeded up and the hoops became increasingly unfriendly.  Completed games with peg-outs were fairly infrequent. Some players found the right technique and ran the hoops effortlessly but the majority struggled.

The star of the Blocks was Nathan Baker from the Fylde club (handicap 4) who won all three matches with two peg-outs. He succumbed, -22, to Andrew Wise (Bristol, handicap 1) in the semi-final but must be very pleased with his calm performance. The other Block winners, all with two wins, were Andrew Dutton (Woking, 1,), John Wells (Cheltenham, 4) and Andrew Wise. John Wells played Andrew Dutton in the other semi-final which was slow and low-scoring, John winning +4T. In the Final, Andrew Wise, showed his experience and skill and put enough breaks together to win the match and take the Margaret Fleming Shield.

The runners up in the Blocks were Adam Moliver (Cheltenham, 2.5), Paul Castell (West Sussex,1.5), Sarah Melvin (Dyffryn, 1) and Peter Nelson (Sidmouth, 3.5). In the semi-finals for their consolation event, Peter beat Sarah and Adam beat Paul. Adam then beat Peter in the final to win a bottle of Merlot.

The prize for the fastest win went to Chris O’Byrne (Reigate Priory, 3.5) with a time of 1h 53min. Frances Ransom (Bristol, 4.5) caused the biggest upset by taking 16 index points from Paul Castell.

The local players from the Nailsea club were Geoff Hughes, Pat Long and Erica Malaiperuman. Although she had the highest handicap of the three, Erica was the most successful, claiming 3 wins from 5 games, all against players ranked higher than her.

The manager thanked the players for their fortitude in the heat and unfamiliar conditions. There was a good spirit throughout and many players expressed appreciation of the opportunity to learn how to run firmer hoops than they usually experience. Others might have preferred to be able to play their usual game! The manager also thanked the Nailsea members who had worked hard to make the tournament a success – lawn maintenance, hoop setting and catering had all been done with the usual Nailsea dedication and hospitality.

SWF Short Croquet Teams 22nd 23rd April


The winning team

Nailsea Croquet Club was the venue for the 2017 Spring  South West Croquet Federation’s Short Croquet team event.

Teams from all over the South West competed over 2 days  22nd – 23rd April, playing this shortened form of Association Croquet.

The overall winner in Division 1 was Nailsea.


C Class Advanced Tournament 3rd 4th June

The entrants assembled on Sunday morning

A full entry of 16 players competed this event for the Michael Poole Cup, 6 from the home club and with visitors from Bristol, Cheltenham, Guildford, Cumbria and Edinburgh.  The event is for players with handicaps in the range 5 to 12. They were divided into four blocks of four players and on Saturday everybody played a 3 hour game against each of the other players in their block. The lawns were freshly cut on the preceding evening and the hoops firmly set to the correct tolerance.  Saturday started overcast, then a cool wind blew up and the evening was sunny and pleasant.  In round 1, 3 of the 8 games were completed within the time limit, in the second round none of them did, but then nerves steadied and 5 games in the third round finished with a peg out. The fastest win was by Kathy Wallace in 2 hours exactly. The four block winners were Kathy Wallace (Nailsea), David Hunt (Nailsea), Frances Ransom (Bristol) and Robert Upton (Dyffryn and Nailsea), so this quartet qualified for the semi final stage on Sunday morning.  The runners up of each block competed the positions further down the field in a similar arrangement.

The lawns were mowed early on Sunday for the semi final and final stages.  The weather was mixed, starting overcast, then drizzle which turned into a downpour in the early afternoon which made all but the most hardy shelter for about 15 minutes and have a brew.  The skies then cleared and we finished in brilliant sunshine. The successful semi finalists were Kathy Wallace and Frances Ransom. Kathy had played well from the first game on Saturday and Frances, who has much experience of playing at this standard kept improving after an indifferent start.  She gave Kathy few chances and Kathy’s long range shots were not finding their targets as well as they had previously.  Frances ran out the winner with a score of 26 – 6, lowering her handicap one step in the process.

Frances carries off the Michael Poole Cup, David Houston won the Moroccan competition (for the greatest improvement in index) before flying back to Edinburgh, Kathy Wallace won a prize for the quickest win (in 2 hours exactly) and Hugh Gallacher won a prize for winning against the largest adverse handicap before driving back to Bournmouth.