Beginners’ Competition 2016

After a season of lessons and sessions organised by Linda, four new players were ready to compete in the Beginners’ Competition.  John Hancock won all his games and claimed the Neuralogica Shield. Peter Soothill won two games and received the Millennium Plate.

John Hancock is presented with the Neuralogica Shield by Brigit Clayton

Peter Soothill receives the runners-up prize - the Millennium Plate

Peter Soothill receives the runners-up prize – the Millennium Plate

Joan Timmins and Michael Powell with John and Peter and Kathy Wallace who acted as a time-keeper

Joan Timmins and Michael Powell with John and Peter and Kathy Wallace who acted as a time-keeper

B Class Advanced Weekend Tournament 9/10 July 2016

Many regulars returned this year and one new face made up the complement of 16 players – perfect for a B Class event at a 4-lawn club. Conditions were less tricky than usual due to a healthy sward and to hoops set in moistened ground. This led to 24 peg-outs  in a total of 40 games with 3 hour time limits and all games double-banked.

The games were mainly very inter-active and provided plenty of spectator interest and entertainment . This was particularly true as 13 of the players were from SWF clubs and the other three were also well known in the local tournament scene.

On Saturday, play was in seeded Blocks of four. In Block 1, Clive Goode ( 0,Nottingham) won all his games but  only pegged out once. Block 2 saw Geoff Hughes (2.5, Nailsea) pegging out in all his games, his fastest time being 1h 46min. Jonathan Wolfe (1.5,Taunton) managed 3 wins with a +1T,  a +2T and a peg-out.  The +1T was a cruel loss for Nailsea’s Pat Long (2.5) as she had gambled, giving Jonathan a point quite late in the game by pegging him out. She had won her other two games so that probably cost her a semi-final place. Block 4 was less clear-cut with Robert Moss (1, Bears) and Stephen Custance-Baker (2.5,Taunton) on two wins each. With no time for a play-off, Stephen was declared the Block winner as he had beaten Robert.

For the semi-finals, the Manager wanted to avoid an all Taunton tie and also to reward Geoff for his three peg-outs so pitted Geoff against Stephen and Clive against Jonathan. Geoff and Clive won their games so proceeded to the Final, leaving the Taunton boys to play for third place. Geoff played positively and creatively and won the Margaret Fleming Shield for the second time in three years.  Meanwhile, Stephen had a clear win over Jonathan and took the bottle of Rammycraft ale for third place.

Another knock-out was arranged for those coming second in their Block. Here,  Caroline Denny (2.5, Bears) beat Pat Long and Robert Moss beat Sarah Melvin.  Caroline then beat Robert in an all Bears consolation final.

The prize for the fastest game (1h 36min) went to Peter Thompson (3 ) from Hull but he donated his ale to Chris Donovan  as a reward for running penult from the north boundary and nearly running rover at the same time. The biggest upset led to an exchange of 19 index points when Robert Upton (7, Dyffryn) beat Chris Donovan (0.5, Budleigh).  Robert  and Erica Malaiperuman earn a special mention as the highest handicap players, winning three and two of their 5 games respectively.

There were no red trousers on show but one of the Dyffryn players wore a red polo shirt which the manager assumed was in celebration of the Welsh success in France. As an avid Burnley and Sam Vokes supporter, she appreciated this gesture and shared the pride.

The sprit throughout the weekend was as cheerful as ever with plenty of self-deprecating humour from those not having success on the lawn. The manager thanked the Nailsea members for their invaluable contributions to the success of the tournament.  Lawn preparation requires considerable effort ,  as does the production of excellent food and an endless supply of tea, coffee and water. The lawns were mown down to 4mm both mornings before play and the surface was even and was running at around 11 Plummers. Although not fast by some standards, it was quick enough to allow the Nailsea hills to do their worst on occasions and deny players their roquets or their hoop approaches.

Intermediate league 30th July 2016

Intermediate North v Swindon

A team of 4 travelled to Swindon and the sun came out to welcome us

In the morning Mike Tracy and Brian Roynon played the doubles Brian make a good start taking his ball around 11 hoops to rover. Mike then took his ball around 7 hoops to give the Nailsea pair a commanding lead. The final score was +7 on time.

Libby Howard- Blood fought hard with her opponent but lost -1 on time.

Terry Young played well and won +12 on time.

In the afternoon Nailsea continued the fight. Libby managed to win despite her 1st ball being pegged out by her opponent. 26-19 to win +7.

Brian also pegged out 26-15 to win +11. Mike peg out win 26-12 to win +14.

Terry battled well to finish ahead by 21-19 to win +2 on time. This gave Nailsea a 6-1 win.

Golf Croquet handicap league 27th July

Nailsea Central South v Weston-Super-Mare at Weston

The match was a close one with Weston running out the winners by a score of 10 1/2 to 9 1/2.  The Weston team were predominately high handicap players and Nailsea were not quite able to overcome the extra turns against them in several close encounters.

C Class AC tournament 4th/5th June

Twelve players contested the Michael Poole Cup this year, seven from Nailsea and five visitors. The Nailsea representatives were Peter Dyke, Erica Malaiperuman, Brian McCausland, Robert Upton, Kathy Wallace, Brian Roynon and Linda Shaw (the last two playing in their first advanced rules tournament. The visitors were Mike Salisbury, Richard Jackson and Pat Jackson from Bristol, Jeffrey Rushby from Southwick and Brian Shorney from many places including Kington Langley. The conditions were overcast and almost warm on Saturday, then hot and sunny on Sunday. One would have expected the lawns to be quite fast as John Wallace had cut them in both directions on Friday evening, but as a result of the early morning dew, humid atmosphere and the grass growing like a rocket this turned out not to be the case. John came back and did another cut on Sunday morning and the speed went up significantly. The hoops were newly set to an accurate 1/16th” and proved to be challenging, so the referee was called many times to watch hampered shots after a ball had just crept through a hoop with the escape ball in front of the hoop. This goes some way to explain why only five of the thirty games finished inside the 3 hour time limit, Kathy having the fastest win in 1 hour 45 minutes.

The leaders on Saturday evening were Brian M and Erica on 3 wins, followed by Robert Upton, Peter, Jeffrey and Richard on 2 wins.  On Sunday morning Brian beat Erica, Robert beat Jeffrey and Richard beat Peter, so going into the final round there were four potential winners.  Brian played Robert whilst Erica played Richard.  If Robert had won then a tie break would have been needed to decide between Robert and the winner of the other game.  Much to the manager’s relief Brian won, achieving five wins out of five games.


Hethus took the Michael Poole Cup home, exactly as he did in 2014, so congratulations to him. There was a tie between Kathy Wallace and Richard Jackson for the so-called Moroccan award (for the best improvement in index by someone other than the Cup winner), so they both got a bottle of wine. Kathy also won a bottle of beer for her fastest win and Brian Roynon also won a bottle of beer for the biggest upset by beating Richard Jackson, their handicaps being 11 and 5 respectively.

Coral Harrison and Liz Tracy did magnificent lunches, Linda celebrated her birthday and a good time was had by all. Brian Shorney congratulated our club for providing an opportunity for players in this handicap range (5 to 12) to play advanced rules croquet and expressed the hope that more clubs would follow suit.

Mike Tracy (tournament manager)

28th May – Alternate strokes AC doubles

With the luxury of no double banking, lawns set out and fine weather in prospect, it was with a certain level of shock that some pairs learned of the bisques that were to be stacked against them, but play began in good spirit nevertheless.

Round one saw Mary and Pat neck and neck with Brian and Sandra and only half an hour left to play but the ladies used their time wisely and well, finishing the game +6t.

David and Brenda’s partnership provided value for money in the entertainment stakes – they started with their best loss of the day: -1t to Rob and Neil P.

Terry and Doreen monopolised the lawn taking both balls to 3 back but Kathy and James used their last 30 minutes to pull through to a +3t win.

Brigit and Rosemary had a close game against Jim and Tony winning +1t.

An excellent lunch in the sunshine and it was time to think about some supplementary awards for this competition –

  • Most put-upon partner?
  • Greatest entertainment value?
  • Partnership most likely to end in violence?
  • Any more suggestions …?

We hit the post-prandial doldrums in the second round but entered the third and final round with the semi-finalists far from certain. The thunder-threatening clouds passed over, the heat reached a comfortable level, and all was well with the world.

This seemed to revitalise play – sustained by peripatetic tea and cakes (the waitress that is, not the refreshments) – and it wasn’t until the final games had been played in each block that the positions were clear.

The results


Block A Brigit








Wins Pos’n
Brigit           14

Rosemary 22

-1t +2t +1t 2 2
Rob           12

Neil             20

+1t +1t +1t 3 1
David           4.5

Brenda     24

-2t -1t -3t 0 4
Jim           6

Tony         24

-1t -1t +3t 1 3


Block B Brian








Wins Pos’n
Brian     11

Sandra   24

+6t +7t -6t 2 1
Terry     16

Doreen 20

-6t -3t +15 1 3
Kathy     7

James   18

-7t +3t +6t 2 2
Pat         2

Mary     14

+6t -15 -6t 1 4

20160528 Alt strokes

Semi Finals


Winner of Block A

Rob / Neil

v Runner up Block B

Kathy / James

Winner of Block B

Brian / Sandra

v Runner up Block A

Brigit / Rosemary


OBE Trophy

OBE COMPETITION – 17th May 2016

A happy day yet tinged with sadness as the game played for this event “The 10 Shot Game” was introduced to Nailsea Club by our member Ian Telfer and has been adopted as the format for the OBE Trophy.  Ian, who sadly passed away earlier this month, had been a competitor for the last two years, having won the trophy on both occasions.

OBEThis year we saw two new faces joining us (both youthful OBE’s) Susan and David Pinney from  Bristol Croquet Club and along with our own Mary Barnes, Jim Gregory and Terry Young,  play started at a very civilised time of 10.30.

Two 50 min. games were played before lunch, the newcomers getting to grips with the two laws incorporated into Association Croquet rules.

After warming bowls of soup and hot rolls another two games were played – Susan and David now understanding the game even better and after a well earned cup of tea and cake the final game took place.

The Nailsea players took the top 3 positions and David was a very close fourth, but Jim was this year’s convincing winner having won all of his 4 games.

Short Croquet – 30th April 2016

The lawns in our pleasant seat looked a treat in the Spring sunshine – hath Britain all the sun that shines? – as 20 players girded their loins for a great day’s play in this fun-for-all competition which saw a handicap range from 2 peels to 10 bisques(in short croquet terms).

And as the block results below show – neither a low handicap, nor indeed a pocket full of bisques, are everything: skill, good strategic play and luck (which happens when preparedness meets opportunity) all have their role to play. As one or two players learnt, bisques are to be used, not saved! Indeed, delays have dangerous ends.

In the end the winner of each block emerged and will play the semi-finals over the semis weekend – as you can see, some were shorter than others – maybe we should introduce a short game for short players.

So thanks to everyone for making it a great day, and for those of you who would have appreciated a few more wins: better luck tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow

Brevity is the soul of wit, but can you find the ten quotes from Shakespeare in this report? Beware – in that way madness lies.

The results


Block A h/c JF RD LS SW RB Wins Points Pos’n
Jim Field 2p -7 +5 +11 +5 3 -2 3
Richard Delmas 3.5 +7 -13 +10 +5t 3 -6 2
Linda Shaw 3.5 -5 +13 +10t +1t 3 +8 1
Sheila Ware 7 -11 -10 -10t +1t 1 4
Rosemary Burgon 9 -5 -5t -1t -1t 0 5


Block B h/c TY PL KW TH VD Wins Points Pos’n
Terry Young 7 -1t -7 +12 +3 2 3
Pat Long 0 +1t -7 -10 +5 2 2
Kathy Wallace 2.5 +7 +7 +14 +10 4 1
Tony Hinchliffe 4 -12 +10 -14 -11 1 5
Violet Delmas 8 -3 -5 -10 +11 1 4


Block C h/c RU BM BC PR DH Wins Points Pos’n
Robert Upton 3 -3 +12 +13 +7 3 1
Brian McCausland 1.5 +3 -5t -4t +8 2 4
Brigit Clayton 5 -12 +5t -5 +9 2 3
Polly Reynolds 6 -13 +4t +5 +6 3 2
David Hogg 10 -7 -8 -9 -6 0 5


Block D h/c PD JG CJ MT SM Wins Points Pos’n
Peter Dyke 2 +7t +5 +4 +1t 4 1
Jim Gregory 2 -7t +7 -3t +3t 2 3
Chris Jackson 5 -5 -7 -10 +4 1 4
Mike Tracy 5 -4 +3t +10 +12 3 2
Sandra Morgan 10 -1t -3t -4 -12 0 5

Here are the block winners who will play in the semi finals in September.

semi finalists

Winner of Block A

Linda Shaw

v Winner of Block C

Robert Upton

Winner of Block B

Kathy Wallace

v Winner of Block D

Peter Dyke


SWF Short Croquet Teams success on 10 April 2016

Nailsea Trendlewood won the top division and Nailsea Glass Blowers won the second division of this annual tournament held at Nailsea.  Nailsea Avening were 3rd in the top division


Nailsea Trendlewood Team


Nailsea Glassblowers Team

1 August – Golf Croquet Singles


August came in rather ashamed of its attire – grey and chilly with a spot of rain, but undaunted, the 10 players who signed up for this competition more than made up for it in their sparkling whites and sunny dispositions!GC1_cr

The first round witnessed a series of closely fought games with only one going to time and at the end of round three, margins stayed close with two games going to time.

Time for lunch with mostly everything to play for – a bye for each player making accurate forecasting a nightmare for all but most determined bet-layers.

By the end of the day, some win margins had opened up a little with +4 or +5 results in a few cases.

A little calculating as to who beat whom determined semi-finalists: Polly, Robin, Jim and Peter, who are keenly anticipating semis weekend.

Thanks to everyone who took part – it would be great to have more competitors next year particularly in the light of the excellent Mad Monday experience that is being built up – so do give that some thought – you may even be mentioned in dispatches.


Block A

h/c BM PD BR PR PH Wins Pos’n
Brian McCausland 2 -1t -2t -1t +2t 1 4 Beat PH
Peter Dyke 4 +1t +5 -4 +4 3 2
Brenda Roynon 5 +2t -5 +3 -1 2 3
Polly Reynolds 7 +1t +4 -3 +2 3 1 Beat PD
Pam Hendry 9 -2t -4 +1 -2 1 5


Block B

h/c BR SD RH MB JG Wins Pos’n
Brian Roynon 4 +4 -4 +1 -3t 2 3 Beat MB
Steve Durston 4 -4 -3 -2 -5 0 5
Robin Hendry 7 +4 +3 -2t +4 3 1 Beat JG
Mary Barnes 8 -1 +2 +2t -2t 2 4
Jim Gregory 2 +3t +5 -4 +2t 3 2


Semi Finals


Winner of Block APolly Reynolds v Runner up of Block BJim Gregory
Winner of Block BRobin Hendry v Runner up of Block APeter Dyke


Qualifier for the Women’s World Championship

July 18th – 20th

After 3 days of conditions varying from bone dry lawns to intermittent showers, Pat Long has qualified to play in the Women’s AC World Championship at the Nottingham club, played between 25th July and 1st August.  Pat goes with our very best wishes.

The final standings were:

1.  Anne Quinn 7/7

2.  Virginia Arney 6/8

3. Pat Long 6/8

4. Rosemary Newsham 5/8

5. Kathy Wallace 5/8

6. Sara Anderson 4/8

7. Frances Ransom 4/8

8. Sarah Melvin 4/8

9. Sylvia Steer 3/8

10. Erica Malaiperuman 3/8

11. Alison Girdlestone 3/8

12= Frances Colman 2/8

        Elaine Norsworthy 2/8

14. Susan Fulford 1/7

3 May – Waitrose sponsors Croquet Challenge Day at Nailsea Croquet Club

croquet-pimms-waistroseNailsea Croquet Club held a fun day for visitors on Sunday. In the morning the players were in groups of four for taster sessions. They learned some mallet skills and the basic rules of Association Croquet. A splendid lunch, prepared by Coral Harrison was then taken with complimentary glasses of Pimm’s, provided by Waitrose (Nailsea).

In the afternoon, the players took part in a competition with two pairs from each of the six teams of four pitting their wits and newly found skills against each other. The visitors concentrated hard and had frequent discussions about tactics but there was much laughter and shrieks of joy as hoops were run. After three rounds of play, two teams had equal success rates so a tie-break was arranged. One of the teams, the Newtimers, included three players who had attended the Club’s Open Day the previous week. These were John and Fran Appleby and Tony Willoughby. The fourth member was Clive from Avon Vale Badminton Club whose team had claimed the trophy last year. The other team was from Wrington Vale and comprised Meg Hall, Martin Kerly and Alan and Rita Stark. For the tie-break the players took it in turns to shoot at the centre peg from a distance of 9 yards. Only John Appleby was successful so the Newtimers were presented with the Croquet Challenge Trophy and the Wrington Vale team were declared runners up.

The day was a huge success and the Croquet Club is very grateful to Waitrose. The glasses of Pimm’s were beautifully assembled and garnished by club members Terry Young and Doreen Wallace and they enhanced the occasion considerably. It was all that is sometimes imagined of an English day – Croquet, Pimm’s and, of course, a bit of rain!

Croquet and Pimm’s Day

Croquet and Pimm’s Day Sunday 3 May 2015 – kindly sponsored by Waitrose

pimmsWhat better way to spend an English Bank Holiday Sunday than playing croquet and sipping Pimm’s?

The members of Nailsea & District Coquet Club are throwing open their gates and inviting visitors to spend the day on the lawns. The morning will be spent learning some basic croquet skills and also the rules of a simple game. Teams of 4 will be coached by an experienced player from the club. All equipment will be provided.

After a break for lunch, the teams will take part in the Croquet Challenge, testing their newly found skills. There is a trophy to be won for the best team.

Entry is strictly by tickets, sold in advance,  as numbers will be limited to ensure a good experience for all who take part. Tickets cost £10 per person and include a free glass of Pimm’s. You may enter as a team of 4 or individually, in which case you will be put in a team of 4 on arrival. Refreshments will be available and there will be a licensed bar. Picnic lunches may be brought along.

Registration will take place at 10.30. The afternoon competition will finish at around 5pm

For more information or to purchase tickets,  e-mail or phone Kathy Wallace:           01275 847902

18 April – Short Croquet

Why spoil the habit of a season – let’s start this report by setting the scene weather-wise: a huge contrast to the rained-off One Ball competitions, Saturday was sunny but cold – although a few outer layers were removed during the day in the heat of the competition.

16 players turned out and enjoyed (some may have used another word at times) the games. An interesting conundrum at the end of the first round: if a player with a handicap of 3 peels has only completed two peels when the timer goes, are they allowed to complete the third peel during their final turn, and if the game finishes (but is not pegged out) without all the peels being completed, is there any penalty?

The greatest, and not so greatest minds were sorely exercised, and the game was pegged down until the arrival of a referee at lunch time – the answers were: yes, the peel can be undertaken in the final turn, and no, there is no penalty for not completing all the peels. The peels must be completed before the player pegs out. So if the player does not peg out, they do not have to achieve all their peels – remember this, it may turn up in a croquet quiz one day.

Having established this, Kriss Chambers failed to secure the hit-in necessary to move the game on to a peg-out, but secured a +1 on time win over Jim Gregory.

Not all games were completed in the other two blocks but the result of the later game played between Peter Dyke and Linda Shaw, confirmed Peter as the outright winner of his block. So the semi finalists are:

Winner Block A: Kriss Chambers versus Winner Block C: Andrew Wimshurst
Winner Block B:  Jim Field versus Winner Block D: Peter Dyke

Kriss Chambers  who won his block outright, will play against Andrew Wimshurst who beat Kathy Wallace on points in their block.

Jim Field, beating Neil Devine on points, will play against Peter Dyke who was the outright winner in his block.

JF JG ND BC Wins Points Pos’n
Kriss Chambers -9 +1T +11 +1T 3 1
Brian Roynon +4T -1T -5T -9T 1 3
Ian Telfer -2 +3T -3 +9 2 2
Polly Reynolds -12 -1T -4T -2T 0 4




BR IT PR Wins Points Pos’n
Jim Field +9 -4T +2 +12 3 19 1
Jim Gregory -1T +1T -3T +1T 2 -2 4
Neil Devine -11 +5T +3 +4T 3 1 2
Brigit Clayton -1T +9T -9 +2T 2 1 3




PD LHB TY Wins Points Pos’n
Andrew Wimshurst +9 -1T +5T +6T 3 19 1
Kathy Wallace +1T -7 +1T +4 3 -1 2
Mary Barnes -7 +1T -8T -10T 1 -24 4
Linda Shaw -3T -6 +1T -1T 1 -9 3


AW KW MB LS Wins Points Pos’n
Brian McCausland -9 -1T +7 +3T 2 0 3
Peter Dyke +1T +7 +1T +6 3 1
Libby Howard-Blood -5T -1T +8T -1T 1 4
Terry Young -6T -4 +10 +1T 2 1 2


29 March – Charity One Ball

Twenty four members of Nailsea & District Croquet Club turned out on an early Spring day to compete in the local heat of the annual Charity ‘One Ball’ Championship. ‘One Ball’ is a simpler variant of Association Croquet in which players only use one ball each rather than the usual two. This year’s chosen charity is Bowel Cancer UK and to go with their purple colour theme every player wore at least one purple item of clothing. Richard Broad was the clear winner with victories in all his four games. Linda Shaw and Jim Field were joint runners up with five wins from six, but as Linda is not able to attend the national final on Sunday 10 May at Surbiton, Jim takes the second qualifying place. Should a third qualifier be needed then joint-fourth place finishers Peter Dyke and Brian McCausland will play off for this next week, both ended the day on four wins out of six. With several non-players also making donations, a total of £140 was raised for this great cause.

The Marshall Midda Shield attracted twelve Golf Croquet competitors on a blustery day to fight for places in the All England GC Handicap tournament as the club uses this fixture to select its representatives each year. The competition was played in two blocks of six, and after five games two player, Pam Hendry and Brian McCausland, had each won four, and three win ties in both blocks were sorted by countback with Robin Hendry and Chris Jackson making the other semi-finalists for the Shield. Robin just pipped Chris for the third spot in the All England event.