The Short Croquet Competition was held on a mainly sunny, although quite chilly, early May day. The lawns were full to capacity with 16 players who were divided into 4 blocks, each with a range of handicaps. Debutant John Hancock was in Block 1. He began by using his handicap advantage over David Hunt superbly well to win by a huge margin with half an hour left on the clock. Kathy Wallace, who was his next opponent, had observed this match and decided that the only way to beat John was to introduce surprise elements. She did this and won – also with half an hour to spare. David Hunt, John and Kathy each won two games but John and Kathy proceeded to the quarter finals by virtue of net points. In Block 2, everyone was pleased to see Jim Gregory back playing Association Croquet after a difficult winter, health-wise. In true Gregory fashion, he won all his games and booked a quarter final place, as did Erica Malaiperuman. Doreen Wallace was very unlucky to lose two of her games by 1 point on time. In the third block, Brian McCausland won all his matches and Terry Young won two, one of them in a very fast time. The final block contained Geoff Hughes who was at a big handicap disadvantage but did manage one win. Libby Howard-Blood won all her games and went into the quarter finals, as did Brian Roynon.
Quarter final results:
Kathy beat Erica 14-9
John beat Jim 14-4
Brian Roynon beat Brian McCausland 11-7
Terry faced his wife Libby and won 14-8
The semi-finals will take place in September. The day was enjoyed by all. Croquet brings together people of all abilities and ages and the handicap system creates meaningful games. To encourage speedy, positive play, the manager offered small prizes to the winners of the fastest games. These were won by John Hancock, Terry Young and Kathy Wallace.