GGCC Golf Croquet A-level: CARA Cup

Owing to a few late withdrawals the field for GGCC’s Final tournament of the year was reduced to 12.  Lawn conditions were challenging after the prolonged drought, though there were signs of recovery.  Lawn speed estimated to be around 12 Plummers.  Players’ handicaps were hcp 0 (1), hcp 1 (2) hcp 2 (5) and hcp 3(4).  The format was all-play-all, meaning a relaxed 6 games on the first day and 5 on the second.

Fun fact #1:     All 12 players had surnames with initials between B (Bagni) and J (Johnson) What’s the chance of that happening?

Day 1 was played in perfect weather conditions.  Dry all day and neither too hot nor too breezy.  Play was brisk and results were clear cut

Fun fact #2:     In the 18 games played before lunch, there were NO 7-6 results and only 2 scores of 7-5.  Another one for the statisticians?

The afternoon session saw some closer games and a few front runners appearing:

Thomas Halliday (6 wins out of 6), John Gosden (5/6) and Chris Jackson (5/6) led the field overnight.

Day 2 dawned with clouds and a threat of possible storms.  Luckily, only one materialised, though it was enough to send players running for cover for five minutes.  It seemed that Thomas Halliday was going to walk away with the trophy until he had a reversal of fortune in round 8, being comprehensively beaten by Phil Davies.  John Gosden, meanwhile, won his seventh game on the trot leaving himself and Thomas tied on 7 wins out of 8.  Each of them won their next two games and set up a thrilling finish.  With one game to play, John and Thomas had identical records:  9 wins out of 10 and net hoops +27.  

John had to better Thomas’ result because John’s only loss had been to Thomas in Round 1.  

The stage was set.  Thomas playing Chris Jackson and John playing Helena Jansson.  It was nail biting stuff all the way.  At one point, Thomas was 4-6 down to Chris and John was in a tough battle against a very determined Helena.  Thomas then rallied and won 7-6.  At that point, John was trailing Helena by 3-5.  The only way he could win the tournament was by taking the last four hoops, and this proved to be one step too far.  It was an absorbing end to what I believe was a successful tournament, enjoyed by the competitors.

  1. Thomas Halliday 10 wins/11
  2. John Gosden 9/11
  3. Ross Bagni 7/11 and net hoops +18
  4. Chris Jackson 7/11 and net hoops +8       

Mike Huxley