Our third match was against Sussex County Croquet Club (aka Southwick). We fielded a team of handicaps 3, 6, 7 and 8 – Ian Taylor, Graham Lamacraft, Hilary Bird and Roseann Sullivan. They were represented by three 4s, a 6 and a dog (huge English Pointer, owned by a Russian!).

It was an unusual and dramatic afternoon from the off. I was distracted by someone having reversed into my parked car just as the opposition arrived (please note this is the second time this has happened. Word of advice to other members, don’t park under the trees.)

During the first game the dog provided further distraction by howling, until removed to its owner’s car. Our poor, parched lawns prevented most shots from going where one wanted, however at the end of the doubles round it was one all.

In the singles we managed to win three games, putting us 4-2 up as we approached round three. All to play for – we only needed one win to secure the match. Sadly this was not to be.

Having lost two games everything hinged on the third. Meanwhile the insurance company phoned me, and then my phone died. Roseann kindly lent me her phone, and I was in the middle of re-answering all the questions (because it’s a new phone call 🙄) when the Sussex captain approached me in a state of nervous excitement. I had to abandon the call.

It transpired that the 2 remaining players had failed to time their match, but had clearly gone way over time. One needed to finish to go on holiday, and the other was holding up the team escape back to Sussex. The score was 5 all.

After a team conflab it was agreed that the first to win the next hoop, hoop 13, would win. (I should point out at this stage that neither player was aware of the critical nature of the result!). With all the other team members watching this nail biter, 3 of the first shots to hoop 13 finished short. The tension was palpable.

Several minutes later the matter was resolved, with Sussex squeaking a win, meaning they had won the match 5-4.

It was certainly a close run thing and was, I think, enjoyed by all. Congratulations Sussex, and well played GGCC.