GGCC v Cheam

It was one of the hottest days of the year (30 C), a beautiful day for croquet and the GC team from Cheam of John Horne (C), Ray Ore, Colin Helps and Ian Rees arrived well prepared for our R league match. The contest comprised the best of three games with 1 doubles and 2 singles in the morning followed by 4 singles in the afternoon, with each game having a time limit of one hour.

Our GGCC team comprised Bernie (‘the reluctant skipper’), Douglas, Peter and Hilary. Hilary made her feelings clear that she was only selected to meet the handicap criteria , referring to herself as the team ‘patsy’ and setting clear expectations about her (lack of) chances of success against her opposition who were 3 levels better than her on the GC handicapping system.

Whilst Douglas and I were winning our doubles match (7-6, 7-4) against John and Ray, Peter and Hilary took on Colin and Ian respectively. Peter suffered a time warp when playing a very slow Colin ‘the caterpillar’ with 2 of his 3 games running to the hour limit. Despite some respite in the second game, Peter could not overcome Colin’s warp factor and lost out 4-5, 7-4, 5-6. This game took over three hours to play and Peter may well have been thinking of his stomach as the rest of us had already finished our lunches by the time they came off the lawn.

Meanwhile, Hilary did not let her patsy status deter her from a convincing victory over Ian (7-5, 7-3) and giving GGCC a 2-1 lead going into the long awaited afternoon session.

Perhaps, Colin, now a sated hungry caterpillar, having eaten through some leaves and other foodstuffs at lunch was not such a slow caterpillar in the afternoon; he beat Hilary 7-4, 7-2.

Both Douglas’s and my games ran to 3 sets with Douglas being able to overcome a fightback from Ray to win (7-4, 5-7, 7-4). Unfortunately, even though I started well against John, I was unable to maintain my form and lost out (7-3, 3-7, 4-7)

Being last to finish I was relieved to find that Peter had romped the GGCC team over the line with a convincing victory over Ian (7-3, 7-4) making the final tally GGCC 4 Cheam 3.

Id like to thank all of the GGCC team for they brilliant contributions and I may consider being the reluctant skipper once again.

Bernie Phillips – 26 June 2024