2023 sees GGCC’s first entry into SECF’s Golf Croquet Restricted (R) League. Each team comprises 4 players, the sum of whose handicaps must be at least 16. 7 matches are played (one doubles and 6 singles) to ensure a result. Each match is the best of three, 13 point games and each game must be timed to take no longer than 1 hour.
The opening contest saw GGCC face familiar opponents from Woking. Today’s team was Julie T, Steve S-M, Peter A and Hilary B. The day didn’t start so well with Julie and Steve losing the doubles fairly convincingly, but immediately picked up with both Peter and Hilary winning their singles, so a narrow lead of 2-1 to GGCC at the lunch break.
The post-lunch singles matches were all close affairs, three of them going the full 3 games. In the end, GGCC squeaked home in 3 of the 4 matches. Star of the day was Peter who won both his matches but gratifyingly every team member contributed at least a point to the eventual 5-2 win.
We very much enjoyed the company of our good friends from Woking and look forward to our next fixture in this competition.
Sixteen players from 8 different clubs gathered to play in the GGCC C level tournament on Saturday 24th June.
The day started with the players in 4 blocks competing in an all-play-all format. After 3 games The Blue and Red blocks had clear winners with Steve Morton (Phyllis Court) and Philip Hendy (Camerton and Peasedown) and Nigel Wucko ( Camerton and Peasedown) and Andrew Jackson (GGCC) going through to the afternoon main knockout rounds. In the Black block Fraser Wilkes (GGCC) was the clear winner with three wins while the other three players each had one win. Paul Brown (Sussex) won through on net hoops. In the Yellow block three players each had 2 wins so again net hoops were used to decide the places. Helen Essa and Carol Wadsworth ( both Phyllis Court players) went through to the main knockout.
There was then a rest while the players enjoyed a beautifully prepared lunch provided by Jan Honeysett and her sous-chef John Bryson.
And so on to the knockouts. In the Plate knockout the final was played between Freda Knight (Reigate Priory) and Rob Eagle (Phyllis Court) with Freda winning 7-5.
The main knockout was closely fought through 3 rounds with the final played between Fraser Wilkes and Steve Morton. Although the result was 7-1 to Fraser that does not reflect the standard of play – every hoop was strongly contested.
Fraser had played his first ever competitive singles match and won his debut tournament. A great result for him and very well deserved. Congratulations, Fraser.
In the last couple of weeks our AC Team have played their first two SECF U-League matches. Seven different players took part across the two matches.
The first match was against Rother Valley away on 13th June. We had a successful morning with John G and Julie T winning their doubles match and Stephen SS-M winning his singles. Andy S lost his singles leaving us 2-1 ahead at lunch. The afternoon started badly with John and Andy losing while Stephen won a very close match 26-22, leaving Julie to fly the flag. She fought valiantly, drawing level in the turn after time was called but unfortunately was unable to score the golden hoop. Thus, resulting in a very narrow 4-3 loss.
The second match was against Ealing at home on 21st June. In the morning, Bernie P playing his first singles match for the club, used his 17 bisques to build a lead. Having used the last of the bisques with five points to go, he managed to keep control and pegged out to win. Stephen SS-M followed with a narrow comeback win on time. Meanwhile, Ian F and Andy S fought an epic and exciting doubles battle for the golden hoop with Ian hitting in and Andy making the winning hoop 30 mins after time had been called. In the afternoon Bernie won quickly and comfortably, using his bisques effectively and continuing his improved grasp of tactics. Stephen was initially under pressure but took his first ball round and pegged his opponent out, which soon resulted in a comfortable win. Ian built on his morning win and maintained his lead throughout to win comfortably whilst Andy having pulled ahead was overtaken by a strong opponent. The final result being a G&G win 6-1 ….well done all!
The Grass Roots is a CA national competition designed to encourage high handicapped and new players to participate in competitions and tournaments. It is a level play GC competition for those with a handicap of 8+.
Initially there is a qualifying club round to find a player to be selected for the national final. This year GGCC had a select group of four players to compete for a place in the final. It was decided that it would be an all-play-all block between the 4 contenders.
Andrew Jackson (9), Iain Richardson (8), Janet Curtecka (12) and Wendy Lockwood (12) were all keen to take the top spot.
Wendy won 2 of her games – in her first CA tournament – but Iain was the victor winning all 3 of his games and will be offered a place in the national finals in Hunstanton in September. Congratulations to all four players.
May 27th saw 12 couples arriving at GGCC to play in the GC Handicap Doubles aiming to win The Doubles Dish aka The Bird Bath.
The competition was played to GC Handicap Advantage rules and for many of the competitors that was a challenge. The ‘new’ rules do away with extra turns for the higher handicapped players replacing them with a head start in hoops gained. For those with very low handicaps a starting point of, perhaps, -3 hoops proved a challenge.
Two groups of six in all-play-all blocks was the initial format leading to cross block final games for each pair. Fortunately for the manager there were clear winners and placings in each block.
Three games were played before the lunch break and , as is usual with tournaments played at GGCC, we were treated to an impressive lunch provided by Jan Honeysett. It was much appreciated by players and managers alike.
The last two games of the blocks were played and then on to the last games. The final was played between Lis Drury (6) and Tony James (5) from Compton and David (0) and Maggie Boyd (11) from Woking. It was a fiercely contested match with David and Maggie the eventual winners 7-6. Congratulations to them – all they need now is a bird!
I would like to thank the many club members who gave up their time to prepare the club for the tournament and for those players who speedily closed up at the end of the day. Thanks also to Andrew Jackson and Mike Huxley who acted as referees for the day.
Team B had their first match of the season, away to Woking, on Monday 5th June.
Charles Martin, Peter Adams, Jan Honeysett and Hilary Bird battled against a well matched team, with all of the advantage handicap games going to either 7-6 or 7-5. Nevertheless, Woking won 6-3.
The prize for endurance has to go to Jan and Charles whose doubles match took one and three quarter hours 😳. Meanwhile Peter and Hilary, who finished in 35 minutes , languished on the sidelines drinking tea! The decision was then made to time limit the remaining games, not surprisingly.
We played our first round Longman Cup Association Croquet match at home on Friday 19th May in mostly sunny weather. Our opponents were Woking and we made a solid start in the morning, with Michael Clarke winning his singles match and John Gosden and Julie Tremble winning the doubles. Both matches went to time and although the winning margins of 7 and 10 hoops sounds comfortable both games were close affairs. Andrew Fewster struggled against his opponent and was comfortably beaten, making the score at lunch 2-1 to G&G.
Fortified by a splendid lunch provided by Jan Honeysett, G&G swept the board in the afternoon, winning all four single matches by comfortable margins. An excellent performance from all four players; now on to the second round.
The weather forecast for the tournament to be held on Friday 5 May was dire – rain followed by more rain. So it was with some feelings of trepidation that the 16 players arrived to start the day’s play. In fact the weather stayed kind to us. there were a few short showers but mostly the day was dry and even warm and sunny at times – what a relief.
The croquet was played with enthusiasm and with lots of conversations to ensure the ‘new’ (Advantage Handicap) system was understood and the correct number of hoops were played. The competitors’ handicaps ranged from 3 to 12 so there were several games where the senior player started on -1 or even -2 hoops giving several hoops advantage to the higher handicapped player. All very challenging.
The players were divided into 4 blocks of 4 for the morning and within each block it was an all-play-all format. The top two players from each block then went through to knockout rounds to find the eventual winner and the top 4 players to go through to the area final. The bottom two players from each block played in new all-play-all blocks for the afternoon.
The Blue and Red blocks had clear winners with Phil Tremble and Vernon Salt each having 3 wins and Lynn Edge and Graham Lamacraft having 2 wins. In the black block Anthony Tutt was the winner with 3 wins while the other three players each had one win. Second place was decided on net hoops with Lorna Foster taking the second spot. The Yellow block saw Andrew Lockwood and Andy Shipley win through the block stage with two wins each.
The knockout rounds were closely contested. Lona beat Vernon 7-4 in one semi final and Andrew beat Lynn 7-5 in the other. The tie for 3rd and 4th place was between Vernon and Lynn with Lynn winning 7-6. The final itself was also close with Andrew beating Lorna 7-5 to win PJ’s Pot.
The placings for the top eight players are as follows:
Andrew Lockwood – Lorna Foster – Lynn Edge – Vernon Salt
Graham Lamacraft – Phil Tremble – Andy Shipley – Anthony Tutt
The first four players are entitled to play in the area final at Surbiton in July.
Thanks to all 16 players who played with such good spirits and made sure the tournament ran smoothly. Andrea Huxley – Manager
A field of six including three previous winners entered our annual charity one-ball competition, held on Saturday 29th April.
In an all play all format, Hilary Bird demonstrated her prowess at this light-hearted format of the game by playing herself into an unassailable lead, winning all her first four games. After the fifth and final round, second and third places were also decided, going to Andy Shipley and Stephen Stuart-Matthews respectively.
Unfortunately other commitments mean that none of the players will be able to attend the national final. However we were pleased to be able to contribute the sum of £130 to this years charity, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.
In celebration of National Croquet Week the club will be hosting a FREE taster session, on Sunday 14th of May between 2-5 PM. Everyone is invited including children over the age of 10 when accompanied by an adult or guardian. Please pass the word on to anyone who may be interested.