SECF GC Team B

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.

SECF Ladies Day 7/7

Janet Curtecka, Lynn Edge, Roseann Sullivan and Hilary Bird sallied forth to Southwick, for a long, hot, tiring day of croquet, against 6 other randomly drawn SECF clubs.

We had moments of success, including beating Chichester and Fishbourne, and drawing with Bromley. Despite many closely fought matches, unfortunately our efforts went unrewarded – the rewards coming from having had an enjoyable day playing and socialising with both old and new friends.

Well played, Ladies.

GC Handicap Team B

We played our second match on 27/6 (apologies for the delay in reporting the result).

The team comprised Jan and Graham Lamacraft, Charles Martin and Jan Honeysett. Our opposition, Chichester and Fishbourne, arrived bright and early (the kettle hadn’t even boiled!) for what promised to be a well matched morning.

After the doubles round we were 2-0 down, so went into the singles round somewhat nervously. Happily, we won three of the four games, meaning we had equalised . Sadly, in the third round we were unable to maintain the momentum and so Chichester and Fishbourne won 6-3.

As ever, the scores did not entirely reflect the closeness of many of the games. Well done team – good effort.

Longman Cup 2nd round match for our AC team

After a 7:45am start for their journey, our opponents in the second round of the Longman Cup, Kington Langley arrived in good time for the 10am start on Friday 30th June.  Our doubles pairing of John G and Julie T were in good form and won convincingly in a little over two hours; just before the drizzle started!  Michael C started slowly but picked up to record a close win by +5.  Andy S had a good battle with his opponent and only lost by 3.   2-1 to G&G at lunch.

In the afternoon all of the games went to time.  John was the first to finish and after a slow start pulled far enough ahead to result in a fairly comfortable win.  Andy fought hard again but the result was a narrow defeat.  Michael was leading convincingly 16-7 after the first two hours but his opponent fought back strongly to record a 21-17 win.  Julie had been behind for much of her game but as time was called had battled well to move ahead by 2.  In his last turn her adversary made a miraculous take-off from the west boundary to land 2 inches in front, and bang in the middle, of hoop 5.  He then made the 3 hoops he needed to win.  A very unlucky defeat and an overall loss for G&G by 3 games to 4 in the narrowest possible margin. 

Restricted (R) League Golf Croquet 28/06/23 v Woking

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.

The MaD Cup – GC C level Tournament

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.

Freda Knight wins the Plate

Fraser wins the MaD Cup

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.

Andrea Huxley, Manager

AC Team play first two SECF U-League matches

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 Qualifier

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.

Andrea Huxley, Manager, 7 June 2023

Winning the Bird Bath

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.

Andrea Huxley, Manager

SECF GC Team B

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.

Onwards and upwards……