Phyllis Court pair, Frances Colman & Chris Roberts retained the SCF Armada title by the skin of their teeth today.
After losing their first game to Keith Mackenzie-Ross & Glynis Hassell, the inkling that it might be their day, came in their second game against the other Winchester pair Roger Barnacle & Auter Da Costa.
The holders looked dead and buried and were well behind with time close to being called, when Colman scored a pressured five hoop break to win the game +1 'on time'.
Meanwhile the 'pair to beat', top seeds Richard Dickson & Vic Stillwell of Hamptworth were going great guns and were undefeated at lunch.
Dickson was the class player in the field, as reflected by his - 0.5 handicap, and he worried all opponents from beginning to end.
With an awkward number of five competing pairs an 'all play all' tournament format, comprising 14 point games was the only option available to the manager, but surprisingly for reduced (and by further necessity 'timed') games, the event was both enjoyable and exciting too.
Colman & Roberts picked up another victory over Richard & Diana Stevens of Hamptworth in the penultimate round, and a slip by Dickson & Stillwell to Barnacle & Da Costa, meant that the tournament could be won by any one of three pairs going into the final round.
- Barnacle & Da Costa had to win and rely on the 'who beat whom' tie breaker in the hope that Dickson & Stillwell would 'do for' Colman & Roberts.
- Dickson & Stillwell had to win against Colman & Roberts and hope that Barnacle & Da Costa lost their last game.
- Colman & Roberts just had to win.
Again, Colman and Roberts neared the end of their game looking down the barrels of defeat with Dickson sitting on Rover and Stillwell not far behind.
Roberts then strung together a nice break and set up an excellent peeling opportunity on Dickson's ball, with the intention of pegging it out.
But a silly positioning of his partner ball left him 'stuffed' after completing the peel and vulnerable to the threat of Dickson's own 'pegging out opponent' threat.
Very fortunately for him, Dickson missed a crucial roquet, Roberts didn't and then set up an ambitious 'peg out' of Dickson's ball all the way from corner 3.
He duly hit, turning the game decisively in the Phyllis Court pair's favour; Colman kept her head made two more hoops for a single point lead, and left Stillwell too much to do in his final visit to the court.
A tournament win won't come any closer than that, for a jolly long time. . .
8th June 2014
Fensome & Chalfont new winners of SCF Solstice
Phyllis Court pair Helena Fensome & John Chalfont, bounced back from a block game disaster to win the SCF Solstice Cup for the first time.
There was a huge surprise in the morning when the second seeds were white-washed 0-7 by Kate and David Crumpler (seeded seventh) in their block game, and Bransgore couple certainly had the psychological advantage over Fensome & Chalfont when they met again in the final.
But before all that, 16 pairs representing 11 SCF Clubs had all enjoyed a fantastic day's croquet, in unbroken sunshine on Hamptworth's lovely fast courts.
It is safe to say that the speed of the lawns and hoops that were tighter than many of the field were used to, certainly provided a challenge for all the competitors.
Defending champions Roy Tillcock & Jim O'Keefe of Ryde (seeded 4) were the only pair top their block 'as per seedings', and this threw up an unexpected line-up in the quarter finals.
The champs went out to the other Phyllis Court pair Pam Mead & Raymond Wood and top seeds Roger Barnacle and Rupert Catt of Dogmersfield also fell in the first games of the knock-out after lunch.
Meanwhile, those who had upset the seedings in the morning, The Crumplers, and Hamptworth's David Cooper & Bob Channon duly progressed on to the semis where the former's good shot choice and execution booked their place in the final.
The other semi was a Phyllis Court show-down and what a game it was, with little between the pairs right up to the last few hoops.
Fensome and Chalfont got a huge advantage when Wood dribbled through hop 12 to tie the game at 6-6 but was hampered for the 13th.
Fensome's first shot from far towards the west boundary was overhit, and subsequently had to be used to clear Mead's next well placed ball.
Chalfont clanged hoop 6 with his long shot towards 13 and suddenly Mead and Wood had not only a life-line, but the advantage.
Five or six rounds of exchange shots, kept those watching entertained before Mead's attempted clearance, roqueted Chalfont's ball into the hoop to sympathetic groans all round, as the game was lost.
After getting their breath back, Fensome and Chalfont turned the tables on the Crumplers in the final and raced away to a 4-0 lead, which soon became 5-1 - no sign of the earlier drubbing that the Bransgore pair had inflicted.
To their credit, the Crumplers, though looking forlorn, did make a good fight of it and got back to 5-3 and 6-4, but their task was too great after conceding the early lead, and Fensome scored the winning hoop at 7-4.
Mention in dispatches: Well done to bottom (16th) seeds Roger Goldring and Rosemary Noel-Clarke of Caversham who won two games to finish 12th.
Phyllis Court do
Southern Croquet Federation
AC & GC Doubles Tournemants
won by our players on the same weekend!
<<< here >>>
SCF Armarda (AC) Tournament winners
Chris Roberts & Frances Colman
SCF Solstice (GC) Tournament winners
John Chalfont & Helena Fensome
9 June - AC Competition grids now on-line
The competition grids and blocks of our season-long competitions are now on-line.
See the Assocaiton Croquet button on the left.
13 June - A very busy week indeed!
It's been quite a week:
Friday last week saw PCC 'B' win their second league match of the season convincingly 9-3 against Blewbury who were the only to whom they dropped a point last season (Our team: Raymond Wood, Pam Mead, Mary Gaynor and Don Rutherford).
Monday had PCC 'C' dropping their first ever point to Dogmersfield in a 6-6 draw, with good debut performances by both Diane Browne and Delia Norris. (John Chalfont and Paddy Bunch were our other team members).
Tuesday saw a return to Hamptworth and our Inter-Club (Murphy) Shield team had a very long day
in the saddle indeed before losing on the last hoop of the last rubber of the last match.
(our team: Helena Fensome, Mary Gaynor, Raymomnd Wood)
16 June - Charlie gets International call-up!
Great news has reached us today, that Charlie von Schmieder was called into the Ireland National AC team to play in the Home Internationals this past weekend at Surbiton. Although only available for one match, Charlie made quiet an impact on his return to international duty:
England captain Samir Patel reports: . . . Ireland v Scotland was a closely fought affair, notable for Charlie Von Schmieder [Ire] beating Martin Murray [Sco] +2 +17 in his first ranking games since 2007! . . . Congratulations Charlie!
Wednesday was avery full day indeed:
It all started with the Ann Norman's organised another river trip today and once again the event was enjoyed by all who set sail aboard Hobbs' Waterman.
In the evening, PCC's three player 'Association' team lost their first B-Level league games of the season today 1-2 to a strong Alderrmaston team.
The visitors were much stronger on paper and were pretty good on grass too, although our own team did have their moments.
Captain Harry Midgley ground-out our only win in the number two berth, while at no.1, neither Chris Roberts nor his opponent missed a single hoop run in a game that turned on a missed lift shot and a difficult hit by the Aldermaston man. In the third berth game Frances Colman held the lead for 80% of the match with some excellent roquets, only to be overhauled when a rare miss let her opponent in.
17th June - Delia Norris & Richard Peperell team up to win
the 5+ Doubles 'Cave & Wolfe' Tournament
In another close PCC tournament, the 'who beat whom' tie-break rule had to be implemented to find Delia Norris and Richard Peperell as winners.
After a round-robin series of five games, all six pairs had played each other and both the eventual winners and the John Chalfont and Heather Masheter pairing were tied on one loss a piece.
Delia and Richard having won the head to head game convincingly 7-1 were duly given the nod and collected the victors' Cave and Wolfe Salvers.
John and Heather picked-up the runners-up Hilda Dobson Cups (or one of them at any rate).
For the full results, click on this button:
26th June - Double win for our GC teams
It was a good week for our two GC handicap League teams who both won their latest league matches.
On 20th, PCC 'B' beat Dogmersfield 7-5 with a much changed team due to holidays and other unavailability.
On 22nd, PCC 'C' made a first visit to High Wycombe's new ground at Hazelmere and returned with a another 7-5 victory.
PCC 'B' now have a healthy lead in the Division with PCC 'C' in joint second place.
27th June - Blewbury's Paul Wolfe wins our joint AC Tournament
Blewbury secretary, Paul Wolfe won the joint PCC/Blewbury AC tournament held over the last two days (one day at each club).
Players from PCC, Blewbury, Ealing, and Hurlingham took part in the event which began at Blewbury yesterday and concluded at PCC today.
Paul was the clear winner on four wins from his five games and will be the second name on the trophy after CA President Quiller Barrett who won last year.