31 July 2016 - Phyllis Court narrowly beaten in our biggest ever match as large 'record' crowd look-on
It was a case of 'nearly, but not quite' at Phyllis Court on Sunday when the National Champions Ashby sneaked the biggest match ever at the Henley Club by the narrowest of margins.
Phyllis Court members and visitors lined the courts for the duration of the day long match, and numbered around 60 at the height of the entertainment just after lunch and the total spectator count was nearer 90 throughout the day.
The faithful witnessed Phyllis Court holding an unexpected but deserved 2-0 lead at lunchtime, in this National Inter-Club Championship semi-final, which was the first to be played on the Club's riverside courts.
Ashby's star England International players Will Gee and Rachel Rowe (the former European Champion and Women's World Champion) were more than matched by Phyllis Court's own Ireland International Charlie von Schmieder and number two player Chris Roberts, who won the morning doubles rubber 2-1.
The host's Helena Fensome did very well to beat the higher ranked Tim King in the decider of their singles encounter and the remaining morning singles rubber between Rober Goldring and David Bell, was halted for lunch when poised at 1-1, with amicable decisions then made to suspend its conclusion in favour of starting the afternoon's programme of four fresh singles.
Following their doubles victory, von Schmieder and Roberts had high hopes of afternoon singles success against the same opposition, but first Roberts was well beaten by Rowe and soon after his team mate fell, after rather more of a fight, to the fabulously accurate hitting of Gee.
The crowed were wooded time and again by the power an constancy of Gee's shooting, particularly when clearing his opponents balls with speedy pinpoint accuracy at huge distances, and the extra catch fencing brought for the occasion was certainly well employed as Gee's balls flew (literally on occasion) around the court.
With match tied at 2-2, attention switched to the other court, where the number three and four players were playing their afternoon singles rubbers and both were very close affairs, going to deciding third games.
Fensome was eventually undone by Bell, and so the pressure fell on Goldring to save the fixture by beating King.
This he managed with aplomb, scoring the penultimate hoop with a shot from nearly 10 yards, to level the fixture score-line at 3-3.
As so, it all boiled down to the result of the suspended singles match between Phyllis Court's Goldring and Ashby's Bell.
Goldring got the early control, worked and defended a slim lead, but then Bell moved up a gear, leveled at the tenth, sank a 12 yarder from the boundary at hoop 11 and then, with a show-stopper long jump shot, sealed Phyllis Court's fate 3-4.
It was fitting end to a fabulous day, enjoyed by both teams and, by all accounts, spectators too.
While this was the end of the road for Phyllis Court, winners Ashby now await either Surbiton of Dulwich in the National Final.
Phyllis Court ~ Charlie von Schmieder (-2), Chris Roberts (-2), Helena Fensome (1), Roger Goldring (1)
Ashby ~ Will Gee (-3), Rachel Rowe (-3), David Bell (-2), Tim King (0)
Charlie von Schmieder & Chris Roberts beat Will Gee & Rachel Rowe 7-5, 3-7, 7-6
Helena Fensome beat Tim King 3-7, 7-6, 7-4
Roger Goldring lost to David Bell 5-7, 7-6, (completed to decide the match) 5-7
Charlie von Schmieder lost to Will Gee 5-7, 3-7
Chris Roberts lost to Rachel Rowe 5-7, 0-7
Helena Fensome lost to David Bell 7-6, 5-7, 2-7
Roger Goldring beat Tim King 7-6, 7-5
5 August 2016 - PCC 'Local Friendly' beat Thames Valley
Captain Raghu Iyer reports: 'A good afternoon's friendly doubles was enjoyed by all from both sides. We won 9 - 7 in the end. After three rounds we were 8-4 up, but then we contrived to loose the first three games in Round 4. Ralph Chambers and Joanna Iyer then won the last game on the 13th hoop, with Joanna going through the back of the hoop for an excellent winning position!
PCC 'Local Friendly': Raghu Iyer (c) (5), Colin Morgan (5), Ralph Chambers (7), Pauline Wood (9), Philip Allison (9), Joanna Iyer (10), Margaret Broughton (10), Christine Searle (11)
2 August 2016 - PCC 'A' win well at High Wycombe but League title hopes now gone
A solid performance by PCC 'A' at High Wycombe today, closed their League season on a high, but even this good 5-2 victory couldn't keep their scant title hopes alive.
A 7-0 victory was needed today and that was always looking to be tough ask against a very tidy High Wycombe side featuring AC convert David Warhurst, National B-Level Champion Ian Shore and the rapidly improving Richard Peperell (who of course has a duel-membership with PCC).
That unlikely score line would have put PCC top of the league on 'game wins' and hanging onto a faint hope that Wycombe would record an unlikely 7-0 or 6-1 result over unbeaten Champions elect Winchester. But it wasn't to be.
Chris Roberts and Roger Goldring won their doubles rubber with ease, but then found the same opponents more of a handful in their afternoon singles; the former sneaking past his man but the later losing out.
In the lower half of the fixture, Helena Fensome won both her singles and Mike Fensome won in the morning but Peperel 'got him' in the afternoon.
PCC 'A': Chris Roberts, Roger Goldring, Helena Fensome, Mike Fensome.
8 August 2016 - PCC 'B' title hopes dashed with loss to Blewbury
The Handicap League Title hopes of PCC 'B' crashed in this penultimate match of their season against front runners Blewbury.
The visitors got off to a good start winning the doubles legs 1-3 and then extended that lead to 2-6 in the first round of singles, meaning PCC 'B' needed a clean sweep in the last round.
Unfortunately, they could only win three out of the four games and lost the fixture 5-7.
PCC 'B' will have a final say in the League title however as they still have to play High Wycombe who could pip Blewbury but they will have to beat our side next week to do it!
PCC 'B': Raymond Wood (3), Hugh Crook (4), Colin Morgan (5), mary Gaynor (5)
10 August 2016 - Summer Party
Just over 50 members enjoyed our annual Summer Party in he Riverside pavilion this evening.
10 August 2016 - Roberts wins Hurlingham AC Silverware
Chris Roberts won his class and splendid solid silver cup at the Hurlingham AC Annual Tournament this afternoon.
He won four out of five of his block games, the last victory an exciting requiring an 'extra time golden hoop', to qualify for his final against Roehampton's Peter Siddal, who had won their four previous encounters.
Roberts got the first break and controlled the game throughout with several long hit-ins that effectively froze his former nemesis out of the game.
12 & 13 August 2016
- Durham's Andrew Carpenter retains Smokey's Cup title
Durham's Andrew Carpenter was a popular winner of the 2016 edition of 'Smokey's Cup' today, and became the first player to retain the title.
He beat Gulidford's Chris Heath by one clear game win, with Cheltenham's Klim Seabright and Brain McCausland from Nailsea,a further win behind in third and fourth places respectively.
16 players from 10 different clubs included three debutants and no fewer that four Phyllis Court players (not counting Delia Norris who retired sick before a ball was stuck - get well soon Delia).
Of our players, all performed approximately to seeding or better.
Richard Peperell won 8 of his 14 games, Raghu Iyer won 6, Don Rutherford 4, and probably the pick of the bunch was Dianne Browne's 5 wins from 15th seed position, including her shock victory over top seed McCausland.
We were blessed by corking sunshine throughout and a great group of enthusiastic players as usual.
Manager Frances Colman invited a surprised, but nonetheless delighted, Jean Pinguet (as our longest standing member present) to present Andrew Carpenter with Smokey's Cup, in the absence of Smokey himself, who hadn't felt up to attending this time.
16 August 2016 - PCC 'B' draw denies High Wycombe the Division title
PCC Captain for the day, Roger Goldring reports: We got off to a poor start, losing three of our four doubles games by lunch time. In the afternoon session we turned it all round, however, winning all our first four singles games. We then only needed to win two of the final four games for a win. But, just as quickly as our recovery had come about, we came unstuck, with only one of our four, Mary Gaynor, managing a win. So a draw, 6-6, was the outcome. Mary had an excellent day, winning one of her doubles and both her singles. The weather was superb; our friendly hosts looked after us very well, and provided drinks and nibbles throughout the day, and delicious cake at the end of the match.
19 August 2016 - PCC 'C' sign off with draw v Wingrave
PCC 'C' rounded off a 'middling' season with a draw against this term's improvers Wingrave today.
Dianne Brown was the start turn for our side, winning both her doubled (partnering Don Rutherford) and both the singles games.
14 August 2016 - Rutherford in draw for lucky loser' berth at All England finals
There wasn't much joy to be had for Phyllis Court players at Hamptworth today at the Area Final South of the GC All England Competition.
Both Roger Goldring and Hugh Crook came unstuck against some good opposition in the searing heat of probably the warmest croquet day of the season.
Only Don Rutherford's third place in his block, gave a slight hope of Phyllis Court representation in the national Finals in September.
Rutherford and six other third placed finishers will go into a draw for a 'lucky loser' spot in those finals - more news when that draw happens.
15 August 2016 - Gaynor wins the PCC Olympics for Ireland
The Republic of Ireland, in the person of Mary Gaynor, won the second Phyllis Court Olympics tournament today, with a string of fine wins.
16 players took part from the following 8 nations - England, Finland, India, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Spain; (Shetland had to withdraw sick).
The tournament was run as a handicap event this time round, which was more satisfactory given the wide range handicaps in the field (which ranged from Chris Roberts' -2, through to this season's newcomers Dee and Angus McKibbin (Northern Ireland) in 12 handicap and Pilar Carpenter (Spain) on 14.
India, in the shape of Raghu Iyer, was beaten in a close final 7 - 5, which gave Richard Peperell a first experience of on court refereeing.
New Zealand 1 (John Kennedy) took out pre-event favourite England 1 (Ian Norris) but then fell victim to Ireland in the quarter-finals.
Others to impress were Joanna Iyer (England) and the aforementioned Angus McKibben in his first ever tournament.
Ireland dropped a game in the block stage to Finland (Helena Fensome), but won the rest to claim the winner's gold medal.
Mary was joined on the podium by silver medalist India (Raghu) and England pair Frances Colman and Mike Fensome who shared the bronze.
Flags of the nations lined to courts and provided as lovely backdrop to the players who all sported national colours.
22 August 2016 - 'Team Fensome' win Open Doubles (Ian Lindsay) tournament on net hoops
Helena and Mike Fensome survived a late scare to win this tournament by the slimmest of margins.
Victory in their last game would have earned them the Open Doubles (Iain Lindsay) Tournament title undefeated, but a slip against eventual runners-up Chris Roberts and Frances Colman created a three way tie on wins.
Also in the mix, were Roger Goldring and Raymond Wood, who had up-set the applecart by beating Roberts and Colman in an early game of this 'all play' all event.
Counting the net hoops in only the games involving those in the tie, the Fensome's +3 tally beat Roberts/Colman on 0 and Goldring/Wood on -3.
Elsewhere, there was growing tactical nouse on show from Colin Morgan and his straight hitting partner Alex Earnshaw (making a welcome return to tournament play), some steady clearances from Raghu and Joanna Iyer, and likewise from Kathy Toumey and Margaret Broughton - all of which was good to see.
Unfortunately Pauline Wilding was not available to present Iain's cups this year due to a dairy clash, but she will be pleased to learn that the tournament was played in a good spirit throughout.
24 August 2016 - Walker, Iyer and Roberts undefeated at Day 1 of Summer AC Tournament
Helen Walker, Raghu Iyer and Chris Roberts are undefeated at the end of Day 1 of our AC Summer Singles handicap tournament.
AC organiser Raghu Iyer has done very well indeed to get a field of 8 together for this annual tournament, which concludes in two days time (Friday).
In Block A, Iyer and Roberts meet on Friday (in what is now an effective semi-final) to decide who progresses to the Final.
Block B is rather more complicated, in that Helen Walker leads the way on two wins, but she can be caught by Harry Midgley (who she faces on Friday) and Richard Peperell who plays Helena Fensome.
In the beginners event, its even closer with Pauline Wood and Joanna Iyer tied at one game apiece, with their decider also to be played on Friday.
25 August 2016 - PCC AC 'A' score first win over Blewbury
PCC AC 'A' scored an impressive victory at A-Level League title holders Blewbury this evening.
Chris Roberts (AC handicap 1) pulled of a surprise +26 win over Nick Butler (-1) and as the light fell away sharply, Harry Midgley (2.5) beat Paul Wolff (3) by +12.
The return fixture is next Wednesday evening (31st) at Phyllis Court.
26 August 2016 - Peperell and J.Iyer win Summer AC Singles
Richard Peperell played beautifully this afternoon and thoroughly deserved to win his first AC tournament, with a controlled final game that required a good deal advanced thinking.
He found himself in unfamiliar territory with only three balls on the court after Chris Roberts all round break included a rover 'peel on opponent' and the pegging out of Peperell's forward ball.
This left him with much to do to salvage a winning chance, but he set to with only six bisques remaining and Roberts poised to jump onto one mistake to many.
In the end, Peperell's calmness was rewarded with a very good break indeed and he entered the last phase of the game with bisques to spare, following several excellent single ball placements and two split-rolls to die for.
He coolly made the last three points off just two balls with wise bisque management to peg-out the winner +12.
Earlier block games had seen Roberts defeat manager Raghu Iyer with a peg-out of opponent that worked that time, in what was, in effect, a semi-final.
And in the other block, Peperell, who had tied on two wins apiece with Helen Walker and Harry Midgley, got the nod on net hoops in the games involving those tied, after the 'who beat whom' criteria, failed to separate the trio.
In the junior event, Joanna Iyer won her deciding game of three against Pauline Wood to win the Zia Sterling Cup for the second time in three years.
See all the results here:
31 August 2016 - Blewbury get own back v PCC AC 'A'
Blewbury reversed their fortunes this evening with 'half a victory' over PCC 'A' this evening, following last weeks win for our team.
This was the home return fixture and Blewbury's Paul Wolff got the better of our Harry Midgeley 13-26.
Blewbury's other player pulled-out of his game with Chris Roberts earlier in the day, because of family illness; so that leg of this match will have to be re-arranged.
29 August 2016 - Norrises win again at Hurlingham
Ian and Delia Norris retained their Hurlingham Handicap Doubles title this afternoon at the famous west London Club.
They were winners ahead of a field of 11 other pairs, and were presented with another two pairs of Hurlingham crested glass wine goblets.
Well done again, you two!
27 August 2016 - 'Local Friendly' loss at Wycombe still fun
It was a pleasure to resurrect our annual friendly encounter with High Wycombe yesterday, the fixture having fallen by the wayside in recent seasons when Wycombe were homeless for a few years.
So this was our first trip to their new and impressive tow court facility near Hazelmere.
Pat Eades captained our side which featured debutantes Dee and Angus McKibbin, who only started playing in April.
We lost the match 5 - 11 but a good time was had by all apparently.