PHYLLIS COURT CROQUET
News
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Committee member
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Chris Roberts
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02 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' -  make good starts

The first 8 of our newest members have now stated their Beginners Training Courts, and straight away they had to endure todays drizzle
chilly temperature.
4 two-hour classes are scheduled for each of the 'Class of 2019' which includes further 16 new members who will all (bar two) complete
their courses this week and next.



02 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' - first 3 players complete training course

Congratulations to   Judy Neilson, Patricia Mulcahy & Carioline Boyle (picured right)   who successfully completed their Beginners Training Court today.
- especially well done for enduring the rain and cold this week!
07 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' - next 4 players complete course and attend their first 'Mix-in'

Congratulations to   Allan Henderson, Hil Rothschild, Phil Johnson & Vanessa Sternkopf (picured right)   who successfully completed a 2-day intensive Beginners Training Court today.
The quartet attended three classes between Saturday morning and Sunday lunchtime, and they were so competent that they went straight into their first Mix-in session this Sunday afternoon (pictured above cental and above right) - Well done all of you.
They were joined as Mix-in debutants by Patricia Mulcahy who completed her course earlier this week.

09 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' - next 2 players complete course

Congratulations to   Robert and Shona Pinkerton (pictured above) (with coach Helena Fensome), on completion of their Beginners Training Course today. They hope to come along to thier firts Mix-In on Sunday (14th).

11 April - 32 attend 'Improvers' training classes

Today sees the last of four training sessions for 'Improvers'  given by Frances Colman and Chris Roberts.
A total of 32 existing members will have benefitted from the experience and insight given in to more positive lines of play.
Centre-ball firm clearances of the opposition and strong hoop running as well as tactical decision making were the main areas covered.
It is hoped to run further sessions at ad hoc times through the season.



12 April - Our top 5 players in action this weekend

There is a good spectating opportunity to see the very best players in the UK in action this weekend, and not far away - at Surbiton CC (about an hour's drive from Henley).
Details have been circulated about the ultra-strong line-up at the Surbiton Open and there is also a good field at a second tier tournament at Cheltenham, which will also be good to go along to see..
Also playing are Phyllis Court's top five players:.:
at Surbiton      - Charlie von Schmieder (ranked UK no. 27)
                      - Raouf Allim (35)
                      - Chris Roberts (37)
at Cheltenham - Roger Goldring (73)
                      - Ian Norris (90)



12 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' - next 8 players complete course (which brings the total to 17)

Congratulations to the following new members, on completion of their Beginners Training Course today.
Most hope to come along to their first Mix-In on Sunday (14th):

  Bernard Bridges, Rae Ward, Mike Sayer, Philip Collis (pictured above)
  Simon Hands, Hilary Cowley, James McConville (pictured above right) 
  and Carole Wadsworth (pictured right)                                               

06 April - Raouf Allim attends the International Performance Development Squad Weekend

Recognising the rapid improvement of Raouf Allim's GC play last season he was selected as on of only six players nationwide as an addition to the CA's International Performance Development Squad, and he will attend it's first Squad weekend today and tomorrow at Wrest Park CC (near Bedford).
England International players and other mentors will be putting the squad through various drills and improvement regimes.



14 April - New members attended first Mix-in on mass

A host of new members who completed their recent 'Class of 2019'  Beginners Training Courses attended their first Mix-In session today.
It was great to learn that all merged seamlessly into play with existing members who were very welcoming.



14 April - Cheltenham Open runner-up Goldring heads good weekend for Phyllis Court top 5

Congratulations to National Veterans Champion Roger Goldring who was an impressive runner-up in the Cheltenham A-Level Series tournament on Sunday, capping a splendid weekend for Phyllis Court's top five players all in good form at both Surbiton CC and Cheltenham CC

Surbiton Open (Championship Series) - Charlie von Schmieder and Raouf Allim both exceeded their pre-tournament seedings with seven victories each in the block stage games on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Chris Roberts played to his 'par' with four game wins, but pleasingly, all three of the Phyllis Court players took the 'scalp' of an England international player.
von Schmieder got off to a great start with a win over Tobi Savage (probably the best 'jump shot' player in the World), Allim also got an early win over England's Harry Fisher and Roberts completed the hat-trick with a fine win over an out of form Lionel Tibble on Sunday morning.
With his weekend job done, von Schmieder didn't take part in the placing games on Sunday afternoon but Allim added to his wins tally to finish 11th in the 24 player event, ahead of Roberts in 14th.
Thank you to Croquet Club Treasurer Colin Morgan for his who spectating support on a bitterly cold weekend that kept others away.

Cheltenham (A-Level Series)
Roger Goldring, won his block on Saturday to qualify for Sundays 'best of three' knock-out, but the unfortunate Ian Norris just missed the cut when he tied on game wins but lost-out on net hoops.
Norris made amends and was unbeaten on Sunday as he cruised to win the plate event and 9th place overall in a huge filed of 32.
In the main event knock-out, Goldring dismissed the scare of a first game loss to local player David Magee win 5-7, 7-6,7-4, and then got passed another home player Louise Bradforth in a straight games semi-final 7-4, 7-5.
He then faced 'England's most improved player of 2018' Stuart M Smith in a topsy-turvy final which went the way of Smith 2-7, 7-4, 7-3, but Goldring was happy with his weekend in the knowledge that he has improved his national ranking and collected six points in the National A-Level Series title race.



All 'hail' Charlie von Schmieder!
We endured bitterly cold weather at Surbiton this weekend,
including when a hailstorm turned the courts white!
(photo by Nick Cheyne)
16 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019' - next 2 players complete course

Congratulations to   Fran Bodenham and Jo Newman   on completion of their Beginners Training Course today. They bring our total of new 'trained' players to 19.
18 April - Beginners 'Class of 2019'

- last 5 players complete course -


Congratulations to thefollowing on completion of their Beginners Training Course today.
  Russel Robinson, Kevin Ward, Valerie Friend and Rick Lilley (pictured far left)
  & Gary Brooker (pictured solo, left)


  Total new players trained is 24 
17 April - Delia Norris' win keeps the White Ball trophy in the family

Delia Norris won our Handicap Singles tournament today, ensuring that the White Ball Trophy will stay on the Norris household mantelpiece for another year (having been by Ian in 2018).
The surprise of the first few rounds, wasn't Delia (who is a seasoned handicap player) but Richard Owen who was making is tournament debut.
Owen won his first three games impressively and went into lunch undefeated alongside Delia, in round 4 his luck ran out against Dianne Browne, who was then in with an interest of the lead as well.
Delia lost her unbeaten crown to Owen in round 5 and then had to retire with an injury when on 4 wins from 5 games.
The rest of the field played one more round with Owen needing to beat Don Rutherford to sneak ahead of Delia on 'percentage wins'.
It was a tense time for Delia who could only sit and watch.
The decider went to the 13 hoop, at which both players spurned chances to get the vital victory, before Rutherford eventually scored.
This sealed Owen's fate, Delia Norris won (on 80% wins), from a trio on 66%, where the 'who beat whom' rule decided prescience in Browne's favour.

The top four finishers qualify for Area Final South of the All England Handicap competition (to be played at Phyllis Court on 21 August.
congratulations to (1) Delia Norris, (2) Dianne Browne, (3) Don Rutherford, and (4) Richard Owen

There were well deserved handicap reductions for:
Robin Coates      4 to 3     (automatic reduction)
Delia Norris         5 to 4     (automatic reduction)
Richard Owen   12 to 10    (manual adjustment)
22 April - Raghu Iyer reduces his handicap at busy Surbiton AC weekend for PCC quartet

This past Easter weekend saw four Phyllis Court players - Chris Roberts, Frances Colman, Richard Peperell and Raghu Iyer - in Association Croquet tournament action at Surbiton CC.
The beauty of croquet's handicap system is that it allows evenly matched games even when international players are in action, and all four of our local players scored good victories over high class opponents, topped by Peperell and Iyer accounting for England captain Samir Patel in the first two days' handicap event.
Roberts and Iyer's four wins from six were Phyllis Court's best and the latter's performance was rewarded by and AC handicap reduction from 11 to 10 for the first time.
On Sunday and Monday Roberts had a torrid time as an outsider in the level play Advanced event but recovered from four straight losses to save face with two late wins.

AC handicap reduction for:
Raghu Iyer     11 to 10     (AC automatic reduction)
26 April - Our Zero Plus tournament - (Day 1) - Coates' qualification keeps PCC hopes alive

It was a tough day in difficult conditions fro all at our "Zero Plus" tournament, jointly hosted with High Wycombe, today.
Robin Coates sprang a surprise in the High Wycombe based group despite being the lowest ranked of the fine PCC players taking part overall.
He qualifies to play at PCC tomorrow (Saturday) in the Main Event 'Cup' event.
Helena Fensome, Mike Fensome, Richard Peperell and Peter Haydon will all playing the consolation 'Plate' event at High Wycombe.

Tomorrow sees the official opening of the PC Fitness Centre and it is expected that there will be much activity at the Club - with Day 2 of the "Zero Plus" tournament taking centre stage.
This will be a good spectating opportunity from 0930 to approximately 1630.
27 April - Our Zero Plus Tournamnet - (Day 2) - Coates does well again but it's a win for High Wycombe's Ian Shore

Inevitably because it was a 'good spectating croquet opportunity', and we had all the preparations in place, the weather was once again unkind to us today and that kept most soles away.
there was good attendance at the Main Club's Opening of the Fitness Centre, but we was only a very few passers-by coming to view the good standard of croquet on display.
Surprise qualifier Robin Coates, got off to a great start by beating one of the favourites Keith Pound (High Wycombe) in the first round.
Two more victories followed giving Coates a solid mid-order finish in the Main 'Cup' event at Phyllis Court, which went to our popular fried Ian Shore of High Wycombe, who members will know from his Rules Seminar and coaching courses offered at his own club.
In the consolation 'Plate' event at High Wycombe today, Mike Fensome had a good day in finishing second, while Helena Fensome and  Peter Hayon were fourth and eigth respectivly.
On behalf of Chris Roberts (who was taking the photos), the Cup presentation was undertaken by John Bowcott, The Chairman of the Croquet Association, who was also one of the players.
Chris presented our overseas visitors - Steve Thornton (Australia) and Luis Alvarez-Sala Vazquez (Spain) - each with a Phyllis Court banner as a reminder of their first visits Phyllis Court.

24 April - Alzheimers Society to benefit from at least 250 from our Charity One Ball heat

A good day was enjoyed by the 10 players who braved the cold for our annual Charity One Ball tournament today.
But more importantly a large sum was collected from players, together with donations from non-participants, for the Alzheimers Society.
Money is still coming in and the final sum will be reported in due course, but it is gong to be over 250.
It was especially pleasing to welcome new member Carolyn Boyle who was brave enough to take part, despite having only just completed her Beginners Training Course and is yet to attend even a first GC mix-in!
Chris Roberts was undefeated in his five games so won the event, with Jim Walter and Joanna Iyer finishing in second and third place respectively on 4 wins from six games.
All three will have 'first refusals' on places at the National Final at Surbiton on Sunday 12 May.
Full results decided by wiining percentage : Chris Roberts (100%), Jim Walter, Janna Iyer (67%), Mike Fensome, Robin Coates, Ian Norris (50%), Colin Morgan (40%), Raghu Iyer, Ralph Chambers ((33%), Tony Peperell (20%), Carolyn Boyle (0%)
29 April - East Dorset 3 - 4 Phyllis Court 'A' - Goldring's 20-yard winner seals PCC 'A' win in league opener

There was drama aplenty at Poole in Dorset on Monday when Phyllis Court 'A' opening league fixture ended with Roger Goldring's spectacular 20-yard hoop score in the deciding match with East Dorset CC.
The Henley team were looking down the barrels of defeat after Chris Roberts had let a one game lead over Tom Weston evaporate with a last hoop loss in his best-of three match, tying the overall score at 3-3 with just Goldring's rubber to complete, and his opponent Steve Leonard ready to score easily.
Goldring's 'do or die' long shot from the north boundary had the double target of hoop 12 of Leonard's ball but it was super effort nonetheless and seeing it smash through the hoop at pace, caused great celebration from team mates, Raouf Allim, Helena Fensome and Roberts.
In the excitement it wasn't forgotten that it was in fact Fensome who had brought home the goods in this fixture by winning both her singles matches, to Roberts and Goldring's single contributions.
This was a welcome return to form for Fensome after a below par performance in the Zero Plus tournament a few days before.
PCC 'A' - Raouf Allim (-2), Chris Roberts (-1), Roger Goldring (-1), Helena Fensome (1)

29 April - Phyllis Court 'B'  9 - 7  Phyllis Court 'C'

Phyllis Court 'B' wrapped-up a comfortable win in their traditional SCF Handicap League season opener against a new-look Phyllis Court 'C' at the Henley club on Monday.
The victories were shared around as would be expected in handicap play, but three wins apiece for the B's Colin Morgan and Raghu Iyer, and C's Bill Pitkeathly (right) were the highlights.
PCC 'B' - Mike Fensome (0), Robin Coates (3), Dianne Browne (4), Colin Morgan (6)
PCC 'C' - Raghu Iyer (5), Don Rutherford (5), Bill Pitkeathly (8), Tony Peperell (8)

30 April - Raghu Iyer and Richard Owen win our 'Drawn Partners / Hugh's Mallet' tournament

Raghu Iyer and Richard Owen (below right) were undefeated after five rounds and so claimed clear victory in our Drawn Partners tournament for the Hugh's Mallet trophy.
It was good to enjoy Richard's success so soon in his croquet career (he was in the beginner's Class of 2018) and to see a number that year's intake participating alongside him.
Likewise it was simply splendid to see four players for the Class of 2019 taking a collectively unprecedented early foray into competitive croquet
Really well done - Carol Wadsworth, Russell Robinson (below left), Allan Henderson and Rick Lilly.
Indeed Wadsworth, helped along by Roger Goldring, actually finished only one win adrift in second place!     - Click on this button for the full results:
Above:  Overseas visitors Steve Thornton (Australia) and Luis Alvarez-Sala Vazquez (Spain).

Below:  Tournament Wiiner IAn Shore of High Wycombe wathed by Phyllis Court's beat Robin Coates.