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Chris Roberts
Open Singles
'Club Championship'
Raghu Iyer
Rick Lilley
Raghu Iyer
Our season-long competition winners
28 October - Croquet stars again tomorrow - under 'Winter Rules'

Croquet Chairman Madeleine Probert had great pleasure in announcing that we will be able to resume play from tomorrow morning.
This followed protracted negotiations with the Main Club, who, members will remember, had been resistant to 'Winter Play' for fear of possible damage to our courts.
In an e-mail to all members, Madeleine stressed that we must all be sensible with our decisions to play or not if the ground is wet, and certainly not venture onto the courts if they are waterlogged.
Various other 'Winter Rules' were publicised, chiefly that flat soled shoes are still required, whites are not and there are to be no jump shots played until further notice.
Members are requested to abide by these rules, in the knowledge that if they are not followed, the Winter Playing facility may be withdrawn by the Main Club.

Also today, Russell Robinson and Chris Roberts sited the hoops in 'winter positions' (to preserve the ground at the 'normal positions') on Courts 1 and 2.

Court bookings will be as before - by e-mail to Chris Roberts - and will be displayed for all to see on the bookings page of this website (accessed via the big yellow box on the front page).

28 September - Our Courts now closed for Autumn maintenence

29 October - No play on our first day back

Sadly no play was poosible today, our 're-opening day' due to the court conditions resulting from rain all day.
30 October - Play at last

Six members took up the opportunity to book courts and play today as croquet returned after a month lay-off at Phyllis Court.
Courts 1 & 2 were surprisingly firm given the previous two-day rain.
However, there is now severe crow damage on much of both courts 3 and 4, making both completely unplayable.
Estates Manager Andy Brown says chemical spraying will take place next week (aimed at killing off the chafer bugs which are he crow's food source)
2 November - Reaction to the PM's lockdown announcement (31 October)

The Croquet Association issued this holding statement yesterday (1 Oct):
"The UK Government yesterday evening (31st October) announced a one-month lockdown in England, starting at midnight on Thursday 5th November and running until Wednesday 2nd December.
These new measures will see the closure of hospitality and non-essential retail. People can continue to exercise for unlimited periods outdoors, either with people from their own households or on a one-to-one basis with one person from another household.
The CA will endeavour to establish the exact restrictions on croquet clubs and their facilities and as the information becomes available we will communicate definitive guidance.
In the meantime please continue to consult our website news pages ( click here )
This includes our Advice document which will be reviewed and refreshed at the earliest opportunity.
Our best wishes to you and your families. Please stay safe and well.  - Croquet Association (CA) Coronavirus Task Force"

Additionally, and most importantly
You will have seen the e-mailed message sent to all PCC members by PCC Chief Executive Chris Hogan today. The relevant passage for Croquet is this:
"With regards to outdoor sporting activities such as tennis, croquet, kayaking and rowing we will be monitoring the governing bodies guidance on these which may or may not be able to continue and we will update you once we have confirmation."

As you can see, there is much activity by the decision makers at local and national level, and one expects further announcements form both very shortly.

4 November - No play likey during Lockdown:

It seems very unlikely that croquet will be permitted under the Lockdown rules that the UK Government propose, and on which Parliament will vote this afternoon.
Announcements from Croquet Association and PCC management are expected shortly.
4 November -   Croquet Clubs to close for 28 days from 5th November 

This evening the Croquet Association (CA) posted this advice to member clubs on its website:

"Despite lobbying by the CA and other individual recreational sports, the regulations for the Covid-19 lockdown that starts at 00.01 on Thursday, 5th November, for 28 days, appear to require croquet clubs in England to close, along with other outdoor sports amenities.
In the absence of any official support for a contrary interpretation, the CA's Coronavirus Task Force strongly advises clubs to cease play for that period.
However, its understanding is that lawn maintenance, whether by employed staff, contractors or volunteers, can continue."

PCC managment (CEO Chris Hogan) had previously stated that they were waiting for announcments from sports govering bodies covering the activites played at the Club.
Accordingly, there will be no croquet at Phyllis Court until 2 December at the earliest.
19 November - AGM and your new committee - Chris Roberts returns to the Chair

Members will know that due to social gathering restrictions and then the second lockdown, our 2020 AGM 'took place' by e-mail correspondence and for the sake of our constitution was then 'deemed to have taken place' on Monday this week (16 November).
I am pleased to say that Secretary Roger Goldring reported that the number of votes cast for the resolutions put forward to the AGM exceeded that which is required to make the meeting quorate.
He also reported that your votes approved all of those resolutions, mostly unanimously, with the only two 'No' votes cast against the membership fee increase only.
The membership also approved all the candidates standing for election to our committee as w said good-by and thank you for a job well done to Dianna Zatouroff who was not seeking re-election.
I am delighted to welcome two new members to your committee - Hilary Cowley and Rick Lilley - who join continuing committee members: Paddy Bunch, Roger Goldring, Raghu Iyer, Madeleine Probert, Chris Roberts and Russell Robinson as your committee for 2020-21.
Immediately post the AGM, the new committee convened a short formal meeting (on Zoom) to elect the three Officers of our Club, as required by our constitution. The result of that was that the following were elected to office.
Chairman - Chris Roberts
Secretary - Roger Goldring
Treasurer - Russell Robinson
The remaining committee posts will be assigned at the first full meeting on Wednesday next week (25th).
5-6 September - Iyer and Browne play in the B-Level Series National Final

Raghu Iyer and Dianne Browne played in the B-Level Series (3+) National Final at the Roehampton Club this last weekend recording eight and six game respectively for respectable midfield placings in the 16-player two-day event which was managed for the Croquet Association by Phyllis Court duo Frances Colman and Chris Roberts.
Iyer finished on 8 wins from his 15 games and browne was slightly behand on 6 wins in the event eventually won by 14-year-old Jack Good from Bury.

2 September - PCC'A' beat Winchester 6-2

There was a rare outing for the Phyllis Court first team today PCC 'A' went to Winchester and came away with a 6-2 victory in a match which is usually the deciding fixture in the an SCF A-League season.
This solid win gave each of the team, by Raouf Allim, Roberts, Goldring and Norris, slight improvements to their national ranking positions but not the league title this season, due to its suspension because of the Covid-19 disruption.
PCC 'A' - Raouf Allim (-3), Chris Roberts (-3), Roger Goldring (-1), Ian Norris (-1).

1 September - Symons wins our Beginners Tournament no.2

On Phyllis Court home turf, some of the record 57 new members who have joined this season were catered for with the introduction of a new tournament for the 2020 Beginner player, which was run in
two halves, due to Covid-19 concerns.
Gillian Symons looked very measured and assured last week and was undefeated in her six games, one win ahead of Liz Smith, and a fortnight ago Hugh Baylis won the first tournament on net hoops after he tied with Mireille O'Brien on game wins.
The two winners, Symons and Baylis, will play-off for the Beginners Singles title on Tuesday morning.
15 Sept - Symons beats Baylis 2-1 in the Beginners Tournament winners play-off

Russell Robinson reports: - Indi the dog and I went down to the courts this morning to offer some moral support for our two finalists in the Beginners’ tournament play-off between Gillian Symons and Hugh Bayliss in glorious September sunshine.
I didn’t see the first game, which Hugh won 7-5 but I did witness the second game which featured an amazing oblique angled shot into the jaws at hoop 1 by Gillian which set the tone for the game which she powered away to win 7-0.
Gillian's positioning, judgment of length and hoop running were all very impressive for someone who took up the game only this season.
She continued in the same vein in the decider, opening up a 3-1 lead, and although Hugh pegged it back to 4-3, Gillian's all-round game proved too good for a gallant Hugh, who nevertheless played well himself.
Gillian ran out the winner at the 10th hoop 7-4.
Congratualtions Gillain
13 Sept -   Coates wins All England Handicap National title  .

Robin Coates brought a second national title back to Phyllis Court when he won the Final tournament of the 2020 All England Handicap Competition on the challenging courts of the Hamptworth Club, near Salisbury.
Following up Raouf Allim's win in the National Selectors Second Eight earlier this month, Coates achievement is the first time that two national titles have been held by the Henley Club simultaneously.
Coates (handicap 2) actually had a terrible start to the two-day All England Final and lost his first two games of a 13 round 'all play all' format but recovered well to win a highly competitive event.
Meanwhile, Phyllis Court's other senior representatives Chris Roberts (handicap minus 3) and Ian Norris (minus 1) both set the pace by winning their first three games easily, despite conceding a huge number of extra turns each time.
The Henley club's tournament novice Patricia Mulcahy (12) took a while to find her feet in outside world of competitive croquet but notched-up her first win in round four.
Coates recovered from his poor start and won his next five games in a row including a tight 7-6 win over Norris, and Roberts was also brought back into the pack with two afternoon losses.
At the end of day one, Andy Loakes (3) from Camerton and Peasedown CC near Bath, held a one-win lead over Coates and Roberts, with Norris a further victory behind.
On the second day, Norris slipped out of contention in the first game and Loakes also lost, to create a three-way tie for the lead, with all the leaders still to go head to head.
In round ten, Loakes' extra turns did for Roberts who lost 2-7, but Coates faired much better and he defeated the west countryman 7-6 in round eleven, to establish a sole lead for the first time
The Coates v Roberts match the penultimate round had the feel of a 'de facto final' and the eyes of a growing local crowd were focussed on the 'all Phyllis Court' contest that would hinge on whether Roberts could force Coates to use his five extra turns early in the game.
Coates was wise to this however, and kept Roberts in check with no more than a one hoop lead with some accurate clearances and smooth hop running, so that the writing was on the wall for the senior player at 4-4 with four of Coates' extra turns still standing.
There was no way back from that position for Roberts and, despite some huge clearances, Coates wrapped-up the game 7-5, to go into the final round one win ahead of Loakes and two in front of Roberts and Norris with the All England title his to lose.
Loakes was first to finish to keep the pressure on Coates to win, Roberts beat Norris to secure third place and Patrice Mulcahy was delighted to end her first tournament with a last round third game win.
However, Coates still had to see-out his last match a win, to avoid the agonising calculations of a net hoop count tiebreaker.
His tactic of delaying the use of his extra turns as late as possible worked again and, after an unusual wrong ball incident at hoop 11, he took control of the closing stages to win at the last hoop 7-6.
Phyllis Court's own Croquet Association Council member Frances Colman had managed the tournament with her usual calm authority and was on hand to represent the CA in presenting the All England Handicap Trophy to the 2020 Champion Robin Coates.
Congratulations Robin!

19 September - Colman retains class title at AC National seniors

Frances Colman was undefeated in her class games at The National Seniors Championship at Budleigh Salterton this week.
In a double round-robin format played over three days she wrapped up the title with a game to spaer and then won that game as well for good emasure.
Colman was presented with a new modern 'wave' style glass trophy by manager Julie Horsley.
Congratulations Frances!

Also basking in the beautiful Devon sunshine were Richard Peperell and Chris Roberts Roberts who finished on 50% game win in the C and A Calsses respectivly.
Earlier in the week Roberts had reached the final of the handicap knock-out event but lost to Sidmouth's Roger Mills.
26 September -  Please come and support our Finals Day - TODAY

Please come and suport our season-long competition Finals Day tomorrow (Saturday) and there is one game on Sunday morning  too

  1230    7+ Singles Final
                      RicK Lilley v Jeff Smith

  1330    Open Singles Final 'The Club Championship'
                      Charlie von Schmieder v Chris Roberts

  1530    3+ Singles Final
                      Rick Lilley v Raghu Iyer.

  And on Sunday:
  1000     Handicap Singles Final
                      Rick Lilley v Raghu Iyer
23 September - Roberts retains Open Singels 'Blue BAll' tournament title - by ONE HOOP!

Chris Roberts won the coverted Blue BAll Trophy as the winner of todays Open Singles tournament, aftera thre-way tie had to be seperated by a net hoops calculation.
Ian Norris and Raouf Allim tied with roberts on 5 wins from 7 games in the 8-player 'all play all' block.
The tone for the day was set when Roger Goldring sprung a surprise win over top seed Charlie von Schmieder in Round 1 and other unexpected results followd in each roud thereafter.
Von Schmieder uncahacteristicly lost twice more before the final round (to Ian Norris and Mike Fensome) and other of several other unexpeced results, the satnd-outs were defeats for Norris and Allim at the hands of Helen fensome and Robin Coates respectivly who claimed the rare feat of 'positive hnadicap' players beating 'minus players'.
Going into the last round, if three resulst went the right way, we could have had a five-way tie on four wins each, proving how com,petitive our club is at the top levle, where in a one-off game anyone can beat anyone.
By mid afternoon, it fealt like the weather was go0ing to beat everyoen as the rain lashed down and the wind chilled to the bone, as Manager Frances Colman retreated with a job well done.
In the last round crucial games, Roberts improved his net hoops score with a 7-2 demolition of Goldring, Norris beat Mike Fensome and Allim went all the way to the 13th hoop to beat von Schmieder, which meant that it was 'maths time' to separate ROBets, Allimand Norris on net hoops.
Allm had taken Noris apart 7-1, and that big diferental ruined Norris' hopps tally to just +3, Allims close last game left him on +9, and Roberts benifited hugely from his big margin last game win to end on +10.
So Roberts took the spoils again, in the form of the Blue Ball Trouphy whicyh was presented in a socilaly didstanced way by Crqoute Chairmn Madeleine Probert.
Finishing order:  Finishing order: Chris Roberts (handicap -3), Raouf Allim (-3), Ian Norris (-1),Robin Coates (1), Roger Goldring [-1], von Schmieder (-2), Mike Fensome (2), Helena Fensome (2)
Open Singles T'ment
net hoops
Charlie von Schmieder

Raouf Allim

Chris Roberts

Roger Goldring

Ian Norris

Mike Fensome

Helena Fensome

Robin Coates

Comeptition Finals Weekend

26 September - Chris Roberts wins 'Club Championship' Open Singles final

Chris Roberts beat Charlie von Schmieder in straight games 7-5, 7-2 to win our 'Club Championship' Open Singles season-long competition final today.
The first game was a long affair with both players displaying inconsistency in their form with both brilliant long-range clearances and then missed short hoop shots in evidence.
Roberts pulled back von Schmieder’s slim lead at the eighth hoop when he capitalised on a the latter's poor first ball to hoop nine to take control of that contest.
Several strong clearances from Roberts won him that hoop, the led for the first time and command of the closing stages.
A smooth run through hoop 11 down to in front of hoop 12 ramped up the pressure on von Schmieder and despite a game saving clearance, Roberts returned for an easy tap-in game win.
The second game was better quality fayre from both players, although Roberts had all the fortune, typified when he scored hoop 3 accidentally when he over-hit an long approach shot from 25 yards when intending to stay just in front of the hoop.
von Schmieder missed a regulation 7-yard clearance at hoop 4 allowing Roberts to run that one with ease and then hoop 5 soon after and at 5-1 up his confidence was sky high despite this being his first final appearance for four years.
The seventh hoop was well contested before Roberts moved to 6-1 up but Von Schmieder threaded his way through the tiniest of gaps to take hoop eight, with fiats approach advantage to the next hoop it didn't take Roberts long to wrap up the game, match and Championship win 7-2.
This was Roberts fourth Championship in eight appearances in the final and, on these courts, he still trails von Schmieder's seven wins and eleven appearances.

The match headlined a day of finals at the Henley Club that opened with the first leg of Rick Lilley's unprecedented bid to win three competitions in the same season:

26 September - Rick Lilly wins 7+ Singles final

Rick Lilley got his bid fro a 'Phyllis court Treble' foo to a great start when he beat Jeff Smith today in a very competitive 7+ season-long competition final.
I what was probably the highest quality croquet shown at this level since to completion was started back in 2011, the pair fought out three very close games.
Lilley won the first 7-? but Smith (the junior player by handicap) came back well to win the second game 7-6.
The decided went 'hoop for hoop' which concentration high and errors few leading to a 4-4 score line and cliff-hanger ending in sight.
Perhaps drawing on the confidence gained at the National C-Level Series Final last weekend, Lilley then ran hoop nine well and finally stabled a two hoop cushion at hoop 10.
Smith was not out of it by any means and manoeuvred well to command hoop eleven, only to see Lilly attempt a long-range clearance from 20 yards, miss the target ball by a whisker and sail though the hoop for the game and teach win.
Croquet Chairman Madeleine Probert and several other members had craved the chilly conditions for the afternoon and she presented trophies to the four finalists.

26 September - Raghu Iyer wins 3+ Singles final

Raghu Iyer won the 3+ Singles Final late this evening 7-6, 5-7, 7-2.
Unfortunatly, the author (Chris) has had a 'moment' with the report he wrote heer and has deleted it accidentally.
The details will be added back in here when I've spoken to Raghu and Rick to get the story again!
Sorry fellas.

27 September - Raghu Iyer wins  Handicap Singles final

Raghu Iyer won the 3+ Singles Final lthis (sunday) morning.
After going to 6-4 up, Raghu won the first game relatively easily 7-5 but the second game was altogether different.
Rick raced to 2-6 lead, Raghu didn’t get anywhere with anything he tried and Rick won the game 2-7.
Gam 3 continued in tyhe same vein - Rick again raced to 2-6, jawsing a couple of hoops along the way.
Then he missed a hoop and a couple of clearances and Raghu managed to get in at this point with a couple of good clearances of his own and came right back to 6-6.
Raghu finally clinched it 7-6 at the golden hoop! - What a match!
Croquet cvlub Chairman Madeleine was there to present the trophies and offer congratulations and comiserations to Raghu and Rick respectivly,

7 September - Lilley wins the 3+ Singles 'Red Ball Trophy' Tournament

Rick Lilley secured the first tangible proof that he is the most improved Phyllis Court player this season when he lifted the 3+ Singles tournament's Red Ball Trophy today, rounding of the busiest seven days of the Club's competitive scene so far.
This is a tremendous achievement for a player who only picked up a mallet for the first-time last season, and a good croquet career on the national competition circuit beckons for the ambitious player from Frieth.
Lilley's winning margin over the experienced Raghu Iyer was the closest possible under the tournament regulations when the pair tied on six wins from their seven games, also tied with the same net hoops score and could only be separated at the end of the all-play-all eight-player block by their head to head game result.
Lilley had won that crucial match 7-4, but had then lost out to Bill Pitkeathley who announced his return to croquet with an impressive third place finish just one game win adrift.
Also meriting a mention in dispatches was Kevin Ward who came in as late replacement player on the morning of the event and picked up three wins despite being the outsider on handicap grade.
Lilley is one of a number of Phyllis Court players to have qualified for national finals this month.
11 September - 7 more PCC players are attending National Finals in the comming 8 days

Chris Roberts, Ian Norris, Robin Coates and Patricia Mulcahy have all qualified for the GC All England Handicap National Final at Hamptworth this coming weekend.
Lilley and Steve Moron play in the C-level Series (7+) National Final at Colchester next weekend, while at the same time, Roger Goldring hopes to make a mark at the top-class English National Singles Championship at Southport, Merseyside.

Phyllis Court had the biggest presence at the All England GC Handicap Final.
Behind - Ian Norris, Chris Roberts and Robin Coates.
In front - Patricia Mulcahy and manager Frances Colman.
27 November - AGM and your new committee - more detail

Your committee decided that they would hold their first meeting sooner that usual (two days ago fact), and so it seemed sensible to delay writing to you all until after that.

So, who are your committee for 2020-21?

We said a big thank you and farewell to Diana Zatouroff and welcomed aboard new committee members Hilary Cowley and Rick Lilley.
We also thanked last year’s Chairman Madeleine Probert for her sterling work in this most difficult of years, and although she did not wish to remain in the Chairman role, it is very pleasingly indeed that she did wish to continue on the committee.
Chris Roberts was elected by the committee to serve as Chairman for the coming year and here now is the full committee with their designated roles:

Chairman, GC, publicity & website .. – Chris Roberts
Secretary ...................................... – Roger Goldring
Treasurer ...................................... – Russell Robinson
Membership Secretary ................... – Madeleine Probert
AC Organiser ................................ – Raghu Iyer
Special Projects ............................ – Paddy Bunch
Players’ Representative ................. – Hilary Cowley
Courts & Equipment ...................... – Rick Lilley
For contact details of these lovely people,
please see the ‘About our Club’ page
(click on the link button in the menu, top left)

So there is it, you have to put up with me as Chairman!
You can expect late night written e-mails, lots of encouragement to play at every opportunity, and much of plugging of our website!
- Regards, Chris

Chris Roberts         Roger Goldring        Russell Robinson     Madeleine Probert           Raghu Iyer               Paddy Bunch            Hilary Cowley            Rick Lilley
27 November - Croquet can be played at Phyllis Court from Thursday 3 December

Here as promised is the good news – Croquet can be played at Phyllis Court from Thursday 3 December.
Lockdown fiishes the day before but we (Rick and Chris) do not have access to the courts and equipment until the Wednesday, and we will need that day to re-site the hoops and put everything else in place for you to play safely.
Play will only be possible on Thursday if the weather has been kind and Jack the Gardener has been able to cut the grass - if not the first day for play will be postponed.

Rules for Winter play:
- No play if ground is frosty  - you will have to wait for it to thaw
- No play if it’s waterlogged - you will have to re-book for another day
- No jump shots
- all play must be pre-booked (see below) - Early starts at weekends are suspended, no play before 1000 on any day
- Give way to and respect Jack the Gardener if his work on the courts over-runs. Please stay outside the playing area until he has finished (even if it's your booking time, he won’t be long).

- Keep an eye on the Croquet Club website - - for information about court closures. We will try to update it daily to save you a wasted trip, but this will not always be possible.

We must clearly demonstrate social distancing on the courts at all times – remember we are very much ‘on show’ so please everyone play your part well.
PCC Chief Executive Chris Hogan wrote an ‘In Touch’ message about the main club re-opening – it details NEW RULES for the clubhouse during Tier 2 restrictions.

Court bookings are now open. - book and ENJOT!