23 June - BRITISH GC OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP - Day 4 - Allim is runner-up in the Plate
Raouf Allim ended his first Open Championships with a mention in despatches and as runner-up in the Plate event, only losing out at hoop 12 in the deciding game of the final to American Matt Griffith.
Chris Roberts, Roger Goldring and Peter Haydon missed out on the semis of the Plate and Roberts was the only one to continue playing 'Z games' on this, the final day.
In conclusion, three of our players performed to just below their pre-tournament seedings, and Haydon out-played his, to signal a coming back to the form that left him so disastrously earlier in the season.
World Champion Reg Bamford won the Open Championship for the 13th time in the last 20 years!
You can follow the results as they happen in real time on www.CroquetScores.com
24 June -Mike Fensome and Rick Lilley win the Cave & Wolfe Doubles Salvers
Rick Lilley, who only started playing croquet in April, teamed up with the experienced Mike Fensome to win this season's Restricted 'Cave & Wolfe' Doubles tournament today.
They beat the Helena Fensome & Madeleine Probert combo in a close final that went right to the 13th hoop.
Dianne Browne & John Maguire were placed third and Frances Colman & Russell Robinson fourth.
It was so good to see so many of our top players supporting this tournament (which hasn't always enjoyed good participation numbers), and taking on higher handicapped players as partners - complying with this tournament's eligibility rules that combined handicaps must be 10 or more.
The holders were the Peperell brothers, Richard and Tony, who were very unlucky to lose all three of their block games 6-7.
And it was especially good to see 'Class of 2019' (not so) newcomers - Rick Lilley, Russell Robinson and Carol Wadsworth - in the field.
It was a most enjoyable day all round.
The full results can be seen via this button:
26-27 June - High Wycombe's Pound wins our AC Handicap tournament for third time
High Wycombe's Keith Pound has really made the joint hosted Phyllis Court and Blewbury AC Handicap tournament his own.
He won the event for the third time in a row this afternoon at Blewbury, ending undefeated in his seven games over the two days.
Phyllis Court were represented by Richard Peperell, Frances Colman and Raghu Iyer in the eight player field that included visitors from as far away as Camerton & Peasedown CC (Bath) and Bowdon CC (Lancashire).
Wins tallys will be added here shortly.
30 June - Sad News - Vivian Thomson
I am sorry to have to inform you that Mr Vivian Thomson died on Thursday this week.
Vivian was a former Chairman of the Croquet Club, 2001-03, one of our top players for many years and, although not in membership of the Club at the time of his passing, he had remained in our thoughts these past few years.
It was during Vivian's chairmanship and under his direction, that our current pavilion was erected, replacing as it did, a previous structure that was badly damaged in a flood.
He had the foresight to have the new building sited on raised foundations and how wise that was, as we were to find out when the extensive flooding of 2014 occoured.
Vivian enjoyed considerable success with his mallet in a golden period between 2007-11 as an individual and doubles GC player at the club, as well as being a mainstay of the sole Phyllis Court league team of that period.
He won the Club Championship in 2008 having been runner-up the year before, and won the 'Restricted' (now 3+) Singles in both 2007 and 2008.
He formed a dominant doubles partnership with Raymond Wood during this time and they won both our day tournaments, the Cave & Wolfe Salvers and the Iain Lindsay Cups, in both 2009 and 2010.
But it was what Vivian did for others that he will be most fondly remembered, for he was that most rare of creatures - a really very good coach.
As well as teaching many of the beginners of the day, several of our current lower handicapped players, including Frances Colman, Helena Fensome and me, would probably not even be still playing now, had Vivian not pulled us aside and introduced us to the competitive side of croquet that wasn't at all the fashion at Phyllis Court ten or more years ago.
As we improved, Vivian was still the 'go to' man who could spot what was wrong with our stances and swings, and his suggested alterations nearly always brought about improvements.
Given that our Croquet Club has changed so much in the last decade, we should be grateful to Vivian for the seeds that he sowed, that encouraged others to see us through to where we are today.
Phyllis Court lost a pivotal man in our recent history this week.
Vivian is survived by his wife Sylva, who is a long-standing member of Croquet Club, and to whom we offer our sympathy at this sad time.
Chris Roberts, Chairman
Vivian wathching partner
Raymond Wood in 2010
01 July - Richard Peperell reduces his AC handicap to 4
A combination of good results in recent tournaments has seen Richard Peperell's AC handicap reduced to 4 for the first time.
01 July - Phyllis Court AC 2, High Wycombe 2(last two matches played today)
Raghu Iyer won his match at a 'golden hoop' today (+1 on tieme) but Ricahrd Peperell's opponent had too many bisques and resriced our aman to two long shots only and he lost (-26).
10 July - Blewbury 1, PCC 'A' 6
Captain Roger Goldring reports:
Raouf Allim (handicap,-2) and Roger Goldring (-1) cruised to an easy win in the doubles first game against Steve Fisher (3) and David Grinstead (4), and were 5-2 up in the second, with the scent of victory in the air.
Then a bombshell: fantastic clearances from the Blewbury pair saw them burst back in to win the second game.
Oreder was restored there after the third game went our way.
Meanwhile Helena Fensome (2) was taken to a deciding game by Blwebury's David Seed (5), and Robin Coates (2) went down in a three-gamer againt David Vincent (4).
So at lunch Phyllis Court were 2-1 up, but with nothing assured. However, after lunch it all went our way
Allim had a fine 2-game win against Fisher (who sportingly gave him a 10-minute medical break - Allim was seen to be rolling on the ground easing his back); Goldring won his first game against Grinstead, and the second was decided at a sticky moment at the 12th hoop when he was peeled to give him the match.
Coates bounced back from his morning upset to beat Seed in fine style, 2-0 but Fensome lost her first game against Vincent before winning her second match of the day.
We had won - and Allim juggled balls to celebrate (yes, juggled balls - he's mad).
Tea and cake was served by our friendly hosts, and, with the most wonderful views over the Chilterns and lovely weather, who could want more?
PCC 'A': Raouf Allim (-2), Roger Goldring (-1), Helena Fensome (2), Robin Coates (2).
05 July - Roberts disappointing at Welsh Championship
Chris Roberts disappointed at the Welsh GC Championship today and only managed a fifty per cent winning record.
Duffryn CC, the premier croquet Club in Wales, was forced to relocate at the end of last season and. whilst new facilities are taking time to mature, the Welsh Championship too place at Cheltenham CC.
Roberts missed out on a play-off place for the want of one more victory in the single day event.
06-07 July - Goldring's runner-up in A-Level Series Ryde (Isle of Wight) Open
Whist the Royal Regatta took centre stage at Phyllis Court last week, croquet attention was on the national tournament scene with a trio of club players in action in 'overseas' events.
Making a splash on the 'South Island', as the Isle of Wight locals like to describe their home, were northern invaders Chris Roberts, Raouf Allim and Roger Goldring who, along with Ian Shore from the High Wycombe Club, gave our area a very strong presence.
The Ryde Open, which is part of the National second tier A-Level Series competition, turned out to be quite a strange affair with an almost complete turnaround in form four our local players between the two days of the event.
Allim started in marvellous fashion and won all but one of his block games to head group at the end of that phase of the tournament on Saturday evening.
By contrast, Roberts and Goldring had disappointing first days given their high seedlings, won fifty percent and only just qualified of the knock-out stage in third and fourth places respectively from their block.
This brought about the intreating prospect of a Sunday morning Phyllis Court quarter-final derby between Allim and Goldring with the former carrying favourite's tag.
However, as is so often the case, 'tomorrow is another day' and Goldring stole a march by taking the first game of the three game match by 7-3.
Allim levelled in the second game 3-7 to set up an extremely competitive deciding third game which was to typify Goldring's whole day.
An unwelcome reappearance of the back injury that has plagued Alim this season began to compromise his available stoke choice in the latter stages of that decider but Goldring was by now dead-eyed with his clearance strokes and duly one through to the semi-finals 7-3.
Meanwhile, Roberts to had found some form at last and made fairly short work of Stuart M Smith, the leader of the National A-Level Series competition with two previous tournament victories under and his belt this season.
Roberts won 7-5, 7-3 To give Phyllis Court dual representation in the semi-finals and fortunately, he and Goldring were in opposite halves of the draw.
Both matches needed a third game to decide matters; Goldring beat Guildford's Chris Heath 6-7, 7-2 7-3 and for Roberts there was agony in his deciding game when at 6-5 up and eight inches from what would have been a winning twelfth hoop, saw his opponent Steve Leonard shoot ambitiously from and angle at fully 25 yards to sneak through the tiniest of gaps to score.
Deflated, Roberts didn't play the last hoop at all well and lost the match 5-7, 7-1, 6-7, and later went on to win the third-place match with Heath but it was the lost chance of the all Phyllis Court final with Goldring that rankled most.
Goldring's versus Leonard was a classic with both players at the top of their games.
The multiple repeat long clearances that dominated their final resulted in increasing anxiety about catching the last hovercraft home when a 7-5 first game win was countered Leonard saving the match with a 7-6 win in eth second.
Hoops were traded evenly in the decider until Leonard ran hoop seven from the boundary so well that he took a commanding position at hoop nine in the same stroke.
It was the pivotal moment and although Goldring kept place there after the tow hoop lead was enough and for Leonard to win the game, match and Ryde Open title.
The two finalist and player-manager Roberts made a dash for that last hovercraft at 2045 and made it by the skin of their teeth!
10 July - Thames Valley 6, PCC 'Friendly' 3
Phyllis Court played a Friendly match at Thames Valley CC today.
All three of our pairs won a game but we went down 3-6.
PCC 'Friendly': David Young (10), Pauline Wood (10), Margaret Broughton (10), Rick Lilley (11), Russell Robinson (11), Diana Zatouroff (11)
12 July - PCC 'C' 8, Blewbury 'B' 8
Debutant Barrie Scott made an important contribution to his first League match when he held his nerve to win his last game to secure a match draw for PCC 'C' this afternoon.
More details to come when known.
PCC 'Friendly': Don Rutherford (6), Ralph Chambers (7), John Maguire (9), Barrie Scott (10)
13 July - Seven wins in a row gives Colman a class title at The National Seniors Championship
Frances Colman hit a purple patch at Budleigh Salterton CC in Devon this week and won seven AC games in a row at the National Seniors Championship.
After a disappointing opening day and in the handicap event, she bounced back to win twice on Day 2 and took that good form in to the three-day Advanced class event that followed.
Here she swept the board and went into her last game full of confidence against Geraldine O'Rourke from Ireland, whom she had beaten narrowly in the handicap event.
Although this was an 'all play all' block event, this last game was a de-facto final with O'Rourke needing to win to peg back the undefeated Colman and then win on the 'who beat whom' tie break.
Colman held a slim three hoop lead as the last 15 minutes approached and crucially had the innings, so was able to control the end of game phase, in fact stretching her lead and winning margin to +8 at the close.
These five wins have improved Colman's national ranking and she will be hopeful of more success in the joint Phyllis Court / High Wycombe Advanced tournament this week.
Chris Roberts won four of this eight games in the A-Class event and improved his ranking to just outside he UK top 100.
15 July -A record FOUR Phyllis Court teams were in action on the same day today - AND ALL WON!
PCC Friendly’ v Hurlingham - Steve Morton (9), Derdre McKibbin (9), Angus McKibbin (9), David Young (10)
PCC 'A' beat Ryde 'A' 5-2 on the Isle of Wight on a glorious day today.
Chairs Roberts and Raouf Allim were undone in the morning doubles rubber but recovered well to beat the same opponents in the afternoon singles.
Playing at number 3, Roger Goldring won his morning singles in straight games but then lost his way, also in straight games, in his afternoon match.
And Helena Fensome really returned to form, when she came back from a first game loss to win her morning match 2-1 and then won her afternoon game 2-0.
So, this was a tricky away fixture completed in efficient fashion by our team who can look forward to the traditional end of season show down with Winchester, the result of which will have a huge baring on the SCF League title.
12 July - PCC 'AC' 2, Eynsham 2
The remaining half of this match was completed this evening.
PCC were tied at 1 -1 after the first two games were played at Eynsham a couple of weeks ago and this evening's games were also shared evenly.
Richard Peperell (4) obviously put up a good fight before going down to Stephen Wright (0.5) 21-26 and captain Raghu Iyer (11) beat Nick Goodwin (22) 26-12.
PCC 'AC': Chris Roberts (-0.5), David Hopkins (3), Richard Peperell (4), Raghu Iyer (11)
11 July - Browne best of PCC trio at Bath B-Level
Dianne Brrown, Robin Coates and Colin Morgan took part in the Bath B-Level Series tournament today, which is part of the same National series as our own Smokey's Cup.
For Brown it was her first venture in this competition away from Phyllis Court and she finished as the best of ourr trio in seventh place.
PCC 'Development' beat Ryde 4-3.
Played alongside the 'A' teams' league match, this first outing for our Development Team (photo left,with our hovercraft) was a roaring success.
The idea was to give three of our newer players a taste of a long away match that they might aspire to in two or three year's time.
Mike Fensome was the 'elder statesman' leading the team who played opponents with a wide range of abilities, in a match that used the same format as the senior fixture.
Ryde were 1-2 up at lunch and the host were also too strong in the number 2 afternoon singles rubber for our Jeff Smith, but match wins for Fensome, Russell Robinson and Rick Lilley gave PCC 'Dev' the fixture result.
PCC 'B' beat Wingrave 10-2
This was a comprehensive victory by our side who blew away visitors Wingrave today.
PCC 'Friendly' beat Hurlingham 9-7
Steve Morton says: I am pleased to report that we won overall on Monday, 9 matches to 7. We started badly, losing all 4 singles in the first round, then rallied somewhat to be only 5-7 behind at lunchtime. We then won all 4 doubles matches after lunch!
So a good day was enjoyed by us all, enhanced by the win
17 July - We said good bye to Vivian Thomson
The funeral of Vivian Thomson took place today at Reading Crematorium.
Sylvia and extended family were joined by his friends including those from the Croquet Club.
(See the obituary at the foot of this page)
17 & 18 July - McLoughlin wins the PCC/HW AC Advanced tournament
Ealing's Carole McLoughlin was the clear winner of the inaugural Phyllis Court & High Wycombe Ac 8+ Advanced tournament at he conclusion of the two-day contest this afternoon.
The five round Swiss style event attracted visitors from as far afield as Nottingham, Edgbaston (Birmingham) and Cheltenham, along with players from more local clubs.
Raghu Iyer and Frances Colman were the Phyllis Court players in action and were grouped together with four other players all on 3 wins from five matches, but McLoughlin's cool five hoop break after time had been called won her that game, for a total of 4 wins, and the tournament.