The Administrative body of Croquet in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire & Isle of Wight
11th May 2014 - Oxfordshire qualify for National Inter-Counties Finals
Oxfordshire sneaked qualification today, for the County Championships Tournament in September.
They tied for the second qualification place with the Gloucestershire/Worcestershire (G/W) combined team, in a three sided series of play-off matches at Hamptworth.
Phyllis Court players Chris Roberts, Helena and Mike Fensome, together with John Spears of Surbiton won eight games overall, matching G/W's tally behind the clear winners Middlesex.
Fortunatly for Oxfordshire, they had a better (27 points) net hoop score than G/W and so will now be in the line up for the Championship at Southwick, near Brighton on 13 &14 September.
7th June 2014
Colman & Roberts retain SCF Armada title ~ just!
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 & D 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
SCF AC & GC Doubles
won on same weekend
<<< here >>>
SCF Solstice (GC) Tournament winners
John Chalfont & Helena Fensome
25 May 2014 - Barnacle takes Wiltshire Open title at Hamptworth
A two year lay-off from the GC Tournament scene did Dogmersfield’s Roger Barnacle no harm at all, and he arrived back with a vengeance, to win the Wiltshire Open in late May.
Unfortunately due to the bad weather, this year's event at Hamptworth was reduced to being a single day affair on the Sunday, writes Richard Jenkins.
The Semi-Final between Simon Carter (Dulwich) and Nick Cheyne (Surbiton) was a very close and hard fought match indeed, with Carter just managing to gain the upper hand in the third game: 7-6, 6-7, 7-4. This despite an amazing angled ‘dam-buster’ jump shot from Cheyne from level with the centre peg to hoop 6 in the final game.
Barnacle recovered from a very close 7-6 win in his first game of the day against Keith Southern (Swanage), to progress all the way to a semis match with Richard Brookes (Sussex), which was rather more one-sided, despite Brookes fighting back well, but to no avail.
The Final between Barnacle and Carter swung one way then the other throughout the whole match, before the former pulled away in the deciding game: 7-3, 5-7, 7-3.
3 & 4 June 2014 - Ryde's Oldham wins the 'Hamptworth High Bisquers'
Richard Harris of Ryde reprorts: Flying the flag for Ryde's AC players, Harry Oldham entered the Hamptworth High Bisquers’ Tournament at the New Forest club.
This Touranment was for players with a handicap of 14 and higher, and this year there were 14 players from 7 different clubs. Although curtailed by rain, six 14-point matches over the two days were played as a swiss run by manager Rita Nunn with full bisques to a base of 14.
Thanks to excellent coaching over the years by Philip Kennerley, Oldham (handicap14) played well enough to win all his six matches and bring the prestigious cup to the Isle of Wight ahed of a cluster of four players from Hamptworth, Winchester, Hurlingham and Surbiton came joint second, with four wins each.
Oldham won’t be able to defend his title next year because his handicap has now fallen to 12, which means he is officially no longer a high bisquer, but he knows he has an awfully long way to go still!
Picture: Harry Oldham is congratulated by Hamptworth President Richard Stevens
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!
SCF Armada (AC) Tournament winners
Chris Roberts & Frances Colman
16 June - Calling MEN ONLY - entries invited for GC Doubles Tournament
Jim Pertwee reports that Thames Valley CC are running a Men's Open Doubles Tournament on the 16th July and there are spaces for 16 pairs available. The cost is £10 and includes tea and drinks during the competition, but you should please-bring your own lunch. Entries open until the 4th July - Independence for some ! Please call June Pheysey-Jones on 01865-240977 who is organising the tournament which is in its second year. It should be good fun again.
27 June - Two Refresher Coaching days at Hamptworth announced
Hamptworth have teamed-up again with Croquet Quest coach Cliff Jones and have announced two more coaching days, one each for Association and Golf Croquet. Details have been circulated to all SCF clubs, but Hamptworth's Richard Jenkins will tell you more if you need it.
Single Day Courses for ALL Handicaps - £20 - (Course Booklet Included)
Tuesday August 12th 2014 - Golf Croquet - “Perfecting Every Stroke”
Sunday September 14th 2014 - Association Croquet - “Perfecting The Break”
22 July - Roy Tillcock wins Ryde GC Open
The eighth playing of the Centenary Cup took place at Playstreet Lane last weekend 12th & 13th July in glorious weather. The original entries included eight visitors, including Cliff Jones from the Croquet Academy, Carole Jackson, David Hopkins and Graham Thompson (all Compton), Keith and Maggie Webb (West Worthing), Richard Jenkins (Hamptworth) and Chris Roberts (Phyllis Court). Unfortunately a couple were unable to attend but thanks to the strength in depth of Ryde members, two replacements were found at short notice. Carole Jackson (0) was seeded 1 with Ryde’s Roy Tillcock (1) as last year’s winner being seeded 2. Under Cliff Jones‘(1) management, the entries were divided into two blocks of eight with all playing all in 13 hoop games on Saturday. Not content with that, a full programme also included the first game in the quarter finals for the championship qualifiers.
Perhaps surprisingly, Carole lost her opening game to Nick Westmore (4) but was very decisive in the remainder winning 6 out of 7. Roy Tillcock managed the same, although losing 4-7 to Richard Harris (3) but making sure of his place in the qualifying draw. Stuart Peters (2) also managed six wins and the other qualifiers were Cliff Jones, with 5, Richard Harris, Dave Willett and John Sim with 4.
On Sunday morning the best of three quarter finals were completed with none of them going beyond two games. Going through to the semi finals, Carole met Cliff and won 7-5, 7-6, while in a local derby match Roy beat stuart 7-5, 6-7, 7-5. Meanwhile in the play-offs, Dave Willet beat John Sim 7-6, 4-7, 7-5 and Keith Webb beat Richard Harris 1-7, 7-2, 7-5.
In a long hard fought final, Carole won the first game 7-3 and seemed to have put her stamp on the match but Roy clawed his way back and equalised 7-5 and then won the decider by the same score to retain his championship.
The tournament is a qualifying event for the National Golf Croquet Championships (aka The Ascot Cup), which will be played at Ryde on 20th and 21st September. Having decided not to compete in 2013, Roy has now booked his place in that event and we wish him every success. In the playoff for third and fourth place, Stuart Peters continued his run of success beating Cliff Jones 7-5, 3-7, 7-6. Keith Webb was 5th, Dave Willett 6th, Richard Harris 7th and John Sim 8th while Jim O’Keeffe won the plate and reduced his handicap from 5 to 4.
1 August 2014 - Phyllis Court 'C' win SCF Handicap League North
Phyllis Court 'C' won the SCF Handicap League North today, thanks to their club mates Phyllis Court 'B' losing (it sounds odd, but that really is waht happened!). The 'C's 7- 5 win at Blewbury two days ago really put the pressure on their clubmates, as it turned today's the 'B' match v High Wycombe in to a 'must win' for the 'B'.
But on an afternoon of extremely tight games - 9 of the 12 rubbers went to the last hoop for 7-6 scorelines - High Wycombe had just too much for PCC 'B' who slumped to their second loss of the season. This leaves PCC 'C' with an unassailable lead at the top of the league table, thankful for the crucial extra point they earned with a draw against Dogmersfield seven weeks ago.
Congratulation to him and his team will will go forward to play the eventual winners of the SCF Handicap League South at Winchester on 16 Sepember.
21 August 2014 - Ryde win SCF Handicap League South
Ryde won the SCF Handicap League by two points from Hamptworth, Littleton and Winchester ~ Congratulations to them.
Ryde will face Northern winners Phyllis Court 'C' in the final at Winchester on 16 September.
16 September 2014 -
Phyllis Court 'C' are SCF Handicap League Champs!
Phyllis Court 'C' won the final of the Southern Federation GC Handicap League in emphatic style at Winchester today.
They beat a fancied Ryde team by 10 games to 2 making good use of their bisque advantage to press home an impressive victory.
PCC 'C' John Chalfont partnered Delia Norris, and Hugh Crook played with Dianne Browne in the morning doubles games, that earned them a useful 2-1 lead at the break.
The Ryde team (standing in our photo): Jim O'Keeffe, Joan Grove, Judy Walker and Nick Westmore kept Phyllis Court on their toes but the Henley based team always seemed to have the edge.
The real breakthrough came in the first round of afternoon singles where PCC won all four games, which resulted in an unassailable 7-1 lead, with the final four games still to be played.
Dianne Brown hit the match clinching shot, and a good one it was too, from fully six yards to win her game at the 13th hoop.
Ryde pulled one rubber back when Jim O'Keeffe beat Chalfont in their singles games but the match result was in the bag by then.
SCF Chairman Chris Roberts stood in for League Manager Frances Colman to present the League trophy to John Chalfont, who made a short but sincere speech thanking the opposition for a good game, which despite the score suggesting otherwise, had seen some good croquet from both teams.
16 October 2014 - Hamptworth's Richard Smith wins our AC Handicap Clubs' Champions Cup . . .
The SCF's Tournament for Clubs' AC Champions was won br Richard Smith of Hamptworth today.
Manager Rita Nunn reports: There were only five contestants entered on a wet and blustery day at Hamptworth Croquet Cub on 15 October.
They were all from local clubs sadly, and the odd number meant one had to sit out each round. Owing to the weather conditions this did not give rise to any complaints! After the second round wins were fairly evenly spread, then after the third a fair bit of working out had to be done to arrive at a fair winner. This was accomplished very conclusively and conveniently by Richard Smith of Hamptworth winning every one of his matches. Richard was duly congratulated and everyone gratefully retired to the clubhouse to dry out and have a hot cup of tea.
. . . and Lexie Okenfold of Bransgorge' wins the GC version
Richard Jenkins managed this tournament for Clubs' GC Handicap Champions this year and saw Bransgore's Lexie Okenfold home victorious.
Lexie will doubtless have been pleased with his win which, though not his first (he won a Hamptworth winter series event in March), was his inaugural tournament win as a club representative.
21 October 2014 - Joy and woe for Oxford Uni
at SCF and National finals
Martin Brandt reports: The play off final between the winners of the North and South Divisions of our AC Hnadicap Leagu, took place yesterday between Winchester and Oxford University.
The Students (lining up on the right of our picture) won 6-1, therefore retained their title as SCF Champions and qualifed again to represent the SCF in the Secretary's Shield next year.
The Shield is the CA event for the handicap champions of each Federation. I would like to thank Littleton CC for stepping in to host yesterday's SCF final at short notice; it is very much appreciated.
Oxford University did very well to reach the final of this National competition this year, but lost 5-2. Unfortunately one of their players was sick on the day, which meant they had to concede 2 games from the start, which was hard luck indeed!