Budleigh croquet players Hardcastle and Watts get handicap reductions at end of week-long tournament

Weston Croquet Club. Weston Croquet Club.

Thursday, May 22, 2014
10:59 AM

Budleigh’s week-long May tournament last week was very well-supported, writes Elaine Marsh.

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Visitors from Cheltenham, Nailsea, Bristol, Wells, Hamptworth, Bowden, Nottingham and Ealing joined 26 locals from Sidmouth and Budleigh to make up the field of 42 players.

Despite a discouraging forecast and some heavy downpours, the weather allowed the events to be completed without a hitch

The week began with the doubles, run as a knockout with a consolation Y event for first round losers. In the main draw the final was an all Budleigh/SIdmouth affair in which Philip Harris (Sidmouth) and Martin Yates (Budleigh) defeated the Sidmouth pairing of Mike Taylor and Peter Nelson. The Y final saw Martin Granger Brown (Bowden) and Rosemary Bradshaw (Budleigh) eventually win out over Cliff Jones and Elaine Norsworthy (Budleigh).

In the handicap singles, Bob Burnett (Crake Valley) overcame the eight bisque advantage held by Sidmouth’s Peter Hills. He used a corner two and three opening to make Peter’s task more difficult. The consolation Y final was more evenly poised in terms of handicap, and was won by Mike Taylor playing against Ken Wood.

The main interest for most players was in the class singles in which they met opponents within a restricted handicap range. The A class for players with the lowest handicaps was contested by nine entrants, and saw Dave Mundy (Cheltenham) successfully defend the Godfrey Turner Challenge Cup with six wins from eight games. His last game on Saturday afternoon against Cliff Jones featured some interesting twists as his attempt to disadvantage his opponent by peeling his forward ball through its last three hoops and then removing it from the game, was foiled when he was unable to peg it out. Jones responded in kind by pegging off Mundy’s forward ball which enabled him to win the game by eleven hoops. Cliff was joined on five wins by Martin Granger-Brown and Jim Field (Nailsea). Just two triple peels were completed, one by Brian Fisk and the other by Cliff Jones.

In each of the other three classes there was a clean sweep with one player winning all of their games. In the B Class Nigel Amos (Lansdown) saw off all of his competitors, achieving a handicap reduction from 2.5 to 1.5 despite starting the event with the lowest handicap in his group. Adam Wimshurst (Exeter and Budleigh), David Temple (Sidmouth) and Richard Williamson (Bristol) all finished with four wins from seven games.

The C Class was won by Harry Midgley (Phyllis Court and Budleigh), whose eight wins resulted in a three step handicap reduction from 6 to 4.5. The runner-up with five wins was Peter Nelson (Sidmouth).

Budleigh players, Jackie Hardcastle and Sam Watts won all their games in the D Class, both achieving a well-earned handicap reduction: Jackie from 12 to 11 and Sam from 11 to 10. Sam (who had won his Silver Merit Award for achieving his first all-round break earlier in the week) won the final and the Pat Tunmer Cup.

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