Thursday, June 12, 2014
James Death regained Budleigh men’s croquet title after some superb play at the weekend, writes Elaine Marsh.
Death, who previously won in 2010 and 2012, beat Peter Trimmer who had also won the title back in 2003 and before that, when a member of the Budleigh Salterton Croquet Club (BSCC), he also lifted the club championship in 1995 and 1996.
Gabriel Higgins beat Jane Morrison in the women’s championship to land the top honour for the third time.
Keith Aiton and Gabriel Higgins won the mixed doubles for the third time beating David Kibble and Louise Bradford.
The tournament attracts many of the top UK players whose standard of play is exceptionally high. This resulted in 54 per cent of the games played in the men’s championship ending with the winner ‘peeling’ (ie pushing) his other ball through three, four, five or even six hoops and then hitting the peg, all in the same turn.
James Death is ranked sixth in the UK and 13th in the world. Peter Trimmer is ranked eighth in the UK and 18th in the world. Gabriel Higgins is ranked 27th in the UK and 58th in the world. The rankings includes both men and women.
The men’s semi-final was a real battle resulting in James winning by three games to two over Mark Ormerod who first stated playing croquet at BSCC when he was aged 18.
The last turn of the last game of the final resulted in James Death demonstrating his exceptional skill by running eleven hoops with just two balls before hitting the peg for a well deserved win of the championship.
Local player Tony Bower had an ‘interesting’ tournament watching his various opponents completing four triple peels at his expense!
The highly competitive tournament was played on a very friendly basis and the players and BSCC look forward to another championship at the club in two years time.