18 July – Southeast Croquet Federation League Match

Tuesday, 18 July dawned overcast with a slight drizzle, by lunchtime the clouds had rolled back and the afternoon league match was played against the four members of the Woking Croquet Club.

After a friendly and hard-fought competition, C&FCC’s team of four were triumphant, winners by 6 games to 3.

The vanquished by smiling Woking quartet

The victorious and smiling quartet of Keith, Martin, John and Tony

Here is the actual match report from Martin:

After a spell of rainy days, the weather stayed dry and very pleasant for the visit of our North Surrey opponents, who arrived after uneventful journeys and in good time.

The match was to consist of 3 doubles and 6 singles games and would be played using the advantage scheme, where weaker players (or pairs), had to win fewer hoops than their opponents, rather than being awarded extra turns. This resulted in players carrying extra pegs to indicate won hoops, whilst attaching other pegs at various places around the court to indicate relevant handicaps. All very confusing, you might say (I did), but Tony Hicks was on hand to point to where the pegs were to be attached.

After the first round of doubles, the two teams were level at 1-1, with each side winning their respective games 7-4, and both contests being won by the higher handicapped (i.e. weaker) pair. It was in the second round of games of four singles contests that CFCC took a winning lead. The home side won all 4 with John Effingham overcoming a skilful opponent to win 7-5 and Keith Burt winning 9 consecutive hoops to overcome a 2 hoop handicap and win 7-0. Tony and I conceded 4 and 5 hoops respectively in our wins, with Tony’s match turning out to be a hard fought, tactical battle against an equally handicapped and tough opponent before he eventually completed his victory.

These results meant the last round of games were effectively “dead”, in terms of the match result, as we had achieved an unbeatable 5-1 lead. In these games Woking rallied a little, winning both the singles games, but losing the doubles, which meant a final match scoreline of CFCC 6, Woking 3.

Overall, it was the perfect way to spend a Summer afternoon, helped by warm, bright weather, close matches and friendly opponents. Also, a number of CCFC members came to watch and support the game, which we all appreciated; I feel they saw some good matches. So, a successful afternoon for CFCC and I think, a very enjoyable afternoon for all. Hopefully there will be more in the coming weeks.