15 August – SECF league match at home to Lodsworth

Tuesday afternoon saw the Lodsworth Croquet Club make the journey from their lovely home club deep in the South Downs National Park to Fishbourne, and they arrived in good time for the Golf Croquet Handicap League fixture.

In pleasant, sunny conditions (the rain that was at one time predicted fortunately never arrived) the games got under way with two pairs games, both of which were reasonably comfortable victories (7-4 for Lodsworth, and an impressive 7-1 win for Keith and Tony). This left the scores at 1-1 as we entered the first four singles matches.

These were much closer clashes, in each of these the contest went to at least the 12th hoop, and my game against Alistair Proctor wasn’t decided until the 15th hoop (due to the advantage system he had started on a score of -2) before I scraped home 7-6. Unfortunately, despite the close singles games, CFCC only manged one win out of four singles match ups. So as we went into the final three games, we found ourselves 4-2 down, needing to win them all.

By the time the final two singles games were completed, we had recovered to 4-4, by winning them both, (Tony very comfortably) and hence the attention of all turned to the North Lawn where Keith and David were deep in battle in the final pairs game.  At this point the game was far from finished, as it went to the 12th, 13th and then finally, with he scores tied at 6-6, the 14th hoop; the final hoop of the final game was to decide the whole match. Eventually, after much tactical play, Lodsworth managed to run the hoop and take the day’s victory; congratulations to them as they ran out 5-4 match winners.

A very enjoyable afternoon was had by all as we enjoyed competitive but competitive games against our opponents. We didn’t get the result we wanted, but the closeness of most games indicates how fought the whole match had been. We look forward to our next game against them, when hopefully the weather will be as good.

Teams: CFCC: David Russell, Tony Hicks, Keith Burt, Martin Emmett and Lodsworth: Mike Wilson, Elaine Wilson, Hugh Brown, Alistair Proctor