October 5 – Friendly GC versus Rother Valley CC

On a fine Thursday October afternoon C&FCC played a rematched friendly against a quartet from Rother Valley CC, the original date of Thursday 31 August was postponed due to monsoon rain at Fishbourne.

The C&FCC team was ably captained by (fine sandwich maker) Tony Elkin, Brian Shipman, Jane Gribbon and Chris Fuller. The home team was also cheered on by Brian’s friend Janet, visiting from Leicestershire.

Tony had two friends in the opposition quartet which made this last season’s friendly – very friendly!

The Rother Valley quartet was captained by Will Warren Davis, with Sarah Caffyn, Narmada de Silva and Tim Broughton Pipkin. It was agreed that the matches would be played under the “Advantage” system.

C&FCC got off to a great start winning the initial doubles pairings of Jane (4) and Brian (8) winning 7 hoops to 4 against Sarah (9) and Narmada (8) and Tony (6) and Chris (8) won on the 13th hoop against Will (8) and Tim (8).

The first two singles were close fought with both Tony and Jane losing on the 13th hoop to Tim and Sarah respectively. Brian the beat Narmada 7 hoops to 3. Chris then lost a four hoop lead to lose against Will on the 13th hoop!

The match was then all square at three games each and time was taken out for excellent sandwiches (Tony’s), mini pork pies and salad (courtesy of Brian and Janet).

The final three matches were played in approaching twilight, with an injection of hot tea and cakes (by Jane and Chris). Brian lost to Tim 7 hoops to 3 and Chris beat Narmada 7 hoops to 2,. Now all square at four matches each!

The final double went down to the “wire” at 7 to 3, with Jane and Tony beating Will and Sarah with our valiant captain making the successful winning hoop 10!

An end to a friendly friendly and a winning end to the 2023 season.

Left to right: Will Warren Davis, Narmada de Silva, Chris, Sarah Caffyn, Tony, Brian and Jane (Tim had left for another appointment)

September 24 – Annual Fishbourne Tournament

Following the torrential rain of Sunday, 17 September, the re-run of the tournament on Sunday 24 was played in dry weather but with a strongish southerly wind!

Fourteen club members battled each other and the sudden gusts over five rounds, three before and two after lunch.

After an incredibly tight finish, the match was decided on games won and hoops achieved. The results were as follows:

First - Joyce Parkin with 3 games and 13 hoops.                                                            Second - Anne Gains with two games and 13 hoops.                                   Third - Neil Smith with two games and 12 hoops.                                          Fourth - Keith Burt with 1 game and 13 hoops.                                                 Fifth - Jane Gribbon with 1 game and 11 hoops

Joyce receiving the Patricia Shipman plate from organiser Brian

September 19 – Golf Croquet Federations Shield 2023 Final

[Report by David Russell]

Our intrepid quartet of David Russell (h/cap 2) (Cap’t), Keith Burt (5), Martin Emmett (6) & coach Tony Elkin (7), played the National Final on Tuesday 19th Sept 2023 at Surbiton (a neutral venue) against Phyllis Court of Henley-on-Thames. 

Their team comprised Chris Roberts (-2) (Cap’t), Andy Jones (2), Patricia Mulcahy) (6), and Paul Franklin (7).  Phyllis Court are previous winners of this tournament and include 2 international players in Chris & Patricia!

It was a cold, blustery day, though croquet players are used to that!  The morning session featured one doubles match & 2 singles.  David & Tony played the doubles, and although extra strokes were being used, rather than Advantage Play, they lost 4-7, 5-7, as their opponents played exceptionally well as a team, with consistently superb clearances by Chris from long range and pin-point positioning by Paul. Martin & Keith’s singles were won by Phyllis Court as well, though Keith’s went to a close decider, but we ended the morning 3-0 down – not a great start!

But…there were 4 more singles matches to play, all best of 3 games, so everything to play for!  And we had members at home watching the live video stream cheering us on!!

Keith began the fightback with an inspired 7-6, 7-4 win over their No.2.  Then Captains, David & Chris, played the closest of matches, with David hitting his best form (including using extra turns effectively, and hooping from the boundary at the golden hoop!) to win 7-6, 7-6… against a -2 handicap Welsh international!  

So…3-2 overall….

Tony and Paul were drawing 1-1 in their match (5-7, 7-5) but in the 3rd game, without any extra turns, Tony raced ahead to 4-0, playing smoothly & confidently, and won 7-2 to take the match and equalise the overall score to 3-3!!!

All eyes were then on Martin, playing the Irish international Patricia! After losing the 1st game 3-7, he responded really well to take the 2nd 7-5, with just the decider to play..  Nail-biting stuff!  The Phyllis Court player stormed into a 5-1 lead, and we could hardly watch…  But Martin then expertly ran 3 hoops consecutively to claw back to 5-6, only for an attempted clearance to lodge the opponent’s ball in the jaws!  Game & match over!!  

So…we lost on the penultimate hoop of the whole Tournament!!  So, so close, but eventually beaten by the better team 3-4 overall.

Many congratulations to Phyllis Court, but a hugely proud effort from Chichester & Fishbourne, and thanks for all the home support during this exciting run to the final!! 

2nd place in England?  We’ll take that!

Exhausted but still smiling – our four with the winning team from Phyllis Court CC

Tired, wet, cold and windblown, Keith, Martin, David and Tony – but proud to have made the National final of the Federation Shield

Well done from all the members of C&FCC!

September 8 – Short Golf tournament at Rother Valley

[Report by Tony Elkin]

After a day of exciting matches in blistering heat recently (Sept 8), Chichester and Fishbourne Croquet Club’s team of Tony Elkin (captain), David Milne, Anne Howson, and Neil Smith won Rother Valley’s Short Golf Croquet Challenge tournament.

David won all his games and gained the honour of top individual player.

The day was excellently organised by the hosts at Duncton and also included clubs from Worthing, West Chiltington, and Lodsworth.

From left, David Milne, Anne Howson, Tony Elkin and Neil Smith.

September 7 – Croquet Friendly against West Wittering

[Report by Martin Emmett]

It is early September, and Tony and the team are setting up for the arrival of West Wittering for a late season friendly. The temperature is touching 30 degrees, and we are experiencing the hottest day of the year so far, whilst regularly applying sun cream and drinking plenty of water – it is very warm indeed for this time of year. As the agreed start time approaches, only one of the Wittering team has arrived, as they are delayed, we later learn, by road closures and attempting to drive near Chichester on the first day as The Goodwood Revival meeting.

They did in fact arrive on time and, after a short practice by the visitors to familiarise themselves with the lawns, we were under way more or less punctually. Lynne and I started our matches in a doubles game against Andre and Roger. I think it’s fair to say we were inconsistent, but Lynne managed to run some good hoops and we found ourselves 6-4 up. Wittering won the next hoop, making the score 6-5, and bringing the 13th hoop into play (they had started on -1, due to combined handicaps). At which point there was some discussion on which should be the next hoop, but with some explanation from Tony we carried on in the suggested order. Our visitors were now on a winning streak, and despite CFCC having opportunities, we lost hoops 13 and 14 making it a 7-6 win for Wittering. Fortunately, Chris and Tony, who was back to top form after his enforced time away from the game, played well and managed to even the match score by winning their battle, also with a 7-6 scoreline.

In the singles round, Chris, Lynne and Tony all won their games comfortably, only conceding 9 hoops between them, but unfortunately, I could not get going in my game and at one point I was doubting whether I would reach 0, from my starting score of -1. I did manage that, but still lost 7-1. This brought the match score to 4-2. As we were playing two doubles games in the final round of matches, this meant we could do no worse than draw overall. The first game was lost by Chichester, bringing the match score to 4-3. It went down to the final game, which was another close one, decided at the fourteenth hoop. Fortunately, Chris was hooping like Michael Jordan, and we managed to win 7-6. This brought the final match score to 5-3.

It was a closely fought match with West Wittering coping well with the undulations (relatively small as they are) of the Fishbourne lawns. In fact, they praised their condition. After a tea and cakes (well of course) we said goodbye and look forward to another close match with a skilled West Wittering side.

From left: André Wright, Chris, Elizabeth Williams (capt), Tony, Nigel Patterson, Lynne, Martin & Roger Bird

30 August – Friendly “Battle” between the U3As

Groups from Ems Valley and Chichester U3As met for a friendly match at Chichester and Fishbourne Croquet Club recently (Weds Aug 30.)

Each group usually meets for regular sessions on the lawns at Fishbourne during the season, with training provided by the club, but on alternate weeks. This time, however, they became rivals and put their skills to good use.

Ems Valley were the winners with David Milne and Pauline Nelson the winning pair. Chichester were close runners-up and their winning pair were Jane Mulholland and David Parfitt.

Referees, provided by the club, were Jane Gribbon, Joan Felton, Janet Mellor and Peter Raper.

 Up for a challenge: members of Chichester and Ems Valley U3As who met for a friendly croquet match at Chichester and Fishbourne Croquet Club’s lawns recently with some of the host club members     

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

Sunday 13 August – the Kettle Shield mixed doubles

On a fine Sunday, eighteen members played in the Kettle Shield trophies in an annual competition ably organised by David and Judith Russell.

The attentive audience of players listening to David’s initial briefing

Two rounds (primaries and secondaries) were played in the morning session.

Three rounds were then played in the afternoon session.

The eventual winner, holding on to the trophy for a second year, was Sally with a final score of 28 hoops for with 18 against.

David Milne came a close second with 27 hoops for and 13 against closely followed by Janet with 27 for and 23 against.

Keith was fourth with 26 for 18 against and Peter came fifth with 26 for and 19 against.

Kettle Shield winner Sally with David R and second placed David M

Friday 11 August – Home friendly vs Littlehampton CC

On Friday 11th August 2023 Littlehampton CC brought over a strong team for an afternoon friendly, mostly in the sun!

Their line up of Bob & Robyn Clark, Philip Sherwin & Lillian Holdsworth played with handicaps of -1, 4, 3 & 8, against a Chichester & Fishbourne team of David R, Tony E, Peter R & Lynne, captained by Tony, with handicaps of 2, 7, 9 & 9 respectively. 

We started well, winning both the first doubles, and clinched the match with 3 singles wins out of the next 4!  The overall result was 7-2 to Chichester, though 4 games went to the “golden hoop” and 3 more ended 7-5, showing how closely fought was the whole match, and in great spirit.

A tea of sandwiches, scones & cakes was much enjoyed (see picture) at the end of a super afternoon on the courts! 

30 July – SE Federation Teams’ Day

On a wet and windy July Sunday summer day(?), a gallant band of nine members braved the weather to play in the annual SE Federation Teams’ “Games” day at Sussex County, Southwick.

Twenty one teams played morning doubles and afternoon singles across the eleven lawns at Southwick

Our nine were split into two fine teams: Fish and Chips (Peter Raper, Judith, Janet Mellor, Sally and Keith) and More Fish and Chips (John Effingham, David Russell, David Milne and Brian)

The Fishy team

The C&FCC teams were well organised by John, one team came 4th out of the 21 teams in the morning doubles sessions.

No results were available for the afternoon singles sessions but one of the C&FCC teams won six or their eight games! A GREAT team effort!

Judith, with a fabulous shot, hooping from the lawn boundary

Keith with his well-deserved pint