SCF AC Handicap League 2021 off to a good start

On a cool Thursday evening, the joint Eynsham/Harwell team got off to a good start in this year’s SCF AC handicap league win a 4-0 win over Blewbury. Our team was Peter Allan, Hugh Manson, Noel Harris, and Peter Mansfield. The game between Hugh and Anthony Harwicke was very close and came down to the golden hoop, which Hugh won. The other games were substantial wins for Eynsham/Harwell by 10 or more points. The next match will be against Caversham on 8th and 9th May.

Completion of the 2020 GC handicap competition

We have finally finished the 2020 GC handicap competition.

After a late start last year due to what we now know as Lockdown 1, we made good progress with the block stages, where all of the players in a block played against each other to determine which two players from each block should go into the semi-final matches.

However, before we could play either of the semi-final matches, Lockdown 2 was declared. Once that was over, Mary Elizabeth Shewry and Peter Allan played their semi-final. Peter winning 7-4, 7-4.

Then along came bad weather in the run up to Christmas and Lockdown 3, which prevented play for a further 12 weeks.

Finally, Lockdown 3 was over, we had some decent weather, and hopefully we could still remember how to play. Tom Griffin and Judy Goodall contested the second semi-final on 1st April and Tom won 7-3, 7-5. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, Tom and Peter played the final. It was a close match that swung one way and then the other, but in a nail-biting finish, Peter just won, 7-5, 1-7, 7-6.

Restarting play

According to government plans, it will be possible to restart playing outdoor sports such as croquet and golf on Monday 29th March 2021. We are intending to re-open the lawns on that Monday morning.

The restrictions that we were operating under last year – no more than six players on a lawn at any one time, you must sign up on the booking system before playing – will still apply for the next few months.

Peter Allan, Chair – Harwell croquet club

One-Ball Competition 2020

On the blustery morning of 22nd August, five members of Harwell croquet club contested the 2020 One-Ball competition. One-ball is essentially a fun game with each game typically lasting around 30 minutes. It is always played as singles, and each player only has one ball instead of the usual two. The rules are those of AC, but the play is more similar to GC, since big breaks rarely happen.

The competitors were Peter Allan, Judy Gold, Tom Griffin, Sarah Roycroft, and Mary Elizabeth Shewry. We played an ‘all plays all’ round robin with each player sitting out for one round. Everyone enjoyed the variety of a different type of game and we all needed to think what tactics were best, since they differ from both AC and GC. Of course you still need to get your ball through the hoops!

The winner, by the narrowest of margins, was Tom Griffin.

NameWinsNet hoops
Tom Griffin310
Peter Allan39
Mary Elizabeth Shewry28
Sarah Roycroft2-3
Judy Gold0-24

Champion of Champions 2018

Report by Peter Allan

The SCF AC Champion of Champions 2018 tournament took place on 30th March 2019 at Hamptworth Croquet Club. The 14 players had either won their internal AC competition, or it had been agreed that they would represent their club. (Perhaps they had come second and the winner was not available). Harwell did not complete the Founders’ Cup in 2018, but the final will be between Tom Griffin and myself. Tom and I agreed that I should be the one to take part in the tournament. This turned out to be a good decision, since I won the tournament! The main tournament was a knock-out, with the losers of the semi-finals playing for 3rd place and others going into a Swiss competition. Each game was 14 points / 1.5 hours.

I won the first three rounds with steady play against players of similar handicaps. They were 10, 18 and 18; I am 16.) The final was against Roger Barnacle who is handicap 3. I felt quite confident since my game plan against low handicappers stood me in good stead last year. I took my first ball round 6 hoops before Roger got going. Then he scored 3 hoops. I decided to use some bisques to set up a 4-ball break and all was going well until I ran black through hoop 1, only to discover as I bent over to pick up the clip that black was the ball I had already taken round to peg. Disaster! I had not done anything illegal, but I had wasted the opportunity and some bisques. I was 6-3 ahead against a 3 handicapper with only one bisque left. Things did not look promising. However, by careful defensive play, I won 8-6. The moral being – don’t panic. Harwell holds the trophy for this year.