Don Beck writes:
Twenty Four top players assembled for the hottest contest of the year in the wet and cool South England. Surbiton had rearranged the event to provide ideal preparation for those headed to Egypt for the Worlds the following week (wonder how they did?).
This year the format was 2 American blocks of 12 with the top two from each contesting cross block semis.
Seeds Block A: Reg Bamford, Simon carter, Malcolm Bigg, Nicholas Cheyne
Block B: Rutger Beijderwellen, Tim king, Pierre Beaudry, Lionel Tibble
Weather condition and periods of rain meant the number and condition of the lawns varied over the weekend. Hoops should have been easy but some players had trouble, perhaps a lack of opportunity for practise at their clubs was to blame?
Block A: Notable early results included a 7-1 for Reg then Stephen Harbron (3 handicap) beat Simon followed by Tom Weston (1) beating Simon. Richard Brooks was looking good and he too beat Simon. Reg wobbled a little losing to Richard and Nicholas but finished with 9/11 coming second to Richard 9/11.
Block B: Opened with a marathon 90 minute affair in which Richard Smith (2) beat Rutger at the 13th. It really wasn’t Rutgers day as he lost to Chris Roberts (1) and Nelson Morrow (0). Pierre and Sue Lightbody started picking up wins and the block looked congested at the top. Rutger found some form but too little too late with wins over Pierre and Tim.
Lionel beat Tim and all below him to record 9/11 and win the block with Pierre edging-out Sue both on 8/11. (Not sure how happy Lionel was to win a block and get Reg in the semi!)
Semis: Reg made short work of Lionel 7-5, 7-4. Richard and Pierre was a scrappier affair with hoops missed and opportunities not taken mixed with periods of good play. Pierre’s clean hitting eventually came good 7-4, 6-7, 7-1.
Final: The final was decided by Reg’s consistency. Pierre competed at many hoops but never put a run of points together. 7-3, 7-5. The 3rd place playoff Lionel 7-4, 7-4 beat Richard. All scores on Croquetscores.com. (Thanks to Tim for help setting-up the results pages etc)
A special mention to ALL at Surbiton who worked together to produce an enjoyable competition despite the weather and to the players who had less than perfect conditions. (George spent 2 hours each day trying to keep mother-nature from flooding the lawns with some success)
All results on croquetscores.com