David Maugham wins the Western Championship for the 7th time

Thirteen of us gathered for the Western Championship, played over 3 days (18-20 May) in glorious sunshine at East Dorset.  The lawns have been much improved in recent months due to the sterling efforts of the excellent new groundsman Robin Wilcox, and so were in tip-top condition for the weekend.  And the hoops were pretty tight – indeed slightly too tight as a couple of balls got jammed on the first day.  With the café now in new hands, East Dorset is once again a first-class venue for top-quality croquet.

The top 4 seeds were Stephen Mulliner, David Maugham, Christian Carter and Duncan Reeve, who were joined by 5 East Dorset locals – Anthony Dix, David Harrison-Wood, David Kendrick, Jonathan Powe and Tom Weston – plus Andy Myers, Andrew Killick, Alison Jones and Richard H Smith.   In the semi-finals, Stephen Mulliner beat Jonathan Powe +1, +18qp and David Maugham beat Christian Carter +8, +16.   

So it was Stephen Mulliner and David Maugham who fought out the 9½-hour, best-of-5 final on Sunday.  The first game saw quite a bit of interaction, but Stephen eventually got control of all 4 balls and made a very tidy standard triple to take the game +14tp (1-0).  In the second, David pegged out one of Stephen’s balls to leave himself on peg and 2-back against Stephen on 3-back and box. After some lengthy cat-and-mouse games, Stephen finally ran rover and pegged out from 10 yards to win +3 (2-0).  Game 3 also concluded with a 3-ball finish, this time with David on 4-back and box, and Stephen on 1 and peg, which David won +4 (2-1).  In the 4th game, Stephen did a tpo, leaving himself on peg and 1-back against David on 3 and box for another 3-ball finish.  Stephen made one hoop but left David a 25-yard double, which he duly hit and finished +7otp to take the match to the decider (2-2).  In the final game, Stephen made a 5th turn break to 4-back.  After some interaction following the contact, David tpo’d Stephen and managed one pop to leave himself on peg and 1 against Stephen on 2 and box.  After more toing and froing, David laid up in C2 with Stephen in C4.  Stephen took the shot, missed, and David played a very controlled 3-ball break from hoop 1 to the peg to win the Westerns for the 7th time.  Many congratulations to him.

Duncan Reeve took the Plate, beating Andy Myers in the final +26tp.

Jonathan Powe

U3A Introduction to Golf Croquet

EDLTCC Croquet Section has set up the opportunity for Poole U3A to offer an “Introduction to Golf Croquet” course on specified Thursday mornings during the U3A summer term. If you know of anyone currently involved with Poole U3A who potentially might be interested in Croquet, please suggest that they register their interest by contacting U3A’s Rod Turner, email: rmturner43@btinternet.com as soon as possible – the course commences on Thursday 11 May 2017. The Club requests all Members to be welcoming to the U3A attendees and to proffer assistance as required. It is hoped that, on completion of the course, a proportion of the attendees will be attracted into full Croquet membership and thus become part of our extended ‘family’.

Try Something New…

Sunday 5 June is National Croquet day and East Dorset Croquet Club is getting into the swing of things by opening its lawns on the day to any who might like to try the game. Croquet is a game for all, store a game of skill and tactics and it has a handicapping system that makes for a level playing field regardless of skill levels and age. Entry is free and all equipment is provided. All you need to do is bring a pair of flat shoes and turn up at the club in Salterns Road, Poole BH14 8BL at any time between 09.30 and 16.30.

The Western Championship (Association Croquet) – 30th April – 2nd May

Come and watch croquet played at the highest standard. East Dorset Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club are hosting this prestigious event again this year. Ranked 5th in the world, store Jamie Burch will be certain to meet some stiff competition when he attempts to regain the title he last won here in 2014. You can be sure of seeing some quality play in beautiful surroundings. Admission is free. Venue: EDLTCC, Salterns Road, Lower Parkstone, Poole, BH14 8BL   Photo © 2013 Elizabeth Williams

Croquet Section Open Weekend – 7th and 8th May

Drop in anytime between 9:30am and 4:00pm on Saturday 7th or Sunday 8th May and give croquet a try completely free of charge. We have all the equipment you will need – just bring a pair of flat shoes. You will be met by some of our friendly members who will introduce you to the game and to the club. It’s great fun for all ages and is played by men and women. Come by yourself or with friends and enjoy an opportunity to try a new activity. You might get hooked!