The Golden Games
Once again ACCC hosted a Croquet experience as one of the many events offered under the banner of The Golden Games. Based at Albury Sports Centre, a set-up of 3 short croquet lawns allowed 24 people to participate. They were split into 2 groups with each session lasting 1 hour. After some basic coaching, it was followed by a game of Golf Croquet which appeared to be enjoyed by everyone. Thanks to John Owen, Eddie Marshall and David Garwood for helping out with the sessions. Hopefully some of the players enjoyed their experience to the extent of joining the club.
Aberdeen Ladies Curling Club – Summer Outing
The Club was approached by Lindsey McNiven, retiring President of Aberdeen Ladies Curling Club with a request to organise a Croquet Event for their Summer Outing. We were delighted to arrange the outing and on Tuesday 4th June, Lindsey and 19 of her fellow curlers arrived at Crathes. After a short introduction, 10 pairs were created by a draw of cards, play then commenced, Golf Croquet matches 25 minutes long, double banked on the 2 small lawns. Each group was supervised by a club member who manage to resolve any “traffic” jams by redirecting their match to an alternative route. With all teams having played 4 matches the overall winners were declared and received their prize from Lindsey. Thanks to Nick, John Webber and Robert for their help navigating the teams round the lawns and to Lindsey and her fellow curlers for their extremely generous donation to Club funds.
Middle Bisquers Tournament
For the past two years John Owen has been runner-up in this tournament but is no longer eligible as his handicap has reduced to 2.5. The Tournament format is open to players with 3 to 10 handicap, Advanced Play, no bisques, 26pt, 3hr duration. I entered hoping to match or even better John’s efforts.
The Tournament was played over the weekend of the 8-9th June on Kinghtswood’s ever improving lawns. With 3 late withdrawals only 6 players contested this year’s event so it was decided that all play all ie 5 matches over the two days. Play commenced in overcast but warm conditions and my start was less that convincing losing to Brian Durward in a forgettable match (26-20). Things could only get better and I won my next two matches against Callum Worsley (26-14) and Kevin Wright (19-4). Sunday saw my winning ways continue with a win against Rosemary Sanders-Robertson (26-7.) At this level you cannot be generous with the opportunities you give your opponent and this proved the case against George Plant losing (15-26) and matching John’s record disappeared.
Meanwhile Brian Durward played consistently well and remained undefeated over both days. I had to leave early so did not see how Brian as Tournament Manager and Referee presented the Trophy to himself! Thanks to Brian and Glasgow CC for managing and providing refreshments throughout the weekend.
At the start of the Tournament Brian produced a carrier bag containing a large selection of jumpers and pullovers collected by the late James Thompson and instructed everyone to help themselves, so several of us now have something to remind us of James.
Spring Golf Croquet Festival – The Sandy Rennie GC Trophy
Play started under damp overcast conditions but things gradually improved with the final rounds played in glorious sunshine. 10 members contested The Sandy Rennie Trophy.
Format 13pt (30 minute time limit), redraw for partners each round, 4 rounds morning and afternoon.
After the morning session the Garwoods topped the leader board with Lizetta in first place 2 hoops ahead of David. Several players were within 3 hoops of the leaders. The afternoon session saw David fall out of contention but John Webber closed the gap to Lizetta to 2 hoops with one round to play. The final round produced the deciding match with John and Judy Lyle against Brian Butler and Lizetta with the latter producing a faultless game running out 7-1 winners. Congratulations to Lizetta a worthy winner, thanks to her constantly good play.
Social Evening at the Cults Hotel
First social event of the season, consisting of a finger buffet and Beetle Drive, held at the Cults Hotel. Starting off with an excellent buffet, the evening then continued with the Beetle Drive, thanks to Sheena and Brian for providing all the materials needed and an explanation of how to play. After 6 rounds of frantic die shaking and drawing the eventual winner with 74 points (out of a possible 84) was Edna, with Gwen picking up the wooden spoon. This year we had a special prize for the most artistic drawn beetles, which was won by Gordon with Gwen a close second but Gordon clinched the prize by naming all his 6 beetles. A raffle raised £70 with thanks to Zosia for encouraging everyone to buy tickets and thanks to everyone who donated prizes. Format of the next social evening to be announced soon.
John Owen runner-up in Balgreen One Ball
I travelled to Balgreen for the Spring One-Ball Handicap tournament which was won last year by Bill Strachan, who was unable to defend his trophy. It was dry in Aberdeen, but dreich in Edinburgh, gradually becoming drier during the day. I started against the improving Stefan Colling who had never played one-ball before, but beat me 13-9. I then had three wins and a loss, before taking on James Hopgood, whose handicap for this tournament had been adjusted to -6. I managed to use my bisques well to get a lead, and after going through penult I roqueted his ball then saw that I still had one bisque left in the ground. I rolled both balls to rover and took position in front of the hoop, then told James that I would take my last bisque. He said that I had already taken it (at 3-back) but he hadn’t taken the bisque out of the ground. I had forgotten having taken it, and after much discussion, we agreed that I had been “playing when misled” when I rolled the balls to rover, so I replayed the break from that point without the comfort of an extra bisque. I still managed to win 13-4 and had another 13-4 win against Chris Martin. I then came up against Peter Martin whose handicap was 24 and had never played one-ball before. By the time he played me, he certainly knew what he was doing as he had won all his games, so I knew it would be a difficult game. However, after a slow start, I managed a 7-hoop two-ball break and closed out a 13-7 win with two of his bisques still standing. It wasn’t enough to stop Peter being a worthy winner of the tournament. After a final game 13-10 loss to Roger Binks, my record of 6 wins from 9 put me second equal.