This year’s Croquet Doubles Final took place on 15 August. Bob teamed up with Roger S (8 bisques), and Steve with Simon (7 bisques). After getting all four balls onto the lawn, it was Roger who got the first chance to build an innings. With the aid of only two bisques he was round to Rover in one turn. Next on the lawn was Simon who needed three bisques to proceed to 2-back. After a bit of sparring it was Bob’s turn, taking four bisques he got to 3-back. One bisque left for Bob/Roger. After more sparring it was Steve’s go. Using just one bisque he was also round to 3-back, before he missed a roquet and ran too far to risk another bisque.
This was the first time in living memory (well, amongst those playing anyway) that the first scoring turns from all four players had proceeded past 1-back.
Now, short on bisques, both teams played tactically. With half-an-hour to go it was anyone’s game. Bob then took his side’s last bisque and ran two more hoops. The pressure was on. Simon then had another good turn and ended up on Rover, using up his team’s remaining bisques. With Roger and Simon both on Rover, Steve was two hoops behind Bob. Time was running out and Steve put Simon back in for an easier chance of a hoop, not realising that he would not get another turn. Time was called with Simon still on the lawn, but there were no more points to gain, apart from shooting at the peg. Bob had his team’s final turn and added a further hoop. The final score: Bob and Roger, 23: Steve and Simon, 20.
This was a well fought game, played in an excellent spirit. In fact, all players reckoned it was the best doubles matches they had played. A shame there had to be a loser!