Ember Croquet keep winning

B-League match against Reigate on 11th July at Ember Sports Club.

Bob (16) and Roger S (20) took on Frank (8) and Mike (18). Our opponents had been delayed by nearly three-quarters of an hour by a motorway traffic accident, so we agreed to have an 18-point game over two and-a-quarter hours instead of the usual 26-point game so that lunch was not unduly delayed. The mutually agreed end-product was 8 bisques for the home team and 5 for our opponents.

Roger, then Bob, got off to a steady start with the help of a bisque each. Our opponents followed suit, but they never really got going. Bob and Roger moved onwards until, after a quick tactical discussion, we agreed Roger should run Rover and get onto the peg while Bob was still on 2-back. Eventually our opponents ran out of bisques and got stuck in the hoop at 2-back – Bob’s hoop. Bob seized his chance and with the help of a bisque ran the remaining hoops and pegged out with the score at 18-5 and two bisques not used! The quick finish meant that we were able to adjourn for an early lunch! Ember one-up after the morning’s play.

In the afternoon, Roger (8) played Simon from Reigate (14). Simon made progress with both balls, nudging them along a few hoops at a time, then leaving Roger with difficult hit ins. In these early battles, Roger scored two hoops, while Simon, with bisques aplenty, got considerably further than that. Eventually, Roger sniffed a chance and by taking a bisque he got his lead ball round from Hoop 3 to the peg in one innings. Simon then proceeded some more, nearing the end of the journey for both balls. Another chance fell for Roger, again setting up the lawn using his second, and last, bisque, he ran eight hoops with his second ball, until his approach to 3-back was just a fraction short letting Simon back in. Roger was in touching distance, but alas it was not enough as Simon took his chance, and remaining bisques, to peg both balls out. The final score was 26 – 21 to the Reigate player.

So one game apiece. In the decider, Steve (14) played against Philip (20), who was an experienced GC player but new to AC. Given Phil had 14 bisques, Steve thought he should get a lead and put some pressure on the Reigate man. He did manoeuvre Red around the first circuit but was rather wasteful with his bisques, so when he blobbed one at 1-Back, he decided he couldn’t take yet another one, and in any case it was hot and he needed a sit down. Once he had done so, he realised he had gifted Phil a perfect start. So Phil got a long way on Blue, using bisques like confetti, as his tactical nous let him down. Unfortunately, Steve was struggling to maintain his form and also frittered away his remaining bisques, with Red on the peg and Yellow on 3-Back. Phil then was back in it, with Blue on the peg and Black proceeding nicely, but then he ran out of bisques and ideas when Black was on 4-Back. Bisqueless Steve now had to summon up the energy to finish the game and found some form at last, but then carelessly left the Yellow a good eight feet from the hoop. He went for it, slamming the ball into the Hoop upright, but luckily with enough forward momentum to spin through the hoop. That shot effectively won him the match as it was relatively straightforward after that to peg both balls out. Steve won by seven, 26 – 19.

Yet another win for Ember. Could we win the B-League?

The winning team: Roger Stearn; Roger Dollimore; Bob Knox; and Steve Edney.

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