As a tribute to Mike, and also to get some game time away from Ember, we arranged a match against Mike’s other croquet club, Surbiton, which boasts seven lawns (plus the bowls green, which they get to use for championships).
Our team was Steve Edney (captain), Roger Stearn and Simon Charrington. We each played three open singles (no bisques) against three Surbiton players.
Steve versus Cliff Hunter, won 21-20, coming from 4 behind after the bell had sounded;
Steve v Steve Parish, lost 22-15, never really got going, canny player;
Steve v Elizabeth Kennedy, won 26-13, we were both worn out by then but I was relaxed enough to rely on auto-pilot to get me round.
Roger v Elizabeth, won 26-9, romped home enjoying it immensely;
Roger v Cliff, won 26-10, another romp!
Roger v Steve Parish, lost 26-12, like Steve E, just couldn’t get going against a wily opponent.
Simon v Steve Parish, won 15-13, got Steve P before he’d properly warmed up but well deserved tight win;
Simon v Elizabeth, won 15-14, another squeeze for Mister Chairman;
Simon v Cliff, lost 21-15, run out of steam perhaps, though Cliff certainly improved through the day.
So we managed to win the first, we hope, of many competitions in honour of Mike. Steve had painted a portrait of Mike, in tribute to their other shared hobby, as a temporary trophy (see photos below). It was a most enjoyable day and our hosts were magnificent. Thanks especially to Barry Holland who arranged the event and to Andy Dibben, the Surbiton Chairman, who came and said hello, watched a lot of the games, and invited us to a one-ball next week.
Here are some photos: