A hot muggy July 1st, as Ember Croquet Club played host to Woking CC in an SECF golf handicap league match. Woking player Alan had requested to play his three games as quickly as possible so he could get away quick. Therefore, we started at 9.30am and the pitch was a little slow to start. Steve took him on first with the benefit of four extra shots. Steve took a 3-1 lead then gifted Alan two hoops. After that Steve pulled away to win 7-3 with some smart play using his bisques.
Following closely behind the two Ember Rogers played against Maggie and Gill. At 4-4, Roger S managed to run hoop 9, leaving his ball just through the hoop. When it came round to his turn again, hitting through hoop 9, Roger S directed the ball through hoop 10 (21 yard shot!). One more hoop, and victory was secured 7-4 for Ember.
Alan managed to finish a quick cuppa before he was off again, this time a doubles with Sandra against the home team’s Simon and Steve. Alan played some wonderful shots but Steve and Simon stayed with Woking all the way, and perhaps should have won. Steve called his a foul shot on penultimate which allowed Woking to get back to 5-6, leaving the Ember balls still stuck in the hoop so Woking went and drew level. Woking clinched the golden hoop.
Roger S then played Maggie who gave him 4 bisques. Roger did not need them all to win 7-3.
Alan was back on for his final game next, with Gill against Ember’s Roger D and Simon. Although Gill and Alan are low handicappers (2 and 3 respectively), the Ember lads managed to clinch a 7-6 win. They had a little bit (read: massive amount) of good fortune on the golden hoop. From hoop 12, Roger D put his red ball in the jaws of the golden hoop (i.e. from the wrong side), then, after black and yellow played their approaches, Alan’s approach with blue conveniently pushed the red through, setting it up for Roger to run from the right side, which he executed with aplomb.
Steve took on Woking’s Sandra, and all this activity was before lunch! Steve scoffed another Jaffa cake, downed his fifth tea of the morning and buzzed round, winning 7-2.
Following lunch and the departure of the busy Alan, the three remaining singles games were played rather more sedately. Simon had an easy win versus Maggie, again benefitting from four extra shots. Roger D went neck and neck with Sandra but eventually won on a golden hoop with a ricochet off Sandra’s ball while trying to clear it from in front of the hoop from an awkward angle. The tensest game was probably Roger S for Ember against Gill of Woking, who finally got their second victory 7-5, after some great long range hit-ins and tactical play, which cancelled out Roger’s use of his 5 bisques.
Then there was cake!
Ember won the match 7-2.