Ember retain the SECF AC ‘B League’ Trophy!

We have been reliably informed that Ember has managed to win the Association Croquet B League run by the South East Croquet Federation (SECF) for the second year in succession. The results table above is taken from the SECF’s website.
The winning team comprised Roger Dollimore (captain, second left); Roger Stearn (third left), Steve Edney (fourth left) and Simon Charrington (far right). Here we are pictured with Ealing (including Bridget and Jane’s furry friend Crunchie). Tom Eddy played admirably in the first match against Surbiton as Roger D was unavailable.

Every match was won 2-1 in games. Roger S was the most dependable, and managed some big wins in the singles, as did Simon, though the one singles he did lose (to an extremely good player), Roger D and Steve managed to sneak a close victory in the doubles at Merton. It is with no doubt we won because Simon and Roger S have improved faster than their handicaps. We may not have that luxury next year as the B League rules stipulate the aggregated total of the four players’ handicaps must be 48 or more: Roger D on 9 (and rising); Steve on 12 (and rising!); Roger S and Simon both on 14 (plummeting rapidly). Let’s hope Tom, Bob and perhaps Hugh or a new player (George?) can play more next year. Perhaps we should try for the A League!!!!????

The same four players competed in the SECF’s Golf Croquet Handicap League East for the first time and performed very well, winning two and losing two matches. Here is the long table of results. As with the AC league, we only play a small selection of the teams competing, and this changes year on year.

Roger D had inherited a low handicap of 5 so it was tricky for him to compete in the singles matches but I think he thoroughly enjoyed himself and was very pleased the club could manage so well at a version of the game not traditionally played with any seriousness (up until now). Roger S, Steve and Simon all played off 7, which we reckon is about fair for our ability and knowledge of the game thus far. Roger S claims its helped him improve his AC game with improved hit-ins, hoop running and rushes (in GC, that’s getting the opponents ball away as far as possible), whereas Steve states otherwise! A knack of prodding at the ball to leave it in the jaws of the hoop rather than “silky smooth” and through to win the point!

Above all, Golf croquet is far more sociable and was played in great spirit against some lovely people from other clubs. Far less competitive and less needle than AC! It makes a refreshing contrast but AC is still the game for the purist (in my opinion anyway!)

I leave you with the B League trophy glistening in the warm September evening sun.

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