Ember Croquet draw match with Merton

Simon played Colin from Merton in the morning singles just as the early rain stopped. Simon was quickly into his stride and without bisques achieved some good breaks, and did not allow Colin to threaten the inevitable result – 26-9 to Simon, well within the 3 hour 15 minute time limit.

At the same time, Roger joined Steve, as a terrified, nervous doubles pairing, against Julie, who had two years before beaten Simon in a thrillingly close match, and Jordan, whose handicap is just -0.5. Ember were really not sure what to do and there was plenty of cagey sparring with balls going to places never seen before. Luckily for Ember, Julie was also baffled, and could not get started. Roger and Jordan got started for both teams but luckily the latter did not tee up Julie for a run. Steve had chances and set up the balls beautifully for a long break only for his hoop running to fail again. That was Ember’s downfall sadly and eventually Julie got a good break together and Merton had 23 on the board, to Ember’s 17 when time was called.

Sandwiches for lunch under the small gazebo erected next to the lawn. The weather was quite nasty at this point but it soon cleared for the afternoon. It remained, however, incredibly muggy.

Roger took on Jordan in the afternoon singles with 11.5 bisques to his name. Again, there were some puzzling placements of balls at the start from Jordan, designed to eat away at Roger as well as Roger’s bisques. However, our man was unflappable and, though he probably used more bisques than he would have liked at the start, he built a break and played his first ball to rover, leaving Jordan no obvious way to get started. Surprisingly, Roger was left a relatively easy path to get going again with his second ball, and with six bisques left, if he could hold it together, he had every chance. Happily he did, including an excellent peel, and with one bisque left he ran out the winner 26-0. Well done Roger, it was a fantastic result!

In the doubles, it was more of the same unfortunately! Simon played beautifully and glided round, but when it was Steve’s turn, each time there was a glimmer of hope he’d break through the nerves and play his usual flowing style but the hoop-running gremlins returned. Julie and Colin bided their time and ground out a win, 22-14 at the bell.

It was a splendid day, despite the downpour, and Ember were relatively happy with the drawn result, though in reality it could have been 4-0. It was also fascinating to see Jordan play, and we wish him good luck in the qualifiers for the AC World Championships at Southwick next week.

Comments are closed.