Thursday 30th May:
Ember 2 – 1 Purley Bury
Pauline, Irmgard, David and Stephen from Purley Bury arrived together nice and early for a prompt start at 10am. We played the two singles matches in the morning, then the doubles in the afternoon. According to new rules this season, all games are to be played with “Base 6” handicap, so Bob, for example, playing off ‘16’ had 10 bisques.
Bob took on David (handicap 11). David shot into a decisive lead, mainly because Bob “could not hit a barn door”. Eventually Bob found some form and edged his way back in, and actually took a narrow lead as they started the return trip. Alas, David pulled away again and pegged out winning 26 -17, with seconds left on the clock (3 hours 15 minutes).
Steve played Irmgard, with a handsome set of 10 bisques each. Irmgard got going first using five bisques to achieve only five hoops. Steve then rapidly consumed five bisques and manoeuvred his pink ball to the peg. Irmgard ran a few more hoops but used up all but one bisque. Steve proceeded on another long innings, and was on 4 back by the time he had one bisque left. Comfortably ahead, he got the wobbles for a while but the bisque-less Irmgard could not capitalise. Finally Steve got himself together to finish the game and win 26 – 10.
We had a fantastic lunch, supplied by Margaret Dollimore. Margaret’s cake which was devoured at tea time was absolutely fabulous too. It’s worth playing croquet for the food alone!
In the afternoon, the two Rogers – Roger D playing off 8, and Roger Stearn playing his first external match off 20 – took on Pauline (4) and Stephen (20). The Purley team could not get going, so the first significant push was by Roger S, reproducing his club form, to get his ball round to 4 back, with only a few bisques taken. After that, Roger D doggedly traded a handful of hoops with Pauline and Stephen, but the clock ran down, leaving Ember comfortable winners on 18 -10.
So, in the end, a conclusive win for the home team. Roger S should be very proud of his first game for the Ember club. Steve needs to slow down and think a bit more at critical moments (he completed his game in half the allotted time). Bob just needs to get that winning mentality back again!
It was a very good day and the Purley Bury players were a pleasure to play against, but WE WON! Hooray!