AC Association Croquet

The winning teams from the three area leagues met at Hunstanton on Saturday 26th September in the annual play-off to determine the right to represent the Eastern Region in the Secretary's Shield for 2010.

Area League 2009 winners 2009 Play-off winners
The Chairman's Cup

Click for enlargement

League tables: Wrest Park
Colchester South

See also:

AC League play-off results by year:
Previous AC league winners - summary

The victorious Hunstanton team
Click to enlarge

Hunstanton won the Eastern Area League Finals at Hunstanton on Saturday 26th September beating Colchester (just) and Wrest Park (comfortably).

I stepped in for Terrey Sparks who, as many of you will know, was seriously injured in a road accident 3 weeks ago. The news is now good, and his recovery is only a matter of time to let nature do its work. He was being got out of bed for the first time this afternoon (2nd October). We all wish him steady progress over the next 8 or 9 weeks.

Hunstanton got off to a cracking start in the morning doubles with Mike Bowser and Mary Coombs 26-ing the strong Colchester pair of Jonathan Hills and David Haslam in well under two hours while their other couple Ken Wheeler and Tim Race (with his handicap reduced to a near respectable 12) saw off Wrest Park's Tim Brewer and Elaine Newman by 13. Hunstanton's confidence was therefore pretty high for the afternoon.

The afternoon singles were split 3-3 between Hunstanton and Colchester. Mike Bowser excelled himself by beating Bryan Harral again by +26. Hopefully his handicap should now begin to recover to its former 5! Similarly Mary Coombs despatched Geoff Strutt by +15 and should also see her handicap slowly return to the 16 she once was. Nick Steiner of Colchester inflicted the only defeat on the victorious Hunstanton team beating Ken Wheeler by a handsome +24 having also been on the winning side in the morning doubles. With Jonathan Hills and David Haslam both winning their singles games, it was left for the winner to be decided by the result of the game between Tim Race and Keith Saunders of Colchester. This game was unique in two respects being the only game with no bisques involved and the only game to go to time. For most of the game things were pretty even, but a late spurt saw Tim get home by +9t.

This year the final was played to the revised format suggested by Colin Hemming which equalises each team's chances as regards who plays who. No account can be taken of individual handicaps, but each Number 3 for example plays an identical range of opponents. Once again the winning team was not decided until the final game. Long may it continue!

Wrest Park Bryan Harral (1), Tim Brewer (4), Geoff Strutt (8), Elaine Newman (12)
Colchester South Jonathan Hills (-1½), Nick Steiner (7), David Haslam (8), Keith Saunders (12)
Hunstanton Ken Wheeler (3), Mike Bowser( 7), Tim Race (12), Mary Coombs (20)


Results (winners first):
Nick Steiner & Keith Saunders (C)
Mike Bowser & Mary Coombs (H)
Ken Wheeler & Tim Race (H)

Jonathan Hills (C)
David Haslam (C)
Nick Steiner (C)
Tim Race (H)
Mike Bowser (H)
Mary Coombs (H)

vs. Bryan Harral & Geoff Strutt (WP)
vs. Jonathan Hills & David Haslam (C)
vs. Tim Brewer & Elaine Newman (WP)

vs. Tim Brewer (WP)
vs. Elaine Newman (WP)
vs. Ken Wheeler (H)
vs. Keith Saunders (C)
vs. Bryan Harral (WP)
vs. Geoff Strutt (WP)


+24 +9T +26



Hunstanton Colchester South Wrest Park Wins  
Hunstanton   Doubles: +26
Singles: -24, +9T
Doubles: +13
Singles: +26, +15
5 1st
Colchester South Doubles: -26
Singles: +24, -9T
  Doubles: +12
Singles: +10, +21
4 2nd
Wrest Park Doubles: -13
Singles: -26, -15
Doubles: -12
Singles: -10, -21
  0 3rd

A few observations:

Total handicaps: Wrest Park
Games won by lower handicapped player or team:
Games won by higher handicapped player or team:
Games won off same handicap:
Margin of victory: 20+
10 – 19
4 (3 Higher Hc'p, 1 Lower)
4 (2 Higher Hc'p, 2 Lower)
1 (Equal Hc'ps)

Many thanks to Hunstanton for the use of their courts and the provision of refreshments during the day and tea after it was all over.

Report by Neil Chalmers
Photo by David Thirlte-Watts


Area League Play-Off for the Chairman's Cup


  1. The EACF Area league play-off will for 2009 be held at the Hunstanton Croquet Club on Saturday 26th September at 10.00am. 
  2. The winning team from each Area, 1 (Beds & Herts.), 2 (Essex & Suffolk) and 3 (Norfolk & Cambs.), will meet to determine the overall EACF league championship.
  3. The format will be normal handicap games of 26pts, doubles in the morning and single games in the afternoon. Singles games will be double-banked and the duration of each game will be 3¼ hours.

    am: A1,A3 v B2,B4 B1,B3 v C2,C4 C1,C3 v A2,A4
    pm: A1 v C2
    A3 v C4
    B1 v A2
    B3 v A4
    C1 v B2
    C3 v B4

    A draw will take place in the morning to determine which teams will be designated A, B or C.

  4. All teams will comprise of four players (no handicap restriction).
  5. The Team Captain is to list his team in handicap order before the start of play and hand it to the manager. (If two or more players have the same handicap they can be listed per that teams preference.)
  6. The overall winner will be the team that has won the most games. However,
    1. If no winner can be determined then the who beat whom rule will apply. However,
    2. If still no winner can be determined then the team with the fewest wins on time will be the winner.
    3. If the contest is still undecided, then a peg shoot-out will be arranged by the Manager to determine the winner.
  7. The overall winner of the play-off will be presented with the 'Chairmans Cup' to be held for one year and will go forward to represent the Eastern Region in the Secretary's Shield for 2010.

Terrey Sparks