GC Golf Croquet

This is a new competition, introduced this year for the first time.

Venue Hunstanton, Saturday 11 June 2011
Manager Ken Wheeler
Format Each team will play a match against each other over the first five rounds (i.e. an American Block).

A 'match' will comprise two singles games and one doubles. In the first round a team may elect to allocate players in any role (Singles or Doubles) irrespective of handicap. In the second round the Singles/Doubles roles will be reversed. In the third round roles will revert to those of the first round etc.

e.g. Round 1 A1 v B1 A2 v B2 A3/A4 v B3/B4  
  Round 2 A3 v C3 A4 v C4 A1/A2 v C1/C2  
  Round 3 A1 v D1 A2 v D2 A3/A4 v D3/D4 etc.

(Thus, after five rounds each player will have played either 3 Singles and 2 Doubles, or 2 Singles and 3 Doubles). On completion of this Block Phase the three leading teams will qualify for the sixth 'Gold Medal Round'. The leading teams will be decided on Match Wins with any tie being resolved by 'who-beat-whom'.

"Gold Medal Round" Format

Each team will carry forward games won (each game scoring a single point). Each team will now comprise two Doubles pairs. The pairings may differ from the Block Phase. Pairs will be drawn to play a single game in the following format:

X1 v Y1 X2 v Z1 Y2 v Z2

A game win will score two points and be added to the aggregate carried forward. The winning team will be the one with the most points, with any tie being resolved by the match result in the Block Phase.

Eligibility To qualify for a County the team member must either be born, reside or be registered with a club within that County. (For this tournament the county of Bedfordshire includes the clubs of Northampton and Stony Stratford).

If you are eligible and want to play, please contact the relevant team captain!
Ken Wheeler Shield
The Ken Wheeler Shield
Team captains
Beds: (Leighton Linslade)
Essex: (Sudbury)
Herts: (Letchworth)
Norfolk: (Hunstanton)
Suffolk: (Ipswich)
EACF Select: (EACF)
Entry fees £26 per team

Ken Wheeler Shield results
by year:

Previous winners N/a
Click on images for an enlargement
Regulations PDF (PDF, 16kb)


Herts win the first Ken Wheeler Shield tournament

Nick Archer in action

This tournament was the inaugural Golf Croquet team competition between the six counties comprising the East Anglian Croquet Federation. The teams from Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk – plus a team of players nominated as EACF Select, as unfortunately Cambridge was not able to field a team – were competing for the 'Ken Wheeler Shield' donated by the President of Hunstanton CC who also acted as the Tournament Manager. There were four players per team and the total aggregate handicap for each team was not less than 8 at the time of team entry. Ken Wheeler organised the competition to take place over a single day and included singles and doubles games for all players. All games were level play.

The competition format was that each team played a match against each other over the first five rounds with a match comprising two singles games and one doubles. In the first round the team captains could elect to allocate players in any role (singles or doubles) irrespective of handicap. In the second round the singles/doubles roles were reversed, and in round three roles reverted to those of the first round. This continued until all five rounds had been played. The three leading teams then qualified for a "Gold Medal Round" and played two doubles games each – using different pairs to round one if desired. The GMR teams carried forward a point for each of their games won in the first block, and were awarded two points for a win in the GMR. The winners would be the team with the most points. This all looked somewhat complicated at first glance, but it soon became clear after Ken Wheeler's briefing, and all players soon understood and took to the format well – remarking on its obvious success at the end of the day.

The Hunstanton lawns were in immaculate condition and the weather was sunny if a little chilly, but the promised rain kept away. The first three rounds took from 10.00am until lunch and it soon became apparent that the team on excellent form was Hertfordshire, closely matched by the EACF and Suffolk teams. In the afternoon session these three teams consolidated their positions and finished the block by winning four games for Hertfordshire, with EACF and Suffolk taking three. The other three teams certainly didn't give away points easily – a large percentage of the games went to the 13th hoop and could have gone either way. Essex were fourth, pipping Bedfordshire on game wins, and Norfolk were sixth. All members gave their utmost for their county.

Nick Mounfield in action

The winning Herts team are presented
the new trophy by Ken Wheeler.
L-R: Nick Archer, Ken Wheeler,
Nick Mounfield, Ian Mantle, Duncan Hector

So, after a short break the GMR started with all three teams playing their two doubles pairings. Hertfordshire now moved up a gear and the pairings of Duncan Hector/Nick Mounfield and Ian Mantle/Nick Archer won convincing games against the EACF and Suffolk, whilst Suffolk beat the EACF – so the overall result was a win for Hertfordshire, with Suffolk second and the EACF third. The force behind the idea of this tournament – Terrey Sparks (EACF Secretary) – expressed his thanks to all who made the day such a success – the Team Captains and players, the members of Hunstanton CC who worked hard all day, the catering ladies, and Hunstanton President Ken Wheeler for conceiving the format, managing the day – and finally presenting the fine shield plus commemorative plaques to the successful Hertfordshire team led by Letchworth's Nick Mounfield – supported by Duncan Hector and Ian Mantle from Letchworth, and Watford's Nick Archer.

All in all a very successful inaugural tournament – possibly the first such GC event organised by any Federation. The whole day was played with a fine and fair competitive spirit by all teams with very little work for the referee. Congratulations to all concerned. No doubt we will all be back for revenge next season so watch out Hertfordshire!

Report by John Cundell
Photos by Terrey Sparks

EACF Golf Croquet Inter-Counties results
result vs:
Herts EACF
Suffolk Essex Beds Norfolk MATCH
Hertfordshire   2-1 3-0 2-1 1-2 2-1 4 10 carried
EACF Select 1-2   2-1 2-1 1-2 2-1 3 8 carried
Suffolk 0-3 1-2   2-1 2-1 2-1 3 7 carried
Essex 1-2 1-2 1-2   3-0 2-1 2 8 4
Bedfordshire 2-1 2-1 1-2 0-3   0-3 2 5 5
Norfolk 1-2 1-2 1-2 1-2 3-0   1 7 6
"Gold Medal Round" results
result vs:
Herts Suffolk EACF
POINTS carried
Hertfordshire   7-2 7-0 4 10 14 1
Suffolk 2-7   7-5 2 7 9 2
EACF Select 0-7 5-7   0 8 8 3


Norfolk: Timothy Race (C), David Thirtle-Watts, Jeff Race, Tony Lee
Essex: Dick Strover (C), Judith Hands, Peter Kenward, Paul Strover
Hertfordshire: Nick Mounfield (C), Duncan Hector, Nick Archer, Ian Mantle
EACF Select Terrey Sparks (C), Patricia Duke-Cox, Simon Carter, Pat Dawson
Suffolk: Mike Percival (C), Ken Wheeler, Alan Plested, John Robinette
Bedfordshire: John Cundell (C), John Thorp, Malcolm Kirby, David Bruce


See also:

AC the Anderson Shield
AC the national Inter-Counties Tournament