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Soham by season:
See: Analysis of AC games played at Soham in the 2012-13 winter season.
Saturday March 16th - Indoor Golf Croquet
After a great deal of difficulty only 7 teams were persuaded to take part over the two days, so sadly one day had to be abandoned for lack of entries, and the Sunday was offered to and taken up by the Association players.
Unfortunately two of these teams had to pull out due to other commitments on Saturday. The remaining teams included three from Letchworth, one team made up from Hunstanton/Ipswich and another made up from Bury/Colchester.
All teams played everyone twice, with the overall winning team of David Crawford & Mike Percival from Bury/Colchester scoring 7 wins out of a total of 8 games. The runners up were Susan Brooks & Peter Ross with 5 wins (34 hoops), and Robert Staddon & Graham Styles from Letchworth with 5 wins (26 hoops). To be fair many games were very close, but several teams ended games with bisques still standing!!
It was quite a strenuous day as only one team was able to sit out each round due to lack of teams. It was an enjoyable day but could have been better with more teams. Unless clubs enter more players in future it is very unlikely that the Golf Croquet tournament will run again next year as the day was run at a loss to the EACF. We are in urgent need for a manager to take on this task and try to save the tournament for the future. Are there any offers?
[Postscript: David Crawford has subsequently agreed to take over as the Indoor Golf Croquet Manager, so there will be some indoor GC played at Soham in the 2013-14 winter season. Details to follow later.]Report by Mike Percival
Due to the lack of interest from the region's golf croquet players and to utilise the hall that was booked at Soham, an extra session of Association Speed Croquet was hastily arranged in which it was decided to utilise "The Martin Trophy", one not played for earlier in the year due to inclement weather. Even at short notice the Manager Terrey Sparks had no trouble arranging a full complement of eight doubles within two days, which goes to show how popular these winter weekend sessions are.
As usual play was keen and competitive. However, it soon became clear after 3 games that it was becoming a three horse race when Letchworth, Colchester and Hunstanton started to pull away from the pack. By the end of the fourth game the Manager was starting to get concerned that he might have a problem sorting out a winner due to closeness of the results. The Letchworth pair of Nick Mounfield and Peter Ross held pole position with a 100% record of four wins, closely followed by the Colchester pair of Robert and Sue Fulford and Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington on 3 wins apiece. In the final rounds both Colchester and Hunstanton recorded early wins. However, the "Norfolk Bouys" comprising Terrey Sparks and Jonathan Toye, who up to then had had a rather mediocre day, suddenly decided to up their game by seeing off the Letchworth pair +1(T). This of course meant there were three teams each vying for first place on 4/5 wins.
After much head scratching Colchester were declared the winners having won all their four games in time, while both Letchworth and Hunstanton had one win apiece out of time. Due to the fact that Letchworth had beaten Hunstanton, Letchworth were placed second.
This was the third win this winter for the Fulfords, having picked up the "MP Trophy" in October and the "Millennium Cup" in February. A creditable three wins out of four appearances. No doubt the rest of us will be watching for them next October.
Winners Susan & Robert Fulford
Colchester 2 represented by Robert and Susan Fulford won the Millennium Cup beating the Letchworth team, brothers-in-law Jeremy Scott and David Clancey, into second place. At the end of a closely fought day of speed croquet the teams were tied on 4 wins out of 5 and could only be separated by 'who beat whom'.
The trophy holders Duncan Hector and Nick Mounfield (Bygrave) had a net handicap of -2 which meant a loss of 2.5 minutes per game which was added to the opponents' time, and they had to do 3 peels as well. This handicap proved to be too much for the pairing who ended the day on 2.5 wins.
Bygrave's drive to bring beginners into the Soham scene saw Peter Whiting (18) playing with Paul Sinclair (24). They only won one game but that was against the winners Robert and Susan so they earned a well deserved feather in the cap for that. The games they lost were mostly very close and both went away very happy with their performance.
The weather? Outside: Bright and sunny. Inside: Bright sodium.
|Robert & Susan Fulford||Colchester 2||15½||2½ +
|Jeremy Scott & David Clancey||Letchworth||19½||3||4||3||2|
|Mike Bowser & Patricia Duke-Cox||Pinchbeck||11||1½||3½||1||3|
|Colin & Georgeen Hemming||Colchester 1||7||½||3½||0||4|
|Terry Mahoney & Jonathan Toye||St Al Mkt||9||1||2½||2||5|
|Duncan Hector & Nick Mounfield||Bygrave 1||-2||3 peels +
|Peter Whiting & Paul Sinclair||Bygrave 2||36*||7||1||1||7|
Right from the very first game it was clear that the winners of the previous two years, Martin French and Philip Eardley, were going to be up against it in their attempt to retain the Cornelius Cup for a third year. First on the green they were held to an unexpected draw by the Bygrave 1 pairing of Gabrielle Higgins and Peter Whiting. In their next game things did not improve for them when they lost to the Hunchester pairing of Steve Woolnough & Manager Terrey Sparks by -9(T), who had also won their previous encounter against St. Albans by +11. However, the Bygrave pairing continued to play well seeing of St Albans by +3 and then scrabbling another useful win by +1(T) against the Hunchester pair, putting them in a very commanding lead position. Not to be outdone the pair of Hunstanton old warhorses, Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington, despite unexpectedly losing their second game against Bygrave 2, recovered their composure by then seeing off the Burywich pair of Mike Percival and Peter Allnutt.
Moving into the final round of games Bygrave 1 held the pole position on 3.5 wins followed both by Hunstanton and Hunchester on 3 wins apiece. However, Hunstanton had the advantage of winning all theirs within time. If they beat Bygrave then they would be the outright winners unless they won the game out of time giving the Hunchester pair a glimmer of hope. However, Gabrielle and Peter in rampart form were unstoppable and won the tussle by the narrowest of margins +1 to become the outright winners and ending Ipswich's dominance of this event.
|Gabrielle Higgins & Peter Whiting||Bygrave 1||17||3||4½||1|
|Steve Woolnough & Terrey Sparks||Hunchester||½||2 peels||4||2|
|Martin French & Philip Eardley||Ipswich||-2||3 peels||3½||3|
|Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||Hunstanton||3½||1 peel||3||4|
|Duncan Hector & Carol Scott||Bygrave 2||17½||3||2||5|
|Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||Burywich||10||1½||1||6|
|Terry Mahoney & David Kitson||St. Albans||9||1||1||7|
|Adrian Kirby & Joe Iddison||Peterborough||19||1||1||8|
It is interesting to note that of the 20 games played only 2 finished out of time. Whether this is because the standard of play indoors continues to rise or the fact that a win within time can be an advantage in the final reckoning I will leave to you to decide. However, it does make the Managers' task a lot easier as they do not have to always continually clock watch to make sure things run to time which makes the task a lot more agreeable.Report by Terrey Sparks
Cancelled due to bad weather and travelling conditions
Despite a mix up over the Saturday hall booking and the clocks and trophies being located in the wrong place, after some last minute delicate footwork the indoor programme re-commenced on the Sunday with a full complement of 8 teams.
The Hunstanton pair comprising Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington, starting as favourites, made a strong start beating the husband and wife Colchester team of Colin and Georgeen Hemming by +11, closely followed by a +3 win against Duncan Hector and Paul Sinclair from Bygrave. However, they met their nemesis in the third game when they lost to the Colgrave pair of Nick Steiner and Peter Whiting -9, a defeat they did not recover from.
The Colchester team on the other hand quickly recovered from their early loss and notched up three wins in succession by seeing off Colgrave, Bygrave and Pinchbeck. However, their winning streak was abruptly bought to an unexpected halt by the Father and Son side from Peterborough Roly and Joe Iddison playing for the first time together indoors, when their game ended in a draw. This was not the only success for Peterborough who had earlier stopped an in form Colgrave side +11 with an unexpected win.
However, the surprise of the day was the Letchworth team of Nick Mounfield and David Clancey playing consistently well as a pair, who managed to see off all the opposition winning all five of their games within time and thereby lifting the absent trophy, which will be presented at a later date.
|Nick Mounfield & David Clancey||Letchworth||14½||2½||5||1|
|Colin & Georgeen Hemming||Colchester||7||½||3½||2|
|Nick Steiner & Paul Whiting||Colgrave||18||3||3||3*|
|Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||Hunstanton||3½||1 peel||3||4*|
|Terrey Sparks & Jonathan Toye||The Norfolk Boys||8||1||2||5|
|Roly & Joe Iddison||Peterborough||36||7||2||6|
|Duncan Hector & Paul Sinclair||Bygrave||17½||3||1||7|
|Mike Bowser & Patricia Duke-Cox||Pinchbeck||11||1½||½||8|
EACF Select won 12½ - 5½
A team of six Nottingham players travelled to Soham on Sunday 9th December to meet an EACF Select side in what is hoped to become an Annual Challenge Match. The match commenced at 9.00 am. However, to allow the visitors time to get a feel of the indoor carpet, 30 minutes warm-up was permitted first.
The home side was made up of Duncan Hector (Captain), Peter Whiting, Jeff Race, Bryan Saddington, Mike Percival and Peter Allnutt. The Nottingham visitors comprised Sanaa and Omied Hallam, Brian Hallam, Bob Thompson, James Death and Patricia Duke-Cox. Each team comprised three doubles which played each of the opposing doubles twice, giving each team 18 games in total.
During the early stages of the match the home side's experience of playing on the indoor carpet was much in evidence, but as the visitors settled down to the unusual conditions of the carpet and hoops it must be said they began to take the conditions in their stride. However, despite a valiant effort by the visitors the home side manage to run out the overall winners by 12.5 to 5.5 games.
Despite the result this did not dampen the visitors' enthusiasm, who all agreed it was an enjoyable experience - so much so that they presented a Rose Bowl as a trophy, which they threatened to take back with them next year. At the request of the Nottingham team it was decided to name the trophy "The Beatrice Bowl". Beatrice McGlen was originally down to play for the Nottingham side, but unfortunately her illness which she has been suffering for some time returned shortly before the match and she had to be re-admitted to hospital. We wish her a speedy recovery.
|Jeff Race &
|Duncan Hector &
|5||James Death &
|Mike Percival &
|2||Brian Hallam &
Steve Woolnough & Ann Brookes
This was my first experience of the format and – if you think it's hectic playing on the carpet anyway – you can double the nervous energy required for this approach.
I had only used it before as a coaching device, pairing experienced players with beginners and I suppose this is how things panned out at Soham.
It was quite a family affair with three married couples playing together (not something I've witnessed before) with never a cross word exchanged (remarkably).
There were three pairs from Colchester and they dominated proceedings winning the majority of their matches with the rest of us – Bygrave, Bury St Edmunds, Downchester and St Albans – grabbing a win or draw here or there.
All ably managed by Mike Percival who kept things swinging merrily along. A splendid time was had by all.
Tropical times returned to the hall at Soham as the heating which had been waiting nearly a year for repair at last returned. This seemed to have an effect on the regular Hunstanton pairing of Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington, who also turned on the heat, disposing of their opposition in the first game within 30 minutes.
However, the Peterborough team comprising Adrian Kirby and the rising young star Joe Iddison, also playing well, managed to record an early victory over the Hunstanton team, opening up the leadership chase. But this was not to last as Hunstanton, regaining their composure, kept themselves as leaders of the pack, winning all their remaining games and running out the overall winners.
Despite their valiant efforts Peterborough managed to hold onto their second place, drawing against Bygrave and losing against both Letchester and Burywich. Despite a valiant late surge by the Letchester pair of Nick Mounfield and Steve Woolnough, who also managed to equal the Peterborough score, their efforts were not rewarded due to an inferior number of wins within time, and they only managed to finish in third place.
|Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||Hunstanton||1 peel||5/6||1|
|Adrian Kirby & Joe Iddison||Peterborough||3||3½/6||2*|
|Nick Mounfield & Steve Woolnough||Letchester||3 peels||3½/6||3*|
|Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||Burywich||1½||3/5||4|
|Nick Steiner & Terrey Sparks||Colstanton||2 peels||2/5||5|
|Duncan Hector & Paul Sinclair||Bygrave||3||1/6||6*|
|David Tutt & George Woolhouse||Letchworth||1 peel||1/6||7*|
Robert and Susan Fulford won the opening day of the winter indoor season at Soham. Eight teams met under the interesting lighting at Soham sports centre. This was an experienced field with ten of the 16 players playing off scratch or below. Three teams were required to do 3 mandatory peels with reduced time.... not easy, especially for James Hopgood, his first time at Soham.
The play was fast and furious with few games going to time, (apart from Norbury of course). Some spectacular shots, (Terry Mahoney ran hoop four from corner 2; Duncan Hector ran hoop one and two with his first shot from A baulk; and Jeff Race hit in from the west to the east boundary jumping hoop 2).
Colchester 1 (Robert & Susan) played steadily and consistently, but were beaten by Norbury in the third game (on time) and it looked as if Colstanton would win as they were romping along with four wins out of four, but in a nail-biting last game Bygrave 2 made their 3 mandatory peels early in the game and although Colstanton made a valiant effort to come back, (including Jeff's jump shot as above), they were beaten by the clock. Colchester 1 won on net points.
The trophy was presented by Manager Duncan Hector who praised the magnificent play of Susan and he in turn was thanked for doing a sterling job in managing the event.
A good time was had by all.
|Robert & Susan Fulford||Colchester 1||2.5 *||4||1|
|Jeff Race & Nick Steiner||Colstanton||2 peels||4||2|
|Colin & Georgeen Hemming||Colchester 2||0.5||3½||3|
|Duncan Hector & Richard Smith||Bygrave 2||3 peels *||3||4|
|Nick Mounfield & Robert Wilkinson||Letchworth||3 peels *||2||5|
|James Hopgood & Gabrielle Higgins||Bygrave 1||3 peels *||1½||6|
|Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||St. Albans||3||1||7|
|Mike Percival & Neil Chalmers||Norbury||1.5||1||8|
The Letchworth team of Nick Mounfield and Robert Wilkinson ran out the winners of the Soham Trophy on the second day of the indoors winter programme. Play progressed more evenly on the Sunday with no team establishing an early commanding position. However, Peterborough comprising Adrian Kirby and Roly Iddison were quietly making headway winning 3 out of the first 4 games. Despite losing their first game Letchworth started to make a recovery winning 2 and drawing 1 of their next three fixtures. Meanwhile the Bygrave team of Duncan Hector directing newcomer Paul Sinclair around the court were also making good progress winning 2 and drawing 1 of their first 4 games.
So progressing into the final round we had the interesting position that three teams could end up winning overall: Peterborough on 3 wins playing their last game against Bygrave (1) on 2½ wins, and Letchworth also on 2½ wins meeting Bygrave (2) on 2 wins. First to finish was Letchworth winning their game to give them 3½ wins. This put the pressure on the Peterborough side who had to win outright to become the overall winners. Despite putting up stiff resistance it looked as if Peterborough had the game in hand, particularly when the opposition ran out of time. However, confusion occurred in the Peterborough camp when they overlooked the fact that they still had a unused bisque in the bag and also ran out of time, handing the game to their opponents by 1 hoop on time.
The Manager then had the interesting position of Letchworth and Bygrave (1) both finishing on 3½ wins out of 5 games, having drawn against each other. So having won 2 of their games within time over none in respect of Bygrave, the Letchworth team were declared the winners.
|Nick Mounfield & Robert Wilkinson||Letchworth||3 peels *||3½||1|
|Duncan Hector & Paul Sinclair||Bygrave 1||3||3½||2|
|Adrian Kirby & Roly Iddison||Peterborough||3||3||3|
|Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||Hunstanton||1 peel||3||4|
|Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||Burywich||1||2||5|
|Terry Mahoney & David Kitson||St. Albans||1||2||6|
|Richard Smith & James Hopgood||Bygrave 2||3 peels *||2||7|
|Terrey Sparks & Jane Collier||Colstanton||2||1||8|