Click on images for an enlargement
Soham by season:
A full entry of a wide range of handicaps from -2 to 14 provided a very interesting day of play for the last week-end session indoors this winter at The Soham Ross Peers Leisure Centre, in which 17 of the 20 games finished in time and generated a very tight finish.
The Hunstanton pairing of Jeff Race & Peter Brown, having played all their games, stood on 4 wins equalling the Letchworth pair of Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett, also on 4 wins with one game to play. However, as Hunstanton had one win on time the cup was destined for Letchworth even if they lost their final game, having finished all their games at the peg.
Surprise of the day was the production of a selection of cakes home baked by David Maugham in celebration of his birthday. (Age still a mystery).
|Letchworth||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||†4/5||1|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||†4/5||2|
|Ipswich||Phil Eardley & David Wicks||3/5||3|
|South Ockendon||David Maugham & Tobi Savage||†2/5||4|
|Herts||Nick Mounfield & Brian Havill||*2/5||5|
|Surbiton||Alison Jones & Nigel Polhill||*2/5||6|
|Bygrave||Peter Ross & Terrey Sparks (sub)||†1/5||7|
|Norwich||John Reddish & Sarah Barley||1/5||8|
† Determined by wins within time
* Determined by quality of wins
There was a slight hiccup to the start of play when one of our visitors from the Big L more used to driving in conurbations managed to lose himself in the rural idyll of Cambridgeshire. However, despite a 20 minute delay in getting away, play was intense and by the end of the day lost time had been made up as the final session would determine the overall winner. The Bygrave pairing of Peter Whiting & Robert Skeen with one game to go stood on 4 wins, equal with David Maugham & Alison Jones of South Ockendon who had finished their programme and also stood on 4 wins, all within time. However the Bygrave pair having won two of their games out of time needed to win or draw the final game to lift the trophy, or it would go to South Ockendon. Peter & Robert, using their bisques wisely, managed to outfox Nick Mounfield & Tobi Savage +6 to end the day unbeaten and overall winners.
|Bygrave||Peter Whiting & Robert Skeen||5/5||1|
|South Ockendon||David Maugham & Alison Jones||4/5||2|
|Hunstanton||Jeff & Timothy Race||†3/5||3|
|Essex||Rich Waterman & Nigel Polhill||†3/5||4|
|Byant||Nick Mounfield & Tobi Savage||†2/5||5|
|Colchester||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||†2/5||6|
|Newport||Jim Potter & Colin Carr||1/5||7|
|Colborough||Nick Steiner & Terrey Sparks||0/5||8|
† Determined by wins within time
It was back to the regular speed format on the Sunday, in which Nick Mounfield stood in at the last moment for Cliff Jones who is still recovering from his visit to the hospital. Nonetheless the play was still intense and of a high standard, and as with the previous day nothing was decided until all the games had been completed with three teams Hunstanton, Wrest Park and Colchester 1 all tied on four wins apiece, giving the Manager the headache of splitting the group using the Quality of Wins formula. This meant that the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race and Brian Saddington led the field with a rating of 15 followed by Nick Mounfield and Alison Jones on 12½, and Rich Waterman and David Haslam on 11. [But see the postscript below.]
It was interesting to note that only one game during the day went to time and bearing in mind the number of times the Quality of Wins has had to be used this winter to split the teams it clearly demonstrates that the standard on the indoors carpet continues to improve.
|Wrest Park||Nick Mounfield & Alison Jones *||4/5||1|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington *||4/5||2|
|Colchester 1||Rich Waterman & David Haslam*||4/5||3|
|Colchester 2||Colin & Georgeen Hemming *||3/5||4|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt *||3/5||5|
|Colborough||Nick Steiner & Terrey Sparks||1/5||6|
|Norwch||John Reddish & Sarah Barley *||½/5||7|
|Bygrave||Peter Ross & David Clancey *||½/5||8|
* Determined by quality of wins
Following a later review of the results it was found that there was an error in the final calculations of the winners 'Quality of Opponents' by the Manager. It was discovered that in fact the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington had been over-compensated by 3½ and their final "quality of wins" rating was in fact discovered to be 11½ instead of 15. Therefore the winners are in fact Nick Mounfield & Alison Jones on 12½. The table above and the photo captions have been amended accordingly.
As the trophy had not been to hand after the original tournament during February it was presented during the March gathering at Soham.Terrey Sparks
Sixteen entrants split by handicaps into two groups played the normal indoor speed rules, being allocated a different partner each round. It provided an interesting and competitive day, in fact so competitive that the final positions were not determined until the last games. In the final round the leader Terry Mahoney partnering Al Brown needed to beat the pair of Heather Bennett and Peter Brown to finish top of the Low Handicap Block; a defeat meant that there would be a major problem for the manager to sort as there would be five players all finishing on equal points. However, luckily this was not to be as the old warhorse managed a +7 win to take away the Low Handicap Block victory.
Things were not so tight in the High Handicap Block were Jonathan Toye steamed on like a WW1 Dreadnought undefeated for the whole day, winning all his five games. However, there was a chance he could be over taken by Jim Potter if Jonathan lost his last game, which would mean there would be a four way tie to for the manager to separate. Again he was let off the hook as Jonathan was not to be denied.
|Low Handicap Block||Points||High Handicap Block||Points|
|1||Terry Mahoney||4/5||1||Jonathan Toye||5/5|
|2||Adrian Kirby||3/5||2||Jim Potter||4/5|
|3||Colin Hemming *||3/5||3||David Haslam||3/5|
|4||Jeff Race *||3/5||4||Peter Brown *||2/5|
|5||Alison Jones *||3/5||5||Georgeen Hemming *||2/5|
|6||Peter Whiting||2/5||6||Al Brown †||2/5|
|7||Heather Bennett †||1/5||7||Paul Hetherington †||1/5|
|8||Chris van Essen||1/5||8||Robert Skeen||1/5|
Determined by wins within time
Determined by quality of wins
After a few months of indifferent form Terry Mahoney and Heather Bennett must have changed their breakfast cereals, as they stormed though the opposition without losing a game to run out the undisputed winners of the Cornelius Cup. In second place were the pairing of David Maugham and Alison Jones with 4 wins, equalling Hunstanton but having finished 4 of their games within time to Hunstanton's 3. The day was managed by Duncan Hector who stood in at the last moment as Terrey Sparks had to withdraw suffering from the winter flu the day before.
|Letchworth||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||6/6||1|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||4/6||2|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||4/6||3|
|Colborough||Adrian Kirby & Nick Steiner||3/6||4|
|Colchester||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||2/6||5|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & David Clancey||1/6||6|
|Meldreth||Robert Skeen & Alec Osborne||1/6||7|
Due to the small carpet, accurate hitting in and the loose hoops, play proved difficult indoors at Soham as a field of low handicappers struggled to make progress pass the 5th hoop in what proved to be a frustrating day which in the end had to be abandoned as all the scheduled games could not be fitted into the time allocated. At the end of the day the position was as follows:
|Suffolk||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||8||7|
|Hertfordshire||Duncan Hector & John Noble||7||6|
|Cambridgeshire||Terrey Sparks & Peter Ross||6||2|
|Norfolk||Timothy Race & Pat Baillie||5||1|
|Northamptonshire||Jayne Stevens & Les Heard||6||1|
As both Suffolk and Herts had each beaten each other and it was impossible for Herts to get in their last game against Norfolk which would have altered the outcome, the Manager decided to call it a draw.Report by Terrey Sparks
It was back to the normal format on Sunday, and despite the adverse winter conditions outside things were a lot warmer inside the Soham Sports Centre, where a day of very competitive play again produced only two games going to time. Five teams Bygrave, Colchester, Downchester, Cambridge and Essex battled it out all day and not until the last games did it became clear that the Bygrave pair of Duncan Hector and Peter Ross had managed to clinch the day.
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Peter Ross||4/5||1|
|Colchester||Steve Woolnough & David Haslam||3/5||2|
|Cambridge Univ.||Craig Winfield & Cesar Miranda-Reyes||3/5||3|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||3/5||4|
|Downchester||Nick Steiner & Jonathan Toye||3/5||5|
|Letchwich||Nick Mounfield & Peter Allnutt||2/5||6|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||2/5||7|
|Peterborough||Terrey Sparks & Paul Hetherington||0/5||8|
Alternate shots, always a popular fixture, again attracted a full entry in which only two games went to time proving its popularity. However, despite the keen play the Hunstanton pair of Jeff Race and Peter Brown managed to retain the trophy for a fourth year with a clean slate, closely followed by Letchworth who only dropped one game.
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||5/5||1|
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & William Gee||4/5||2|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||3/5||3|
|Colchester||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||3/5||4|
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||2/5||5|
|Peterborough||Adrian Kirby & Paul Hetherington||2/5||6|
|Letchester||Heather Bennett & Ann Brookes||1/5||7|
|Newport||Jim Potter & Colin Carr||0/5||8|
It was a strong field with only two teams receiving bisques and, on the other hand, two teams having a time penalty
and 3 peels to do. Bygrave 1 prevailed and continued their 'deem in corner three' answer to a standard East boundary
opening. Ironically, they drew against their Bygrave 2 compatriots. Except for a loss to St Albans 1 they had
comfortable wins against everyone else. Time proved to be no problem with only two games going to time yet it was a very
evenly matched day with only one point separating the top five teams.
|Bygrave 1||Nick Mounfield & Robert Wilkinson||4½||1|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Peter Brown||4||2|
|St. Albans 1||Heather Bennett & Jon Palin||4||3|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||4||4|
|Bygrave 2||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||3½||5|
|Letchester||Nick Steiner & Terry Mahoney||0||6|
|St. Albans 2||Chris Frost & Roger Bowman||0||7|
Some early morning lawn repair was necessary to re-set the carpets that had drifted apart on Saturday. We had a full
complement of eight teams of which five received bisques and two having a time penalty and peels to do. Enfield's team
had little experience on the carpet and struggled with the quirks of speed croquet. The Hunstanton first team dominated
thanks to Jeff's well honed tactical game. The two Bygrave teams had the same game wins but lost out due to 'games on
time'. In fact time was much more of a problem than yesterday with seven games out of eighteen going to time.
|Hunstanton 1||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||4||1|
|Bygrave 1||Nick Mounfield & Robert Wilkinson||4||2|
|Bygrave 2||Duncan Hector & Peter Ross||4||3|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||2½||4|
|Newport||Jim Potter & Chris van Essen||2||5|
|Colchester||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||2||6|
|Hunstanton 2||Terrey Sparks & David Haslam||1½||7|
|Enfield||Brian Havill & John Street||0||8|
It was back to normal on the Sunday with a full entry of eight pairs which provided some very tight and intense play.
However, despite the pressure the Bygrave pairing of Duncan Hector and Peter Whiting held their own with a 100% record
of wins to take the day.
|Bygrave||Duncan Hector & Peter Whiting||5/5||1|
|Norwich||John Reddish & Sarah Barley||3/5||2|
|Colchester||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||3/5||3|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||3/5||4|
|Letchworth||Terry Mahoney & Heather Bennett||2½/5||5|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||2/5||6|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||1/5||7|
|Pinchbeck||Terrey Sparks & Charles Ostler||½/5||8|
It was a whole new world at the Soham Sports Centre as the winter programme got under way. The old orange fluorescent
lights had been replaced by brighter, whiter LED lights which gave the impression that the carpet had been fertilised as it
appeared much greener and not so well used.
This year five counties entered: Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Norfolk. The first
round was played as a round robin with the top three teams going through to a semi-final knock-out and the bottom two
playing off for the fourth place, which proved to be Bedfordshire with the Lincolnshire pair eliminated. In the other
two matches Herts beat Norfolk +3 and Cambs beat Beds +1(T), resulting in a final between Cambs and Herts which went
Cambridgeshire's way running out the overall winners +2. This was in itself was a surprise in that the Cambridgeshire
side had started badly, losing their first and only game to the bottom team Lincolnshire -4.
|Cambridgeshire||Adrian Kirby (-½) & Cesar Miranda-Reyes (1)|
|Hertfordshire||Duncan Hector (-1) & Peter Whiting (6)|
|Norfolk||Jeff Race (0) & John Reddish (3½)|
|Bedfordshire||Cliff Jones (0) & Alison Jones (½)|
|Lincolnshire||Mike Bowser (2) & Terrey Sparks (2)|