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Soham by season:
After 3 years of effort it was a double triumph this weekend for the Maugham pairing of David & Alison who have been regular contenders since 2016. Although in the running and coming close at all previous events, despite many second and third places the elusive first position has always eluded them. However, their persistence paid off this weekend when after near misses on both days they lifted the Cornelius and Millennium Cups after very close finishes in the final weekend of the winter.
The Maughams with
the Cornelius Cup
The Maughams with
the Millennium Cup
Due to holidays, illness and other family reasons numbers were down on the Sunday, leading to a more relaxed day. However, in a field which only totalled 3 Handicap and 3 peels the standard of play was high and very few games went to time.
Playing in a competent and steady manner the pairing of Richard Smith and Terrey Sparks held their nerve finishing undefeated with only one drawn game and winning the day.
|R & T||Richard Smith & Terrey Sparks||4½/5||1|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||3/5||2|
|Colchester||Rich Waterman & David Haslam||2½/5||3|
|South Ockenden||David & Alison Maugham||2/5||4*|
|Peterborough||Adrian Kirby & Paul Hetherington||2/5||5*|
|T & M||Terry Mahoney & Mike Percival||1/5||6|
* Determined by wins within time
Despite only receiving 14 entries instead of the required 16 and despite whatever headaches it would generate, the Manager decided to go ahead with a revised progressive format. This meant that games overlapped and on occasions players had to play with the same partner twice. To further compound any likely problems, to make up the numbers and keep them even the Manager was required to play rather than keep a watchful eye on the state of play.
However, despite all the pitfalls and with thanks to the cooperation of all partaking the day went well, and although it was fraught at times all completed their required five games.
In the Low Handicapper Block Jeff Race finished top with 4 wins, closely followed by Samir Patel on 3. A creditable performance considering it was his first time on the indoor carpet. The position in the High Handicap Block was a lot closer with Heather Bennett and Sarah Barley finishing on 4 wins apiece. Heather was declared the winner as all her game wins finished within time, whilst Sarah only had 3.
|Low Handicap Block||Points||High Handicap Block||Points|
|1||Jeff Race||4/5||1*||Heather Bennett||4/5|
|2||Samir Patel||3/5||2*||Sarah Barley||4/5|
|3*||David Maugham||2½/5||3*||Peter Ross||3/5|
|4*||Rich Waterman||2½/5||4*||Roger Bowman||3/5|
|5*||Gabriell Higgins||2/5||5||Gordon Mills||1½/5|
|6*||Alison Maugham||2/5||6||Keith Harker||1/5|
|7||Mike Bowser||1/5||7||Terrey Sparks||½/5|
Determined by wins within time
Alison & David Maugham stepped in on the Sunday to organise the event in which the Letchworth pairing of Nick
Mounfield & Peter Ross ended the day undefeated to win the day. Due to the fact that no substitute could be found to
partner Nick Steiner, he played with a different partner in each game. Well done Alison & David.
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & Peter Ross||5/5||1|
|South Ockenden||David & Alison Maugham||4/5||2|
|Colchester Plus||Nick Steiner Plus||3/5||3*|
|Meldringham||Nigel Polhill & Robert Skeen||3/5||4*|
|Norwich||John Reddish & Sarah Barley||2/5||5*|
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||2/5||6*|
|Suffolk Boys||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||1/5||7*|
|Letchester||Rich Waterman & Terry Mahoney||1/5||8*|
* Determined by wins within time
Thanks go to Colin Hemming who stood in at the last moment to act as manager for the day following the withdrawal of the usual organiser who unfortunately was suffering an unexpected illness.
Seven teams partook, and despite being handicapped by 3 mandatory peels the unlikely pairing of Nigel Polhill and
Jeff Race ran out the winners, only losing the one game to the Colchester pairing of Rich Waterman and Al Brown who
finished second with four wins.
|P & R||Nigel Polhill & Jeff Race||5/6||1|
|Colchester 1||Rich Waterman & Al Brown||4/6||2|
|South Ockenden||David & Alison Maugham||3½/6||3*|
|Downboro||Paul Hetherington & Jonathan Toye||3½/6||4*|
|Colchester 2||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||3/6||5|
|Letchworth||Heather Bennett & Sheila Haggett||1½/6||6|
|Pinchbeck||Mike Bowser & Gordon Mills||½/6||7|
* Determined by who beat whom
If Saturday was a tight finish then Sunday was just as close. With only one game to go and both Hunstanton and
South Ockendon on five wins each, the determination of the final game would decide who would run out the overall
winners. If Colchester II ran out the winners of their game then they too would end up on five wins, giving the manager
a bit of a headache as all three teams had each beaten each other. However in a Machiavellian twist the final game ended
in a draw which meant that as the old warhorses Jeff Race and Bryan Saddington of Hunstanton had previously beaten South
Ockendon, then they pinched the trophy at the last minute.
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||5/6||1*|
|South Ockenden||David Maugham & Alison Jones||5/6||2*|
|Colchester II||Colin & Georgeen Hemming||4½/6||3|
|Colstanton||Nick Steiner & Terrey Sparks||3/6||4|
|Colchester I||Steve Woolnough & David Haslam||2½/6||5|
|Peterborough||Adrian Kirby & Paul Hetherington||1/6||6|
|Wrest Park||Cliff Jones & Peter Aspinall||0/6||7|
* Determined by who beat whom
Choose any one from three, it was that close in deciding the final positions in the Rose Bowl in a very tight finish in which three teams "The Peelers", "The 2 T's" and St. Albans all finished on four wins apiece. With only one game to go Nick Mounfield & Jeff Race masquerading as "The Peelers" had finished their programme on four wins all within time. This left Terry Mahoney & Terrey Sparks also on four wins, one on time, to fight it out with the St. Albans pairing of Heather Bennett & newcomer Stephen Mills currently also standing on 3 wins with one on time. "The 2 T's" needed a win to secure the trophy; nothing else would suffice.
Stephen, playing off handicap 16, picked up a blobbed ball at hoop 1 and with the wise use of 2 bisques neatly and calmly played a standard four ball break round to the peg leaving his partner Heather with the one unused bisque to complete her round. This Heather did picking up the balls at hoop 2 and, neatly using the remaining bisque, moved efficiently round to peg to finish off the game +11 to finish equal first with four wins.
However as all their winning games had finished within time "The Peelers" were declared the winners as both the "2
T's" and St. Albans each had wins out of time.
|The Peelers||Nick Mounfield & Jeff Race||4/5||1|
|The 2 T's||Terry Mahoney & Terrey Sparks||4/5||2*|
|St. Albans||Heather Bennett & Stephen Mills||4/5||3*|
|South Ockenden||David Maugham & Alison Jones||2½/5||4|
|Ipswich||Phil Eardley & David Wicks||2/5||5†|
|Norwich||John Reddish & Sarah Barley||2/5||6†|
|Wrest Park||Cliff Jones & Peter Aspinall||1/5||7|
|Meldreth||Robert Skeen & Keith Harker||½/5||8|
* Determined by quality of opponents
† Determined by wins within time
It was back to the normal fayre of speed doubles on Armistice Day which this year fell on Remembrance Sunday. As it was also the 100th Anniversary of the ending of the Great War the Manager Terrey Sparks, in line with tradition, called for two minutes silence at 11am to reflect on all those who gave their lives in the past, preceded by the reading of a short poem:
All we have of freedom
All we use or know
This our fathers bought for us
Long and long ago
After this short break play resumed, in which it became clear that this was going to be a three-horse race between Letchworth, Hunstanton and Surbiton. The Letchworth pair comprising Nick Mounfield and Peter Ross, without loss started their last game against Hunstanton who had also kept a clean sheet but had incurred two wins with time penalties. Surbiton had earlier fallen away. In the final game Letchworth set the pace by forging ahead, setting a commanding lead. However, like an emerging sleeping giant, Hunstanton started to up their game, reducing this lead to finish the match in fine style emerging the winners by +2 and thus ending a barren year for trophies.
|Hunstanton||Jeff Race & Bryan Saddington||5/5||1|
|Letchworth||Nick Mounfield & Peter Ross||4/5||2|
|Surbiton||David Maugham & Alison Jones||4/5||3|
|Colstanton||Nick Steiner & Terrey Sparks||2½/5||4|
|Colchester 1||Rich Waterman & David Haslam||1½/5||5|
|Meldreth||Robert Skeen & Keith Harker||1½/5||6|
|Colchester 2||Ann Brookes & Jane Collier||½/4||7|
|Colchester 3||Georgeen Hemming & Lydia Vaux||0/4||8|
A full attendance from representatives from all the six eastern counties plus Lincolnshire took part in the first
2018/19 indoors winter croquet session held at the usual superb location of the Ross Peers Sports Centre at Soham. As
expected with the total mandatory peels and time penalties exceeding the bisques, play was of a highly competitive and
keen standard. Despite a valiant effort last year's winners Cambridgeshire with Adrian Kirby and Cesar Miranda-Reyes
could not hold off the determined onslaught of Norfolk and Hertfordshire, despite bringing a group of supporters to
bolster their attempt. However, Letchworth made up of Nick Mounfield and Heather Bennett proved in no mood to
compromise, sweeping all the opposition aside and winning all their six games to carry off the trophy.
|Hertfordshire||Nick Mounfield & Heather Bennett||6/6||1|
|Norfolk||Jeff Race & Timothy Race||5/6||2|
|Cambridgeshire||Adrian Kirby and Cesar Miranda-Reyes||4/6||3|
|Essex||David Maugham & Alison Jones||3/6||4|
|Lincolnshire||Mike Bowser & Terrey Sparks||1½/6||5|
|Suffolk||Mike Percival & Peter Allnutt||1/6||6|
|Bedfordshire||Cliff Jones & Peter Aspinall||½/6||7|
* Management will be shared between Terrey Sparks, Cliff Jones, Duncan Hector and Colin Hemming