Ryde win Solstice

Alan Truckle & Roy Tilcock

Home pair won the the SCF’s Annual GC Doubles Tournament today. As near as possible to the longest day, this annual Golf Croquet Doubles competition for 2012 was hosted by the Ryde Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club on 17th June. Unfortunately it was also Fathers’ Day, so there may have been a reluctance to release husbands and dads for a day out on the Isle of Wight, as well as the distance for those in the north of the region in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

The visitors were welcomed by a glorious day, with the courts having received an early morning cut thanks to Philip Kennerley, and the Club looking wonderful. Representatives from Phyllis Court, Henley, were Terje Johanasen and Charlie Von Schmieder, the defending champions, together with Chris Roberts and Frances Colman. Thames Valley Club, Abingdon was represented by Jim and Valerie Pertwee with Norma Rayne and Gerald Mitchell. So with four pairs from Ryde, the field consisted of eight teams with each playing all the other teams in a single block. Games consisted of a single 13 point game with a time limit of 45 minutes.

The defending champions, Phyllis Court 1, started well and won their first three matches, despite being pushed hard by the Ryde 4 pair of Pamela Sim and Joan Grove, who were unable to make the tie break hoop. Terje and Charlie then played the Phyllis Court second team of Chris and Frances, and were held to a 6-6 draw on time. At lunch they were ahead of the field with 3 wins and a draw.

Meanwhile, Ryde 1, Alan Truckel and Roy Tillcock had lost the second game to Norma and Gerald by 6 to 7, and had drawn 4-4 with Ryde 2, Robin Thornton and Dave Willett. The surprise of the morning was Ryde 4, Pamela and Joan, beating Robin and Dave by 7-6. Ryde 3, Richard Harris and John Sim had two wins after a shaky start.

Two more games after lunch left three teams at the top of the leader board. Phyllis Court 1, Ryde 1 and Ryde 2 all had 4 wins and a draw each, with the first two due to play each other. Ryde 1 went ahead taking the first three hoops. Defensive play slowed down the scoring and just before time, Charlie ran hoop 7 with red to make the score 5-2 to Ryde. On time there were 8 more shots allowed and Roy played black to just in front of hoop 8 to give him a scoring chance with his last shot. Alan decided to shoot at hoop from a distance with blue and only succeeded in clearing his partner ball! Even so Ryde 1 had won.

Meanwhile, Robin and Dave were playing Phyllis Court 2 and had been forced to a tie break 13th hoop. After an exchange of positioning and clearances, Robin eventually made the winning run from the middle of a cluster of balls in front of the hoop.

The result was then a tie between Rye 1 and Ryde 2 with 5 wins and a draw each, the draw having been between the two of them in the morning. As previously announced, this meant a count back on hoops with the higher hoop difference being the winners. Ryde 1 had scored + 15 and Ryde 2 were slightly behind with + 11, so Alan and Roy were declared the winners.

The trophy, now renamed the Norma Rayne Solstice Challenge Cup, to honour her long service organising Golf Croquet events in the Southern Federation, was presented by Norma herself.

Richard Harris