The day started with the weather being overcast and chilly. However, the sun did come out and was a lot warmer for the Final.
We had 14 entries from 13 clubs, which now seems to be the ‘norm’. I arranged the participants into 2 groups of 7 based on Handicaps etc.
Everyone in each of the groups (Blue or Red) played each other one game. So all players had 6 playing rounds with one bye round each (7 Rounds total). All group games were played with a 50 minute time limit.
There was an outright winner with 6 wins in each group. In the Blue group that was a Handicap 1, Tim O’Donnell (Hamptworth) & in the Red group the highest Handicapper on the day, which also just so happened to be his first tournament ever, playing off 9, Chris Wallis (Test Valley)
In order to find a winner for the ‘CofC’ Trophy, Tim O’Donnell (giving away 8 extra shots), in an untimed one game final, beat Chris 7-5.
It was a long day (9-45 to 19-15) , but played in a very good spirit with everyone enjoying themselves .
The SCF committee are pleased to announce the co-options of three new members, following a call for volunteers. This action follows the sad death of AC Leagues Manager Martin Brandt and David Brown’s wish to relinquish the post of Treasurer as soon as a replacement could be found. David Warhurst (High Wycombe) takes on the AC Leagues Manager with immediate effect. John Beckerleg (Winslow) becomes Treasurer. Brian Jamieson (Caversham), who volunteered for the Treasurer’s post, is co-opted as an extra committee member. All co-opted member will serve to the next AGM.
SCF Chairman, Chris Roberts, thanks all three for stepping forward to serve on the committee.
The SCF’s Development Officer Barry Dench introduced the CA backed ‘Croquet Matters’ computer based Clubs improvement tool today. Six of the SCF’s northern based clubs – Caversham, Eynsham, Harwell, High Wycombe, Phyllis Court and Wingrave, met at Phyllis Court this morning and all present were impressed with what the program had to offer – all will be recommending it be utilised at their clubs.
In the afternoon, SCF six committee members re-convened to apply ‘Croquet Matters’ to the Federation and this provided an interesting insight to many aspects of our offering to our member clubs. Areas of activity were given an assessment score and targets were set for 12 months hence. Barry Dench will be writing an overview of the process, results and targets.
The second ‘Croquet Matters’ workshop (for our southern based clubs) will be held at Winchester CC on 6 February, again lead by Barry Dench.
Martin Brandt a former SCF Chairman, long time SCF AC Leagues manager and Chairman of Basingstoke CC has, sadly, died.
There is a thriving Croquet Club in Basingstoke, largely due to the efforts of one individual, Martin Brandt.Having learned garden croquet at an early age, Martin – like many others – was seized by the bug and continued playing for as long as he possibly could.He died on 15 November 2018 as a result of illness that had plagued him for much of his adult life. He confounded the medical prognoses but, eventually, things caught up with him.
Martin was a founder member of Basingstoke Croquet Club in 1974, was never off the Committee; he was Chairman at the time of his death and had been for over 20 years.He was also AC Leagues co-ordinator of the Southern Croquet Federation and had been its Chairman for many years.Martin’s personal life was clouded in sadness, having lost his first wife, Belinda, in tragic circumstances. He remarried Iryna – and taught her to play croquet! He was noted for taking croquet kit to work (for SSE) and setting up on a patch of grass at the office for some lunchtime practice.One or two current members of the Club joined as a result! In spite of his illness and a move to the Abingdon area, he was able to see in the move of Basingstoke Croquet Club to new facilities in 2018 and he has left the Club in good form for the future. Ian Harrison
Hamptworth players Tim O’Donnell (left) and Steve Bennett (right) respectively won the SCF’s AC and GC handicap ‘Champion of Champions’ tournaments this weekend and congratulations to them both. The tournaments pit the previous season’s handicap champions of member clubs against each other, this time hosted by Hamptworth CC. SCF Tournaments Officer Richard Jenkins reports that there was good support for the GC tournament on Saturday when 12 players locked horns in two blocks of six which each provided a finalist. The host’s Steve Bennett defeated Littleton’s Jerry Wilde 7-3 in that final. On a cold Sunday the SCF’s Rep to the CA Frances Colman battled being under the weather to stoically play in and manage the AC tournament which was a straight knock-out between eight players. Hamptworth’s rapid improver Tim O’Donnell made few mistakes, and in the final particularly, where he saw off Noel Harris of Eynsham.